I Portici - Città della Pieve - Umbria
2 double bedrooms,
1 double that makes into two singles if required,
1 single bedroom,
3 bathrooms with showers,
sitting room with fireplace, TV and stereo,
kitchen with dishwasher and microwave,
Washing machine, sat. TV, wireless broadband internet, stereo, insect screens, barbecue and brick bread oven
I Portici's own olive oil for sale
Pool info: No pool,
I Portici is an old friend: an artist's unpretentious, comfy country villa with spectacular views - and we are delighted to have it back on our books. This villa is just over half a mile from the busy little town of Città della Pieve if you want to walk into town. The villa's name, I Portici (pronounced Ee Port-ee-chee) comes from the three covered porticos (shady terraces) at this pretty villa. These porticos make it the perfect place for friends and family - with heaps of space to be together and heaps of space to be alone!
I Portici is beautifully light and airy, spread over three floors. Double doors open from the side portico into the sitting room and from the front portico into the dining room. The homely kitchen, a tad rubbed around the edges, is very well equipped - there's a dishwasher, an oversize oven, 5 gas hobs, a fridge-freezer and even a small deep freezer, plus a host of little things like a toaster, food mixer, microwave and endless pots, pans and dishes. There's also a bathroom with shower on this floor. Cotto stairs lead up to the middle floor with one double bedroom, a second double bedroom that can convert to two single beds as required and a second bathroom with shower. The rooms at the front open onto the large terrace you can see in the main picture, with a flight of steps down to the garden. The top floor offers a single bedroom with its own little terrace, a double bedroom and another bathroom with shower.
We've always felt the best feature of this cute villa was its splendid porticos - but there are those who insist it's the views, while others feel the location is by far its best feature. Let us know your own preference after your holiday! The porticos wrap around two sides of the house and offer plenty of scope private space or together-ness. The garden is neatly tended and your own olive grove of 7 acres surrounds the house. It's the ideal scene for painters, writers or those who simply wish to soak up the peace of the olive grove - not to mention stock up with home produced olive oil. There are gloriously huge views, sweeping down the valley of the Valdichiana and across to the Tuscan hills beyond which will take your breath away.
The villa is located only a little over half a mile's walk from the centre of Città della Pieve, with its interesting medieval architecture, Perugino's beautiful painting of the "Adoration of the Magi" and lots of bars, banks, shops and supermarkets. The truly ancient city of Chiusi is only 11 km away, where you'll find a fascinating museum full of Etruscan artifacts, the excellent restaurant "La Solita Zuppa" and a handy main-line train station just below the old town. You can park and hop on a train for easy day trips directly into the heart of Rome or Florence. Lake Trasimeno is 25 km from I Portici, with charming little ferry boats to the medieval towns dotted around the edge of the lake. The sights of beautiful Orvieto and atmospheric Perugia are close by too. The villa is more or less on the regional borders of Lazio, Tuscany and Umbria, so you are superbly located for explorations in all three regions. Città della Pieve is also host to the Palio of the Terzieri every August: Renaissance acrobats, jugglers, and flag twirlers accompany around 500 parading citizens in fabulous full costume as the town indulges in its colourful crossbow competition.
This is a great value villa in a great location and we think you'll love it. We do!
It was a special family holiday with Rosemary's sister and her family who live in the USA. They had two daughters (26 and 24 years old) and a boyfriend with them and while we were in Firenze the boyfriend proposed when they were at the top of the bell tower of the Duomo. We were informed of this after we had all been round the Uffizi art gallery during the cool of the evening - so that will be a very special memory for them for the rest of their lives. We found Citta della Pieve a very good base for day trips and enjoyed trips to Orvieto, Gubbio, Assisi, Todi and Perugia (on the hottest day for fifty years).
We ate out several times in CdP and enjoyed them all - but our best meal was in a Ristorante called Bistroe del Duca and this is number two on the map that I have added to the "House Book" for future visitors to use.
Finally, we hope to come back to I Portici in the future as we ran out of time and did not see everything that was on our list.
