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Radicondoli: Agriturismo: Fonte di Sopra

Via delle Ribatti - Radicondoli, fraz. Belforte (Siena), Phone: 0577.793.021

Reviewed by: Alice Twain from Italy, review #536

When: 2004

A true agriturismo where you can really experience contact with the farming owners, sleep well and eat great food.

The idea behind agritourism is that a farm may rent out a few rooms (or small apartment) and offer food as an addition to the farming activity to people who are interested to visit a farm.

Nowadays, most agriturismo look more like upscale hotels than like farms. Too many of these are run by people who just ran from their cities, bought a ruined farm, fixed it, employed an old farmer to run the fields and care only about offering the most comfortable stay to their guests.

Fonte di Sopra is not like this. It still has the looks and the structure of the old farm and the owner, Giovanna looks like a farmer because she is a true farmer.

Fonte di Sopra offers either a B&B or an half-board service, but the half board service is really preferred because for just some 12-15 euros more you will be able to enjoy Giovanna's good cooking.

There are seven rooms (all doubles or triples), each with a small ensuite bathroom (often enough cut off the room, so they tend to be really small, but all of them have toilet, bidet, shower and washbasin) and are furnished in a very spartan way. Old (but sound) furniture, but the beds are comfortable (and this is more than I may say about most of the places I have stayed in for the same price ^_^).

The meals are served in the large communal room, with a big fireplace that in winter and early spring is always on. There are two long communal tables, and it happens quite often to eat with Giovanna and her family. The communal table is a very good occasion to make friends with the other guests. The food served is a mixture of Tuscan, Ligurian, Piedmontese and Emiliano, since Givoanna was born near Cinque Terre, her mother was from Parma and she lived for more than ten yeras in Piedmont.

An example of dinner served at the agriturismo is: peperoni con bagna caoda (bell peppers served with an anchovy and garlic sauce, a Piedmontese dish), Tuscan salame and prosciutto, Spaghetti con pesto, wild boar with sauce, onion frittata, salad, cheese, dessert (this wis what we had on April 9 2004). While the food leans heavily on meat, vegetarians can have alternatives requesting vegetarian meals in advance.

Breakfast is usually served in the typical Italian style, with fresh bread, butter and marmelade (often homemade, the fig and walnut one is terrific!) and coffee or tea. On request, Giovanna can fix eggs, too.

Half board costs 44-50 per person, depending on the time of the year.

Belforte and Radicondoli have little interest for the tourist, but they are in a strategic position for visiting Siena, San Gimignano, Volterra, Massa Marittima, Monteriggioni, Chiusdino and San Galgano. Nearby there is Galleraie spa open May to October.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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