House | 3 bedrooms | sleeps 6

Key Info
  • Beach / lakeside relaxation
  • Nearest beach 35 km
  • Suitable for children over
  • Car essential
  • Pets welcome
  • Private garden

Casa della Meridiana (Sundial House) is in a tranquil spot surrounded by farmland, forests and wilderness, overlooking a vista of olive trees, hilltop villages, nearby peaks, and a valley bottom with a fast-flowing river. Simply but comfortably furnished, with TV and free Wifi, and a perfect base for families or for larger groups interested in trekking, walking, cycling, mountain biking or river rafting, or for touring the Abruzzo and Adriatic coast by car.

The house has also proved popular as romantic getaway for couples, and with writers and academics looking for a tranquil summer retreat. With its huge south-facing sun terrace, shady outside dining area and olive grove with hammock, the house is supremely relaxing, welcoming and well-appointed.

Casa della Meridiana is a recently converted farmhouse in half-acre grounds in a hamlet three kilometres from the picture-postcard village of Civitella Messer Raimondo, with bar, shop, chemist and post office. Larger villages with supermarkets and more facilities are only a kilometre or two further on. The nearest sizeable town, Fara (10 minutes by car), is the source of Italy's best pasta!

The house is simply but comfortably furnished, without frills, and very well equipped. There are three big double beds and a sofa-bed, comfortable lounge seating for six to eight, a huge dining table and many patio chairs. In summer we normally eat meals outside under the terrazza at the table which will easily seat 8 (or even 10 at a squeeze) - in winter the house is best suited to a maximum of six wishing to dine together at a smaller table in the kitchen/diner. As we do not live on the spot, we have not tried to overdress the house, but we are gradually improving the decor with original paintings and better quality furnishings.

There is free broadband Wifi provided available from every room and the terrace. For visitors wishing to use the house for quiet reading, writing, creative work or research, one room can be arranged as a study with desk and printer. Mobile reception is generally good.

The grounds are planted with cherry, plum, apricot, mulberry, caca and apple trees and there are 12 olive trees, from which we make our own Extra Virgin olive oil each November.

EVERY GUEST BOOKING WILL RECEIVE A FREE 250ml BOTTLE OF OUR OWN 'CASA DELLA MERIDIANA' EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL.

Casa della Meridiana is blessed with a huge sunny terrace with arresting views. The house is a great and entirely peaceful base for painting - writing - walking - cycling - yoga - gastro tours - or just sitting in the sun. A small paddling pool for children can be made available on the terrace.

We provide for every guest a FREE 40-PAGE GUIDE TO THE HOUSE AND AREA, with suggestions for things to do, places to visit, and touring itineraries.

ABOUT ABRUZZO

The mountainous Abruzzo region is not much explored by tourists, but it's one of Europe's best-kept secrets. It's sometimes called 'the green heart of Italy'. It's a vast area of mountains, lakes and wilderness in the centre of the country, between Rome and the Adriatic Sea, About half the region is protected National Park, with some of Italy's highest mountains (Gran Sasso is 2912 metres or 9554 ft). The area is home to protected species including the Marsican Bear, wolves, and mountain deer, unusual birds, and unique plantlife. To the east are miles of protected Adriatic coastline.

Casa della Meridiana is on a south-facing hillside in the Aventino Valley, 'between mountains and sea'. Behind are the massive ramparts of the Majella Mountains, often snow-capped from November to May. Walks into the high mountains start just five km from the house, gentler strolls begin right at the front door. The house overlooks a fertile valley of olive groves and orchards, with vista to the far horizon of hilltop villages, mountain peaks and distant forest.

Good beaches on the Adriatic coast are only about 35km away, with unfrequented coves, safe swimming and inexpensive seafood restaurants. The 'Trabocchi Coast' is famous for its unique, ancient wooden fishing platforms.

In winter, there is good skiing at resorts only around 35 minutes drive into the high mountain at Pescocostanza, Roccaraso or Passo Lanciano.

THINGS TO DO AROUND CASA DELLA MERIDIANA

Trekking and walking - rambles, day treks and multi-day treks are all easily accessible from Casa della Meridiana. The house connects with a network of waymarked paths offering low-level and high-level mountain walking. Monte Amaro (2793 metres, or 9,163 ft), the highest peak of the Majella, is a two-day trek behind the house. There are numerous mountain huts and refuges and we can arrange local guides. The house is stocked with maps, books and walking guides.

