Close to the Umbrian-Tuscan border, San Nicolò provides the quintessential Italian property for a family holiday and sleeps 8 people in great comfort. A lovely pool - and unique features in the garden that provide stunning views of the surrounding countryside - makes this a memorable and special place to stay.
Surrounded by fields, woods and olive groves, San Nicolò is an oasis of calm and and tranquillity where you can escape from the pressures of modern life. But, if you need to, you can easily connect to the outside world by wi-fi. And you’re never far from civilization. Within 5 km, there are four fabulous restaurants where you can enjoy the locally sourced seasonal food and wine grown in the valley. Umbertide, a town with all mod cons, is 15 minutes by car. And within a 45-minute drive are the cultural gems of Assisi, Bevagna, Citta di Castello, Cortona, Gubbio, Lake Trasimeno, Montone, Perugia, Spoleto, and many more.
Built on a spur of land on the site of an old church 450 metres above sea level, San Nicolò is a stone built house. It was first renovated in 1995, and we have recently extended the kitchen and built a generous terrace. The house faces south so it catches the sun most of the day, but is elevated enough to take the edge off the heat from the strong Mediterranean sun. Free wifi.
A 300-metre lane leads from the tarmacked road to the property, which you enter through a wrought-iron gate leading to the parking area for 3 – 4 cars. The whole property is surrounded by a laurel hedge, keeping the porcupines out and children safely in!
You get into the house through an ancient dark-oak door, and arrive into the hall. To the right is a dining room with a table that seats 8 people. Through there is a light, generously-sized dual-level sitting room with two doors that lead to the outside. There’s a TV plus a collection of hundreds of DVDs to appeal to all ages. And a log-burning stove if you are there in the cooler off-peak season.
Upstairs are three bedrooms, one with a double bed (with an ensuite bathroom) and two other bedrooms with twin beds that can be pushed together to make doubles. There are fantastic views out across the countryside from all the rooms. An additional bathroom makes up the space on the top floor. Retracing our footsteps downstairs and through the hall, you enter a big, well appointed kitchen with a table for eight that leads one way down a short corridor to the fourth bedroom and separate bath/shower room, and the other way out onto the terrace. The terrace is a special feature of the house, with views east over the valley. There’s a table that can be extended to seat 12 people under a canopy, plus a barbecue to cook those special al fresco meals. It’s a great spot to watch the birds (buzzards, hoopoe, …) flying through the olive groves and - if you’re very lucky - you might catch sight of a cingale (wild boar) or a deer!
THE POOL & GARDENS
The 10m x 5m pool – open from May -September – is wonderfully private. If you're not swimming yourself, there’s a covered area under which you can sit in the shade and watch the swimmers in the pool. Or play a game of table tennis if you’re feeling more energetic. In the south-facing part of the garden – which has been flattened to allow for gentle ball games – there is a dondolo (swing seat) with fabulous views down the valley. Close by up some lavender-bordered steps, catch the evening sun and enjoy an aperitivo on the belvedere – a raised platform under the shade of a huge oak tree.
The whole garden is a delight, full of fruit trees (fig, plum, and persimmon), orchids, geraniums, oleander, wisteria, jasmine and wild flowers from the nearby woods.
Once a week (usually early Saturday morning) our pool expert – Oscar - will come to clean the pool, and Claudio, our gardener, will visit the property, also usually once a week, to check the irrigation and keep it looking beautiful.
San Nicolò is rented exclusively by Gorgacce Rentals: renting houses since 1993.