Newsletters from 2016

Newsletter December 2016

Time flies! Again a year has gone by.

Since December the 8th there are Christmas lights everywhere. December 8th is a national holiday in Italy. One celebrates the Immaculate Conception of Maria. That is of her own birth, not the birth of Jesus. Let's not go into whether there are still Italians believing in this...

Traditionally many Italians start preparing for Christmas around the 8th of December: Christmas trees appear everywhere with the traditional Nativity scene in all its divers versions. Around Christmas one can visit these made in the gardens of people, on town squares and in churches.

In this newsletter you can read stories from our Umbria blog, this time about truffles and as a Christmas present you can download the new ebook with 10 restaurant tips in Umbria. This can come in handy on your next trip to Umbria! And if you book before the 31st of December 2016, many houses offer early bird discounts.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Saskia & Sylvia

Stories from Umbria - From our blog

Massimo's truffle book

Massimo Fignani is chef-cook and he owns an organic farm in Tuscany. The farm produces Italian products like truffle and Lardo di Colonnata IGP.
Massimo was at the yearly Christmas market in Siena, Il Mercato nel Campo. On a portable electric cooktop he prepared the most delicious pasta dishes with truffle sauce. I have made a video of Massimo in which he explains the story of the precious and delicate flavor called " truffle". Read more on our blog and have a look at the video.

White truffle market in Città di Castello

Each year at the end of October, Città di Castello celebrates the white truffle with a market dedicated to this precious delicacy. From October 28 to November 1, 2016 was the 37th edition of this truffle market, Il Tartufo Bianco. One sells not only white truffle from Umbria but also delicacies from other regions in Italy like herbs, Sicilian cannoli, olives from Puglia and much more, often accompanied by local wines. In the blog you can also watch a video with Bruno from Giuliani Tartufi.

Restaurants in Umbria - Ebook: top 10 restaurants in Umbria

It is many years now that we live and work in Umbria and by now we know a lot of restaurants in the region. We give these addresses to our guests via an interactive map of Umbria, but we also like to share a few restaurant tips with other Umbria lovers.
Here is a top 10 list of restaurants in Umbria of which we know that they are worth a detour. Certainly this list could easily be much longer, but for the ebook we had to make a choice.
Subscribe for our newsletter and download the ebook to take with you on your next trip to Umbria!

Events in Umbria - What to do in Umbria during the Christmas holidays

Umbria Jazz winter edition in Orvieto from December 28 december to January 1: this is a must for any music lover and definitely worth a visit. On new years eve, during the Holey mass in the beautiful cathedral there will be a concert of the gospel choir Dexter Walker & Zion Movement.
In Gubbio one can admire the highest Christmas tree in the world. It lays down against the hill and is made of an enormous amount of lights. Only the star on top measures 1000 square metres. In the medieval town itself there are many activities around Christmas.
In many places in Umbria you can visit a live Nativity scene. We mention only one since we have been here ourselves and liked the atmosfere: the live Nativity scene in Passignano sul Trasimeno. It is a bit like returning in time, one also shows old trades and crafts to the visitors.
Almost every town in Umbria has its own Christmas market. Well known is the market La Magia del Natale in Assisi from 8 to 18 December. We wrote about this on our blog. Also the Christmas market in Perugia, Natale alla Rocca, is worth your while. It is from December 8 to January 8 and partly in the antique undergound city, the Rocca Paulina.

Book now your holiday in Umbria.

Click here for holiday rentals with early bird discount until December 31.

Newsletter November 2016

November is chestnut time and on November the 11th in many places in Italy one celebrates San Martino, a canonized bishop from the 4th century. During these festivities one often tastes the first new wine of the year combined with chestnuts.

This year there are also many initiatives of solidarity for the people that lost their homes in the earthquake areas in the Sibillini mountains. People are offered temporary housing, food, toys and all kinds of first necessities. A good initiative is the lobby promoting the sale of typical products from the area, like the famous cured hams, sausages and truffle from the Norcia area.

In this newsletter you can read our blog stories from Umbria, now with particular interest for the area around Norcia. Read about Sylvia participating in the grape harvest at one of the rental homes on our website. Apart from managing a holiday rental they also produce a top wine in the Montefalco area.