Birdwatching - eagles and other raptors are frequently seen soaring above the house and the Abruzzo mountains and coastline shelter a wide variety of unusual southern European species.

Indigenous wildlife - trips can be arranged to the high mountains to search for signs of the rare Marsican Bear, native Abruzzo wolves, and camosci - mountain deer similar to chamois. These protected animals are shy and rarely encountered, but there is a camosci reserve close to the house, and a wolf sanctuary further afield.

River rafting - the free flowing Aventino River (half a kilometre from the house) offers seasonal white-water rafting and canoeing. Tuition and groups can be arranged.

Cycling - the Aventino Valley is much appreciated by road and off-road cyclists. Many road races comes through the valley which has an excellent combination of flat roads, hills, mountains, ascents and descents. Off-road cycling is also possible with mountain bikes locally for hire. There is a bike shop in Lama dei Peligni.

History and archaeology - the Majella Mountains are internationally famous for the ancient 'hermitages' scattered in the mountains, some more than a thousand years old, most of them easily visited by car, and foot. The area is also peppered with castles and other historic sites, and every village has itschurch and historic centre. Roccascalegna Castle and the Roman town of Juventum are 20 minutes away. 'Majella Man', a neolithic burial, was discoveredin a field just a kilometre from the house.

Markets and shopping - each of the ten villages along the valley has a street market on a different day of the week, selling clothes, household goods, cheese, fruit and vegetables. The best are the Friday market in Casoli, Lanciano market on Saturday and an excellent, varied market in Guardiagrele (30 min drive) on Sundays.

Local wines - Abruzzo vineyards are the source of world-famous Montepulciano d'Abruzzo red wine and the Trebbiano d'Abruzzo and Pecorino white wines, made in Ortona, about half an hour away. Ortona wines are widely appreciated throughout Italy as cheap, quality, refreshing wines, and some vintages are of top quality, with prices to match. Winery tours and tastings are available. It's also possible to take your own containers and 'fill up' with wine by the ten-litre container (through a 'petrol pump'!).

Restaurants and eating out - traditional Abruzzo cuisine is unique and can be very localised, and for food lovers there are plenty of fine cafes, bars and restaurants within easy reach, each offering a new and distinctive experience. The nearest restaurant is ten minutes away, offering a variety of fresh, local produce including the Abruzzo's trademark feast of arrosticini (barbecued lamb skewers). Plenty of other restaurants within 20 minutes offer all kinds of gastronomic delights to suit every pocket, from simple back-street trattorias to high-class ristorantes with award-winning chefs, farm-kitchen 'agriturismo' restaurants, mountain-hut grill rooms and bars. We have a listing of local restaurants for easy reference. Further afield,but only 35 minutes away, the Trabocchi Coast on the Adriatic Sea is noted for wonderful fish restaurants.

Pasta - some of Italy's finest pasta is made in the village of Fara San Martino, only 5 kilometres from the house, in several factories and artisanal producers The reaon for this is the clear, pure spring water that gushes from the mountainside. Among the internationally-known brands from Fara are Del Verde, Di Cecco and Da Cocco.

Caves, gorges, waterfalls and natural spectacles - the whole Abruzo region is thick with natural wonders, and two of them are within ten minutes of the house - the Cavallone Caves, at Lama dei Peligni, accessible in summer through a cablecar, and the San Martino Gorge. Other natural phenomena, viewpoints and curiosities are scattered around he region, many accessible by car, others only after a challenging walk. Guidebooks are available in the house.

Festas, street festivals and religious events - every town and village in Abruzzo has at least one festival or street party, especially in the summer months, with singing and dancing, open-air food and wine, and fireworks. Food festivals celebrate everything from mushrooms and garlic to tripe and wild boar. Abruzzo is also famous for its ancient religius festivals, notably the snake festival at Cocullo (one hour away) each May. TLama dei Peligni holds two 'devil-burning' bomgire ceremonies each year, in December and August, as well as religious festivals and an annual pastry-making competition.

