Asking price: €99,000 (Private Sale, no Agent Fees)
I bought the cottage - in a hamlet called Nardelli, which is under 10 minutes drive from Castiglione del Lago - in the summer of 2007 and it's been my favourite place on earth ever since! Castiglione del Lago is on Lake Trasimeno - the 4th largest lake in Italy. The Trasimeno area is in Umbria, but borders southern Tuscany, and days out involve both regions - sometimes you don't know if you're in Umbria or Tuscany. I was single, and working in a UK boarding school, so I had long, long holidays and spent every one of them there. In fact, I loved the Castiglione del Lago area from the very first time I set eyes on it... I'd caught the train down for the day, from Florence, and the train stopped near the lake before pulling into the station...and I was smitten!
When I was house-hunting in the area I had a very specific list of needs... I was single, and wanted to have a holiday home where I could arrive at any time of day/night, after a long drive or a flight, and feel safe. I didn't want to spent my holidays gardening - or pay for someone to look after the garden while I was in the UK. I didn't want a renovation project, and I wanted to be able to spent winter, as well as summer there...and be warm and cosy! I can honestly say that this cottage 100% fits the bill and I still adore it - it has been my joy and my sanctuary for 13 years and the only reason I'm selling it is because - having fallen in love with the area in 2007 - I've finally moved here permanently! My new home is just 10 minutes away from Nardelli - I run a business from home - Textile Holidays and workshops, plus I design/make textile products.
The house is very well renovated, including excellent insulation, terracotta floors, central heating, double glazing, mosquito screens. This means its perfect all year round - I've stayed there in winter, summer, spring and autumn, and it's always a comfortable place to be. It faces south at the front and north at the back. As I said above, there is no garden because I specifically wanted a house without a garden, because I knew I'd want to be out and about visiting the towns and villages in the area. I've also realised, that because I didn't buy a house standing in its own garden, that this was a much better way to get to know my Italian neighbours. I've spent many an evening sitting outside - alone or with friends or with my husband - watching the comings and goings of this wonderful, friendly Italian hamlet. There is a place to sit at the front, and a similar place to sit at the back, and for me that has been more than sufficient.
You walk into the kitchen which is large-ish, with room for a table and 4 chairs. It's a traditional Umbrian kitchen with brick supports and handmade cupboard doors and the worktops are granite. There's also an under stairs storage room. A wide archway leads through to the sitting room and door leading out to the back. The ground floor has wonderful old beams which are in excellent condition. The boiler is in the kitchen, the thermostat in the sitting room, and there are two huge, modern radiators, one in each room. Within 15 minutes of arriving, even in winter, you can feel the house warm up - no lighting of fires, lugging logs, ordering of GPL - it's on mains/town gas. Oh, and it's also mains water - no septic tank to worry about!
The staircase is a little wider than usual, and has a lovely wrought iron handrail. It leads up to a little landing, off which is the main bedroom, second bedroom, and shower-room. The main bedroom is at the front and has its own cloakroom, with basin and wc - I had intended to add a shower cubicle to this room, but in the end it was never important, so I haven't done that. It's a large room and I'm sure it could be done if you wanted two showers. The second bedroom is at the back, and has a built-in wardrobe. When I viewed the house it had two single beds, but I chose to furnish it with a small double instead. The shower-room is clean and fresh with shower, basin, wc and bidet.
For 13 years I've not had to do a single job on the house except have the boiler serviced annually. I know that might sound off-putting - but it doesn't mean it's neglected, just that everything is perfectly fine and I've had nothing to do to the property. It was carefully renovated, keeping the original features but with modern solutions and that's what makes it work so well. We've lived there for short and long holidays, and stayed there from August until December in 2020, while we were buying our new home. So, I can honestly say that it works just as well as a main home as it does a holiday home.
There's a separate section on this website that describes this area - the house is 50 minutes from Assisi, Siena, and Orvieto. Within 30 minutes there are so many hilltop towns to visit. The lake is 10 minutes drive away - you can sit and watch the sun go down and can catch a boat over to one of the islands, for lunch or a day's walking. You can catch the train - or drive - to Florence (1.5 hours) or Rome (2 hours) - I once caught the train to Venice for the weekend! Suffice to say that I've lived in various parts of the UK (inc. Yorkshire and the Cotswolds) plus in the Charente, France for 5 years, and the Trasimeno area is where I have finally chosen to settle! If I could have stretched the Little Umbrian Cottage in Nardelli, so I could run my business from there, I would definitely have done so!