Guest accommodation spans the two lower levels of our secluded, ivy-clad "Casale" or farm cottage, with beautifully landscaped pool, located in tranquil hills 12 km (plus 2 km white road) above historic Cortona in S.E. Tuscany. Versatile self catering accommodation includes comfortable lounge/breakfast room; superbly equipped kitchen area; a separate dining room; 2 double bedrooms (one on Studio mezzanine); 2 bathrooms /showers. There are 2 patios with wooden furniture/sunshades (1 ideal for BBQ's and dining alfresco); 3 acres of open meadows for strolling and appreciating the stunning vistas and safe, private off road parking. Most guests like to relax by (and/or exercise in!) our well kept infinity pool, with its saline water, a grassy stroll from the house. We're also wonderfully placed for walking or cycling in the extensive wooded hills, with panoramic views of the Apennines.
A visit to this part of Tuscany isn't complete without exploring nearby Etruscan Cortona with its many good restaurants; or Assisi, Siena, Perugia and Montepulciano, one hour away. Lake Trasimene with its islands is a 40 minute drive, Rome and Florence are easy daytrips by train.
We offer continuous Wi Fi, and are on hand to give advice - though never intruding, since we appreciate how people need space to "chill" - for which our tranquil location is ideal. However past guests have particularly appreciated our pre-holiday service of information, setting up visits, vineyard tours, bike hire, restaurant bookings, concert tickets etc. Whatever you decide on, while you stay it's your home from home!
|Size||Sleeps up to 4, 2 bedrooms|
|Will consider||Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest Amenities||6 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Rome/Pisa/Florence/Preugia 175 km, Nearest railway: Camucia-Cortona or Terontola-Cortona 16 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||Some pets are welcome - please contact the owner, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Log fire, Internet access, DVD player|
|Pool||Private outdoor pool (unheated)|
|General||CD player, Safe, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron|
|Utilities||Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Washing machine|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms and 1 Shower rooms|
|Furniture||Single beds (1), Double beds (2), Cots (2), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 5|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Private outdoor pool (unheated), Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ, Swing set|
An important trading centre in pre Roman times, Etruria (now Tuscany) was home to the legendary Etruscans, whose tomb goods fill the many local museums, the nearest and possibly the best being Cortona's Etruscan Museum. Through the Middle Ages, powerful families acquired the urban strongholds: Ghibellines at war with Guelfs, the Papal State of Perugia (in Umbria, whose border is 6 km from our house) at war with Imperial Arezzo. Having himself fought in these wars, St Francis of Assisi travelled by mule from Cortona's Le Celle monastery to lofty La Verna, bequeathing a strong Franciscan presence.
Italian Unification in 1861 had (arguably) little impact in these hills, nor has the subsequent creation of the regions. Arezzo, Gubbio, San Sepolchro, Castiglion Fiorentino, Città di Castello, Perugia, Assisi, Monterchi, Montepulciano: each so rich in treasures, fiercely guarding its character, customs - and bylaws! All within easy reach, and each worth exploring while you stay with us, in the clear bright light and warm summer temperatures visitors can almost take for granted.
When not enjoying the tranquil waters of our pool, or walking in the hills, there are numerous places to visit, the nearest of which is the Etruscan hill town of Cortona (12 km) where festivals start at Easter, a colourful affair. From this moment on the pavements cafes hum with life. The Festa of Santa Margarita follows on 22 May, with the Giostro dell'Archidado, or Crossbow Contest, on 9 June, and the Cortona "Mix Festival" 27 July - 4 August - great entertainment with a classical flavour and participation. See our website for this and other links.
July as a whole is the 'archaeological month' with many free activities and guided access to normally restricted sites. There are Roman paving slabs below our house, and one guided archaelogical trail passes right through our valley.
Village festivals within a 25 km radius of our house celebrate local products - wine, oil, cheese, beefsteak - even frogs and snails, all welcome!
Nearby in "saintly" Umbria, the Sanctuary of Canoscio is 12 km away, Assisi 45 minutes drive. Perugia hosts a world famous Jazz festival 5-14 July, followed by the Trasimeno Blues Festival 18-28 July, Castel Rigone's celebration of young classical musicians, and Citta' di Castello's International Music Festival (late August, early September).
In the meantime Montepulciano is not too far to go for its famous wines and International Arts Festival 19-28 July.
Tuscany was at the heart of Italy's Renaissance, and Cortona houses many masterpieces. Visit the art gallery with works by Fra Angelico, who lived here as a Dominican monk; and by Luca Signorelli.
Piero Della Francesca was born in nearby San Sepolchro: his frescoes can be seen in Arezzo and Monterchi. Much of Perugino's work can be viewed in Perugia or at his birthplace, Città della Pieve. Assisi is a must for the 13th Century decoration of its Basilica by Giotto and others; while Siena (1 hour 30) has two art galleries of great quality.
Walking and Cycling: many walks start from our house, or are within easy reach (Monte Ginezzo to Pierle, Sant'Egidio to Montecchio). Some of these paths are adopted by the Touring Club of Italy, whose maps and guides can be purchased in Cortona's bookshop.
One such offers 18 circular walks on the Tuscan/Umbrian border, of varying lengths and difficulty. Alternatively, a short car ride away, one can trace the route of Hannibal's foot soldiers above Lake Trasimene, or follow the original 13th century mule tracks travelled by St Francis.
This is spectacular scenery for road and mountain biking. Bikes can be hired nearby to explore the mountains, circumnavigate the Lake on a newly dedicated trail (with good, albeit shallow, swimming) perhaps taking the ferry to one of the islands; or follow the so-called cycle path of the Princes along the valley.
Our local expertise is always available to guests: on booking, when you arrive, or during your stay. We will gladly set you up with vineyard tours, wine tasting lunches and suggested itineraries.