Beach and seaside - only 35 minutes away, the nearest beach at Fossacessia Marina is clean, well-maintained, free, and several good-value fish restaurants are right there. To the north, more developed beaches offer sun loungers, water-skiing and sailboarding, while to the south are many small small sandy coves with safe swimming, nature reserves, and seaside walks. The entire Trabocchi Coast is famous for its traditional wooden fishing platforms, some of which are also restaurants serving fish frsh-caught from the sea.

Skiing - from around December to March, dependeing on weather, skiing is available at several ski resorts all within about 40 minutes of the house, with ski schools, equipment hire, on-piste and off-piste skiing. Abruzzo skiing is among the most southerly in Europe.

Touring - Casa della Meridiana is well-placed for motor or bike touring throughout the whole Abruzzo region and Adriatic coast. Pescara, the regional centre (marina and port), the historic town of Chieti, the ancient monastic town of lanciano and Guardiagrele are all within easy reach. Day trips are possible to Rome and Naples, and centrally-placed Abruzzo is also an ideal base to make longer trips further afield to Bologna, Florence or the south by car, bus or train

Size Sleeps up to 6, 3 bedrooms
Nearest beach Fossacessia Marina 35 km
Will consider Corporate bookings, Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)
Access Car essential
Nearest Amenities 5 km
Nearest travel links Nearest airport: Pescara 60 km, Nearest railway: Pescara 60 km
Family friendly Suitable for children over 5
Notes Pets welcome, Yes, smoking allowed

Features and Facilities

Luxuries Log fire, Internet access, DVD player
General Central heating, TV, CD player, Telephone, Wi-Fi available
Standard Kettle, Toaster, Iron
Utilities Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine
Rooms 3 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms, Solarium or roof terrace
Furniture 1 Sofa beds, Single beds (2), Double beds (3), Cots (1), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 6
Other Linen provided, Towels provided
Outdoors Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ
Access Parking
Further details indoors

Free broadband Wifi available in every room and upper terrace.

There are three bedrooms, each with large double bed, chest of drawers and hanging rail. Bedroom one is south-facing with door straight on to the sun terrace. Bedroom two is also south-facing with valley view. Bedroom three is in the rear with a door onto a small private patio, with view of mountains. All bedrooms are on the first floor with internal staircase.

Both south-facing bedrooms have rotary ceiling fans, and all three bedrooms are equipped with floor fans and insect screens, so windows can be open at night.

In between bedrooms 1 and 2 is an upstairs lobby with a door opening onto the upper sun terrace, which is equipped with a double sofa bed. This area is open (no internal door) but would make a good sleeping area for children or as an extra bedroom for larger groups, and could also be used as a study, office, TV room, reading room, or activity area. (We will eventually line it with shelves and fill it with books).

Tiled bathroom with shower, wc, bidet and washbasin.

Newly installed kitchen/diner with electric oven, five-ring gas hob, fridge/freezer, washing machine, dishwasher, microwave and bread maker. Equipment and cutlery for up to 10 visitors.

In summer we normally eat meals outside under the downstairs terrazza at the large table which will easily seat 8 (or even 10 at a squeeze) - in winter the house is best suited to a maximum of six wishing to dine together at a smaller table in the kitchen/diner.

A cool downstairs lounge off the patio has a corner sofa, easy chairs, TV/DVD, music centre and CDs, library of English-language books and local information.

Children over five are welcome and the grounds and garden are safe, quiet and traffic-free. Our only rule is that we ask for 'no ball games' on the patios, because it damages plants and blinds.

In winter gas central heating throughout with radiators in all rooms and a cosy log fire in the living room (can also be used for grilling). Logs supplied. (A winter fuel supplement applies when the heating is switched on - usually November-March - on basis of actual gas used).

No wheelchair access. By arrangement, cars can be brought right up to the house with just three steps to the patio and front door. Internal and external staircases. Casa della Meridiana has been enjoyed by visitors well into their 80s.

Further details outdoors

The house has three different outside sitting-out areas and half an acre of grounds with cherry, plum, apricot, caca, mulberry and apple trees, and 12 olive trees from which we make our own Extra Virgin olive oil each November.

EVERY BOOKING WILL RECEIVE A FREE 250ml BOTTLE OF OUR OWN HOME MADE OLIVE OIL.

