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Fontelunga Hotel & Villas – Tuscany, Italy

Located close to Cortona, the famed setting for the film “Under the Tuscan Sun”, the lovely Fontelunga Hotel & Villas – Tuscany, Italy offers a contemporary and informal luxury style and breathtaking views over Val di Chiana and the Tuscan countryside, and it’s just perfect for a stylish relaxing retreat.

Offering just the right mix of contemporary design touches within a traditional context, the villa feels perfectly set within its surrounding landscape, with its traditional façade integrating with the grounds and adjacent pool.

Inside, modern pieces designed by one of the hotel’s owners and architects, as well as furniture from Philippe Starck and Arne Jacobsen, blend well with original mouldings and large windows framing the valley views.

The best way to define Fontelunga is “Home away from home”: with no formal hotel rules, there is a relaxed and classy atmosphere.

You can expect the warmest welcome and personalised service from owners Paolo and Philip together with their team.

They will be able to give you the best suggestions about nearby restaurants and activities.

Dogs are welcome at Fontelunga (they will find four small and nice buddies) and there’s also a nanny service available.

ACCOMMODATION

Crafted from a traditional Villa Padronale, Villa Fontelunga houses nine bedrooms, several common areas, a tennis court and a swimming pool.

The self catering private villas, named Villa Gallo and Villa Galletto, are nestled close by in the historic Scannagallo Valley.

They are sold on a weekly basis (from Saturday to Saturday) with daily service from the hotel.

You’ll find Molton Brown amenities, fresh flowers, pastel colours palette and custom details to make special every single corner of your suite.

DINING

The restaurant is only for hotel guests and every Tuesdays and Fridays a dinner party with the owners is organised.

Breakfast is a feast with homemade pastries and cakes (Paolo will bake every morning), fresh local and seasonal fruit, and cooked breakfast all included.

Casual dinners (the chef asks in the morning whether you will join in the evening) highlight local and seasonal ingredients as well as regional dishes like pasta with truffles and torta salata (a type of Tuscan quiche), and light lunches include caprese salads with tomatoes from the hotel’s garden, and prosciutto with figs or melon.

ACTIVITIES

Tuscany is well known for its wine tastings, and Fontelunga offers easy access to some of the area’s finest wineries.

There is a tennis court surrounded by olive trees, a lovely swimming pool, a heated Jacuzzi overlooking the olive grove and a new yoga and Pilates gazebo in the “Secret Garden”.

More activities like hot air ballooning and horseback riding can be easily arranged.

Cortona, Arezzo (one of Tuscany’s best-kept secrets), Siena, and Montepulciano are all easy day trips from the hotel.

Florence, Siena, Orvieto and Assisi are all within one hour drive of the hotel.

End your day with a glass of wine in the outdoor gazebo – with comfortable seats and a fireplace.

OWNERS

Fontelunga’s  Founders, Philip Robinson and Paolo Kastelec, all long life partners for the last 28 years, have been business partners for the last 18 years.

Their complementary skills and experience have come together and grown over the years to cover all aspects of the successful business they have created together.

Philip James Robinson  studied interior design at Kingston University in the UK and worked in the film industry as a production designer on major films such as “Four Weddings and a Funeral” and “Howards End” and may UK television series like “The vicar of Dibley “ and “ Mr Bean ).

He is responsible for all aspects of the design and creative side of the business as well as bringing the vision to life by overseeing all facets of the development projects.  His talent lies in managing the delicate balance of designing beautiful spaces which can be created economically and practically.

Paolo Kastelec met Philip at a mutual friend house in London when he moved from his home in Rome, Italy to study and work as a reinsurance broker in the City of London.   It was Paolo whose local knowledge of Italy and Tuscany sparked the idea of owning a property in the area and his natural flair and ability to make people feel at home, is why so many guests return to stay with them.  He is responsible for the marketing and day to day management of the operations.

TUSCANY, ITALY

With its lyrical landscapes, world-class art and a superb cucina contadina (farmer’s kitchen), the Tuscan experience is perfectly in symbiosis with the land.

An Artistic Powerhouse

Then there’s the art. And, oh, what art! The Etruscans indulged their fondness for a classy send-off with exquisite funerary objects, and the Romans, always partial to puffing up their own importance, left their usual legacy of monumental sculptures. But it was during the medieval and Renaissance periods that Tuscany really struck gold, with painters, sculptors and architects creating world-class masterpieces. Squirrelled away and safeguarded today in churches, museums and galleries all over the region, art in Tuscany is truly unmatched. Edgy street art in Florence and countryside sculpture parks bring the art scene right up to the 21st century.

