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MD, Oxford

October 2022

Watching the sun rise over the hills this morning, just sitting reading a book and looking over the beauty all around while the rest of the house sleeps, is part of the restorative magic of this place.

This place is truly remarkable: it has all the modern conveniences and indeed luxuries to make living very easy, but retains traditional features that make you feel grounded and relaxed, with a sense of connection to history and local culture. It is remote and private so you feel you have escaped, but nearby towns are very easily accessible and the transport connections with trains, airports etc are straight forward. The beauty of the local countryside with wooded hills, numerous butterflies, darting lizards and bird song create additional magic that made us stop and simply enjoy “being”: I think it's called mindfulness now, but for me it was a sense of immense joy and contentment.

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JN, Oxfordshire

August/September 2022

This was our sixth visit and each time is better than the last. This is in part due to Mark and Jocelyn (previous owners)'s endless improvements and their attention to detail. Thanks to their recommendation of Danielle we all enjoyed endless home cooking and as a highlight she organized a morning's truffle hunting. Highly recommended. We will be back again.

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Dr. M.D. Oxford

August/September 2022

I found the advert in The Guardian purely by chance, and the website showed such an idyllic place that the children all said an immediate yes. Although I admitted I had some doubts: it all felt too good to be true. Could such an amazing place really exist? Well, I found out that heaven could be found on earth.

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Mrs SB, Buckinghamshire

August 2022

Happy days, for the second time, at La Dogana. Everyone says it feels like our home and it does. Thank you for introducing the Barbers to such a magical place in Italy.

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Mrs AM, Northumberland

August 2022

As before, a magical holiday. Particular highlights this year were two sightings of wild boar, on one occasion with their young, and, thrillingly, a porcupine, also with young! The La Dogana magic remains undimmed: view of MSM Tiberina on its hilltop from the small terraces; wonderful civilized interiors, pool area even better than usual; and located at the center of a triangle comprising some of Italy's finest sight-seeing!  

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Mrs NR, Washington D.C.

October 2021

Before I looked through the feedback provided by other La Dogana “returnees”, I thought that since this was our fifth time staying at this magical place that we would be among those with the highest number of times staying there. Oh dear, not at all… in fact our fifth stay made a rather poor showing compared to those who had celebrated their sixth and/or seventh stay there. That being said, I believe we may have been the only people who were able to stay there this summer, and how terribly lucky we were. All the family, as well as several friends, are keeping their fingers crossed that this will not turn out to have been our last stay there. For a couple of friends, it was their first time at La Dogana and they could not get over what an absolutely beautiful place it is - my descriptions really paled into insignificance. It is still the most wonderful place to spend a relaxing and wonderful vacation – we always look forward to seeing what may have been added since our last visit and were delighted to see the pond. The weather was, for the most part, very good and, as usual, we spent many hours idling by the pool - sheer magic; chatting with Carrie and Jim; lunch time on the patio and the occasional dinner around the kitchen table, playing boules, visiting the local restaurants, and especially Oscari's.

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AG (18 year old's second visit), Somerset

 July 2020

Returning to La Dogana a short yet incredibly sweet visit of five days, rekindled within me a fabulous feeling of nostalgia having first stayed here eight years ago. The fragrant smell of wood smoke as you enter the cool open kitchen and living area when we arrived made us

sigh with happiness. Sitting outside at the front in the early morning with a book and a cup of coffee with the most beautiful view, long afternoons by the pool and supper at Oscari's was the most wonderful reprise after four months of shielding.

 

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AJ, Somerset

July 2020

The Dogana is peaceful and perfectly equipped. Glorious garden, charming swimming pool and terrace, numerous shady areas. Accommodates 11 comfortably. So close to Sansepolcro, Anghiari, Monterchi, Citta di Castello & Perugia with all their delights. A great holiday house. We loved it even more second time around.

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Mrs AC, Hampshire

August/September 2019

We loved our 3 week stay at La Dogana. The views were enthralling especially in the evening light. The house has everything you could possibly need. It is rustic, homely, comfortable and cozy and the number of bathrooms was especially appreciated. Jim and his team looked after us wonderfully well and we found it the perfect place to entertain family and friends whether just lolling by the pretty pool, lazing in a hammock or searching out little-known Umbrian hilltop villages._cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b -136bad5cf58d_

 

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Mrs ET, Yorkshire

August 2019

Our seventh wonderful stay at La Dogana. Having done plenty of sightseeing on previous visits, we made more use of the pool this year, enjoying novels from the house. We feasted on the view as much as the local food and wine. The kids enjoyed firing up the pizza oven, watching the football at Fiorentina and river-swimming on the way home from stunning Urbino. Altogether heavenly!