The 8m x 3m upper sun terrace has wonderful views over olive trees, farmland and wilderness with a vista to the horizon of hilltop towns, mountain peaks and distant forest, and gets the sun till late afternoon. The terrace is equipped with sun loungers, patio chairs and table.

On the lower level is a large covered portico, shaded all day, with dining table for outdoor dining in summer. We also provide a traditional Abruzzese 'arrosticini' barbecue, paddling pool for children and a hammock.

The Marche/Abruzzo region

ABOUT ABRUZZO

The mountainous Abruzzo region is not much explored by tourists, but it's one of Europe's best-kept secrets. It's sometimes called 'the green heart of Italy'. It's a vast area of mountains, lakes and wilderness in the centre of the country, between Rome and the Adriatic Sea, About half the region is protected National Park, with some of Italy's highest mountains (Gran Sasso is 2912 metres or 9554 ft). The area is home to protected species including the Marsican Bear, wolves, and mountain deer, unusual birds, and unique plantlife. To the east are miles of protected Adriatic coastline.

Casa della Meridiana is on a south-facing hillside in the Aventino Valley, 'between mountains and sea'. Behind are the massive ramparts of the Majella Mountains, often snow-capped from November to May. Walks into the high mountains start just five km from the house, gentler strolls begin right at the front door. The house overlooks a fertile valley of olive groves and orchards, with vista to the far horizon of hilltop villages, mountain peaks and distant forest.

Good beaches on the Adriatic coast are only about 35km away, with unfrequented coves, safe swimming and inexpensive seafood restaurants. The 'Trabocchi Coast' is famous for its unique, ancient wooden fishing platforms.

In winter, there is good skiing at resorts only around 35 minutes drive into the high mountain at Pescocostanza, Roccaraso or Passo Lanciano.

THINGS TO DO AROUND CASA DELLA MERIDIANA

Trekking and walking - rambles, day treks and multi-day treks are all easily accessible from Casa della Meridiana. The house connects with a network of waymarked paths offering low-level and high-level mountain walking. Monte Amaro (2793 metres, or 9,163 ft), the highest peak of the Majella, is a two-day trek behind the house. There are numerous mountain huts and refuges and we can arrange local guides. The house is stocked with maps, books and walking guides.

Birdwatching - eagles and other raptors are frequently seen soaring above the house and the Abruzzo mountains and coastline shelter a wide variety of unusual southern European species.

Indigenous wildlife - trips can be arranged to the high mountains to search for signs of the rare Marsican Bear, native Abruzzo wolves, and camosci - mountain deer similar to chamois. These protected animals are shy and rarely encountered, but there is a camosci reserve close to the house, and a wolf sanctuary further afield.

River rafting - the free flowing Aventino River (half a kilometre from the house) offers seasonal white-water rafting and canoeing. Tuition and groups can be arranged.

Cycling - the Aventino Valley is much appreciated by road and off-road cyclists. Many road races comes through the valley which has an excellent combination of flat roads, hills, mountains, ascents and descents. Off-road cycling is also possible with mountain bikes locally for hire. There is a bike shop in Lama dei Peligni.

History and archaeology - the Majella Mountains are internationally famous for the ancient 'hermitages' scattered in the mountains, some more than a thousand years old, most of them easily visited by car, and foot. The area is also peppered with castles and other historic sites, and every village has itschurch and historic centre. Roccascalegna Castle and the Roman town of Juventum are 20 minutes away. 'Majella Man', a neolithic burial, was discoveredin a field just a kilometre from the house.

Markets and shopping - each of the ten villages along the valley has a street market on a different day of the week, selling clothes, household goods, cheese, fruit and vegetables. The best are the Friday market in Casoli, Lanciano market on Saturday and an excellent, varied market in Guardiagrele (30 min drive) on Sundays.

Local wines - Abruzzo vineyards are the source of world-famous Montepulciano d'Abruzzo red wine and the Trebbiano d'Abruzzo and Pecorino white wines, made in Ortona, about half an hour away. Ortona wines are widely appreciated throughout Italy as cheap, quality, refreshing wines, and some vintages are of top quality, with prices to match. Winery tours and tastings are available. It's also possible to take your own containers and 'fill up' with wine by the ten-litre container (through a 'petrol pump'!).

