Tasteful Genuine Farmhouse - Private Pool, a/C, Wifi, Free Bicycles
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- Minimum stay:7 nights
- Pets considered:Yes
- Wheel chair accessible:No
Amelia villa description
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.
This was my mother April's home, who bought it as a ruin in 1984 before embarking on a very extensive restoration project. Today I rent it 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.
- 2852 sq. ft.
- 2 story
- Vacation Rental
- Guests Provide Their Own Meals
- Private Chef
- Children Welcome:
- Pets Considered:
- Events Allowed
Bedrooms: 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8, Beds for 8
Bathrooms: 3 Bathrooms
Kitchen & Dining
- Dishes & Utensils:
- Pantry Items:
- Coffee Maker:
- Fitness Room / Equipment:
- Towels Provided:
- Air Conditioning:
- Wood Stove:
- Linens Provided:
- Washing Machine:
- Clothes Dryer:
- Hair Dryer
- Wood Fireplace
- Iron & Board
- Check in 16:30 on Saturday. Check out 10:30 following Saturday. This is a review from a guest: What a tasteful home! So many of the new homes that are built in Italy, are just cement boxes, lined with two inch stone. Not this house. It is one of the oldest remaining examples in this region of a 'genuine farmhouse'. 5 foot walls, on a rocky outcrop looking over the valley and down to the pool area, nestled like a cocoon by beautiful 200 old Rajo trees. This place has been cared for, for many ,many years and it shows....moreless
- Music Library:
- Video Library:
- Satellite / Cable:
- CD Player
- DVD Player
- Kayak / Canoe:
- Lawn / Garden:
- Away From It All
- Tourist Attractions
Location & View
- Water Tubing
- Rock Climbing
- Whitewater Rafting
- Medical Services
- Massage Therapist
- Hot Air Ballooning
- Equestrian Events
- Mountain Biking
- Hunting Small Game
- Live Theater
- Winery Tours
- Botanical Garden
- Sight Seeing
- Scenic Drives
- Wildlife Viewing
- Horseback Riding
- Eco Tourism
- Bird Watching
- 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!...moreless
ReviewsWrite a review
La Fontana what a beautiful house ! Built centuries ago this house is located in the middle of more than 200 old olive trees. From the kitchens window the view is magnificent : first the olive trees and then the mounts as far as we can see with the colors from Italy. To get there 30 years old cypress trees line the rought while road into the property. There's a beautiful pool in the middle of the fields. Inside the house it is a gem. This house is rustic from outside and inside it's like an old english gentleman's house. Every room tells a story... Built of wood and marble every room is confortable, warm and quiet. The charming village of Amelia and its beautiful old town is located 2 km away from la Fontana. It's better if you have a car so you can visit every old and nice village around Amelia. You can take the train from Orte to Roma. The trip lasts only one hour. I forgot to mention the delicious and tasting italian cooking. This place is to be recommended! A place where you go once and then want to go back as soon as possible
- Guest chantal p (Geneva - Switzerland)
- Date of stay 10/09/13
- Review Submitted 11/26/13
Recommended for: Families with teenagers, age 55+, tourists without a car, romantic getaway.
Manager response: Thank you. It is great to be appreciated. We try very much to give you an experience which is genuine. The house is very old, and in a great part of Italy, so it is wonderful that you were able to experience the various attractions near by. Thank you very much for appreciating all our hard work.
Amazing and Spectacular!
Amazing and Spectacular!
Briefly, we had an amazing time and everything was spectacular. What a beautiful home. We were so happy to have been able to enjoy it. I will send more comments when we are home but overall very positive. This a superb home for a family. Every room has access to the garden so even in the off season you are able to be independent and wander around the beautiful grounds filled with lavender and olive trees. The house is spotless and beautifully furnished. Everything is so authentic. The small town of Amelia is a charming hill town only a 35 minute train ride from Rome and a 20 minute train ride to Orvieto. We were in a serene place off the beaten track and it was a great home base for all of our adventures. Pam M. Portland OR
- Guest Pam M.
- Date of stay 11/16/13
- Review Submitted 11/24/13
Recommended for: Families with teenagers, sightseeing, families with young children, age 55+, adventure seekers.
Manager response: Thank you so much.
Wonderful home, great during Olive HarvestGuest comment entered by manager
Wonderful home, great during Olive Harvest
This is a superb home for a family. It has room for every-one so you are not on top of each other, and even in the out of season, during for example the olive harvest, it is wonderful. The olive harvest was a great experience, trudging up and down trees, picking the fruit, rolling out the nets, and getting into the crates for the Olive press. The bruschetta with the fresh Olive Oil was just wonderful. If you want to experience a less commercial Italy, and wander on your own town through some of the beautiful landscapes of Central Italy, this is a great base. The house is beautifully furnished, solid marble, kiln-fired brick, thick Chestnut beams. Travertine lined bathrooms, (I loved those, made me feel like a Roman lady). Linens were immacuate. Thanks for letting us stay in your home Philip
- Guest Jennie H, London
- Date of stay 11/08/13
- Review Submitted 11/08/13
Truly wonderful homeGuest comment entered by manager
Truly wonderful home
Briefly, we had an amazing time and everything was spectacular. What a beautiful home. We were so happy to have been able to enjoy it. I will send more comments when we are home but overall very positive. Jill W. Minneaplos, MN, USA
- Guest Thank you so much for your comments.