Perfect Landscapes

Tuscany has a timeless familiarity with its iconic Florentine cathedral dome, gently rolling hills dipped in soft morning mist and sculptural cypress alleys. But then, this regione in central Italy is postcard material. Golden wheat fields, silver olive groves and pea-green vineyards marching in sharp terraced rows on hillsides form a graceful prelude to soul-soaring medieval hilltop villages, mountain ranges and fecund forests in the north, and a garland of bijou islands beaded along the coastal south. Get out, explore, hike and ding your bicycle bell, as this rousing landscape demands.

Sensational Slow Food

No land is more caught up with the fruits of its fertile earth than Tuscany, a gourmet destination whose residents spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about, discussing and consuming food and wine. Local, seasonal and sustainable is the Holy Trinity and Tuscans share enormous pride in the quality of their produce. Tuscan travel is grassroots: to wineries to taste blockbuster wines like Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano; to a family-run pastificio tradizionale where artisan pasta is cut by hand; and road trips in quest of the best bistecca alla fiorentina (chargrilled T-bone steak). Buon appetito!

Living History

Ever since the Etruscans dropped by to party and stayed, Tuscany has seduced. The Romans stocked their grain silos here, Christians walked stages of a medieval pilgrimage route, and Napoleon plundered art (and suffered terribly in exile in a beautiful neoclassical villa with fig trees and sea view on the paradisiacal island of Elba). Florence’s historic churches and monuments were a key stop for British aristocrats on the Grand Tour in the 19th century – and remain so. And at sundown when the River Arno turns pink, whether you like things old-fashioned and simple or boutique chic, know that this handsome city will oblige.


ITALY

Home to many of the world’s greatest works of art, architecture and gastronomy, Italy elates, inspires and moves like no other.

Cultural Riches

Epicentre of the Roman Empire and birthplace of the Renaissance, this European virtuoso groans under the weight of its cultural cachet: it’s here that you’ll stand in the presence of Michelangelo’s David and Sistine Chapel frescoes, Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and Primavera and da Vinci’s The Last Supper. In fact, Italy has more Unesco World Heritage cultural sites than any other country on Earth. Should you walk in the footsteps of ancient Romans in Pompeii, revel in Ravenna’s glittering Byzantine treasures or get breathless over Giotto’s revolutionary frescoes in Padua? It’s a cultural conundrum as thrilling as it is overwhelming.

Endless Feasts

It might look like a boot, but food-obsessed Italy feels more like a decadently stuffed Christmas stocking. From delicate tagliatelle al ragù to velvety cannoli, every bite can feel like a revelation. The secret: superlative ingredients and finely tuned know-how. And while Italy’s culinary soul might prefer simplicity, it’s equally ingenious and sophisticated. Expect some of the world’s top fine-dining destinations, from San Pellegrino ‘World’s Best 50’ hotspots to Michelin-starred musts. So whether you’re on a degustation odyssey in Modena, truffle hunting in Piedmont or swilling powerhouse reds in the Valpolicella wine region, prepare to loosen that belt.

Spectacular Landscapes

Italy’s fortes extend beyond its galleries, wardrobes and dining rooms. The country is one of Mother Nature’s masterpieces, with extraordinary natural diversity matched by few. From the north’s icy Alps and glacial lakes to the south’s fiery craters and turquoise grottoes, this is a place for doing as well as seeing. One day you’re tearing down Courmayeur’s powdery slopes, the next you could be galloping across the marshes of the Maremma, or diving in coral-studded Campanian waters. Not bad for a country not much bigger than Arizona.

Inimitable Style

In few places do art and life intermingle so effortlessly. This may be the land of Dante, Titian and Verdi, but it’s also the home of Prada, Massimo Bottura and Renzo Piano. Beauty, style and flair furnish every aspect of daily life, from those immaculately knotted ties and seamless espressos to the flirtatious smiles of striking strangers. The root of Italian psychology is a dedication to living life well, and effortless as it may seem, driving that dedication is a reverence for the finer things. So slow down, style up and indulge in a little vita all’italiana (life, Italian style).

Credits:

FONTELUNGA

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/tuscany/introduction

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/introduction