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Villa in Alps-Maritime perched village above French Italian Riviera

Kent Ravenscroft or Judy Raak administrator

Member since: 2009
Call Manager
Enter your email address to view the phone number
Speaks: english, french
Bedrooms 2
Property type villa
Minimum Stay 4 nights

Contact the Manager

Kent Ravenscroft or Judy Raak administrator

Member since: 2009
Speaks: english, french
Calendar last updated:
April 7, 2015
Tell the manager when you would like to travel.
Call Manager
Enter your email address to view the phone number
Travel with confidence
Travel with confidence
Guaranteed, secure, with no booking fees
Add vacation protection services to your booking
Three services to protect your trip:
Protect your payments in case you need to cancel.
Guarantee the rental meets your expectations
Ensure you're prepared in case of accidental damage.

Villa in Alps-Maritime perched village above French Italian Riviera

Bedrooms 2
Property type villa
Minimum Stay 4 nights


Airole Villa Rental Photos and Description

Villa, 2 Bedrooms + Convertible bed, 2 Baths (Sleeps 4-5)

Fanghetto is a small rustic picturesque thousand-year-old Italian stone village, perched on the side of a mountain just 15 minutes above the Riviera and 45 minutes from the Nice Airport. Built like a Pueblo honeycomb over the ages, Fanghetto beckons you to explore her charming restaurant and two cobbled footpath 'streets' just above the parking lot. With her tiny square (a summer concert is held there), curving arches and stairways, an ancient bread oven and a huge stone olive press, the village gives you a magical glimpse into Roman and medieval times even as you luxuriate in your own private intimate Villa with modern amenities and comfort.

Near the French-Italian border, everyone speaks Italian and French, and a few, English. In summer the population swells form 10 villagers to over 100 people, many from Holland, Belgium and France, a few from the US, and some in the arts. It is not unusual to hear a violin or an aria nearby.

Our intimate villa is reached by climbing the Via Corridoio stairs past the church, turning right down the mysterious Via Oscura, up some steep angular stairs to our tiny entrance courtyard.

Take the path from your Villa down to the Roya River to a small sand and pebble beach, providing a cool dip and sunbathing. If your supplies run low or you want the best Cappuccino around, walk 15 minutes down to Marisa's (where you turned off up to Fanghetto). Walking and hiking trails abound. A Roman footpath runs right outside your door on the Via Corridoio, leading up and down the valley, connecting with a wonderful labyrinth of well-marked and maintained hiking trials throughout the mountains.

The living room of your cozy Villa, with its fireplace (nice in the late spring and early fall) offers a view of the church, and room for reading, conversation and rest, or listening to music from the CD collection. The convertible couch provides a spot for a fifth person or kids to sleep (for safety reasons children should be in arms or at least 5). Just a few steps away from your table is a separate, fully equipped kitchen. On Sundays you can look down on the priest greeting his small flock. Just a step above the kitchen are a bathroom and bedroom, with a small alcove table for writing, looking out over a great mountain view.

A stairway up from the living room leads to a spacious roof terrace, with a charcoal grill, chairs and cocktail table, a larger table with umbrella for al fresco dining, and lounge chairs for sunning and naps. As you look out over the beautiful Roya valley and mountains, you will be amazed by the extensive centuries-old terracing by monks and peasants for growing olive trees.

Spectacular views up or down the Roya valley await you, as do the soothing sounds of the river from below. Soon the swallows come out, and then the stars—a perfect setting for good food and wine great conversations and unforgettable memories.

But your biggest surprise still awaits you. Step through the archway under the stairs, down into a stunning master bedroom, with its luxurious queen sized bed, spacious armoire and large bureau; enjoy a relaxing 'rain' shower in the large second bathroom. There is also separate toilet, and hidden washing machine. This bedroom is a place for deep sleep and wonderful dreams. One of the pleasures of this room is looking up at the white barrel-vaulted ceiling with all its amazing curves and niches. The walls are three feet thick keeping you cool in summer, and warm in spring or fall (helped by an electric heater if need be).