Restaurants and eating out - traditional Abruzzo cuisine is unique and can be very localised, and for food lovers there are plenty of fine cafes, bars and restaurants within easy reach, each offering a new and distinctive experience. The nearest restaurant is ten minutes away, offering a variety of fresh, local produce including the Abruzzo's trademark feast of arrosticini (barbecued lamb skewers). Plenty of other restaurants within 20 minutes offer all kinds of gastronomic delights to suit every pocket, from simple back-street trattorias to high-class ristorantes with award-winning chefs, farm-kitchen 'agriturismo' restaurants, mountain-hut grill rooms and bars. We have a listing of local restaurants for easy reference. Further afield,but only 35 minutes away, the Trabocchi Coast on the Adriatic Sea is noted for wonderful fish restaurants.

Pasta - some of Italy's finest pasta is made in the village of Fara San Martino, only 5 kilometres from the house, in several factories and artisanal producers The reaon for this is the clear, pure spring water that gushes from the mountainside. Among the internationally-known brands from Fara are Del Verde, Di Cecco and Da Cocco.

Caves, gorges, waterfalls and natural spectacles - the whole Abruzo region is thick with natural wonders, and two of them are within ten minutes of the house - the Cavallone Caves, at Lama dei Peligni, accessible in summer through a cablecar, and the San Martino Gorge. Other natural phenomena, viewpoints and curiosities are scattered around he region, many accessible by car, others only after a challenging walk. Guidebooks are available in the house.

Festas, street festivals and religious events - every town and village in Abruzzo has at least one festival or street party, especially in the summer months, with singing and dancing, open-air food and wine, and fireworks. Food festivals celebrate everything from mushrooms and garlic to tripe and wild boar. Abruzzo is also famous for its ancient religius festivals, notably the snake festival at Cocullo (one hour away) each May. TLama dei Peligni holds two 'devil-burning' bomgire ceremonies each year, in December and August, as well as religious festivals and an annual pastry-making competition.

Beach and seaside - only 35 minutes away, the nearest beach at Fossacessia Marina is clean, well-maintained, free, and several good-value fish restaurants are right there. To the north, more developed beaches offer sun loungers, water-skiing and sailboarding, while to the south are many small small sandy coves with safe swimming, nature reserves, and seaside walks. The entire Trabocchi Coast is famous for its traditional wooden fishing platforms, some of which are also restaurants serving fish frsh-caught from the sea.

Skiing - from around December to March, dependeing on weather, skiing is available at several ski resorts all within about 40 minutes of the house, with ski schools, equipment hire, on-piste and off-piste skiing. Abruzzo skiing is among the most southerly in Europe.

Touring - Casa della Meridiana is well-placed for motor or bike touring throughout the whole Abruzzo region and Adriatic coast. Pescara, the regional centre (marina and port), the historic town of Chieti, the ancient monastic town of lanciano and Guardiagrele are all within easy reach. Day trips are possible to Rome and Naples, and centrally-placed Abruzzo is also an ideal base to make longer trips further afield to Bologna, Florence or the south by car, bus or train

Civitella Messer Raimondo

We provide for every guest a FREE 40-PAGE GUIDE TO THE HOUSE AND AREA, with suggestions for things to do, places to visit, and touring itineraries

A car is essential. Whilst its location is peaceful, the villa is far from isolated. .Civitella, a traditional hilltop village with grocery store, bar and bakery is only ten minutes away. Towns and villages with a wider range of shops, restaurants, pizza parlours and a swimming pool are also near. The beach is 35 minutes away, the ski resort of Roccaraso just 40 mins, Pescara 60 mins and Rome about 3 hours by car.

The house is in a quiet hamlet but all shops, services and amenities can be found within a ten minute drive. Nearest bar and shop: Civitella (8 mins). Pizza parlour or restaurant: Fara San Martino (10 mins). Swimming pool: Lama dei Peligni (summer only - 10 mins). Petrol station, bank machines and supermarkets are all within 10 mins.

The nearest large historic towns with churches, museums and a wide variety of restaurants/bars are Guardiagrele and Lanciano (both 30 mins).