Life in a Tuscan Villa – La Fonte
When: June 2012
No. of days: 3 days and 3 nights
Weather: Nights were cold and days were pleasant.
On my first trip to Europe, I happened to visit Tuscany. We were a group of four and our itinerary included covering South of France and little bit of Italy, mainly Florence, Tuscany and Rome.
We hired a car from Florence and drove to Bucine, to the farm house. It took us about an hour to reach the destination. Our host, Barbara had given us exact directions to help us find the place. If you are driving in Italy, relying on road signs isn’t really a great idea. Take a car with GPS. We learnt that the hard way. But secretly, none of us really minded getting lost. Every bend on the road reveals an even prettier landscape than before.
As we entered the farmhouse gate, we shrieked and made some strange happy sounds like a bunch of excited puppies. Amazed, amused and surprised at our luck to find a house so pretty and charming. La Fonte is situated in the hills of Bucine. It’s located in the “golden triangle of Tuscany” between Siena, Florence and Arezzo.
Barbara, owner of the farmhouse and our host, stays with her family on the ground floor. The first floor is rented out to travelers like us and can accommodate up to 6 people.
The apartment inside is well equipped with a kitchenette, lot of books to read and dvds to watch. Outside, the garden has small benches to sit on and enjoy a nice, sunny day. There’s a hammock to laze on. We played with their dogs who were very friendly and eager to play fetch.
The view from the house is outstanding. It overlooks the valley. We watched the beautiful Tuscan sun set while sipping on some hot tea.
Few things to keep in mind if you plan to stay at La Fonte:
- La Fonte is away from the city. It’s a lone farm house on the hills so one must have a car or some vehicle to move about. The nearest restaurant or market place is in a village called Ambra which is about 20 minutes by car. Ambra, by the way is a quaint little place with quiet lanes, a church and big clock tower. It’s a must visit if you are in this part of Tuscany.
- There’s not much to do in the nights as nearby places shut down early. Carry some card games, board games or just pick a book from Barbara’s collection, tuck yourself in the bed and read.
- Barbara has been maintaining a big biological garden from where she plucks fresh vegetables. She takes cooking workshops on request. She taught my friend to cook Gnocchi too.
Overall, La Fonte was the most pleasant part of our Europe trip. We explored the countryside and visited vineyards. Barbara has the knack of understanding people and so she is able to suggest things to do in and around Tuscany, is very well informed about places, prices and has lot of travel brochures to help you out with.
If you are planning a visit to Tuscany, do give La Fonte a serious thought.