More Details
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • alternative lifestyle
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Kent Ravenscroft or Judy Raak administrator (Property Manager)
Member since: 2009
Call Manager
Enter your email address to view the phone number
Speaks: english, french
Calendar last updated:
April 7, 2015

About Kent Ravenscroft or Judy Raak administrator

Kent is a retired Washington child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, sculptor, and author of a novel, Body Sharing, and two nonfiction books, Les Liaisons Delicieuses: Breaking the French Culinary Code, and Disaster Psychiatry in Haiti. He is an associate clinical professor in psychiatry at both Georgetown and George Washington medical schools. He lives in Paris with his wife, Patti; spending May and October in Fanghetto, and summers in Martha's Vineyard. Patti is founder and President of Les Liaisons Delicieuses: Gastronomic Adventures in France, Italy, Morocco and Vietnam, recently receiving the coveted l'Ordre de Merite Agricole from the French Government for her promotion of French artisans, food, and restaurants. They have two children: Christopher, a graduate of L'Academie de Cuisine, working as a chef, and Julia, graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design, working initially at Louis Vuitton, she now works at Marni in New York.

Kent Ravenscroft or Judy Raak administrator purchased this villa in 1974

Why Kent Ravenscroft or Judy Raak administrator chose Airole

I have always loved France and Italy ever since high school. I found the French and Italian Rivieras breath-taking, with spectacular mountains plunging into the azure Mediterranean. I loved the great French and Italian restaurants and museums, hiking and snorkeling, history and culture. And my wife loved it even more But how did I discover Fanghetto? In 1972 I was invited to visit a friend there. At the time, there was only a footpath to the village going across the old Roman bridge, and a wire pulley from Marisa's to the square to haul your bags up. Because the Americans bombed the railroad bridges as they chased the Germans out during WWII, the Italian government promised the villagers if they helped rebuild those bridges, they would eventually construct bridges and roads up to each village. Two years after I bought my set of rooms (my original living room, kitchen, bath, and bed room), the bridge and road were built. But because of the war, most of the young men were dead or moved to the cities, and Fanghetto shrank from 300 to 10, leaving many rooms vacant and dilapidated. When a 'For Sale' sign went up in his courtyard, my friend urged me to buy, not wanting a stranger in his midst. It was one of the best things I have ever did. The region around Fanghetto is one of the richest and most interesting places I have ever seen, combining spectacular mountains, hiking, trout fishing, nature, history, culture, French and Italian hill towns and fascinating people and restaurants. Antonio Trucchi did my first renovation, giving me my original living room, bed room, bathroom and kitchen. Then, with Patti, we put in the stairs and skylight giving us a wonderful terrace and views. This year, with the help of Architect Antoine Van Straaten, we obtained an adjacent room for a new bedroom. Stone mason, Livio Cinelli, renovated it giving us our great second bedroom, with modern shower, separate toilet, and washing machine. Voila, we have our villa.

What makes this villa unique

Fanghetto is a quiet private Shangri-La, yet so close to fascinating places and restaurants in the Alps Maritime. And, even better, it is so close to the French and Italian Riviera, with beaches, restaurants, museums, and even gambling in Monte Carlo. You can sail, boat, water ski, snorkel, and enjoy fabulous sea food. All in All, peace and quiet, or great fun!

Why HomeAway

Bedrooms 2
Property type villa
Minimum Stay 4 nights
Travel with confidence
Travel with confidence
Guaranteed, secure, with no booking fees
Add vacation protection services to your booking
Three services to protect your trip:
Protect your payments in case you need to cancel.
Guarantee the rental meets your expectations
Ensure you're prepared in case of accidental damage.


based on 10 traveler reviews

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Villa in Alps-Maritime perched village above French Italian Riviera
average rating of 4.9 based on 10 reviews

A relaxing retreat close to the sea

  • 5 of 5

This was a great trip! The location is incredibly peaceful and relaxing. Close enough to the coast for a lively day at the beach, shopping or going out to dinner but, at the end of the evening, it was amazing to come back to the villa, open a bottle of wine, and see the most amazing stars pass over head. I loved the little shop/convenience store at the end of the drive into the village. It was an easy walk to get a delicious cappuccino and pastry in the morning. Hiking and swimming on the mountain stream also made for a great low key day! The property was the perfect size for my family and the renovated master bedroom was beautiful (includes a washer!!!). Such a lovely village and a lovely rental!