- Date of stay 10/26/13
- Review Submitted 10/26/13
Enchanted homeGuest comment entered by manager
We are having a wonderful time in La Fontana, lovely spot, peaceful and serene. We ladies are loving it here. Thank you for making it possible.
- Guest Mrs J W Seattle
- Date of stay 09/08/13
- Review Submitted 09/11/13
A week in Umbria in a Roman VillaGuest comment entered by manager
A week in Umbria in a Roman Villa
Thank you. We enjoyed our stay in your home, beautiful garden, lavendar in full bloom. The children of course enjoyed the pool, which is sited so beautifully. The kitchen is a splendid room, all the main house is just beautiful, great views, and the cook-out's on the terrace were a treat, especially in the evening. We visited so many wonderful places, this is truly an enchanted part of Italy, and not in any way Tuscany's poor cousin! Amelia is a very nice village with many things to see in a 50 kms radius, from the Marmore rafting experience, to Orvieto, and Bolsena. We also travelled to the Tuscan coast, which was magic, even though crowded in August. La Fontana was such a haven to return to. Thank you
- Guest Mrs. F London
- Date of stay 08/23/13
- Review Submitted 08/30/13
A beautiful week marred by a rip off over a damage deposit.
A beautiful week marred by a rip off over a damage deposit.
My first review was good, and I tried to be charitable about the negatives. However, the owner’s blatant theft of our deposit has forced me to re-write. It’s a beautiful house in the country, essentially as advertised. This place has a lot going for it. It has cool rooms in the basement to sleep in, a great pool to relax beside, and a beautiful kitchen area to cook in (with spectacular views). My favorite was the outdoor eating area under a grape vine. It has a great old country feel to it. The managers were friendly and helpful (their English wasn't great - but it was better than our Italian). Now the bad: The neighbor (the owner’s sister) was away for the first half of our stay and simply left her beautiful dog and four cats to wander around. She may have arranged for someone to feed them, but they didn’t show up often enough. The cats were starving, and could not be kept out of the house, especially when food was around. Some of them were quite aggressive about jumping up on supper tables. I loved the dog, so I didn’t mind her too much, but the cats were hard to handle. When the neighbor returned, she was quite rude and screamed at us because our kids were being too noisy. They were a little loud, but her behavior was out of proportion. The ugly: The owner makes you fork over a large damage deposit. He then charges for cleaning. When we left, we did all the dishes, put them away, wiped the counters and swept and mopped the floors. We were told the place was a disaster and required an extra day of cleaning, that there were hand prints on the walls and one set of sheets was so badly soiled three washes would not clean them. None of this is true. The contract says normal wear and tear isn’t covered by the deposit; we were charged a hefty amount for a bowl and for two broken glasses. We were also charged for even more cleaning and more for the sheets. We stayed in six European properties rented out by owners this summer, and another three hotels. Only one other place even asked for a damage deposit (which they returned in full). We had no complaints from other owners about messiness or damage. As Canadians, there is little we can do for recourse for this money other than ‘suck it up.’ The house is in Italy, and the owner is a British subject living in the US. But others are warned about handing over a few hundred Euros for a damage deposit. You may not get it back.
- Guest Lou Arab (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada)
- Date of stay 07/10/13
- Review Submitted 08/26/13
Manager response: Dear customers this client comment is inaccurate. The client had over 1/2 of his security deposit returned. He was only charged the Euro 130 standard cleaning fee, which was fully disclosed in the contract he signed. The following was deducted in full observance of the contract this client signed. 1. One bed was covered in human faeces. The sheets and the mattress had to be replaced at a cost of Euro 165.00. This is NOT ordinary wear a tear; 2. One needlepoint bedspread has blood all over it, and we had to wash it three times, and dry clean it. Cost Euro 45; 3. The entire house was covered with greasy and dirty handprints, and full of food and crumbs all over the settees, and beds. It took my long suffering housekeeper two days to clean the house, instead of customary day. Total cost of damages: Euro 335, or $445.00 Amount deducted from guest security deposit of $600 : $300. Amount sent back to him via wire transfer: $295.00. It is incorrect therefore that his deposit was ENTIRELY forfeited for the damages. All of this was communicated to this guest in writing on July 24th when he left, to which he did not object. We feel that this review 6 weeks later is wholly unwarranted. Dear Guests, to this date all guests received their security deposits back, as per the contract they signed. There are 31 reviews on VRBO all positive, none mention this issue, because it occurred only with this client. We require a security deposit for obvious reasons, as this is a nice house, and we rely on guests to keep it properly. We also have an insurance option which you can choose at booking so you don't need to leave a deposit. Thank you for your kind attention, and we wish you a wonderful stay in La Fontana.
