Firstly I have to say that if you choose any of the four apartments at La Fonte you will not be disappointed although the 2 on the ground floor have the added benefit of having their own patios – one in particular has beautiful views of the Tuscan countryside (see photos). Each spacious well equipped apartment in this converted old farmhouse sleeps up to 4 people (2 en suite bedrooms) and all have different styles and furnishings (see photos).
One even has a bedroom in the turret of the old farmhouse which would not be suitable for anyone with walking difficulties as access is via quite a few narrow steps. All apartments benefit from free Wi-fi and there is a wide selection of books to choose from. La Fonte is surrounded by a beautiful garden in which there is a lovely pool and a BBQ with tables & chairs which can be in full sun or shade(see photos). The owner, Maria Bergamasco, told us that 60% of her bookings are from recommendations or “repeat bookings” and it’s not hard to see why. Maria tries so hard to ensure that your holiday is the best it can be with helpful advice such as train times to Florence, trips to the lovely old town of Certaldo (a definite “must see”) via the funicular railway as well as advising on the best restaurants to choose and even clarifying parking restrictions!
Maria lives in another farmhouse in the grounds close to the apartments but respects your privacy at all times. However, this may prove useful for anyone wanting the security of knowing someone else is close by in case of needing help or advice. She truly is “the font of all knowledge” (scuse the pun!) when it comes to information about making the most of your trip to Tuscany. For example she told us that it was better to take the train from the local Certaldo station to Florence (approx 1 hour & costing 10 euros each) than to have the stress of driving and finding a parking space in such a busy city! Usually when we take a self catering holiday we select a property that is close to all amenities so that a car is not needed every time you venture out. Although I initially I saw the location of La Fonte as a “negative” (as there is only a small church within easy walking distance) – the drive to Certaldo only takes between 5-10 mins (it has a well-stocked supermarket which is useful). Had we not stayed here we would have missed out on the tranquillity and beautiful views as well as the excellent hospitality that Maria offers! If you do wish to dine out in the evening and enjoy the Tuscan wines, Maria will organise a taxi which costs around 15 euros each way. We took advantage of this and enjoyed two lovely meals in Certaldo old town(see photos).
It is hard to think of any negatives regarding La Fonte except when it comes to taking a shower as the hot water seems to take an age to come through (we felt guilty wasting the water!) but this is a small price to pay when you take everything else into consideration. The beauty of staying at La Fonte is that it’s so central so you can use it as a base to visit many areas of Tuscany and then return to enjoy the beautiful gardens, views and wonderful scent of Jasmine relaxing with a glass of wine in hand! Maria informed us that she rarely has bookings with small children – the majority of her guests are aged 25 and over. Whilst there we met an American couple in their 70’s, a young couple who were 30ish plus a mid 40’s lady with her 14yr old granddaughter. Maria is able to arrange all types of things according to your interests whether it be wine tasting in the local vineyards, learning how to cook Italian food and cycle hire to name but a few. She may also be able to offer Italian lessons but only out of season when the demands on her time are not so great!
For those wishing to stay in contact she compiles a quarterly newsletter which is a nice touch. Without doubt Maria really “goes the extra mile” with her hospitality and helpfulness – along with the tranquil location – we definitely would not hesitate to return to La Fonte!
For more information about La Fonte please visit www.la-fonte.com