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Combine your passion for cooking and painting in one holiday. You will have the opportunity to cook with an experienced chef, preparing a delicious meal, and then join a painting class held by some celebrated artists. In addition to this, discover the beautiful and unspoilt area of Umbria, visit Orvieto, with its magnificent cathedral, and the medieval Città della Pieve, where the famous painter, Perugino, was born. The programme is intense but there will be enough time to relax and enjoy some memorable meals together with lovely wines.
Airport transfer available:
Perugia San Francesco d'Assisi – Umbria International Airport (US$113 per person)
The Farm Holidays Podere le Olle is situated halfway between Florence and Rome, within easy reach of the motorway. It is ideally placed for outings to Orvieto and Cittá della Pieve, Lake Trasimeno, 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.
Breakfast and dinner 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.
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 and beach towels can be provided with a small supplement. Each room is provided with private en-suite bathroom. All bathrooms have a shower and a hairdryer and basic toiletries are provided.
There is no air conditioning, television, or Wi-Fi in the rooms but, normally, the night breeze and a fan are enough to enable good sleep and Wi-Fi is offered free of charge at the reception or in the dining room; signal is also strong in the garden. Amenities include daily maid service, organic homemade breakfast, use of open air swimming-pool, parking, use of the large professional kitchen, and all day access to a self service bar and to tea and coffee facilities.
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.
The accommodation takes place in a restored stone house, which hosts a total of 9 rooms sharing a rather big garden so, even in full season, there is plenty of room for all the guests. Five rooms are based on the ground floor and have an independent entrance through the garden; the remaining four are on the first floor, offering a lovely view over the countryside.
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.
This vacation will take place in Montegabbione, Umbria, Italy. Montegabbione is picturesquely situated on a hill at 594 meters above sea level, along the Etruscan-Roman wine route; according to findings, this is probably the period of its origin but the town itself, with its solid Medieval wall, was built in the 11th 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, and 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 kilometers 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. Città della Pieve, known as the town where the famous painter Pietro Vannucci (Il Perugino) was born, is only fifteen minutes 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.
The 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 kilometers away, and so are Certona and Sarteano, delicious little towns not to be missed. Beautiful Lake Bolsena and Civita di Bagnoregio also represent the ideal destination for a daily outing of great interest.
Any cuisine is representative of a culture, it provides the opportunity to be sociable and to express one’s creativity. It is also a way of getting to know the traditions of the place or the region you are visiting. During this holiday you will embark on a journey, exploring the flavors typical of Umbrian cuisine.
In time, and with the knowledge acquired during your cooking lessons, 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. Umbrian cuisine is based in all the elements that are indispensable for the creation of the simplest of dishes as well as the most refined menus. All of this, enhanced by the good quality of the ingredients you will use.
The breakfast features homemade and local organic products and, whatever cannot be found locally, is bought supporting fair trade market. Fresh seasonal fruit, natural yoghurt, fresh bread, a variety of homemade jams, organic honey, homemade cakes and biscuits, local cheese and salami, and free range eggs cooked to order are offered.
Visit the city of Orvieto, don't miss its magnificent cathedral and a glass of Orvieto classico wine. Seat in one of the locals' favorite trattoria or go shopping.
Anyone who likes cycling and does not mind the odd climb, will love exploring the beauty of the surrounding countryside, the quiet little roads, and paths. Podere le Olle would be delighted to advise on a variety of routes off the beaten track.
The nearby Terme di Chianciano and San Casciano ai Bagni welcome lovers of spas, fitness centres, and beauty farms. The nearest golf club is about 40 kilometers from the Agriturismo, at Panicale near Perugia. It is the Lamborghini Golf Club.
The stables Centro Equestre Wild Horse, at Monteleone d'Orvieto, can arrange for outings on horseback; also available for the less experienced rider. This is also a very special way of exploring the region.
La Scarzuola, also known as the City of Buzziana, is only 10 kilometers away and is a great place to visit. Visiting times are limited and visits have to be pre-booked and are suitable for small groups only. If you are interested, Podere le Olle will find out the dates and times of the tours for you.
The woods on the edge of the property are ideal for walking and Podere le Olle's dog would be delighted to be your guide. If you like to explore, the Cooperativa Terra di Montegiove arranges for walks and rambling tours of different levels of difficulty.
Podere le Olle can organise wine tours followed by wine tastings in some nearby cellars. Some offer special treats to their customers. They will also be happy to show you how to taste and appreciate an extra virgin olive oil.
Transfer from and to San Franceso d'Assisi Airport (PEG) is available upon request at the cost of 50 EUR each way.