This wonderful Umbrian villa reveals its great beauty the closer you draw near. For what seems at first like a simple stone house set nicely near an olive grove, turns out to be a large open-plan house on three levels with an inner courtyard, furnished patios and views that cause you to breathe more deeply. Set to overlook the Apennine Mountains on one side and villages atop the Umbrian hills on the other, this house makes it easy to live outdoors as much as you like, yet offers great comfort the moment you step inside.
Though there is a formal front entry into a hall between the living and dining rooms, the more natural entrance is into the kitchen through a wonderful covered patio, furnished both for outdoor dining and dreaming on the sofa in front of the large outdoor fireplace. The open-plan of this house is immediately evident when you step inside; it is not a house of doors and tight places, but one where sunlight and people move freely. The well-equipped eat-in kitchen is spacious and cook-friendly. Just beyond is a large dining room with an open fireplace.
Stairways from this room lead you either up to a bathroom and a double bedroom with panoramic views or down to a double bedroom and nearby shower room with washing machine. This lower bedroom, which has light from narrow windows but no view, is ideal for children. French doors between the dining room and kitchen lead to another furnished terrace under a pergola and facing out towards the pool.
The living area in the center of the house has an open fireplace, comfortable furniture and TV, with views and access to an inner courtyard with shaded surrounding walkways. Beyond the living room there are two twin or double bedrooms, each with an ensuite shower room and, as throughout the house, a lovely mix of the antique furniture and modern fittings. Beautiful beamed ceilings and terracotta tiled floors blend well with the natural materials and soft colours used and make this house a relaxing place to come home to after a day exploring the hilltop beauties of Umbria.
A large pool is the right length for laps and has a sweet baby pool for those who prefer to splash and paddle. A spacious terracotta patio with sun-beds and sofas sides the pool and makes it a tempting place to linger and store up your share of the Umbrian sun.
Interesting outings may be to Todi and Orvieto, which were on the important trade and pilgrim routes towards Rome. As a consequence, this area excels in important sculpture, architecture and paintings, including of course Orvieto's wonderful cathedral, whose facade, like a triptych with the dazzling Technicolor hues of its mosaics and richly beautiful sculptural detail, has earned it the nickname of the "Golden Lily of Cathedrals".
This area is famous for its food and wine, and one of Italy's most famous, (and most expensive) restaurants, Vissani, is very near by, at Baschi on Lake Corbara. There are masses of excellent restaurants everywhere and numerous wine cellars where you can try Orvieto's excellent wines and eat in the outdoor estate restaurant. Even better, you can arrange for an excellent cook to come to the house.
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