The Artist’s House is an ancient property set high in the hills above the Niccone Valley on the Umbria-Tuscany border. The thirty five acre site has spectacular views, large open fields filled with rosemary and lavender and over one hundred and twenty old olive trees. The property is located on its own hilltop, on a country road far from the nearest neighbours. It is utterly tranquil and the only sounds one hears are the dawn chorus of birds and cow bells from the farm down below. The old farm, parts of which date to the Fourteenth century, has been beautifully restored with understated stylishness and a close attention to detail.
The house is located in the North West corner of Umbria, close to the border with Tuscany. It lies about twenty five kilometres East of Cortona, and about ten kilometre from the nearest large town, Umbertide. From Villa Castellaro there is easy access to four famous cities filled with art, Perugia, Citta di Castello, Arezzo and Assisi. Paintings by Fra Angelico, Piero della Francesca, Signorelli and Rosso Fiorentino are within an easy hour’s drive. Two exceptional restaurants are within ten kilometers of the houses, one of which La Chisa sa offers cooking course for four days at a time, and the other of which Nonna Gelsas located in Niccone, twenty minutes away.
The closest airport to Villa Castellaro is the Perugia airport (about forty minutes away), which you can fly directly into on Ryanair from Stansted airport, outside of London. Other airports are Forli, Florence, Bologna, Rome and Pisa.
The property is comprised of several stone buildings and consists of seven bedrooms, six bathrooms and can sleep up to fourteen people. There is broadband WiFi internet access throughout the property and Satellite television in the main house. The villa’s pool is large enough and deep enough for serious swimmers, but it is also suitable for parents and small children, thanks to the wide steps at one end of the pool. Beneath the pool is a changing room with shower and toilet, and a fridge and sink. The ground floor main entrance is through twin brick arches off the Piazza. The wooden doors open into a beautiful two-floor high entrance hall flanked by centuries-old stone walls and a magnificent marble staircase that leads to the upper floor bedrooms. Immediately to the right of the entrance is the main living room which has couches and arm chairs around a huge old stone fireplace. This room leads to the library which is stocked with books and board games and looks out through a large arched glass window onto extensive views of the hills – perfect for reading in the afternoon light.
Next to the library is a formal dining room with a large round wooden table. The kitchen is an enormous room, originally the stables of the farm, and is located for easy access to both the dining room and the dining terrace outside. It has some wonderful antique pieces – a table that stretches the length of the room, a huge stone sink, an over-sized restored fireplace, and lovely old tiles – and tucked away behind old doors are a large refrigerator and dishwasher. The 8-burner Ilve double oven caters for serious cooks. There is a second sink under the window and an adjacent room providing more space for food storage and preparation. Also on the ground floor are a service bathroom and a large utility room with washing machine and dryer. On the upper floor of the main house there are four bedrooms as well as an open lounge area with a writing desk and day bed positioned to look out through a large arched window overlooking the grounds.
On the lower level of the main house is a fully self-contained one bedroom apartment built into the rock foundation of the original structure with separate entrances to the grounds, a comfortable living room, kitchen, bathroom and double-bedroom. Now transformed from its agricultural role, the former barn is a wonderfully romantic holiday home for a couple. The double-height space with ancient beams, stones and tiled floors has a huge open-plan living and cooking space with amazing views from the big arched glass door. Opening to the rear of this beautiful room is a bedroom with large bathroom. The accommodation on the ground floor is fully accessible to guests with limited mobility or to wheelchair users and there is vehicle access right to the door. There is also a mezzanine level that overlooks the main space and opens to a terrace to the rear of the building. If required, this mezzanine level can provide sleeping accommodation for two children (not toddlers, for safety reasons).The studio house is the former tobacco-drying tower, situated near the entrance to the Castellaro estate, has been restored to form a charming cottage for two, on two floors. The ground floor has a living room with fireplace, a kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. The upper floor houses an artist’s dream studio – spacious, light, and peaceful with inspirational views.