Extremely Fabulous Italian Villa

Extremely Fabulous Italian Villa

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Nov 2016

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6 Bedrooms
Sleeps 12
8 Bathrooms

About our home

New Photos just Added (August 2020). Captions to come later, but for now enjoy photos of the area, food and gorgeous linens, pottery, other crafts produced in our area plus our olive picking and pressing. Umbria is open for business ! Come and visit us while it is still uncrowded.

PLEASE READ THE LISTING AND CHECK THE CALENDAR BEFORE MAKING A REQUEST. We pretty much only take points or points/discounted rental on the dates indicated and only for a minimum of a week. Please check the dates before you request as it appears that the software on this site is not sophisticated enough to check the dates and filter out those periods that are already booked.

Villa Gioianna is a gorgeous country residence sitting in a small working estate composed of gardens, olive grove, fruit orchard, woods, and kitchen gardens upon a hill above Lake Trasimeno, where it commands a superb view of Tuscany, Umbria and the Lake.

We have 6 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, kitchen, living room, dining room, terrace, extensive grounds, swimming pool, yoga platform in the woods overlooking the surrounding vineyards and rolling hills. The views are stunning from virtually every aspect of the property, but particularly from the back terrace and garden, where the picture-perfect landscape often causes guests to remark that it must be a painted scrim. Relax by the pool, play bocce, linger over a long lunch on the back terrace or sneak out to the cozy Lotus Stargazing Tent set in the olive grove, overlooking the vineyards and rolling hills behind the house. Not quite a treehouse, but a lovely, romantic place to escape to in inclement weather or just to take a nap or relax and read a book. Or for the children to have a "camp out" and look at the stars.

This is a delightful and inspirational place to pursue creative activities -- writing, composing, visual and performing arts -- and a tranquil place to kick back and relax and do some deep thinking or simply celebrate life and the seductive Italian lifestyle with your friends and loved ones.

There are many more photos and information on the Villa's Facebook page (Villa Gioianna) or on its Yoga Retreat page (Utterly Umbria, Totally Tuscany).

The Villa is a gorgeous Old Lady who requires a lot of tender, expensive loving care to look her best and needs to pay her own way, so even though we LOVE swappers, she is primarily available for points swaps (we rarely, if ever, do direct swaps) during the lower seasons and during the "Instant" Season. The Villa is only available for rent, not swaps, during the high seasons of the Summer and Early Fall, except at the last minute (1-2 weeks prior to arrival date) if for some reason it is not rented. Except in exceptional cases, we only book by the week. You can stay less than a week (ie leave early), but please be aware that the minimum booking is 7 nights whether you stay the entire period or not.

KINDLY READ THIS PART BEFORE SENDING A REQUEST

If you'd like to rent, we'd be happy to discuss a combination of points + rent at a reduced, exclusive rental rate available only to guests from this site only for the high seasons for the dates listed below. It's just not possible economically for us to swap the entire year and we hope that this hybrid will help more wonderful people we have met on this site to enjoy this historic home and the area surrounding it. Please contact us for details and a custom quote.

Please be sure to read the bit below about heating and cleaning, but especially the heating!

PAYING WITH POINTS + DISCOUNTED RENTAL in 2020/2021: Have the best of both worlds: a glorious villa in the covetable high season (summer) at a reduced rental rate because you contribute points.

The Villa is available for discounted rental/swaps from:
Christmas/New Year's 2020
April 6-21, 2021
June, September, October 2021


POINTS ONLY IN 2020/2021: The Villa is available for point swaps in
November 2020
December 2020 (except Christmas)
November and December 2021

All guests (including swappers) are treated the same: you receive the same care and attention that classic renting guests do. The only difference is that you are paying with points instead of cash. Like rental guests, you pay for your own utilities (including any heating) and for the final professional cleaning and laundering after you have departed (the Villa needs to be returned to the status of a rental-ready property and that requires a professional cleaning; it will be presented to you in the same status at the beginning of your swap). Swap guests are asked to post a deposit for the utilities and estimated professional cleaning costs to reserve their booking, plus a refundable security/damage deposit. Please note that are cleaners work legally and are paid a fair wage, plus we have to pay 22% VAT on top of that. We do not cut corners at the Villa, but especially not on the health and welfare of our cleaners or on the safety of the Villa. You pay only the cleaning costs required to return the Villa to its original state after your departure and to comply with the new Covid rules.

