The design, restoration and selection of materials were overseen personally by the previous owners who took a hands-on approach to the project and did a lot of the actual work, from the reclaiming of ceiling tiles to the building and installation of windows and doors. Casa Singerna has been carefully finished by hand, and it is this resulting individuality that lends the building its specific character.
The villa is on two levels and is positioned on a hillock so that both floors have ground level access. The main entrance is on the upper level, where there is parking for several cars, a wide terrace with a pergola and tables and chairs adjacent to the pool. On this upper level occupying the four corners of the villa are four bedrooms. The remaining bedroom is on the lower floor with direct access to the rear terrace with tables and chairs.
The open plan space on the lower floor serves as the dining area, sitting room and kitchen. The focus of the room is on the grand archway with glass doors that frames a view of the lake. A long, sturdy, hand-made table of chestnut wood with seating for ten and more is well positioned to enjoy the view.
The kitchen is positioned to the left of the arched doorway. The workspace was designed to offer convenience and comfort in preparing meals, regardless of whether you wish to toss together something simple or cook up an elaborate feast. We didn't however sacrifice beauty for usability. The cabinets are hand-made of chestnut wood with wrought iron fittings and a fantastic granite work surface. All the appliances are stainless steel and of quality manufacture. There is also a microwave, coffee maker, and other useful equipment. Several wooden stools are positioned at the counter for casual snacking or comfort while you prepare a meal. There is a dishwasher to free you from washing up, and a washing machine for your private use.
Sofas and chairs in the opposite corner surround a wood-burning stove, perfect for autumn and winter breaks.
Arched glass doors lead to the spacious rear terrace paved in stone and tile. Ample seating is provided for outdoor dining in the shade of an oak tree and for enjoying the fabulous view of the lake and surrounding countryside. There is also a barbecue on the back terrace.
A brick arch in the hallway frames the arched door that leads from the living area into the Terrace Bedroom. This is the only bedroom on the lower floor of the villa and has access through doors onto the rear terrace. The king size bed is handmade of rich chestnut wood and has a charming seating area that has been arranged against a wall of exposed stone.
The spacious en-suite bathroom has a bathtub that is also fitted with a shower. Travertine marble in earthy colours surround the bathtub and mirror over the washbasin. There is a washing machine that is conveniently set into the cabinet beneath the counter. The bathroom has an additional door into the lower hallway.
Against the interior wall of the living area are wooden stair treads that seemingly float to the upper floor. A stereo system and television are discreetly positioned under the stairway.
Rooms upstairs radiate off of a central hallway with an impressive four-meter high chestnut beamed and terracotta tiled ceiling. Furnishing and decorating has been executed with taste throughout the villa in a style that is casual and uncluttered. All bedrooms have handmade beds of wood or wrought iron furnished with comfortable firm mattresses, Egyptian cotton linen and towels and plump comfortable pillows, tasteful furniture and beautiful antiques. The bathrooms are spacious and offer good natural light.
The hand-made four-poster bed of the Lakeside Bedroom is strikingly offset against the exposed stone of the wall and the smooth wood of the floor. Double doors lead onto a balcony with a traditionally styled wrought-iron railing boasting a spectacular view of the lake, olive trees and the vineyard. Beside the door to the bathroom is a spacious walk-in closet. Other furnishings include comfortable chairs and a handsome antique carved cabinet.
The en-suite bathroom features a corner Jacuzzi bathtub with room for two. It is positioned by a large window that opens into the branches of an enormous oak tree creating the illusion of bathing in a tree house. The floor, tub and sink surround are of travertine marble in soft tones, highlighted by a border design. The bathtub is fitted with an overhead and a hand-held shower.
The Sunset Bedroom is the most grand and spacious of the bedrooms with a four meter high ceiling at the peak and one wall given over almost entirely to windows. There are fabulous views of the surrounding countryside. Thankfully, a mature tree at the side of the house filters the glare of the afternoon sun. The king size bed is a hand-made wrought iron piece commissioned by a local craftsman. A wood stove positioned between the windows serves as focus for a small seating area. There is also a pair of beautiful antique wardrobes. There is separate access to the room from the front terrace through a pair of French doors.
The Valley View Bedroom is striking and there is something about the proportions of the room and the placement of the windows that makes this an extremely welcoming space. There are two large windows providing between them views through more than 180 degrees up and down the Singerna river valley to the lake. The room is furnished with a pair of twin beds.
The Aquarium bathroom is accessed from the hallway on the upper floor. There is a spacious tiled shower stall with adjustable height shower and glass door. The wall tiles are of famed Murano glass, inlaid with the occasional hand-blown glass fish. The shower floor is a mosaic of glass tile in rich shades of blue and copper. Natural light floods the room from the skylight in the peaked ceiling.
A door from the ingresso, where the baby grand piano resides, leads into the Studio Bedroom. The stone surrounded window looks out across the vineyard to the lake. Seating by the piano easily serves as additional space for the occupants. This room is furnished with a double bed.
From the front terrace, the main doors of Casa Singerna open into a room with terracotta tiled floor, exposed stone walls and a high beamed ceiling. The room is home to an ornamented Chinese cabinet as well as an antique baby grand piano.
The piano was built in 1900 in Austria. It is well preserved for its age and has a modern style sound board but old-fashioned mechanisms that give it a characteristic sound.
The pool has wide Roman stairs descending into the shallow end of the 6 x 12 meter (20 x 40 foot) private swimming pool. The ample surrounding terra cotta paved terrace (200 square meters) offers seating in sun and shade. There are pool lounge chairs around the pool. The pool is open from May through to the end of September.
There is a croquet pitch at the villa as well as a table tennis table.
You can practice archery in Caprese Michelangelo, a ten minute drive from the villa or there are bows and arrows and a target on the lawn.
Tennis courts can be booked in Caprese Michelangelo, a ten minute drive from the villa. They provide raquets and balls so you can just show up and play
A short walk down a private road on the property brings you to the shores of the Singerna River and Lake Montedoglio, a large man-made body of water. The Singerna River flows into the lake at the bottom of the property. This and other local rivers make for fun outings for parents and children of all ages. The lake also is a fabulous natural swimming resource and is beautifully clean and fresh.
Cooking classes can be arranged for groups of people. Courses are taught in English and concentrate on general principles and traditional but relevant foods. Menu options can be arranged with the instructor ahead of time. The course ends with a luncheon 'in famiglia' where you can enjoy the fruits of your labours. The course can include an excursion to the market to gather your fresh ingredients. Cooking courses are popular with all ages and abilities and have been given as a surprise holiday gift on a number of occasions. Children especially love the hands on experience of making fresh pasta.
There are very basic bicycles available for on or off road cycling. There are hundreds of kilometres of marked walking trails in the area. For the more adventurous there are trails that extend great distances across the mountains. Or you can simply enjoy the paths that begin directly at your door and lead through the vineyard, by the creek and into the forest.