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Villa Fontelunga, Foiano della Chiana 

5 Via Cunicchio
Foiano della Chiana
Italy 52045
Tel: 39 0575 660 410
view web site ›'s insider take:

On a rise overlooking the fertile Chiana valley, a few miles west of Cortona, this foursquare, blushing-pink villa was bought by three friends—two English, one Italian—and opened as a nine-room hotel in 2000. It's a stylish refuge, rejecting the usual Tuscan clichés in favor of a relaxed, urban look enlivened by some little scenic flourishes—four-poster beds with slender obelisks at each corner, transparent curtains of colored gauze—that betray the hand of one of the owners, Philip Robinson, production designer on such films as Four Weddings and a Funeral and Howards End (a risqué thank-you photo signed by the latter film's stars, Helena Bonham Carter and Emma Thompson, takes pride of place in the downstairs toilet). The convivial atmosphere is that of a country house weekend (complete with "dinner parties" for guests on Tuesdays and Fridays) except this weekend goes on all season, from mid-March through to the end of October. The swimming pool is a delightful lounging spot, especially at sunset. Three other smaller villas—one with its own pool, the other two share one—are available for weekly rental.

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