The local village of Pescia Romana is a five minute drive from the house and has excellent facilities: a small supermarket, an excellent butcher and baker, a bar of course, a simple trattoria with excellent food, a bank, a post office, a chemist and a newsagent with foreign papers! On the road to the village a farmer sells home-grown fruit and vegetables directly to passers-by. [Region map [Local map]
Within close driving distance are a number of hilltop villages — closest are trendy Capalbio and Montalto di Castro, offering charming alternatives for daily shopping and visits to the bar.
Tarquinia and Tuscania, only 25 km away from the estate, boast world-famous archaeological excavations which should not be missed.
Tuscany is famous for its hot springs, part of a geothermical system that more or less encircles Mount Amiata, Tuscany’s highest mountain. Saturnia, at one hours drive, is the most spectacular of the springs, particularly in the summer evenings, a magical place of hot waterfalls which is open to the public.
The Tarot Garden of Niki de Saint Phalle: On one of the hills not far from Fontanile the famous French artist has built her "Jardin des Tarots", twenty two giant sculpures in ceramic and coloured glass inspired by the figures of the magic tarot cards.
The Argentario peninsula just north from Pescia Romana deserves a mention. Cliffs above the sea, archaeological excavations, the Mediterranean macchia with a large number of self-propagating wild flowers, and jet-set holiday resorts such as Porto Santo Stefano all come together here.
On the way lies the town of Orbetello, charming and of historical interest, while Porto Santo Stefano (a half-hour drive) is Tuscany’s most trendy sea resort. You can hire a motor boat (with a captain) from this picturesque harbour, and explore the islands of Giglio and Giannutri.
Giglio has a charming village and castle, and there are numerous creeks hidden among the cliffs which can only be reached by boat. Giannutri, its bare coastline dominated by ruins of a Roman villa overlooking the sea, recalls some of the Greek islands, and is a popular spot with divers looking for sunken Roman galleons.
Sovana, Sorano and Pitigliano are all about an hour from Villa Fontanile. Sovana is considered by many to be the most interesting part of southern Tuscany, boasting a magnificent Etruscan necropolis and two remarkable Romanic churches. Pitigliano is a dramatic mediæval town, famous for its historical Jewish quarter and its white wine, Bianco di Pitigliano; while Sorano is a magnificent, mediæval village, its crumbling fortifications and defenses clinging precariously to the rocks.
If you are looking for an active holiday, Villa Il Fontanile is perfectly placed. It has a jogging-track which winds through the fields and olive groves for two kilometres, and is within easy distance of excellent sporting facilities. Pescia Romana has bookable tennis courts and there are nearby riding schools which will organise and accompany treks - horseriding is a tradition in the Maremma, an area famed for its fedora-wearing butteri or cowboys.
Golfers are also well catered for, with the Country Club Tarquinia (9 holes, par 70), with its club house and swimming pool, less than half an hour away; and the famous Punta Ala Golf Course (18 holes, par 72) just over an hour away. Details and contact numbers are available in the apartments.