Fontemaggio is a 17th century stone farmhouse villa or 'Casa Colonica' on a hillside, surrounded by 2 acres of mature landscaped gardens that merge into the sunflowers, vines, olives, pine and cypress trees beyond. There are terraces on all sides, each with its own dining table and breathtaking views of a landscape that seems to have changed little throughout the centuries, including a lake and a Renaissance castle on a hill. Sympathetically restored, the house retains a wealth of terracotta floors and chestnut beams. The 30 ft diameter circular pool, surrounded by fragrant rosemary hedging and lemon trees, benefits from the sun for the entire day. Set amongst mature pines, cypress and olives, it enjoys tranquil views of the Tuscan and Umbrian hills in complete seclusion. The medieval hilltop village of Monterchi, featured in 'The Most Beautiful Villages in Tuscany', is close by. You will find Casa Fontemaggio a blissfully relaxing home from home in which to enjoy the pleasures of Italian life. See www.casafontemaggio.com.
The gardens: the gardens and grounds have been professionally landscaped and contain planting typical of Tuscany. Trees include some very old pines and almonds, cypresses, olives, acacias, oaks, figs and lemons in terracotta pots. There are box, lavender and rosemary hedges. The terraces have pergolas covered in vines, wisteria, Chilean bell-flowers and roses climb on the house walls. A wisteria entwined tiled loggia provides a shady retreat and alternative place to dine. The tranquil sound of running water is provided by a fountain.
Situation: although private and peaceful, is not remote. It is well placed to either luxuriate in the excellent cuisine and wines of the region or take trips to the historical and cultural sites of both Tuscany and Umbria. The timeless hill top village of Lippiano, crowned by the castle that can be viewed from Fontemaggio, may be walked to for breakfast or a drink at the friendly bar.
3 km away, the local hilltop walled village of Monterchi, a tiny triangle of medieval perfection, with its intriguing arches and alleyways, is Roman in origin. It is the birthplace of the mother of the famous Renaissance artist Piero della Francesca. His fresco the Madonna del Parto, of UNESCO World Heritage status, can be seen in the old schoolhouse museum. The landscape that appears in Piero's works is clearly recognisable in the views around Fontemaggio.
You will find the local community in Monterchi welcoming and friendly, particularly at the general store run by Marcello and his family. There are bars and good restaurants serving local specialities.
There is a market on Sunday mornings and in the summer there are outdoor classical concerts.
Florence, Siena, Cortona, Arezzo, Assisi, Perugia, Gubbio are all within easy reach.