If you want to spend your holiday lying by a pool relaxing with a book or lazing under trees in a garden, this is not the holiday for you...* Our Little Umbrian Cottage is just that; a cottage in Umbria especially for two, in a traditional Italian hamlet and in the most fantastic location for sightseeing some incredible places - famous and not-so-famous.....but all stunning! If you like wandering through ancient streets which open onto lively squares with incredible views... If you like to sit outside a bar with a glass of wine and watch the world go by... If you enjoy art and architecture or stylish, artisan products... If you enjoy walking - or cycling - through stunning countryside....this is the place for you.
Our Little Umbrian Cottage is close to Lake Trasimeno - the fourth largest lake in Italy and yet most people we know haven't heard of it....and we don't know why! It is surrounded by beautiful, dramatic countryside - Monte Cetona often visible in the distance, rolling hills, fields of sunflowers and poppies, mile after mile of vineyards, Cypress trees and umbrella pines... We bought the cottage - our holiday home - 10 years ago and over the last decade have had some wonderful holidays here. It is perfect for all seasons, all weather... We have spent holidays here at every time of year and each season has its own pleasures... At Christmas you often get clear blue skies, sunny days, sometimes cold, often warm... Christmas Eve in Montepulciano, Christmas Day in Cortona and Boxing Day in Passignano have become almost a tradition... Easter is stunning - after a sleepy January and February, both the countryside and the towns burst into life...
More information - and photos - about the cottage itself can be found on the "The cottage" tab above. It is located near to the town Castiglione del Lago, which stands proudly on a promontory, looking out over Lake Trasimeno. From here, you can take boat trips out to the islands - we love to have a leisurely lunch on Isola Maggiore, on a hot summer's day... The cottage is actually in Umbria but is just 5 minutes drive from the Tuscan border. So, we tend to visit places in both Umbria and Tuscany... The area has a rich cultural and art history; the first civilization to inhabit this place was the Etruscans, with three of the main Etruscan cities: Perugia, Chiusi, and Cortona.
(* If you DO want to lie by a pool relaxing with a book or lazing under trees in a garden, please visit www.lejardinduberger.com our house in France.)
To give you an idea of where you can visit (more info on our "Places to Visit" tab):
Castiglione del Lago - 4 miles - Local town, lake, train station, sailing, windsurfing, water-skiing, canoeing, swimming
Isola Maggiore - one of the islands on the lake - about 20 minutes by boat from Castiglione. Romanesque church of San Salvatore (12th century) and the church of San Michele Arcangelo (14th century).
Panicale - 11 miles - Often called the "Balcony on Trasimeno" - medieval hilltop village... Summer evenings - musical events, two of Perugino’s frescoes...
Montepulciano - 13 miles - Famous for the Nobile di Montepulciano (red) wine... shops, cafes, bars, wine tasting, views
Passignano-sul-Trasimeno - 14 miles, around the lake - relax by the lake, take a boat trip, cafes, restaurants, bars...
Cortona - 14 miles - Art, festivals, shops, cafe, restaurants, views, culture
Valdichiana (Designer Outlet Village) - 17 miles - If you fancy a day bargain-shopping in a modern (mainly outdoor) shopping centre
Città della Pieve - 17 miles - Works of art by its very own famous renaissance painter, Pietro Vannucci, known as Il Perugino
Pienza - 21 miles - A beautiful small town/large village referred to as the "ideal Renaissance city" with food shops selling the delicious local Pecorino cheese, plus many artisan shops, bars and cafes... Stunning views, too, over the Val d'Orcia...
Bagno Vignoni - 27 miles - At any time of year, this remains my absolute favourite place for tranquility... In traditional towns there is a main square, in Bagno Vignoni there is a pool 49 m x 29m, from the bottom of which bubble up a number of hot springs... So relaxing to sit and read a book overlooking this "square"...
San Quirico d'Orcia - 28 miles - A charming medieval town in the Orcia valley, with the stunning Collegiate
Monte Oliveto Maggiore - 31 miles - an Abbey set amongst chestnut groves
Perugia - 32 miles
Montalcino - 36 miles - A classic hilltop town set within a circle of fortified walls and watched over by a perfect medieval castle. Famous for Brunello di Montalcino (red) wine and barely changed since the 16th century.....apart, of course from the wonderful vars and restaurants!
Orvieto - 42 miles (Excellent train connections) - Stunning town, stunning cathedral, where the Chapel of San Brizio contains Luca Signorelli's incredible, dramatic frescoes... One of my favourite painters, one of my favourite frescoes! Also a delicious white wine...
Assissi - 45 miles
Siena - 47 miles
Florence - 73 miles (Excellent train connections)
Rome - 109 miles (Excellent train connections)