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Review 1652: Foresteria Il Giardino di Fontarronco, Apartment


Review by Walsh Anne from MN

apartments on an estate near Cortona/Arezzo, Tuscany East

The Main Villa at Foresteria, photo by Anne Marie


June 2005, 1 week


The Foresteria Il Giardino di Fontarronco is an 18th-century villa that has been lovingly restored and furnished by the proprietor Francesco I. The family owns the farm on which La Foresteria is located as well as other farms, vineyard and olive groves in the area. The Villa is completely surrounded by dense peach orchards and thousands upon thousands of fruit groves.

The closest city is Arezzo but Cortona and several hill top villages are close by as well. We loved Civitella and Oliveto castle! The great location gave us the possibility to visit all most important Tuscan sights! We have been also in Umbria, it is just 25 minutes driving away.

Nearby Amenities

The closest villages are Pieve al Toppo and Alberoro, each is 3 kms away. It takes about 25 minutes to walk to either one. It is worthwhile to have a car when visiting Tuscany, however, and these villages can be reached in just one or two minutes with the car. Other hill-top villages in the town, such as Cortona, Civitella, and Castiglion Fiorentino are all within driving distances as well. In Alberoro there is a bank, few bars and a one Restaurant/Pizzeria.

The House/Apartment

The Foresteria is a beautifully restored Tuscan farmhouse complex set in 1200 acres of an idyllic working fruit farm. The complex of the Foresteria comprises of the main house in which there are 3 apartments and the office of the owner, and the extensive wine cellar. The outlying buildings comprise of an granary which has been converted into 2 separate one bedroom chalets and the original stable and farm workers accommodation block which is now four apartments varying in size from 1 to 3 bedrooms.

Having been refurbished in classically Tuscan style the rooms are shuttered at the windows to ensure you keep cool, have the usual self catering facilities and are equipped with the modern conveniences of phone and satellite TV. Apartments range in cost from $550 for 2 people to $2300 for 9 people per week.

Each apartment has its own outside table and bench complete with a rush topped pagoda to take shade from the radiant Tuscan sun. Even the legs of the pagoda have been thoughtfully trained with vines to make the effect even more rustic. Here you can take breakfast in the morning eating bread, delivered daily by the local baker, or possibly later in the day drinking wines produced directly from the farm. The stable has been restored as a dining room and kitchen that is usually used twice a week as a restaurant for the guests and weather permitting dining may be taken al fresco.


The gardens are laid out immaculately with large impressive beds of roses bordered by lavenders, rosemary and hedgerows, all peppered by isolated bay trees and acacias. As you might imagine, the atmosphere in such a beautiful setting can only be described as peaceful, tranquil and relaxing.

Inevitably the complex has its own pool which measures about 20m by 10m and is surrounded by a brick patio, deck chairs, sun lounges, directors chairs and umbrellas for shade.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

The furniture was nice and comfortable. The unit was clean. We were 2 but there were 4 chairs on the living room and table and 4 chairs outside in the terrace.


Our unit had 1 double bed (queen size) and 1 bathroom (not very large but nice and comfortable).


The kitchen was pretty small, we used just in the morning to make the breakfast. We didn't use it for lunch or dinner, since we used mostly local restaurants and enotecas!

Problems or Bonuses

The staff was exceptional, and always answered our questions with grace and a smile. One pleasant addition to our stay there was the outstanding dinners served in the lovely dining room twice a week. They were among the best meals we had during our two week stay in Italy.

We book directly trhough their internet site and it was much better than anticipated by few reviews posted on internet!!!

Agency and Representatives (and price)

We book directly through the web site www.foresteria.it. Francesco is on site mornings and afternoons to give advice on nearby hill towns to visit, to make reservation at local restaurants, to give any other assistance needed or just to chat. He is most personable and knowledgeable and speaks fluent English.

In June ( it is mid season ), we paid 700,00 $ per week. The meals were not included on the price. The dinner costs 35,00 $ per person.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

We have booked our vacation there for 3 weeks next year! Any additional information?

Things to do in this area

We loved Civitella, Oliveto, Anchiari and Pienza. San Gimignano and Montalcino are very touristy and we didn't like them very much. Arezzo is a real Italian City.

We loved the following restaurants during our stay in Tuscany

The Foresteria Restaurant, Antico Borgo (Civitella), Grottino (Arezzo), Vecchia Rota (Marciano), Pizzeria Orologio (Pieve), Agania (Arezzo). We had also a nice lunch in Cortona at Osteria del Teatro.

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

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