OVERVIEW Villa Fontanili-Leccio
Surrounded by trees, the villa Fontanili stands in extensive landscaped grounds which blend into the olive groves and fields of the estate. The beach, 3 km. from the villa, is made of fine sand with a multitude of colourful seashells.
Villa Il Fontanile has been carefully and lovingly restored. It houses 4 self-contained, terraced apartments which elegantly combine light, taste, ease and clean modern comfort.
The upper floor is taken by the apartments Ginepro und Leccio. The living rooms are flooded with light which pours in through the french windows giving onto a balcony on the garden side of the room and the terrace on the other side. The terraces measure 25m and are equipped with table and chairs.
Hidden from the house by rose and lavender bushes is the 18 x 6 m. swimming pool with an adjoining paddling pool. A roof on pillars which used to serve as farm storage has restored and transformed into an summer living room, an ideal place for lazy summer afternoons in the cool summer breeze.
A country road leads through sweet smelling Mediterranean maquis from the villa Il Fontanile to the private gate leading to the beach. Deck chairs and sunbeds are available, as well as a shower and a shady parking space.
Further down the beach you will find two lovely beach clubs - one simple and the other trendy - where you can have coffee, drinks or a light lunch.
Amenities and services
- Pool (child safe): 18 x 6m
- Internet access
- Hifi stereo
- Satellite TV
- Bed & bath linens
- Baby equipment
- Final cleaning
- A few bycicles are available on the premises
- First shopping
- Arrival dinner
- Maid service
- Central heating
- Pet welcome
Floorplan of the villa
Living room with terrace and balcony
2 double bedrooms
1 twin bedroom
2 bathrooms (one with tub and one with shower)
Pool 18x6 mt.
Loggia with tables, chairs and easy chairs
Vegetable and herb garden
Playground for children
Ping pong table
Bycicles for adults and children
The estate of Fontanili lies in an area called Maremma, a lesser known and therefore all the more captivating part of Tuscany extending south towards Latium. It is a region which conjures up memories of foregone times, a world of large estates, generations of old families, harvests, summers and the sea.
One is almost tempted to believe that this untamed landscape owes its mystique to the lingering presence of the Etruscans, an ancient civilisation remembered for their peace-loving and hedonistic way of life who lived and farmed here centuries before Christ.
Over the past fifteen years the area has become a favourite spot for a certain Italian intellectual elite seeking the charm of the Tuscan way of life enriched by the joys of an unspoilt seaside.
A wide strip of fertile land separates the sea from the mountains. It is here that the house Fontanili stands, surrounded by trees and a charming garden. The estate extends over 260 hectares of olive groves and sunflower-fields. On the map you will find it roughly half-way between Rome and Grosseto, surrounded by the cultural landmarks of Tarquinia, Tuscania, Orbetello and Viterbo, which all are more or less half an hour‘s drive away.
The estate is managed by the owner Verio Piroddi, descendant of the princely family Ludovisi Boncompagni, who was awarded the property in 1870 by the Pope in order to avoid confiscation by the newly unified Italian Monarchy.
The estate used to cover the vast area of 4.600 hectares until the agrarian reform in 1953 redimensioned the property, redistributing the expropriated land to the former peasants of the property. The estate employs three farmers who live in the vicinity.
The ascent of the Boncompagni Ludovisi family goes back to Ugo Boncompagni, a brilliant lawyer from Bologna who represented the Vatican at the Council of Trent and was elected Pope in 1572, taking the name of Gregory XIII. He is remembered as thoroughly imbued with the cosciousness of the great responsability of his position, combatting all ecclesiastical abuses and appointing one day a week for a public audience during which everyone had access to him. The gregorian calender which we use today goes back to Gregory XIII.
- From a holidayer‘s point of view the private beach of Fontanili is a real asset, only four kilometers from the house. A back road leads to a private gate to which the guests are given a key. The beach is of fine sand with a multitude of coloured shells. Behind the beach, the dunes are covered with a labyrinth of wild aromatic bushes such as myrtle and cistus-roses which blossom at different times of the year. Two cafés down the beach have coffé, ice-cream and also serves light meals.
- Lake Burano: the estate of Fontainili borders on the Lake Burano, a lagoon run by the WWF. The bird-watching here is excellent, above all in spring and autumn.
- The Parco dell’Uccellina, officially the Parco Nazionale Maremmano, is a rewarding place for nature lovers. Marked footpaths will lead you through incredibly beautiful pine woods to hidden creeks, past romantic ruins of fortified watch towers to the abbey of San Rabano, built by monks who arrived from Rhodes in the X century.
