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Essentially, a cuisine is representative of a culture, it provides the opportunity to be sociable and to express ones creativity. It is also a way of getting to know the traditions of the place or the region you are visiting. Embark on a journey exploring the flavors typical of Umbrian cuisine, here at "Agriturismo Podere le Olle". The place is an old farmstead in the beautiful Umbrian hills that sweep towards Tuscany. It consists of two sympathetically restored stone buildings, both welcoming and comfortable. You will stay in bright and spacious rooms, each with independent access and its own private bathroom.
Accommodation takes place in a restored stone house hosting a total of 9 rooms sharing a rather big garden, so even in full season there is plenty of room for all our guests. Five rooms are based on the ground floor and have an independent entrance through the garden, four are on the first floor offering a lovely view over the countryside.
Breakfast and dinner (the latter is provided on special request), are served in the garden or, when the weather is not conducive to meals al fresco, on the ground floor of the main house. Here, the former cattle stable has been restored and transformed into a large living space with vaulted ceilings and an open fireplace.
Connected to the dining room, the spacious and well-equipped kitchen has a large open hearth and provides the venue for classes in traditional Umbrian cuisine. In the room next door, our own olive oil and a selection of local products are for sale. An old oven, now once again fully functional, is next to the farmhouse.
Furthermore, at the back of the house, there are two old stone baths, once used for handwashing linen. A track winds through the fields of the property, ideal for a brisk morning walk. There is a wonderful pool with 180 views across the valley, making this the perfect setting for a relaxing holiday in the Umbrian countryside.
All rooms are spacious and bright, they are tastefully furnished with a great attention to details. Bed-linen and bath towels are chosen in natural cotton. Beach towels can be provided with a small supplement. Each room is provided with private en-suite bathroom. Bathrooms all have a shower, and a hairdryer. Basic toiletries are provided, for further needs don't hesitate to ask.
There is no air conditioning, normally the night breeze and a fan are enough to enable good sleep. Wi-Fi is offered free of charge at the reception or in the dining room, signal is also strong in the garden. There is no Wi-Fi connection in the rooms, and no TV. Amenities include daily maid service, organic homemade breakfast, use of open air swimming-pool, Wi-Fi in common areas and in the garden, parking, use of our large professional kitchen, guests have all day access to a self service bar and to tea and coffee facilities.
Podere le Olle cooking classes are designed to help the student to first form ideas about one or more menus and then actually create the meals that were envisaged, putting ideas into practice in a convivial and pleasant atmosphere. Combining the chosen ingredients and foods with the appropriate wines is an essential part of our courses.
In time, you will become confident in your knowledge of basic culinary principles, which will enable you to chose ingredients and spread your culinary wings when it comes to creating your recipes. Podere le Olle's cuisine is based on simplicity and on what is essential, all the elements that are indispensable for the creation of the simplest of dishes as well as the most refined menus. All of this is enhanced by the good quality of the ingredients it uses.
Cyclists are welcome every day and every season. At Podere le Olle, people love cyclists, and provide some special treats for them: bicycles and clothes wash facilities, early breakfast, late lunch upon arrival, local cycle routes, maps and itineraries, secure storage for bikes, small but useful mechanical workshop for bicycles, special assistance in case your bicycle should let you down.
The Farm Holidays "Podere le Olle" is situated halfway between Florence and Rome and within easy reach of the motorway. It is ideally placed for outings to Orvieto and Citt della Pieve, Lake Trasimene and Perugia as well as the gorgeous Val d'Orcia, which not only provides the ideal starting point for excursions to Tuscany, but is also home to food-and-wine-lovers tours. A gravel road leading through olive groves takes you up to a car park on the edge of the Agriturismo's garden.
Montegabbione is picturesquely situated on a hill at 594 meters above sea level, along the Etruscan-roman wine route; according to finds this is probably the period of its origin, but the town itself with its solid Medieval wall was built in XI century. The system of settling which developed is still visible in the surrounding castles of Montegiove and Casteldeifiori and is due to the strategic position of the town right halfway between Rome and Siena, Orvieto and Perugia, Bolsena and Trasimeno Lake.
Different important local families tried to establish their dominion over the area that became around 1300 a stronghold of the Monaldeschi family of Orvieto, and at the end of the century it came under the influence of Perugia. A long period of stability began with the annexation of the territory to the Church. Outside the walls are the church of the Madonna delle Grazie, the ruins of the Acqualta abbey and the Franciscan convent of La Scarzuola of which the modern and metaphysical project of the architect Tommaso Buzzi is an original development.
Leaving behind the beautiful hills around Montegabbione one can shortly reach some of the most interesting and fascinating places of the region. Orvieto is 30 Km away on a very panoramic road extending though cultivated vineyards and olive groves, close to it is the medieval jewel of Todi approached passing by the Corbara Lake. Citt della Pieve, known as the town where the famous painter Pietro Vannucci (Il Perugino) was born, is only a fifteen minutes drive away, from there one has easy access to the classical sites of Umbria: Perugia, Assisi, Spello, Foligno, Gubbio, Bevagna, Montefalco, Trevi, Norcia, Cascia and Spoleto.
Our house location also invites visitors to explore the nearby Tuscany: the world famous towns of Florence and Siena are little more than a hour away, even closer are the historical wine-cellars of Montepulciano and Montalcino, and the enchanting Renaissance town of Pienza; the Etruscan Chiusi and San Casciano dei Bagni with its hot springs are just fifteen Km away, and so are Certona and Sarteano, delicious little towns off the beaten tracks not to be missed. Beautiful Lake Bolsena and Civita di Bagnoregio also represents the ideal destination for a daily outing of great interest.
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The deal includes daily breakfast. Breakfast is served from 08:30 to 10:00 in the garden overlooking the swimming-pool or in the colder season the beautiful dining room in the main house is used. Early or late breakfast may be served with a small extra charge. From 2014, Podere le Olle also offers gluten-free breakfasts if booked in advance.
The breakfast features either homemade and local organic products. Whatever can't be found locally is bought supporting fair trade market. Podere le Olle offers fresh seasonal fruit, natural yogurt, fresh bread, a variety of homemade jams and organic honey, homemade cakes and biscuits, local cheese and salami, and free range eggs cooked to order.
Check Ryanair flights to Perugia, as they often have good deals.