First, location: situated on a lovely hillside overlooking an olive grove, the villa was perfectly situated between Florence and Rome, just close enough to the A1 for convenience but far enough away for a lovely countryside ambience. Making day trips and short overnight trips was easily accomplished, as apparently all roads lead from Citta della Pieve, the nearby village where we shopped, dined and wandered around acting like locals.
About 10 miles away, we had Chiusi and the Pam Superstore which carries everything from pet food to peanut butter, small appliances and wrapping paper. Plus, Pam has a great deli, bakery and fresh fish department. We hiked up the hill to Citta, but mostly used our car to visit the village and venture to the many nearby restaurants, ranging from typical fare to upscale.
I Portici was a good fit for three couples, with a spare bedroom in case wandering friends dropped in. Interior and exterior spaces allowed as much privacy or community as we chose. We enjoyed lounging on the second floor terrace or first floor porch, in the arbor, glider-swing and the hammock. The living room furniture was comfy and inviting, grouped around an attractive fireplace. The bedrooms were spacious and the beds comfortable, with handy reading lights on the side tables. Bathrooms are modern and scrupulously clean, but nonetheless European - with all the quirkiness that implies. Showers only, but good pressure. We ate breakfast almost every day at 'home', and enjoyed cooking in the well-equipped kitchen that featured gadgets, appliances, utensils, pots and pans and enough china, glassware and flatware to cater a banquet. We also grilled on the outdoor brick barbecue and ate our meals on the outdoor table under the front porch. Lovely to look out at the olive trees and verdant hillside.
The grounds were covered in fragrant shrubs, flowering plants and herbs, including leggy stalks of asparagus. We pinched off sprigs of thyme and rosemary to enliven our pasta, and there were wild plums and cherries in the field. The yard was tended by friendly caretakers, who understood that this was the 'campo' and struck the proper balance between manicured and comfortably overgrown. The leasing agents and property caretakers, and the owner's son, were accessible, responsive and helpful. What more can I say?
It was a delightful escape, perhaps most enhanced by the serenity of the surroundings that inspired us to simply sit still and pinch ourselves to wonder at our good fortune to have found such an idyllic retreat!
A real hidden jewel!
Getting there: The property is located down a gravel road directly below Città Della Pieve. We arrived from Rome and decided to ignore the provided directions and take the Fabro exit. We had no problems as we followed the Città Della Pieve signs, found the only roundabout at the other end of the town and followed the road down the hill. I Portici is about 1 km from the roundabout, on the right. Walking to the town is a bit of a chore but on a crisp autumn morning was terrific. Driving to town is a more reasonable choice.
The house: It is a nice sized, 3-story home. Because the owner lives there when it's not rented, everything was well stocked. We even had both Italian and American style coffee pots! The bedrooms are clean and the beds were quite comfy. We ended up just using two of the three bathrooms as the shower on the ground floor was a bit out of the way. The couches are old but covered. We had a fire on a couple of nights, which also heated the radiators. There is a TV and ample DVDs but we didn't watch them. The internet connection can be spotty. There is also a house phone for local calls, which we also didn't use. The views are stunning from several of the bedrooms. My favorite bedroom was on the middle floor connected to the large balcony. The balconies are superb and in addition to the two seen on the Summer Leases web page, there is another at the front of the house with nice wicker seating. This was my favorite location for morning coffee. The owner has two cats that we could not allow to stay due to allergies. The home was clearly cleaned well as we had no allergic responses during our stay.
The yard: The house sits on a hill away from any other house. It is surrounded mostly by olive trees. The view is spectacular although you miss the end of the sunset due to a large hill to the west. One perk was the abundance of spices in the yard. We pilfered some leaves for our evening meals. We had hoped to use the pizza oven but it appeared to not have been used for years so we decided against it. There is also a grill available. Not mentioned are the additional seating areas that include various benches, an outside dining area and hammock.
The bottom line is that this is an excellent home and location. We will be returning.
|Rental Seasons for 2013||Rent|
|Mar 2 2013||-||Dec 14 2013||EUR 1,090|