- Vulci is another natural park of the WWF. The castle called “Castello dell’Abbadia” has become the National Archeological Museum of Vulci with a beautiful collection of ceramics, sculptures and bronzes. We recommend a walk over the Roman bridge of l’Abbadia. From here, on foot or by car, you may reach the remains of the Etruscan and Roman town of Vulci called “La Civita”. The area has become an archeological park and offers a choice of many walks.
- Sant’Antimo is one of the most beautiful Benedictine abbeys, built in the XIIth century on a site between Siena and Grosseto. Today is the home of a small community of Monks, whose daily services are accompanied by Gregorian chant.
- Tarquinia is known in the whole world for its Etruscan tombs and frescoes. For many centuries it was one of the most important towns of the Etruria. At the entrance of Tarquinia, a beautiful building called Palazzo Vitelleschi, dating from 1436 – 1439, is now the Archeological Museum where have been collected the objects found in the necropolis of Tarquinia. The center of the town offers you towers and churches from the middle-age. The necropolis of Tarquinia is out of town (just one kilometer), and is easy to find.
- Tuscania is the most suggestive center of the Tuscia. Quite powerful during the Etruscan period, the town became an important fortification in the middle-ages. The two churches of Santa Maria Maggiore and San Pietro are some of the most beautiful specimens of Romanic art. A walk in the center of the town is recommended.
- Monte Argentario: only half an hour from Fontanile lies the Monte Argentario, a peninsula connected with the mainland by three dams. The Monte Argentario is known for its fine coastline, rich mediterranean vegetation and the two jet set harbours Porto Ercole and Porto Santo Stefano.
- The Tarot-Garden of Niki de Saint-Phalle: on one of the hills not far from Fontanili the famous french artist hs built her „Jardin des Tarots“, twenty two giant sculptures inspired by the figures of the magic tarot cards. Children love it!
- Villa Lante, Bagnaia- Viterbo: one of the best examples of Italian gardens near Rome, it contains two small villas and some amazing fountains against the backdrop of the wooded hills, once used as a hunting ground. Outside the Italian garden is a large park open to the public.
- Civita di Bagnoregio: perched on top of a hill, Civita dominates the wide valley made up of “calanchi” weathered clay hills. It is an enchanted place, where time seems to have stopped. Due to a geologically fragile clay base, it is an unstable hill and the inhabitants preferred to leave migrating to safer places. But is now a safe place to visit.
- Orvieto, overlooking the Tiber valley, was founded by the Etruscans as Volsinii Veteres in the VIIIth century b.C. around a well known sacred temple and reached it’s apex from the VI to the IV century b.C. . The Romans later destroyed it and the Goths rebuilt it while the Byzantines gave it towers, palaces and churches. From the church of Sant’Andrea’s pulpit pope Innocenzo III proclaimed the IVth crusade. The town’s main square lies at the foot of the Cathedral built in the Italian – Gothic style with shops and café’s to give visitors rest and let them enjoy the beauty of the town.
- Caprarola: is dominated by Palazzo Farnese, the palace-fortress built by the Farnese Family . One of Italy’s most beautiful Renaissance buildings, it contains many masterpieces by some of the most important and famous painters and architects of the period. The Scala Regia is an elaborate stone spiral staircase that let Cardinal Alessandro Farnese (later Pope Paul III) reach the bedrooms on horseback. Nearby is Lago di Vico, a Nature Reserve in the Cimini hills.
- Sovana, Sorano and Pitigliano are three towns standing close to each other. Sovana is often considered the most interesting spot of southern Tuscany, boasting a magnificent Etruscan necropolis and 2 remarkable Romanic churches. Pitigliano is a medieval town with a dramatic location, interestingly enough with a Ghetto, a Jewish quarter. It is also known for the white wine produced here, Bianco di Pitigliano. The Medieval old town of Sorano was first established as an Etruscan centre in the middle of the “land of tuff” (a cooled lava stone) spreading at the foot of the 14th century Orsini Castle.
GUEST REVIEWS, Villa Fontanili-Leccio, Fontanili
- Pescia Romana, the village 4 km
- Montalto di Castro, the train station 13 km
- Tarquinia 30 minutes
- Tuscania 40 minutes
- Porto Ercole 40 minutes
- Grosseto 1 hour
- Viterbo 1 hour
- Rome 1h35
- Siena 2h05
- Pisa 2h40