The major utility cost is heating. For May-October (and sometimes even April or parts of November), heating is usually not needed, but each person has different temperature levels at which they are comfortable and you may think otherwise. Fossil fuels are expensive in Italy and heating an old house like the Villa is not cheap by any means. We just cannot emphasize this enough. Put aside all your preconceptions about energy costs; it is expensive in this country. Food, wine, everything else is super-reasonable and even cheap, but energy costs are not. Italians for the most part put on warmer clothes (like the gorgeous cashmere items that are made locally) rather than burn up in heating the money that could be spent on eating well! It is not the culture here to over-heat homes like it is in other parts of the world where energy is cheaper. So please keep that in mind and budget for it if you choose to come during those periods..


DESCRIPTION OF THE VILLA AND GROUNDS

You arrive at the Villa via an avenue of cypresses and lime trees, passing through a mature park of 4.5 acres of woods, vineyards, olive groves, fruit trees and flower gardens. The Villa is a small working estate that produces its own olive oil, fruit, vegetables and wonderfully fragrant flowers and herbs. We garden 'sustainably;' we compost and practice companion planting and encouragement of beneficial insects, birds and bats (!) to keep plant diseases and pests in check. Our lawns are local grasses and wildflowers, requiring no commercial fertilizer. We recycle or compost virtually all of the waste produced by the Villa.

Please see the photos to get a feel for the property. Many of our guests say the photos don't do justice to the beauty of the property and the area. Come and decide for yourself!

We can provide recommendations for one of several excellent cooks, all of whom loves to spoil guests with delicious, homemade meals using our produce and other locally sourced ingredients. From a traditional nonna to an enthusiastic "New Italy" chef, we will find the right culinary fit for you. Or, combine a meal with a cooking lesson or a wood-fired pizza lesson from a vivacious Italian Mama or a family pasta-making lesson that you will remember for years. We know the area well: the wineries, sights, restaurants, charming hilltop medieval towns . . . tell us what you’re interested in and we’d be happy to suggest day trips.

The Villa’s name comes from a two words: 'Gioia' (pronounced joy-ah) means 'joy' or 'jewel' in Italian; Anna is the name of the owner, thus Gioianna (joy-ahn-nah).

OLIVE OIL: Our olive oil is our pride and joy. In late October/early November we harvest the olives by hand in the traditional method of 'stroking' the tree, then quickly press them at our local mill. Also consistent with tradition, we pick the olives before they are fully ripe in order to maximize the flavor, aroma, and peppery taste of our oil. Olive oil from our region - the border of Tuscany and Umbria - is highly prized for these qualities and has been given its own special regional designation. Guests are welcome to join in the olive harvest.

NEAREST TOWN: The medieval town of Castiglione del Lago is the nearest market town (6 km), sitting high on an olive tree-covered promontory jutting into the west side of the lake. The town's magnificent medieval castle and palace dominate one end of the old town, the 19th century church of Santa Maria Magdalena the other. In between are a number of small shops, restaurants, cafés, bars and bakeries and, on Wednesdays, an outdoor food, crafts, clothing and sundries market. Below the town are public beaches that are a great place to meet locals. The beaches offer paddle and rowboats, a pizzeria, gelato, pick-up volleyball and soccer, tennis courts, cafes and a disco. Or, simply float on your back in the lake, gazing back at the ancient town up above on the hill.

For touring, Castiglione del Lago provides easy access to the superstrada linking Perugia and eastern Umbria to Siena, Chianti and western Tuscany, and is the embarkation point for ferries servicing the lake islands. The new town has all the conveniences and services of a thriving town.

LOCATION: A few kilometers away is Chiusi, whose old town is worth a visit for its Etruscan museum and good restaurants. The new town has excellent transportation links, with high-speed train connections to all destinations on the Naples-Milan high-speed train line, including Rome, Florence and Orvieto, and convenient access to the A-1 Autostrada.

Within an hour's drive of the Villa are many historic Umbrian and Tuscan hill towns such as
Assisi, Arezzo, Civita di Bagnoregio, Cortona, Montepulciano, Montefalco, Orvieto, Pienza, Perugia, Deruta, Spello and Montalcino, as well as other less well-known, but perhaps more charming, smaller villages. Many of central Italy's other leading historical and cultural centers (Rome, Florence, Todi, Siena, Spoleto, Gubbio, Montalcino, and Urbino) can be reached in less than two hours.

