Italian cyprus, “Pino” trees, oleander shrubs, all gently bending amongst rolling hills of ancient olive tree groves alternating with rows and rows of grape vines. Sweeping views of the Tyrrhenian Sea, where on a clear day, one can see the islands of Elba and Corsica. The tranquil silence of bucolic farm life, sometimes enriched with cicadas, the occasional owl or a tractor’s hum.
This is Fontebonelli, a 50-acre, certified organic olive azienda and farm in southern Tuscany — the perfect spot for an agro-tourism experience, Italian-style.
Fontebonelli offers four, free-standing vacation houses consisting of five separately rented apartments. The property lies approximately 12 km away from the sea, in the rolling hills of Riparbella above the beachside city of Cecina, just 60 km south of Pisa.
Cecina’s Tyrrhenian coastline is well known for its several kilometer long, extremely clean sand and pebble beaches. Several of these have been given the special designation as Blue Flag* beaches by the European Community’s environmental protection agencies. Well-known Tuscan destinations as Volterra, San Gimignano, Siena, Pisa, Lucca, Florence and Elba are all comfortably reached by car for lovely day-long excursions. What’s best about Cecina is that there are no mass tourist buses or large group hotels in the area, allowing it to remain as it has been for centuries.
Fontebonelli lies in the peaceful, rural surroundings of the classic Tuscan countryside, dominated by ancient olive tree groves, approximately 150 meters above sea level. An easily-navigated gravel road leads guests to the property, a bit more than two kilometers from the nearest paved street. One can easily reach the town of Riparbella by car in 10 minutes.
While staying at the azienda, guests can purchase the organic, extra virgin olive oil produced by the olive trees at Fontebonelli. If visiting between mid-October and mid-December, guests may even participate in the olive harvest, done in similar traditional methods as in prior centuries.
*The Blue Flag is an international award, established in 1987 the European Year of the Environment, which is awarded every year in 48 countries, initially only in Europe, most recently also outside Europe, with the support and participation of the two UN agencies: UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and UNWTO (World Tourism Organization) with which the FEE has signed a Memorandum of global partnership. Bandiera Blu è un eco-label volontario assegnato alle località turistiche balneari che rispettano criteri relativi alla gestione sostenibile del territorio.Blue Flag is a voluntary eco-label awarded to tourist resorts that meet criteria relating to sustainable land management. Obiettivo principale di questo programma è quello di indirizzare la politica di gestione locale di numerose località rivierasche, verso un processo di sostenibilità ambientale.Main objective of this program is to address the policy management of many local coastal resorts, a process of environmental sustainability.