August in La FontanaGuest comment entered by manager
August in La Fontana
We had a great time in this lovely home set deep in the Umbrian countryside. The pool was wonderful for the children, and very charming town of Amelia is just 2 kilometers away. Amelia has not been as thoroughly discovered by the global tourist as say many of the main attractions in Umbria like Assisi and Orvieto. But is truly a little gem. Things close on Thursday evening, as do restaurants on Tuesday. So have to work around those two constraints. A fish truck arrives on Tuesday and Friday from the coast, in the Sister Act parking lot at the top of the hill. Best to get up early as the good stuff goes fast. The environs are lovely, can raft on the Nera at the Marmore water falls, about 25 mins drive, Orvieto is about 30 mins drive and there are endless wineries and hill towns in a 70 kilometer radius, including Todi, Spoleto, Orvieto, Perugia, Siena, Bolsena and Civita di Bagno Regio. Rome is an hour away, and has excellent train service. The Tuscan coast is about 1 hour drive, Porto Ercole is very crowded in summer, but has a beautiful beach at the "Feniglia". The mountains and the magical town of Castelluccio di Norcia are also about 1 1/2 hour drive. However, the best part was sitting on the patio cooking on the barbeque as night fell. Great views over the 200 year olives and the valley.
- Guest Mrs. R London
- Date of stay 08/02/13
- Review Submitted 08/11/13
Beautiful house in beautiful settingGuest comment entered by manager
Beautiful house in beautiful setting
My 9 year old son was intrigued with the 200 year old olive trees that look like characters out of Tolkien Ents! They are truly like living creatures, full of strange faces. A peaceful corner of Paradise, authentic Italian experience; lovely Umbrian farm setting. I'd come back here as often as my chances to holiday in Italy permit. 6 stars!
- Guest M, Canada
- Date of stay 07/26/13
- Review Submitted 08/10/13
Ten days in an old Roman VillaGuest comment entered by manager
Ten days in an old Roman Villa
A beautiful house in the country. Essentially as advertised. This place has a lot going for it. It has cool rooms in the basement to sleep in, a great pool to relax beside, and a beautiful kitchen area to cook in (with spectacular views). My favorite was the outdoor eating area under a grape vine. It has a great old country feel to it. The managers were friendly and helpful (their English wasn't great - but it was better than our Italian). The neighbor has a beautiful dog who visited quite often, as well as four cats who also made themselves known). The neighbor herself seemed friendly until our children made too much of a racket (they were quite noisy!). If you want to get away from the tourist areas, Ameila is the place to go. There really isn't much in the way of tourist infrastructure. Hardly anyone speaks English, but all the store clerks and business owners seemed eager to be helpful. The town itself is beautiful, and is a short drive from a number of other great places to visit. Be sure to check out the cheese shop in the old town and buy some fresh mozza - fantastic. One thing about ameila - and this comes from it not being a tourist trap - the place shuts down for several hours every afternoon. Just try buying groceries at 2pm! Also, forget about finding an open restaurant on Mondays. But these are quirks that a little planning can get around. All the coffee shops are open all the time, and I couldn't find a cappuccino that wasn't fantastic
- Guest Jacquie Canada
- Date of stay 07/18/13
- Review Submitted 07/21/13
|Dates||Nightly||Wknd Night||Weekend||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
|High Season Summer
May 1 - Sep 13, 2014
7 night min stay
Changeover Day: Saturday
|My Standard Rate
7 night min stay
Additional information about rental rates
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.
Fees and Rental Conditions:
- Property Damage Protection: $89
- Pet Fee: $200
- Taxes Included
Policy available by contacting manager when booking.
This manager accepts HomeAway payments.
Always use this free service to protect your payments up to $10,000 against fraud while keeping your financial information private. With HomeAway Payments, your credit card information is not seen by the owner or manager. NEVER pay by cash or instant money transfer services such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Call the owner to confirm booking request.
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- Nearest Airport: Rome Fiumicino at 78 Miles
- Nearest Ferry: Monte Argentario at 75 Miles
- Nearest Train: Orte at 11 Miles
- Nearest Motorway: E45 at 5 Miles
- Nearest Beach: Tarquinia at 40 Miles
- Nearest Barpub: Sister Act at 0.8 Miles
- Nearest Ski: Gran Sasso at 50 Miles
- Nearest Golf: GOLF CLUB LA ROMITA at 16 Miles
- Nearest Restaurant: La Gabelletta, Il Feudo Montoro, excellent quality at 3 Miles
Year Purchased: 1985
About: 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. The Restoration. 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.
The Unique Benefits at this Villa:
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.
- Primary: 206 384 0069
- Secondary: +1 206 384 0069 I am not always in Italy
Swimming pool in olive grove
Dining al fresco
La Fontana from swimming pool
View of Amelia
Master Bedroom 1
Cypress tree lined access road
View of La Fontana from pool
View over countryside
La Fontana view from swimming pool area
House overlooking the valley
View from kitchen
View of sunflowers from home
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This listing was first published here in 2012.
Date last modified - Monday, December 02, 2013