Enjoy reading!

Stories from Umbria - From our blog

Norcia and Castelluccio di Norcia

We all saw the sad pictures of the cathedral in Norcia destroyed by the earthquake. Read here about this beautiful little town, Saint Benedict and Castelluccio di Norcia, a small hamlet high up in the Sibillini mountains. It is a great area to visit if you like nature and good food.
Read more on our blog.

Trekking in Umbria

In the Sibillini mountains (Umbria, Lazio, Marche) many sports and outdoor activities are organised. We went skating in Ussita last winter, one can go mountainbiking, rafting, hanggliding and walking  until you drop. Sylvia participated in a guided hiking tour organised by Trekking in Umbria.
Read more on our blog.

Wine from Montefalco in Umbria

Grape harvest at Il Torrione

Il Torrione (or La Vigna) is a small scale holiday rental with 3 apartments and a pool in the heart of Umbria, in a lovely hilly landscape with olive groves and grape vines. The owner Antonio Napolitano also produces top quality wines: Rosso di Montefalco, Sagrantino, Passito red/white IGT.  Sylvia visited the estate last month during the grape harvest. Have a look at the video about the grape harvest at Il Torrione.

Here the idea was born to go to the Bellavita Expo in Amsterdam together. This tradeshow is the largest Italian Food & Wine trade show in the Netherlands and will be organised on 20-21 November. Next year this expo will be organised in Warsaw 11-13 April, in Chicago 20-23 May and in London 18-20 June. If you are in the area, make a note in your agenda to endulge in a day of Italian flavours.

Read more about the grape harvest at Il Torrione in Umbria.

Book now your holiday in Umbria.

Click here for holiday rentals with early bird discount

Newsletter October 2016 

Summer is over and we have slipt into autumn without even noticing. The weather has been exceptionally warm these weeks, but the evenings and early mornings are now much cooler then before. The sun is lower against the sky and changes the colors of the landscape. Typical birds like the swallow and the hoopoe have been replaced by the robin that I already spotted in our garden. I always wonder whether it is the same little bird every winter?

In this newsletter we present new stories from our Umbria blog, you can read about events in October, two new holiday rentals we added near the Trasimeno lake and at the end you can see a video with funny moments and bloopers of the past summer season.

Go ahead and enjoy reading!

Stories from Umbria - From our blog

Agriturismo Il Mulino

Last summer we visited Alessandro from Il Mulino holiday apartments for new pictures and a short interview. Alessandro is the owner of this estate and together with his brother they run a farm. The spacious apartments share a swimming pool amidst vineyards and olive groves. There also is a paddle pool for the smallest children. Read more on our blog.

Meeting guests from Belgium

It is two years now that a group of Belgian friends enjoy their holiday at Montone Rental in Umbria. Also this year Sylvia met them in Osteria Le Scalette in Castiglione del Lago. A pleasant evening amongst friends in the company of good food and wine. An excellent occasion to find out what they like about Umbria in Italy. Read more on our blog.

Events in Umbria - What to do in Umbria in October

In several villages one celebrates autumn with the chestnut as the main theme. We mention one that we like: the Sagra della Castagna in Preggio, this year from the 14th to the 16th of October. It is very pleasant to stroll through this antique village in the mountains and enjoy some good local food and of course roasted chest nuts.

A very well known event in Umbria is Eurochocolate, every year in October in the centre of Perugia. This year it is from the 14th to the 23rd of October. You already guessed: it is completely focussed on chocolate in its many varieties. It attracts a lot of visitors. During the same period there also is a large fun fair at the Pian di Massiano near Perugia's stadion. Read more about Eurochocolat on our blog

New holiday rentals at Lake Trasimeno in Umbria

Trasimeno Apartments 

The Trasimeno Apartments are two recently restored apartments in the village of Tuoro sul Trasimeno. They are neatly kept and have airconditioning and wifi. The spacious pool is shared with the owner and his family. Come and live the Italian life together with this friendly family. 

Villa Torraccia

The Villa Torraccia is a stylish private villa with a pool in Tuoro sul Trasimeno. It has a quiet and very private position on top of a hill overlooking the surrounding olive trees and the Trasimeno lake. Here guests have a luxurious holiday in an old farm, but with modern bathrooms and a well equipped modern kitchen. Next to the house is a barbecue and a pizza oven for diners with family or friends enjoying each others company, the quietness and the views.

