|Minimum Stay||4 nights|
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 Piazza and Church, and her 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 of the highway 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 on the upper terrace children should be 7 or 8). 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 and looking out over a great mountain view. Our sometimes finicky internet connection is best from there.
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, star-gazing (no pollution) 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 a 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).
Fanghetto is just 20 minutes from Ventimiglia and the Riviera di Fiori, with her fabulous market every day except Sunday, her terrific restaurants, and great beaches with restaurants and lounge chairs. Or, just 30 minutes from Menton and the French Riviera--the Cote d'Azur, with her amazing restaurants, beaches with restaurants and lounge chairs. Monte Carlo beckons just 45 minutes away, and Nice an hour.
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 Balenciaga in New York.
Kent Ravenscroft or Judy Raak administrator purchased this villa in 1974
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. More recently, 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 cozy "villa"
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, great fun, or peace and quiet!
We had a wonderful week in Fanghetto. It's off the beaten path, but centrally located with many places to explore within a very reasonable drive or day hike. We loved coming home at the end of the day, enjoying a glass of wine on the roof terrrace or reading in the rocking chairs. The kitchen had everything we needed to make easy meals from the ingredients we'd picked up at local markets during the day. The owners made it very easy to navigate to Fanghetto, around the home and the surrounding area so that we quickly felt like regulars. It was a wonderfully relaxing week and one that we will always remember!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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/airport. The views and hiking are breath-taking, with great restaurants and activities in nearby Breil,-sur-Roya, Airole, and Sospel.
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.