Fonte dei frati (Monks’ Fountain)

Fonte dei frati (Monks’ Fountain)

Monteleone Sabino, Latium 6

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Overlooking a deep, wooded valley, caressed by the shade of hundred-year-old olive trees and the scent of citrus and rosemary, the Franciscan monks of the nearby monastery would come here several centuries ago to do their laundry at an immense, double-basin stone fountain fed by the fresh cold waters of an underground coastal spring, which still stands under the protection of a narrow clay-tiled roof. The nearby swimming pool takes in the sweeping panorama alongside a lovely olive-shaded patio.

The space

A small path winds through lush nature and across an olive grove to a large, comfortable house with a variety of spaces to socialise and relax, and dine both indoors and outdoors in privacy and absolute peace. The place’s history is everywhere: here, even before the ancient village of Monteleone and the laborious Franciscans, stood the Roman settlement of Trebula Mutuesca with its sprawling villas, temples and amphitheatre. The tale is told by that monumental fountain inside, by the Roman columns that decorate the entrance, the terracotta oil-storage vessels that adorn the rooms, the stone cornices, capitals and various other relics strewn about the garden. Wood, stone, clay and travertine are the material vocabulary of the place, and tastefully complement its white walls along with elegant sculpted stone hearths and ceramic woodstoves, wrought iron beds and antique rustic furniture.