Video from Umbria - The funniest moments from the past summer season on video

Newsletter summer 2016

Summer is in full swing and the central weeks of August are an important holiday period for Italians. The 15th of August is maybe the most important holiday of the year. It is Ferragosto which derives from the Latin 'Feriae Augusti': holiday in August. Already in Roman times this was an important holiday period celebrating the end of the summer harvest. To this day many Italians have their annual holiday in August. On the 15th they often make a day trip, have a picknick in the park and generally chill and do nothing, 'il dolce far niente'.

In this newsletter you can read stories about Umbria and we look back to the activities we organised in the past weeks. We also made new pictures of some of the holiday homes and had some interesting conversations with their owners of whom we made short videos.

Finally we present some last minute discounts for September. If you want to have an after season break, Umbria is a good choice in a period when grapes are harvested for the new 2016 wines.

Read on!

Stories from Umbria - From our blog

Discover Fabro in the West of Umbria

Fabro is a small medieval hilltop village in West Umbria, close to the Tuscan border. It is a small village, but the views from Fabro over the Umbrian countryside make it worth the effort. There are narrow and charming streets with a few bars where locals drink their daily coffee or glass of wine. Read more on our blog.

Local fish restaurant in Mugnanesi

Mugnanesi is a very small hamlet set in the municipality of Castiglione del Lago. There are maybe 10 houses and one church. There is no bar, but one restaurant: Osteria di Mugnanese. Osteria di Mugnanese is only open when you’ve made a reservation in the weekend, otherwise you’ll find the restaurant closed. Read more on our blog.

Villa in Umbria summer activities

We had a great time with our guests!

We already wrote about our summer activities this year: wine tasting at restaurant Tipico in Montone and visiting the Grazia majolica factory in Deruta. We very much enjoyed meeting our guests here and via this newsletter we would like to thank you all for your participation.

See you next time in Umbria!

New pictures and video

On our way in Umbria

Like every summer we made new pictures of some of the holiday homes on our website. This time we also interviewed some of the owners. Have a look at Paolo from Casa Uliveto who started off in English as if he makes video's every day. Silvia from Il Paradiso Assisi had many doubts but in the end the video with her presents her well. La signora Sotgia started in Italian and couldn't be stopped anymore. She is very passionate about her holiday home and the family's farming products. All video's have been published on You Tube and are a good way for our guests to get an impression of their hosts during the Umbria holiday. 

On holiday in Umbria in September - Discounts

Still looking for a holiday destination in September? In Umbria it is the time the grapes are being harvested for the new 2016 wines. The weather often is very mild and the nights a bit cooler. It is an ideal period to visit the many towns and generally enjoy all that Umbria has to offer.

At a few holiday homes there is a discount in September.

- In the south of Umbria is the Borgo Spoleto with comfortable and stylish houses.
- Paolo from Casa Uliveto welcomes you in his apartments between Assisi and Perugia.
- Do you prefer a more remote holiday home in the midst of the Umbrian nature? Then have a look at Il Borgo where Giulio produces his own wines.
- There are also some beautiful private villa's available at a discounted price: Il Gelsomino, La Camilla, Il Rospo

Look at all last minute discounts.

Newsletter June 2016

Summer has arrived and very suddenly it has! In a few days time we went from 20-25 °C to over 35 °C. We need to get used to these high temperatures and change our habits, trying to stay inside and near a fan during the hottest hours. Forgotten is the rain and cool weather, we now enjoy warm evenings with a good glass of wine.

In this newsletter at the start of summer, you can read our blog stories about Umbria and we'd like to invite you for our summer activities: a visit to the oldest majolica factory in Deruta and a winetasting evening in Montone. Will you join us? We like to have an opportunity to meet you, our guests and followers.

We also added a lovely new home to our portfolio and like to present it to you in this newsletter.

We end the newsletter with some dates of major music festivals in Umbria in the month of July to mark in your agenda. And last but not least some last minute offers for a holiday rental in Umbria, in case you're still looking for one.

We hope you enjoy the newsletter and maybe we'll meet you soon in Umbria.

