Wonderfully situated on the borders of Umbria & Tuscany, the views from the house are stunning, looking out over Castiglione del Lago & beyond to Cortona. On leaving the property you may visit many well known cities such as Siena (70kms), Assisi (60kms) and, closer to home, beautiful towns such as Cortona, Montepulciano & Pienza (home of Percorino cheeses). Situated in the heart of vineyards and olive groves both famous for the quality of their produce and local farms producing excellent cheeses. End the day on the terrace watching the sun slip behind the mountains while enjoying the local wines, olives and wonderfully fresh products while you decide whether to dine in or sample the vast choice of good restaurants nearby.
Italy is the home of many famous designers and one of the many Malls is only an hour away towards Florence with names such as Armani, Gucci, Tods & many more. There is also another good mall just 30 minutes away. Additionally, there are numerous local, independent and interesting shops to be found in the narrow streets of the hillside towns that dot this part of Italy.
Lake Trasimeno is the largest of the nearby lakes and where Hannibal fought near Tuoro, (there is also Lago di Chuisi & Lago di Montepulciano). There are water sports including wind-surfing & sailing and there are also boat trips to the island. Rare species of aquatic birds can be seen at San Feliciano. There is the Castle of the Knights of Malta at Maggione and a Benedictine Abbey at Sant’Arcangelo. Castiglione del Lago has one of the finest military 13th Century fortresses with 4 corner towers & a triangular keep.
There are 3 islands on Trasimeno – Isola Minore-the smallest. Isola Polvese, the largest where there is a ruin of a 12th century fortress and an abbey. The Perugian Province has made this a protected environment for flora & fauna for research. Isola Maggiore is home to the art of lace making using the famous ‘Irish Stitch’ which still thrives thanks to the local women. There is a beautiful church dedicated to Michael the Archangel and a small church marking the spot where St Francis landed here in February 1211.
Climbing steeply up, the town sits in the middle of this famous wine area. It overlooks two valleys. A distant bell chimes in a tower as you stroll through the narrow streets lined with palazzos. There is a long tradition of handcrafts here including mosaics, copper & ceramics. Most important though is the Montepulciano wine; the most famous, Il Nobile ‘a noble amongst the nobles’. Sample wine & cheese as you go!
Cortona sits high on the hillside at 500 metres above sea level. Taking the steep streets climbing up past churches, bell towers, farm houses, terraced olive groves and on through the Etruscan Walls, you will arrive to enjoy stunning views over the lake and the Val di Chiana beyond. Events in the summer include operas, plays, open air concerts and art exhibitions. Cortona was one of the principle locations for the film of ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’.
Other towns nearby
Siena – Piazza del Campo where the world-famous palio takes place, the Duomo, the Battistero of San Giovanni & the Church of San Domenico.
San Gimignano – known because of its towers and the “vernaccia”wines.
Pienza – the Duomo, Palazzo Piccolomini & the gastronomic products – particularly cheeses – a real little gem & my favourite restaurant, Il Chiostro di Pienza – breathtaking views and sublime food.
Arezzo – the Centro Storico, the frescoes by Piero della Francesca, the antiquarian market.
Perugia -the Duomo, Piazza Quattro Novembre, Jazz Festival.
Assisi – home to St Francis and of religious significance.