Features

More about us

  1. I love design and architecture, music, cooking but especially baking, gardening, creative pursuits, poking around old salvage yards and dusty old secondhand shops, reading, getting out in the fresh air for walks and swims and enjoying fantastic scenery and the great outdoors. And just about anything that has to do with being on, in, above, near, next to and under water!

  2. I am a single traveler, former human rights and then corporate lawyer but now the most over-educated farm labor in Italy (smile) and self-proclaimed chatelaine. I am widely traveled for work (often at a too frenetic pace) and for pleasure in the past but am now looking to get to know one area at a time in a more leisurely way.

  3. I love Umbria because it is rich in art, history, culture, good wine and superb food, yet laid back and intimately tied to the land. But it's landlocked! The only region in Italy that does not have a coast. So I look forward to spending time by the sea or near lakes and mountains.

Swap availability

White
Open to offers
Green
Available
Red
Not Available

Where is it?

Neighbourhood

NEAREST TOWN: The medieval town of Castiglione del Lago is the nearest market town (6 km), sitting high on an olive tree-covered promontory jutting into the west side of the lake. The town's magnificent medieval castle and palace dominate one end of the old town, the 19th century church of Santa Maria Magdalena the other. In between are a number of small shops, restaurants, cafés, bars and bakeries and, on Wednesdays, an outdoor food, crafts, clothing and sundries market. Below the town are public beaches that are a great place to meet locals. The beaches offer paddle and rowboats, a pizzeria, gelato, pick-up volleyball and soccer, tennis courts, cafes and a disco. Or, simply float on your back in the lake, gazing back at the ancient town up above on the hill.

For touring, Castiglione del Lago provides easy access to the superstrada linking Perugia and eastern Umbria to Siena, Chianti and western Tuscany, and is the embarkation point for ferries servicing the lake islands. The new town has all the conveniences and services of a thriving town.

LOCATION: A few kilometers away is Chiusi, whose old town is worth a visit for its Etruscan museum and good restaurants. The new town has excellent transportation links, with high-speed train connections to all destinations on the Naples-Milan high-speed train line, including Rome, Florence and Orvieto, and convenient access to the A-1 Autostrada.

Within an hour's drive of the Villa are many historic Umbrian and Tuscan hill towns such as
Assisi, Arezzo, Civita di Bagnoregio, Cortona, Montepulciano, Montefalco, Orvieto, Pienza, Perugia, Deruta, Spello and Montalcino, as well as other less well-known, but perhaps more charming, smaller villages. Many of central Italy's other leading historical and cultural centers (Rome, Florence, Todi, Siena, Spoleto, Gubbio, Montalcino, and Urbino) can be reached in less than two hours.

Buzzy restaurants
Upon booking, guests receive a detailed list of restaurants, wineries, suggested day trips, recommended food shops, etc.
Cozy cafés
This is Italy ! ! ! It's almost impossible to have a bad meal and the coffee is a national passion. We can recommend all sorts of places from the hole-in-the-wall to the MIchelin-starred restaurant.
Bit of culture
With 55 cultural and natural landmarks listed by UNESCO as World Heritage sites, and dozens more having been taken for consideration, Italy has an embarrassment of natural, artistic and cultural riches. From the Dolomites and historic centres of Florence and Rome to Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast, the Italian sites are ideal travel destinations for anyone seeking out history, art and culture. In leisurely day trips from Villa Gioianna, one can enjoy a large part of ancient, medieval and Italian Renaissance art, estimated by the Italian Tourist Agencies to be more than 20% of the world’s artistic heritage listed by UNESCO.
Walks in the park
Walk out the front or the back door and you are in a Renaissance painting . . . plenty of walks nearby with stupendous vistas over the vineyards, olive groves and Lake Trasimeno.
Spot of exercise
The lake provides loads of opportunities for water sports. We are in the countryside: just step out the front door and you are in a landscape worthy of a renaissance painting. Lots of places to bike, hike ride horseback, run. Be warned, though, we have hills!
Day tripping
We have been offering hospitality at the Villa for almost 20 years and during that time have explored and enjoyed (in selfless research on behalf of our guests, of course) the many wonderful sights and places that our region has to offer. This has resulted in a Little Black Book of resources and places, unique suggested day trips from the Villa. Whatever your passion: culture, sports, architecture, history, shopping, food, wine, music, art, architecture . . . there is something to discover and enjoy in Umbria and Tuscany.

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