Le Vigne, a historic stone watermill, has been restored in recent years to a high standard. It sits in a peaceful, hilly, rural retreat setting alongside a crystal-clear brook, which flows much of the year. It is a great spot for a family holiday in a 'country cottage-style hideaway' but it is not isolated.
The locality, on the Umbria/Tuscany border just north of Lake Trasimeno, has recently been designated the equivalent of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is deeply rural with flocks of sheep grazing the hillsides amongst the olive trees, and oak and chestnut woods which nurture the mushrooms and chestnuts for which the area is regionally famous. Nature lovers, walkers and artists will not be disappointed. There are great wild flowers in May & June.
The house, which dates back several centuries, is furnished very comfortably with its own relaxing salt water pool. There are no close neighbours - staying at Le Vigne is like being in your own private world - but you are not cut off. Just five minutes drive up the hill is the pretty hilltop village of Preggio with daily needs, including internet and a good restaurant. Ten minutes in the other direction is beautiful Castel Rigone with an excellent 'shop for everything', cafes, theatre and lake views. Lake Trasimeno itself, the largest in Italy outside the Northern Italian Lakes, is only ten or so minutes further on. Here there is lots for the family to do with lakeside walks, beaches, watersports, boat trips to the islands and seafood restaurants.
Every summer the village of Preggio hosts an outdoor classical music festival in July/August with international artistes.
For venturing further afield Le Vigne is very well sited, being only 15 minutes via the pretty Niccone valley from the E45 superstrada (dual carriageway) giving access to northern Umbria with a whole host of unspoilt mediaeval towns and the Tuscan Casentino - places which are not overrun with tourists . In the other direction it is15 minutes to the Perugia raccordo (dual carriageway) with access to southern and eastern Umbria and central and southern Tuscany. There is also a nifty little back route into Perugia missing the tourist traffic. You will be spoilt for choice!
|Size||Sleeps up to 6, 3 bedrooms|
|Rooms||3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms and 1 En suites|
|Nearest beach||Lake Trasimeno 15 km|
|Nearest Amenities||1 km|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Perugia 25 km, Nearest railway: Passignano 10 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||Some pets are welcome - please contact the owner, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Fireplace, Internet access, DVD player|
|Pool||Private outdoor pool (unheated)|
|General||Central heating, CD player, Telephone, Satellite TV, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Furniture||Double Beds (1), Single Beds (4), Cots available (1), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 8|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Private outdoor pool (unheated), Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
|Access||Parking, Not suitable for wheelchair users|
|Further details indoors|
Le Vigne has been restored to a high standard with modern facilities but retains its distinctive Umbrian country character. It has terracotta floors, exposed stonework, custom made hardwood doors, windows and shutters, hand made ironwork and beamed, red 'pianile' tile ceilings throughout. The furnishings are fresh, comfortable and stylish (way above holiday home average) but also family friendly - mainly washable cottons and the minimum of breakables! All rooms including the bathrooms have wall lights. Landline telephone and Wifi (from May 2015).
The main entrance through glass doors leads into the spacious sitting room, which features exposed stonework and a large sitting area with comfy sofas and chairs with plenty of different lighting options, which are ranged around the massive old fireplace (logs are provided). Satellite TV has recently been installed. There is a small library of DVDs and music CDs, a large library of paperbacks and travel guides, some games and everything needed for bridge.
An archway with two steps leads down to the roomy, well-equipped kitchen diner which has more exposed stonework, traditional Italian tiled worktops and a big dining table giving plenty of room for atmospheric dining indoors. Double glass doors lead onto the large, shady terrace which wraps round three sides of the house. Off the kitchen diner is a handy downstairs cloakroom with WC, basin and coat and boot storage.
An easy rising, brick staircase (partly open) leads up to a landing off which are the bedrooms and family shower room. The huge master bedroom has a double bed, double glass doors leading onto a small, south facing terrace and a large en suite bathroom with bath (shower over), basin, WC and bidet. The second bedroom is double aspect with twin beds (which can make double). The third bedroom is single aspect with twin beds. The family shower room has a shower with cabinet, basin, WC and bidet.
The traditional stone construction and cork insulation under the new roof mean Le Vigne is naturally cool in summer and warm in winter (helped by central heating). There is double glazing throughout and the bedroom windows have screens.
