The crystal clear eco-friendly swimming pool has a salt-based filter - no eye goggles needed! And broad, shallow, non-slip steps for easy entry by toddlers or seniors. The area is equipped with teak furniture and is shaded by umbrellas and a creeper-covered pergola. There is a refrigerator for cool drinks. It is the perfect place for relaxing with friends and family.
There is a bocce/boules pitch (this gives endless enjoyment to young and old, skilled and rookies) and a ping pong room with also table football and darts.
There are wonderful walks straight from the house (the young love leading 'adventure walks') - picnic stuff and cool box as well as knapsacks and walking sticks are available. Loads of books, jigsaw puzzles and indoor games, as well a bridge table. For the younger generation there is a swing, climbing frame and treehouse.
Tennis is in Città di Castello. There is a championship golf course half an hour away and a congenial 9 hole course in the next valley. Riding on beautiful cross country paths is available at a B&B nearby. These same paths are brilliant for bicycling - bikes can be hired in Città di Castello. Water sports can be found at Lake Trasimene (one hour away) and canoeing on the Tiber at Città di Castello.
SHOPPING & EATING
The nearby medieval town of Città di Castello, a truffle and antiques centre, is reached in 15 minutes and has a range of supermarkets, shops, banks and restaurants, as well as a weekly organic food market and monthly antique market. Arezzo (45 minutes) holds a renowned monthly antiques market.
Great restaurants are to be found in every surrounding hilltop town and village, as well as on Lake Trasimene, and the Chianti region of Tuscany is an hour away. Florence (1 hour 40) and Bologna (2 hours) have some of the world’s best dining, shopping and antique shops.
Piero della Francesca (c. 1412-92) is arguably the top artist of the area (though Perugino, Pinturicchio, Signorelli and Giotto might disagree). Piero's Madonna del Parto (Madonna of Childbirth or Pregnant Madonna) is 15 minutes away in Monterchi and his Resurrection & Misericordia frescoes in Sansepolcro are 45 minutes away. Others are nearby in Arezzo (The Story of the True Cross), Perugia (Altarpiece) and Urbino (the Flagellation).
Assisi (Giotto ++), Gubbio, Spello (Pinturicchio not to be missed), Perugia (Perugino's work in the Nobile Collegio di Cambio & Umbrian National Gallery) and Cortona (great Fra Angelico) are all within a one-hour drive.
Nearby Citerna has a terracotta sculpture by Donatello (Madonna & Child), a lost work only rediscovered in 2004.
Day trips can be made to Florence, Assisi, Siena, Ravenna, Urbino, Perugia, Cortona, Todi, Bevagna, Spoleto, Montefalco, Orvieto, Spoleto and Caprese Michelangelo to visit Michelangelo's birthplace and museum. All these places are a delight to the eye and to the senses - and all the towns are quite different one from another.
For modern art lovers there is the world renowned Burri Collection. Part is in a palazzo in Città di Castello, the other, more dramatic, part is in the outskirts in an amazing old tobacco drying factory - it's worth a visit even if you are not an art lover! There are many concerts, festivals and other events in the Spring and Summer (see below for a selection).
Massage at the house by charming, highly recommended Bruno.
Cooking lessons by experts, Antonio Petruzzi or Daniela Bucchi - cook your own dinner under guidance. Or have them cook you and your family & friends an Umbrian feast while you watch.
Discover the mysterious world of the truffle. Sign up for a day on the Truffle Trail, a unique, fascinating and educational experience.
Expert guides will take you through the entire process, finding and digging up truffles, teaching you how to distinguish and taste the different varieties, and how to use them in cooking Umbrian-style.
There is a mass of books to suit every taste including guidebooks to all areas of Italy, information about restaurants, visits to local towns, events, shopping etc. And many fiction & non-fiction books set in an Italian environment, with a focus on Italian art, life, history and society.
SELECTED EVENTS 2024
Gubbio - May 15: Corsa dei Ceri
Gubbio’s centuries-old race features three teams carrying massive wooden columns
with statues of local saints through the city’s beautiful medieval streets in May.
Perugia - July 12-21: Umbria Jazz
Perugia’s swinging 10-day festival in July is a fixture on the world jazz map
with international headliners, performers and musical events all over town.
Siena - July 2 & August 16: Palio
Every year on July 2nd and August 16th, this world-famous event sees the city's 17 contrade (neighbourhoods) challenge each other in a dramatic horse race in the extraordinary and unique Piazza del Campo. Dating back to the 16th century, this exciting event has an incredible atmosphere and draws people from around the world to its medieval pageantry.
Urbino - August: Festa del Duca
Every August, Urbino time-travels back to the Middle Ages, with medieval fun,
tournaments, pageants, markets and dressing up in traditional costumes.
Macerata - July-August: Opera Festival
Macerata attracts the cream of the operatic world every summer to its Arena Sferisterio.
Anghiari - July: Music Festival
Every July, the historic hill-town of Anghiari hosts one of Europe's most exciting
classical music festivals, with a selection of symphonic, chamber and choral music
to be enjoyed alfresco under the Tuscan sky or in beautifully ornate local churches.
Arezzo - June 22 & September 7: Joust of The Saracens
Every year on the third Saturday in June, Arezzo's stunning Piazza Grande hosts a historical re-enactment of a medieval joust to win the Golden Lance trophy. The tournament, with roots in the Middle Ages, starts at 9:30 pm after a traditional flag-throwing demonstration.
Cortona - July-August: Tuscan Sun Festival
Every August since 2003, the Tuscan Sun Festival in well-preserved medieval Cortona has been offering an exciting programme including world-class concerts and events focusing on fine art, local culture and history, culinary and wine as well as fitness and wellness.