 

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Mrs HR, Leeds

August 2019

FIFTH stay. We still love the place, the views, the color of the pool liner, etc, etc.

 

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Mrs SB, Buckinghamshire

July 2019

An Umbrian villa La Dogana e superba, an absolute charmer! Che fantastica aura! We Barbers have found our “nirvana”… heaven… perfection… is La Dogana. Booked again for 2020 and 2021.

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N&J S, London

August 2019

…our fifth visit …another thoroughly enjoyable holiday at La Dogana. It works exceptionally well for our family and we made full use of everything it offers. So thanks you once again. We will definitely want to return at some point.

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Mrs. FW, Dorset

July 2019

La Dogana… HUGE success… want to return next year! The house was perfect… proper home… stunning long walks, long lunches, painting painting painting, snoozing by the pool, cultural/shopping excursions, slept like a log, laughed a lot… sounds like a perfect holiday to me! Booked for 2020.

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Mrs AM, Shropshire

June 2019

…biggest success possible… utterly enchanting… nightingales… magical garden… all adored it.

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Mrs L.S., Surrey

June 2019

…simply wonderful time… beautiful old farmhouse… depths of the countryside with wildflowers covered in butterflies… La Dogana is perfectly appointed and everything seems to have been thought of… intrigued by the different places to sit… we could also find privacy; specially important in a family… fascinated by your garden, the scents were a knock-out… salvias stunning… site on the hillside which gives such beautiful perspective to plants and buildings. Booked for 2021.

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J&S N, Oxfordshire

August 2018

We can't thank you enough for allowing outsiders to invade your home because that is what it is and why we keep returning. We are booked in for our SIXTH visit in 2020! Our guests, old and new, always comment how different La Dogana is to normal rented houses and particularly enjoy Volume 1 and 2 of the history of the house. We were particularly touched by the wine and champagne on arrival.

 

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AJ, Ammerdown

July 2018

La Dogana is mesmerizing: the house flows so well, sitting room, kitchen, study all seamless and so creatively furnished. The bedrooms are many and spacious with several large bathrooms. The upstairs sitting room is a delight leading out onto one of the beautiful shaded terraces. The view from the first terrace is the essence of Umbria, a walled town perched on a hilltop, framed by a flower-covered arch. There are so many shaded areas in the stunning garden, a covered dining area with sofas as well, a pergola by the pool. The garden is a superb combination of wild flower meadow and structured but subtle planting. The pool is elegantly fitted with a black liner which works so well in the high sunlight; loungers + fridge are great additions. We would love to come again/ (Owner's note: booked for 2020, 2019 being fully booked).

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MS, Berlin

July 2018

…idyllic two weeks here; second year running. There have been many high spots, places we have revisited and new discoveries… Trattoria Lea every bit as good as you describe. We'll be back again in 2020. Thanks for your hospitality and Jim's knowledgeable support.

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NR, Washington D.C.

June 2018

This was our fourth wonderful year at La Dogana, and each time we return, I look forward to it more and more. Staying during June has the special benefit of seeing all the flowers at their glorious best. The pool area is now especially gorgeous, with the flowers wonderfully set off by the new flagstones. Although we stayed for our usual fortnight, this time seemed to go by especially quickly and our friends and family look forward to spending time together with yus there as much as we enjoy having them – it almost feels like a second home. Am now thinking ahead to our next visit!

 

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Hugh, London

September 2018

This is a beautiful house that feels like a home, with plenty of space, a gorgeous pool and stunning views. The owner is a pleasure to deal with. Thoroughly recommended.

 

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Hilda, Cheshire

August 2017

We were three generations from 6 to over 70 and it was marvelous. Something for everyone, with the pool a real delight. The peace and tranquility a joy, and the view up to Monte Santa Maria Tiberina beautiful, both during the day and illuminated at night. Loved seeing the lizards about. The house is so obviously a home and has been lovingly restored, with everything one could need, as well as masses of books. My grandchildren loved the tree house and hammocks. A very successful visit. Very helpful information about excellent local restaurants.