The keynote of the furnishings at Le Vigne is stylish comfort with plenty of cushions, lamps and candles to create that special holiday atmosphere.
|Further details outdoors|
Le Vigne is situated down a private drive 120m from the white gravel lane, which serves only four other houses. There are no other buildings in sight and the view all round the house is of completely unspoilt woods and fields making it a great spot for watching birds and wildlife. The stream is full of tiny fish and frogs (which can be vocal) and we regularly see deer, porcupines, badgers, hares, foxes and even wild boar (fortunately at a distance) in the vicinity. A small number of Daubenton's bats roost below the house (behind a locked grille) during the summer.
The 10x4.5m swimming pool, like the house, has sun all day and has unusually soft water from our own well, making swimming in it very pleasurable. The depth ranges from 1m-2m and entry is easy via corner roman steps. The pool is fully landscaped with broad, terracotta tiled areas for relaxing, backed by low, natural stone walls with screening hedges of aromatic bay and lavender.
The main terrace is to the rear of the house off the kitchen diner and overlooks the natural garden and stream winding down the valley. There is ample outdoor furniture for dining and relaxing and plenty of space to use it.
There are walking paths through the countryside leading directly from the garden.
Le Vigne is reached via 1km of good, white gravel road, which is steep in parts.
The swimming pool is usually open from mid May until the second half of September, depending on the weather. Swimming pool towels are provided.
We welcome children - indeed most of our guests are families - but you should be aware that the inside staircase is partly open on one side, there are many changes of level with hard surfaces both inside and out and for much of the year the stream contains reasonable amounts of water. The changes of level mean the house is not suitable for anyone with impaired mobility.
Umbria, the 'Green Heart of Italy' straddles the Appenine mountains, bordered by Tuscany to the west and Le Marche to the east. The area around Le Vigne is characterised by hillsides of olive groves and small vineyards, wooded mountains, magnificent views around each corner and valleys of sunflowers and tobacco fields.
For several hundred years before the unification of Italy in the nineteenth century, Umbria had been part of the Papal States ruled from Rome and with 'progress' not on the church's agenda, time effectively stood still here. So, today rural Umbria has a gentle, timeless quality which is appreciated by everyone whose life is lived at a more frenetic pace. Umbrian farmers prefer the old ways and most of the land is 'unimproved' resulting in marvellous displays of wild flowers in early summer.
With three quarters of the western world's historic treasures being found in Italy, Umbria and neighbouring Tuscany have their fair share and Le Vigne is well placed for you to visit them. Major historic centres, all between 45 and 90 minutes drive from the house, include:
* Assisi - home to both St. Francis and St. Clare - magnificent, atmospheric symphony in pink stone. Mille Miglia stop-off in May.
* Perugia - capital of Umbria - great art - Eurochocolate Festival 19-28 October 2012
* Cortona - scenic local Etruscan centre - inspiration for 'Under the Tuscan Sun' books. Quality shops.
* Gubbio - unspoilt, less-visited, renaissance city - great architecture and setting.
* Siena - gem of a city - inspiration in red brick - Sept/Oct visitors can see the fabulous cathedral floor.
* Sansepolcro - small, pretty and uncrowded historic city - Piero della Francesca's birthplace - see his 'Resurrection'.
We will be very happy to help you plan your visits out and about during your stay at Le Vigne.
The historic village of Preggio (alt. 684m a.s.l.), below which Le Vigne stands, is in an area where history has left its mark being on the eastern edge of ancient lands of the Etruscans. The stream flowing past Le Vigne is the Bellona, named after the long vanished Etruscan settlement which stood at the top of the hill and shards of Etruscan pottery and artefacts still turn up in local fields from time to time.
For the Romans this area would have held painful memories as, only a few kilometres away towards Tuoro at Campo di Marte, they were soundly beaten in 217 BC by Hannibal, leader of the Carthaginians, and his elephants at the battle of Lake Trasimeno. Today, there is an explanatory exhibition at the site.
For a tiny village, which has only one of everything - bar, shop, post office, church - Preggio has two claims to fame. First, in July and August for the past 24 years it has held its own classical music festival, featuring performances under the stars by international artistes. Second, every October visitors flock to the Preggio Chestnut Festival, which is famous throughout the Province of Perugia. Perhaps you might like to come and join in?
As a visitor to Le Vigne you can choose the theme for your holiday - mountains, lake, or a bit of both? The choice is yours as from Preggio, one of the highest points in the area, it is only 20 minutes drive down through the olive groves to the northern shore of Lake Trasimeno, with all the attractions it has to offer. These range from unspoilt, historic, small resort towns like Passignano and Castiglione del Lago where you can take boat trips to the pretty islands in the lake, to quiet beaches with watersport facilities and waterside restaurants.
Do come and see for yourself soon!