  • Submitted: Apr 2, 2015
  • Stayed: Aug 2014
  • Source: HomeAway

Wonderful vacation in Fanghetto!

  • 5 of 5

When my husband and I booked this holiday we had no idea what we'd find when we got there, tho' the photos on the website gave us an idea. Guess what! The real thing is much better than the photos. A well-kept and comfortable house in a charming, delightful village, away from the hustle and bustle of our normal everyday lives. We relaxed completely during our stay, enjoyed all things local: swimming in the river and the Mediterranean sea, drinks on the terrace, wandering thru the weekly market in Ventimiglia, great fresh food and fish at local restaurants, walking in the mountains, local sightseeing spots, museums and so on. (Lots of info in the house where you can find fascinating information on what to do, where to go, etc.)

If you're looking for a relaxing getaway to recouperate and enjoy nature and all things Italian, this is the place: Villa Ravenscroft in Fanghetto! We can recommend it highly.

  • Submitted: Apr 1, 2015
  • Stayed: Sep 2014
  • Source: HomeAway

Tranquil retreat on the French Italian border

  • 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time staying in this charming old stone village along the Roya River. The accommodations are a perfect mix of ancient history and modern comfort. We enjoyed daily hikes along the footpaths that connect all of the small nearby towns, eating on the rooftop terrace, and driving down to the Riviera towns of Ventimiglia and Menton to explore for the day. The weather in June was perfect, not too hot, not too cold. Wildflowers were in bloom. We were able to get by with highschool level French. Would love to go again!

  • Submitted: Mar 30, 2015
  • Stayed: Jun 2014
  • Source: HomeAway

Lovely--especially enjoyed the terrace.

  • 5 of 5

This is wonderful place for an extended family or group of friends. Charming Italian hill town with lovely walks along the little river, a swimming hole, fabulous shopping in nearby villages. Nice area for foodies and those who like to hike in the mountains.

  • Submitted: Mar 28, 2015
  • Stayed: Jun 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
Paris, France

The Perfect Vacation

  • 5 of 5

Thank you for a fantastic week in Fanghetto (August 2011). We have had the most relaxing time - it's so easy to get into a very comfortable, relaxed way of life here! Unfortunately we didn't get to eat at the village trattoria - but we did go to your recommends in Ariole, Venti (Marco Polo - although my fish soup was a huge disappointment, G's pasta di fruittimere was fantastic!), Colla Bassa and Sospel. It was so nice to visit a new place and not have to hunt around for the perfect restaurant, as you've done all the work with your 'guide book' on where to eat. The food in this region is very very good!

We swam just about every day in the river - the water was definitely "fresh", but it was perfect to wake us up from our lunch stupor! We love it here and hope to return one day soon. Thanks once again.

  • Submitted: Oct 9, 2011
  • Stayed: Aug 2011
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
The Netherlands

A charming isolated Italian getaway

  • 4 of 5

We spent one week in this Fanghetto apartment with our two teenage children. Fanghetto is indeed unique - a tiny, ancient village. It is close to a busy road - this is probably not such a problem in the off season. The apartment is unique - few windows, but enough natural light, with thick walls to keep it cool in the Summer. The pictures are very accurate; the layout is spacious and well equipped. We kept the roof terrace door open day and night, and that provided light and fresh air. The second bedroom is very small - we moved things around a bit in the room to make it work for our two children. Master bedroom is lovely. My contact with the owner was extremely positive, and the apartment met all of our expectations.