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Sally, Bristol

July 2017

A wonderful holiday home with fantastic facilities. Jim and Caroline were most helpful. A truly homely property with extensive library, music and games facilities. The pool was excellent especially as the temperatures were very high. The views are stunning and nearby medieval hill towns were interesting and accessible.

 

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MS, Berlin

July 2017

It's always a risk to book a holiday villa without any personal knowledge or trusted recommendation of the place, so we were unsure initially how well La Dogana would meet the demanding standards of our large family. We have both young and adult children, all with different preferences, often inharmonious. La Dogana met all our requirements and delighted is in many different ways. For us all, it was a relaxing and idyllic sojourn in the gorgeous surroundings of the Umbrian/Tuscan border. It is highly recommended and we certainly plan to go back next year. (Owner's note; booking confirmed for 2018!)

 

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Mrs M, Northumberland

June 2017

We'd love to return one day; it was the absolutely perfect holiday, and all of us will long remember that magical view of MSMT from the terraces, and the garden and pool area, where you have created a veritable 'bower of delight'. It was wonderful to stay in a house which belongs to people whose tastes we share, and we loved your collection of books, classical music, furniture, ceramics, etc, while the younger generation also fell with glee on Boggle and other board games; even tastes in DVDs seemed to chime and your restaurant recommendations were superb! Altogether, an absolutely magical fortnight, thank you both so, SO much. 

 

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JW, Canary Wharf

September 2016

This house is in a different league. It is a house of history dignified in its restoration. And it is as it says it is: a home. It radiates comfort and peace. Everything in and about is of understated, lived-in quality. It has everything for anyone, whatever the season. There are games for every age, the kitchen and tables want for nothing, the furniture – inside and out – is comfortable and good. Its big and spacious with cool, dark corners and places to be alone. The house reflects the soothing eye of an artist & the perfectionism of experience (even its wifi is fast and sure). And all around is the history of Italy. Monte Santa Maria Tiberina stands high from dawn to dusk, its walls lit at night; and the hills of Tuscany and Umbria enfold you in their privacy. For us, the world receded for a week, the knos worked free, and the family bonds tightened.

 

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Mrs ET, Yorkshire

August 2016

A stay at La Dogana is my perfect holiday – the stunning setting, peace and quiet, a beautifully renovated home and blissful pool. We've been six times now with friends and family and have so many happy memories of meals on the veranda, visits to local hill towns and, of course, wonderful local food and wine. Mark is always helpful with the booking process, and Jim and his team are on hand for the practicalities. If my husband wasn't such a globetrotter I'd be back here every summer!

 

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DR, Surrey

August 2016

What a magical place! We cannot fault the position, views, solitude, facilities and surrounding countryside – so it all added up to the most perfect family holiday to celebrate our Golden Wedding – with beautiful weather. Visits to hilltop towns and villages, relaxing in friendly bars, perusing museums or enjoying the pool ensured that all tastes were satisfied. A wonderful, memorable week which we will never forget. Thank you Mark and Jocelyn for sharing your beautiful home.

 

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SS, Kent

July 2016

We loved La Dogana, beauty and detail at every angle; all the things we love.

 

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ET, London

July 2016

La Dogana is a very special, peaceful and well-equipped house and one of the very best we've rented, and we've rented a few. The views are wonderful. We adored the tranquility, the wildlife, the lovingly tended garden, the attractive and generously-sized pool. There are beautiful views all round - including from the kitchen sink and master bedroom. The house is beautifully equipped and there are plenty of different sitting areas for a large group to find space. We will definitely book again.

 

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DA, London

July 2016

Welcoming Umbrian farmhouse. Very comfortable. Peaceful, picturesque setting and friendly owners.MD, Hampshire – June 2016

For the third time we loved every minute of our stay at La Dogana. In fact we are beginning to feel quite possessive about it, and this is because it has been restored with such lovely care and attention to detail that we would have done it in exactly the same way. The house is enchanting, the garden magical, the views sensational. The pool is gorgeous, and, as with the whole house, equipped with all you could want. There is so much to see within an hour's drive that we are going to need several more trips to do it all. What a fabulous place.

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Mrs SS

September 2015

We adored our morning swims in the dark pool, the silence and the mist coming up from the trees – the sightings of deer, toads and woodpeckers. The weather was perfect, with the occasional thunderstorm, and we felt we witnessed the seamless transition from Summer to Autumn. We had a wonderful time in your magical house. You have made a very beautiful place and we were very happy.

