One of the best stops in our two week trip through Italy! My wife and I took a two week mad-dash around Italy for our 5th anniversary. We covered many locations and stayed at so many places (I’ll be reviewing most of them) I wanted to start with this review because Villa Fontelunga was easily one of, if not the best, points of our trip for so many reasons. From the moment we arrived, Paolo handed us a glass of prosecco and asked us what we wanted to do, and how he could make sure we had a fun and relaxing stay. And that is exactly what we had at this picturesque, warm, and inviting spot. Can’t wait to go back. I would recommend this to all my friends.
Let me be clear about one thing: The oasis (and that is the best word for it) that Paolo and Philip have created at this Tuscan Villa is not going to be for everyone. And THAT is what makes it great. The grounds are lovely, the rooms are exquisitely decorated, clean and large. The staff is made up of just about the friendliest people I’ve met in a long time. What makes this location different is that friendliness, that openness, that sense of community. If you are looking for a Villa were you will not only get to know the owners, but also the other guests and have fun doing so—this is the spot for you.
This is not to say that the attention is invasive. Not at all. Everyone who stays at Fontelunga can conceivably spend time keeping to themselves. But that, I fear, would cause you to miss the whole magic of the place. Pour yourself a drink (from the 24 hour honor bar in the open kitchen) pull up a chair and chat with Paolo, Philip or Rob or the other guests. Eventually you forget you are at a hotel. You feel like you are over a friend’s house (a friend’s STUNNING house) and a part of one of the best dinner parties you’ve ever been invited to. The night we stayed to have a big dinner at Fontelunga was a highlight of our trip. Not only was the food great, but we got to chat with folks from Chicago, New York, Australia, Germany, the UK. All of us sharing stories and laughs and wine in this wonderful setting.
Point of note: We did NOT rent a car. Which, especially in Tuscany, I was concerned would limit or mobility. Not the case at all. Paolo arranged for us to be picked up from the Arezzo train station (about ½ hour away) and worked with us to plan fun day trips to Cortona and various wineries, etc. He called us a terrific driver, Guido, who took us everywhere we wanted to go (and showed us a bunch of sights we didn’t know we were looking for). Things could not have worked out better.
In the interest of being well-rounded in the review, I’ll point out the two things that I thought could be improved. We had such a great time at the big “family” dinner that I would have loved for it to have been offered every night of our stay. That might be nearly impossible, but the food options within walking distance are scarce and whereas the restaurants in Cortona are good, nothing could compare to that home cooking. Not sure how this could be pulled off but we had such a great time and meal that night we’d loved to have done it again. And a little point—it gets a bit Mosquito friendly from the hours of 4 -7, so I’d recommend grabbing some bug spray for your stay.
Again, we cannot wait to go back. If nothing else I have to spend more time with Lucy Lui (one of two charming dogs!)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our holiday villas, owned and run by English and Italian friends, provide a stylish and relaxing retreat in Italy. Our Guests are warmly welcomed at their holiday accommodation and invited to treat their Villa as their "home from home" in an atmosphere of informal luxury. The elegant Villa Fontelunga is set above the Val di Chiana enjoying panoramic views across the countryside of Tuscany towards the hilltop town of Cortona, whilst the Villas are nestled close by in the historic Scannagallo valley. Crafted from traditional materials, the holiday villas are now a marriage of traditional Tuscan style and contemporary design. "Until now it has been difficult to find more than 'rustic charm' when it comes to villa rental in Tuscany; with our unique "Fontelunga" concierge service and luxurious contemporary styling, at last there is something more for the discerning traveller, your tailor made, perfect home away from home." Our holiday villas portfolio in Tuscany includes: Villa Fontelunga sleeping 16 to 18 (also run as a luxury "B and B") and within 10 minutes walk at Fattoria di Scannagallo in the Scannagallo valley, two new villas; Gallo sleeping 4 and Galletto sleeping 2. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Villa Fontelunga Hotel Foiano Della Chiana
- Fontelunga Hotel Foiano Della Chiana
- Fontelunga Hotel & Villas Italy/Foiano Della Chiana, Tuscany