Restored by my mother April with famous architect Prince Antonio Ruffo, this is an authentic stone farm house dating from 1450. Traditionally fitted with marble/travertine fittings, has four bedrooms and three bathrooms with charming annex. It has 7 acres of landscaped gardens and private pool, terrace, own water supply and photovoltaic electricity.
The foundations and walls of the house were built in 1450, 42 years before Columbus discovered America [actually Santo Domingo]. The property belonged to the Mandosi Estate, who were the first Bishop's of Amelia. The second bishop of Amelia, became the first bishop of the America's. Amelia has this connection with the new world. It was with the spanish dobloons plundered from the Aztecs and Incas, [those that made it through Francis Drake], that these old families from Amelia built many of the palaces in old town of Amelia, some of which can be visited such as Palazzo Mandosi, Geraldini, Venturelli and Farattini. Amelia happens to be the oldest continuously inhabited town in the Italian peninsula. You can enjoy the 'men in tights' flag throwing in August if you are into that!
You will be dining al fresco where over 20 generations have watched the same sunsets over the olive groves.
The house is above a valley with sweeping views over relaxing countryside, and is a working farm with an olive grove which has the rarest olive varietal, 'Rajo' or Raggia/Raggio. Many of these olive trees are over 200 years old and produce an almost unbelievably good walnut flavored olive oil. The house is truly integrated into its landscaped lavendar steps and Italian Cypress and 'herb' surroundings, with a private pool, gazebo and English style gardens, deep in 7 acres of organic farmland and 'centenary' olive grove, own spring water, purified, own photovoltaic 15,000 Kwh electric generation, air-conditioning, tastefully furnished with antiques, a wonderful getaway from which to explore the wonders of Umbria and Tuscany.
Today I rent the house out in summer as I live in the US. As my family home, it is somewhat different from the many of the cement boxes that today masquerade as an Umbrian farmhouse. As this home has been in existence for over 600 years, it has a few quirks, and is furnished with many antiques, and beautiful works of art and antiquities from more than 2000 years ago.
It is the integrity of materials used in the house and the position of the house above the valley, that make it special. Carrara marble, travertine, roman brick, chestnut, all handmade by artisans, most of which were local, from Vittorio the carpenter who made all the interior and exterior fittings without a single power tool, to Enrico who hand carved many of the marble fittings such as the massive Carrara wash basins in the kitchen. Nothing in this house has been sourced from mass produced materials! Walls are over 1.4 meters thick at the base. The floors are all in traditional Castel Viscardo brick tile, fired from the same clay and kilns that the bricks in ancient Rome were made from. All is from man's ingenuity and local natural materials.
In response to demands by guests, we now offer custom cooking classes for up to 8 people, with a local chef, at three levels, beginner, expert, and professional. Please contact us with the details.
The accommodation includes, a master bedroom with own ensuite travertine lined bathroom, with views from every room and independent access to garden.
Large double bedroom with independent access to gardens and own travertine lined bathroom accross the hall.
Single bedroom with independent access to garden and shared bathroom.
Sitting room with own library and entertainment center, with beautiful exposed beams, and views over countryside.
Traditional Country kitchen, with exposed chestnut beams, solid 1.5 inch carrara marble counter tops and wash basins, 2 fireplaces, DVD, Satellite TV entertainment center, airconditioning air filtration system, purified spring water, microwave.
Patio with dining al fresco for 8 [teak Uno Piu' furniture]. Outside new Weber gas grill.
Double bedroom in annex, with own carrara marble lined bathroom, and kitchen, airconditioning and TV.
Bicycles are available free for the 2014 season, but we ask that you fill-out a liability waiver and that you wear the bike helmets provided, for your safety. Please note that a security deposit is always required when staying at La Fontana. This is Euro 500, which will be held by Eka my housekeeper and returned to you at the end of your stay, net of Euro 130 which is the final cleaning and inventory fee for the property. As this is an ecologically deigned home we also have had to charge an extra $10/towel for the use of more than 3 towels per person/week, as unfortunately we have had guests who have gone through over 12 towels in a week. The use of the A/c is free. Heating when used for the period October 15th to May 30th is on a metered consumption basis.
Thank you very much for visiting this property online, and we wish you a wonderful stay in La Fontana in 'reality'.
Check in is 16:30 on Saturday. Check out is 10:30 on following Saturday morning.
My family is part Italian and part English. I live in Seattle in the USA. I grew up traveling between Surrey/London and Rome, vacationed in St. Mawes Cornwall, and Tuscany.