 

Mrs JR, Wiltshire – August 2015

Heavenly place, great location, fabulous views. Comfortable inside and out. Plenty of books, well-equipped kitchen. And a fig tree with ripe figs, perfect!

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JG, Chepstow

August 2015

This is a well-converted, maintained and equipped rustic family villa providing all of the amenities needed for a grandparents to grandchildren holiday in a rural part of Umbria. There are plenty of interesting and beautiful places to visit and excellent restaurants and cafes within a short driving distance. The welcome by the agents and the handback were warm, efficient and trouble-free. The owners obviously love the place and use it frequently and essentially have left everything they own for the use of their guests. There was nothing we needed we could not find.

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Mrs SM, Herefordshire

June 2015

La Dogana is a perfect, multi-generation holiday home with superb accommodation, a fantastic pool, indoor and outdoor games and space for all to enjoy. As it is a home as well as a holiday let, it is incredibly well-equipped and every time you wonder if they might possibly have a… whatever… there it was!  If you want a tranquil haven with beautiful gardens where you wake to the crowing of the local cockerel and fall asleep to the sound of nightingales, the night sky lit by fireflies, and offering a true slice of Umbrian life, La Dogana should be top of your list.

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Mrs. C. Sewickley - PA, USA

Our stay at La Dogana was fabulous. The beautiful and comfortable surroundings provided a perfect respite after a day of touring Arezzo, Gubbio, Assisi, Citta di Castello and Florence. The pool was refreshing and the game room provided hours of entertainment for the children. There was nothing lacking in the kitchen for home-made meals, which were enjoyed on the open veranda. The surroundings are gorgeous and the silence so welcoming. Would love to return when the figs are ripe! Thanks for sharing.

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Mrs LT, Cambridge

August 2014

We had a wonderful relaxing time, from the youngest (nearly 3) to the oldest (68). The pool was a huge hit, and the coolness of the house in the middle of the day was delightful. Our granddaughter was very impressed by the mosquito nets and the castle (MSM Tiberina) – I think she believed she had somehow fallen into a fairy-tale. She liked the climbing frame and treehouse too.

We visited local towns for shopping, eating, coffee and ice-creams but were inexcusably lazy about cultural pursuits. We should come back at a cooler time. Narayana cooked us a lovely meal one evening, we made use of the barbecue, and Jim was a wonderful source of information. We really enjoyed the selection of books. Altogether has a very memorable week.

 

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Mrs SN, Kirtlington

August 2014

Back for FOURTH 2 week visit at the wonderful La Dogana with children and friends. The weather was very variable, but with the wealth of culture readily available and the vast range of walks, we were well occupied. So much so in fact that we did not have time to resort to the very tempting books and DVDs in the house library. Watching the changing light, electric storms and weather moving down the valley was as good as any movie, and we all just wished we were better artists.

 

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LB, Kew

July 2014

We are just back from our wonderful few days in your beautiful house and wanted to thank you. We loved every moment of our trip and the house made the perfect setting. We had some really enjoyable day trips to the nearby towns, excellent food (thanks to the recommendations in your book) and enjoyed plenty of time relaxing by the pool and admiring the views.

 

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BP, Bristol

June 2014

My lasting memory of Dogana was of a gorgeous house located in a very peaceful valley surrounded with tremendous countryside and beautiful weather. It was really interesting reading through your diaries of the re-development and I do think you have achieved a wonderful ambience. When we were there the weather was stunning, so we spent the majority of our time outside. With the family spanning all age groups, it was a delightful time and the property was wonderfully appointed and spacious. I do hope that we have an opportunity to re-visit; it really ticked all my boxes and we only managed to visit a few places, whilst clearly the region deserves far greater investigation. From the moment we drove up the track from the road, your property just felt as though we were arriving at our perfect holiday home – and so it proved.

 

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Mrs AC, Chicago

June 2014

It's only been 24 hours and we miss Umbria and La Dogana – its beautiful gardens, the view, its furnishings and art, our English sheep and the food provided by Antonio (local chef)! I would be very happy to add to your website next weekend once all of the laundry is done!! We filled 4 pages in your journal with our adventures – and there were many. I am sure they will put a smile on your faces. Your home has a warm spot in our hearts. Jim (La Dogana agent) is THE BEST. 

