Get above and beyond the rat race in our cottage-style retreat! Here we offer self catering holidays in spacious, well presented accommodation that spans two levels of our secluded farm cottage, with its beautifully landscaped pool, located in tranquil hills 12 km (plus 2 km white road) above historic Cortona in S.E. Tuscany (car needed.) Inside guests can relax in the comfortable lounge, cook and dine in comfort thanks to our well equipped kitchen/diner, choose between 2 characterful double bedrooms (one on Studio mezzanine, extra single available on request), There are two bathrooms each with shower, and two patios with tables/chairs/sunshades, plus 3 acres of open meadows for strolling, with stunning vistas. We offer private off road parking. Guests relax in complete privacy by our well kept infinity pool, with its saline water, situated a grassy stroll from the house. We're also excellently placed for walking or cycling in the extensive wooded hills that surround us, with panoramic views across to the Apennines. A visit to this part of Tuscany isn't complete without exploring nearby Etruscan Cortona with its museums and 39 good restaurants. Assisi, Siena, Perugia and Montepulciano are each one hour away. Lake Trasimene with its islands is 40 minutes away, Rome and Florence easy day trips by train. Whilst we're on hand to give advice, we never never intrude, since we appreciate people need space to "chill" - for which our tranquil location is ideal. Past guests have particularly appreciated our pre-holiday service of information, setting up visits, vineyard tours, bike hire, restaurant bookings, concert tickets. Whatever you decide on, once you get here it's your home from home!
|Size||Sleeps up to 5, 2 bedrooms|
|Rooms||2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms and 1 Shower rooms|
|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, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Furniture||Double beds (2), Single beds (1), Cots (2), Dining seats for 6, Lounge seats for 6|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Private outdoor pool (unheated), Balcony or terrace, BBQ, Swing set|
|Access||Parking, Not suitable for wheelchair users|
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.