I graduated from LSE - London Business School, worked as a fund manager in London and New York for 25 years, and fed up with the corporate world I decided to sail around the world and explore the world and what it has to offer before it is too late!
We keep this lovely home for our now rare family reunions, for which it is eminently suited. I hope you enjoy your stay and welcome your suggestions to make the home a better experience.
La Fontana was part of the 600 year old Estate of the Mandosi Barcherini family who were large landowners in the Amelia region.
The Mandosi's were the first family in Amelia to rise in the hierarchy of the Roman Papal Curia, with Mandosi appointed as the first Bishop of Amelia.
The Mandosi family built palaces in Amelia and in Rome starting in 1440.
You can visit the Mandosi Barcherini Palace in Amelia in Via Cavour 1. There is also a Mandosi palace in Rome on the left of Piazza Farnese looking at Palazzo Farnese, site of the current French embassy.
In 1984 my mother April was looking for a farm house outside Rome. She found La Fontana in a copy of the Italian equivalent of 'Craig's List', or Porta Portese. La Fontana was one of the first she found, and although it was in terrible shape, and had no roof, she immediately saw its potential. The walls were still in reasonable shape, but the house had to be completely rebuilt. She bought the house in 1985 with 3 hectares of land.
My mother April hired Prince Antonio Ruffo, an architect and a traditionalist who believed that restoration should not alter the true feel of the house.
He and my mother wanted to keep the original 'farm house' feel of La Fontana in the restoration. The main problem for the restoration was that the lower level of the house had been used by animals.
The top floor in which humans lived was separated from the lower level. Antonio convinced my mother to maintain direct access to the garden from all rooms on the lower floor of the house.
This has meant that the house has many steps to join the top floor to the bottom floor.
The pool and the steps were added a year after the house was renovated.
The annex was renovated at the same time as the main house with only traditional materials.
This is my family's home in Italy. It is a very personal home, not at all a cookie cutter rental. You have extensive views of the rolling Italian countryside from the veranda, with al fresco eating, herb garden, fresh olive oil, and great food. We also arrange private cooking schools for our guests who are interested in Italian and Umbrian regional gastronomic specialities.
Your vacation home is very comfortable, kitchen all carrara marble, travertine bathrooms, wireless internet, cable TV. We have also included bicycles [including bike helmets] in the price, as many people want them to tour the sightsYou are only a few minutes from some wonderful baths in Viterbo, the white water rapids of the Nera, wild boar hunting, sailing on the Tuscan coast near Monte Argentario, and the cultural delights of Spoleto, Perugia, Orvieto, Terni and Todi.
The home is full of authentic antiques, traditional beams, 'roman' cotto or brick tiles, and travertine marble. It has two fireplaces for the winter, its own spring water, purified, and its own Solar electric power.
Amelia is sited on rolling hills, bordered on the north by thick woods and on the south by olive groves and vineyards. The walls originate from the pre-Etruscan period (2000 BC) while the town has maintained its medieval plan without significant change in centuries. It has been said that Amelia is the oldest continuously inhabited settlement on the Italian peninsula, and has many layers of civilization. From the Roman period the most striking vestiges are the ancient cisterns and the statue of Germanico. The town people are charming and there are some good restaurants that serve typical Umbrian food. Wine producers are all around and it is fun to go round the local Cantine. We have some wonderful wine producers nearby in Montecchio, [Falesco], in Amelia, Colli Amerini, [Carbio] and Castello delle Regine. A short drive away are the amazing vineyards of Montefalco, which have some of the best wines in Italy, including the prize winning Arnaldo Caprai, Sagrantino. The same can be done for the olive oil, the local production is the best in Italy. The harvest season is usually mid November. We produce our own very high grade olive oil, from 200 rare Olive trees of the Rajo variety. Many of our trees are nearly 200 years old. You can participate in our Olive harvest, and enjoy a traditional Umbrian treat of good Olive Oil, bruschetta, good wine and food, after a day socializing in the trees!
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event||Minimum Stay|
High Season Summer
May 31 2014 - Sep 13 2014
Changeover Day: Saturday
My Standard Rate
|Property Damage Protection||$89.00|
|Notes||Final Cleaning Inventory fee of Euro 130 is ALWAYS assessed - & paid in Cash to Eka, my housekeeper upon arrival.
General: Cash safety deposit of Euro 500 is payable to my house-keeper upon arrival, unless opted for $1,500 in insurance at time of booking. Wear & tear does NOT include breakages or "extreme" soiling.
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay. Payment is usually accepted in the quoted currency (USD) unless the currency and the amount is specifically agreed in advance with the owner / advertiser.