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MDD Norfolk

Sept 2013

We had a very special week at La Dogana. This was a new area of Italy for us and the countryside, largely free of tourists, was a particular delight. The house was charming with stunning views and so many comfortable reading, snoozing and sunbathing spots to choose from. It is incredibly well-equipped and none of our party could think of anything wanting!  We were all particularly jealous of the extremely comfortable green sunloungers by the outside dining area! The garden was beautifully done and we loved the way it merged imperceptibly into the surrounding grass fields and light forest? There was a strong feeling of being pampered guests rather than summer tenants and nothing seemed too much trouble. Mark and Jocelyn provided copious useful information before our visit and this was supplemented by all kinds of suggestions for trips, restaurants, walks, shopping etc in the comprehensive House Book. Caroline and Jim who welcomed us warmly, are also a fount of house and local knowledge. A lovely girl, Narayana, prepared delicious suppers for three nights and had pre-loaded the deep freeze to do several excellent lunches. She is a highly-intelligent charmer – and a brilliant cook. It comes as no surprise that so many guests return time after time to this little haven of peace and pleasure. The silence was defeating!

 

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WT, Herefordshire

August/Sept 2013

Spectacular thunderstorm for first two days… then all sun and warmth we could wish for. We did not stray far from the delights of La Dogana but took in sorties to the many surrounding towns, full of history and character. We walked to MSM Tiberina and refreshed ourselves at Oscari's bar. A constant round of swimming, sleeping, boules, tennis. Lovely Narayana's cooking was superb. We dined out and recommended Vineria di Vasaio in Castello. La Dogana is indeed a most excellence place. La Dogana is indeed a most excellent place. We hope to return in 2015. 

 

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Mrs S, Chiswick

August 2013

La Dogana has a wonderfully secluded position with a view over the valley. Despite feeling miles from anywhere, nevertheless the local supermarket is less than 10 minute drive and Citta di Castello, with its shops, bars and restaurants is only 15 minutes away. The location of the house means that there are a number of wonderful cultural destinations (and excellent restaurants) within an hour's drive, still leaving time for an afternoon by the pool and dinner on the terrace. We had a blissful fortnight at La Dogana and hope to return before too long – and have already recommended to friends contemplating an Italian adventure next year. 

 

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MM, Edinburgh

August 2013

We had a really good holiday and the house was great - really good inside and outside space, wonderful position and so helpful that it is so well-equipped - generously ensuring that all the basics are there makes a real difference.

 

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CP, Wiltshire

July 2013

Having been to this amazing property twice now, we can confidently say that it provides very comfortable, thoughtfully laid out and clean accommodation and, for our extended family party (aged 66 down to 17 months), it has something for everyone with superb attention to detail. We loved the art studio, the Boules pitch and the wonderful pool. We were never short of places to visit within the 30-mile radius of the house, and we loved the local markets (fresh mozzarella and best peaches ever). We loved the Burri art collection. And the sheep - we gave them fresh grazing daily! Saw a HUGE porcupine (VERY rare, says owner). The house comes highly recommended.

 

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WMD, Hampshire

July 2013

Where do I start? La Dogana exceeded our demanding expectations. We felt privileged to be staying in such a beautiful house. It has been so sensitively done - whenever you needed something, from a potato peeler to all the details of how the restoration was done, there it was. We loved Jocelyn's pictures everywhere, and feel her artistic talent must be behind the colors and furnishing throughout. The garden is as marvelous as the house – gorgeous flowers, and lovely pool, all so imaginatively conceived. Wherever you want to look at a view, there is the necessary seat! We much enjoyed the bocce – we had some pretty needle matches! Fantastic book with all the local info, and we had some wonderful outings, although the draw of the house and garden made us slightly lazier than we should have been - our one complaint about it, I suppose! We had a recommended local chef in to cook - there was enough fabulous food for two evenings which made it a very good investment! 

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AI (AGE 11) - Somerset

 I could never be bored at La Dogana. If you are not in the pool you are playing ping pong or hunting for lizards or exploring the woods or failing all of that, eating huge platers of pasta and ice cream at Oscari's. 

 

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Mrs G. (AGE 89) Cambridge

June 2013 

First feeling of peace since my husband died. LOVED the pool (first time I've swum in 5 years) and the views. Loved the Italians. Jim and Carrie looked after us wonderfully. Hope my delicious daughter (well-known to Mark and Jocelyn for 15 years as a star chef) brings me back to paradise next year 25.9.2013… she has just booked in!

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