Fontanaro Organic Farm is located in the Umbria region of Italy. Umbria is bordered by Tuscany to the west, Marche to the east and Lazio to the south. The property is not easy to find and requires a GPS or Google maps, but as it’s lovely co-proprietor states “Those who want to find it, will.”
You must follow signs through the back roads off the main highway running from Rome to Florence. The scenery is charming and lush, old villas and olive groves abound. Upon arrival we were greeted by Lucia and taken to our apartment. It was spacious, clean and lovely. A well stocked kitchen with a great view of Umbria below. We stayed in a large apartment with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms and the living room was equipped with a flat screen and Sky TV—in English!
We have never found English television in our European travels, so this was a luxury for us. We are city people. We not only live in a city, but our vacations are typically city vacations. This was a nice change of pace for us. Our kids were able to pick tomatoes and squash and then we went on a hunt for the Saffron flower with Lucia.
Our family’s favorite thing about Fontanaro is, in fact, the owners themselves, Lucia and Alina Pinelli. They are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful beyond measure. No task is too big, or too small. They suggested special activities for the kids such as the annual Euro Chocolate Festival in Perugia (a mountain top town with a Mini Metro that goes up a hill and through some tunnels) and a traveling carnival, Luna Park which were trip highlights.
Alina invited us into the kitchen to cook the afternoon Sunday meal with her and some other guests who were staying at the farm. While cooking she gave us a lesson on olive oil that I’ll not soon forget. We learned that olives should be grown; harvested and processed in the same location and that the end product should smell like cut grass and be a deep yellow in color. Then we tasted several olive oils that illustrated her point about the difference in taste and nutrition.
Fontanaro is a place where kids can have some freedom to safely run around and play. Our villa had a great kitchen and was spacious, well laid out, and comfortable for a family. Although we didn’t get a chance to cook a meal in our kitchen, it was definitely set up to do so.
Accommodations are simple but functional. There are limited amenities for kids other than the seasonal swimming pool, a ping pong table, and a swing. Our kids also liked checking out the bee hives.
There is a town nearby — about a minute walk — that has a few good restaurants wehre the proprietors are friendly and the food is delicious. Should you visit Fontanaro, our family agreed that we had the world’s best tiramisu at the local restaurant called Loggito. Fontanaro is an hour from the designer outlets — Prada Space and The Mall
> The property is removed from Umbria’s main tourist attractions
> The pool on property is open during the summer months only and this is one of the main sources of onsite entertainment for children here,
> Italy’s restaurant hours are hard for kids as they don’t open until 7:30p. Plan on eating in if you want the kids to get to bed early.
> Driving in the countryside can be confusing. GPS and/or Google maps are very helpful.
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Editorial Note: Fontanaro provided a media rate for this stay. As always, our opinions our our own on Ciao Bambino. Photos by Kirsten Gaddis except exterior photo of the property.
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