Fanghetto is not for everyone. The village is isolated - a car is essential. Except for Marisa's store (a good 15 minute walk), there is nowhere to go without a car. The closest village with amenities is a one hour hike. We usually choose isolated spots when we go on vacation, but this lacked the outdoor space (for kicking a football, or swimming), and the opportunity to explore surrounding areas easily, by foot or by bike. The river was lovely, but quite cool and too shallow for real swimming.

The village was very busy while we were there. The advantage of being there in the high season is that we enjoyed a lovely village party thrown by a couple of "regulars" The guests were mostly Dutch, which for Americans living in Holland was a bit disappointing!. There were also two evenings of music concerts in the "piazza".

The Trattoria in Fanghetto was as wonderful as we'd heard; we enjoyed two great meals there. Totally unpretentious place, tiny menu, but great food for a great price. We also enjoyed two hikes - one to Pien Haute (2 hour hike to another beautiful perched village that has no cafe or stores), and Ariole (a town we really loved) and enjoyed a wonderful meal at Marco's (forgotten the name of his restuarnat) - also as good as we expected. We also spent a day on the mediteranean coast.

I think Fanghetto (and this apartment) is a great place for a vacation, and I enjoyed it very much. I would personally not recommend it for familes with young children or teenagers (but there were many families there, who come back often and love it). I would love to go back with my husband some day, maybe in the off-season. There is so much to see in the area, and if you don't mind a lot of driving, and you love hiking, it's a lovely place.

  • Submitted: Aug 30, 2011
  • Stayed: Jul 2011
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway


Nearest Airport
35 Miles
Nearest Barpub
400 Metres
Fanghetto or Marisa's Bar & Store
Nearest Train
5 Miles
Breil-sur-Roya 5 miles)
Nearest Motorway
400 Metres
SR20 at Fanghetto entrance
Nearest Restaurant
50 Metres
Fanghetto (50 meters) or Airole (2 miles)
Nearest Beach
8 Miles
Ventimiglia or Menton
Car: necessary

Fanghetto, just off of SR20, is 15-20 minutes from the Autoroute and from Ventimiglia, and 30 min. from Menton (both with beaches (Riviera di Fiora and French Riviera), and 45 minutes to Nice. The views and hiking are breath-taking, with great restaurants and activities in nearby Breil,-sur-Roya, Airole, and Sospel.


Rates & Availability

From $180 Per night

Airole Villa Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Rental rates quoted in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
May to October
May 1 2015 - Oct 31 2015
4 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
4 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $175
Notes We attach a lease to an email or send you a lease to sign. Half the total fee by check is due with the signed lease; The other half plus the cleaning fee of $175 is due as a check 60 days before rental date. The security deposit is sent at this time also, and will be held.
Enter dates to see total


Airole Villa Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • villa
  • Guests provide their own meals
Location Type:
  • Mountain ...
  • Mountain View ...
  • Near The Ocean ...
  • River ...
  • Rural ...
  • Village ...
  • Fireplace
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wood Fireplace
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Full 1 -
    Full 2 -
  • Master 'bath' is a spacious 'rain shower'; upper bath is a shower with pull around curtain, nestled tightly in small bathroom. best for kids or the couple that gets the short straw.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 5
  • Bedroom 3 - 1 sleep sofa /futon , In living room, Sleep sofa, children, or adolescent
  • Master bedroom is a queen; upper bedroom a 'click-clack' double (a daybed that unfolds to a wall-wall double) cozy; living room a futon as described above
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Music Library
  • Stereo
  • Deck / Patio
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • alternative lifestyle
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only ...
  • pets considered ...
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • autumn foliage
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • forests
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • waterfalls
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • gambling casinos
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • groceries
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • kayaking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • rafting
  • rock climbing
  • snorkeling
  • swimming
Water Shoes; Beach Mats; Masks; Snorkel; Hiking Day Backpack

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