Saskia & Sylvia

Stories from Umbria - From our blog

Tipico Montone

Montone maintains a typical medieval atmosfere. From its ancient walls one can admire the green surroundings and wonderful nature. Montone is a small peace of heaven and for those who love walking, food and culture, this village is the place to be. Montone is 100% Umbria guaranteed.
Read more on our blog.

Majolica in Deruta

I’ve already written a blog post about majolica in Deruta. But this time I visited the most famous and historical majolica factory in Deruta: Ditta G. Grazie & C. The current owner of the Grazia factory is Ubaldo. He is the grandson of “nonno” Grazia who built the factory still in use today in 1920.
Read more on our blog.

Villa in Umbria summer activities

Majolica in Deruta and winetasting in Montone

While preparing the blogs here above, we thought it would be nice to share these typical Umbrian places with our guests and followers. We will visit the Grazia majolica factory in Deruta and will go to Montone for a winetasting at the Osteria Tipico in July and August.
Will you join us?

On Wednesday July 20 and Wednesday August 3, 2016 Villa in Umbria organises a guided tour in the oldest majolica factory in Deruta, Grazia, in collaboration with Ubaldo Grazia and Emanuela.

On Wednesday July 27 and Wednesday August 10 Villa in Umbria together with Paolo from restaurant Tipico in Montone organises a winetasting of some typical Umbrian wines.

For details and to inscribe click here.

New holiday home Villa San Terenziano

Childfriendly private villa

In april we visited this wonderful private villa for the first time, the Villa San Terenziano. Its location really is fantastic: a beautiful view over the typical Umbrian hills and near the small village of San Terenziano. This village is at just 5 minutes driving and very practical for your first necessities. Furthermore, this is one of the most childfriendly private villa's we know. The pool has a high fence that can be closed and there are toys in the house.

We immediately liked this villa and it is with pleasure that we added it to our website and present it to you in this newsletter.

Music festivals in Umbria - Classical music, jazz en blues

There are three world famous music festivals in Umbria in the month of July: classical music, theatre and dance in Spoleto, Jazz in Perugia and Blues around Lake Trasimeno. Apart from the many paid concerts of high quality and with famous artists there are also many top performances that can be attended for free. Have a special night out during your Umbria holiday! You can download the program from the websites of these festivals.

- Festival Due Mondi or Spoleto Festival: June 24 until July 10
- Umbria Jazz in Perugia: July 8 until July 17
- Trasimeno Blues around the Trasimeno Lake: July 21 until July 30

"From our quiet apartment near Gubbio we visited Perugia. During the day we explored the antique city and in the afternoon we were welcomed by the first street concerts of Umbria Jazz. With a tasty aperitif on a terrace-with-a-view we indulged in this particular atmosphere.
It is nice to rent with Villa in Umbria, the extra Umbria information you get for free and from people who actually live in Umbria."
Stefan Nieuwinckel - guest in 2015 - thank you for the picture!

Last minute holiday rentals in Umbria - Discounts in July and August

Still looking for a holiday rental for this summer to escape your stressfull days and enjoy some sun in Italy? Have a look at the last minute occassions on our website or ask us for some good advice, like the below private home Il Gelsomino or one of the luxury holiday apartments of the Borgo Spoleto.

Newsletter May 2016

As always May is like the calm before the storm. Slowly but surely the sun becomes warmer, swimming pools are opening and the first tourists have been spotted. Mostly dressed in summer cloths whilst some Italians still wear their winter coat! At the moment the landscape has all shades of green, with sparkling red poppies along the roads and in the fields.

Stories from Umbria - A visit to winery Cantina Riccioni

For this newsletter we visited the Cantina Riccioni in Tavernelle where Giulio Riccioni produces his excellent biological wines. Giulio runs the family estate continuing the work of his grandfather. Part of the estate are the holiday rentals of Il Podere and Il Borgo. These rentals are rather remote, situated in the midst of nature in a typical Umbrian landscape. Giulio happily offers his guests some of his excellent wine. He passionately talks about his wines and his work and knows a lot about the area. If you want to meet Giulio and taste his biological wines, you can book a winetasting at his "cantina".

Il Borgo

The holiday apartments of Il Borgo are in the midst of nature with a beautiful swimming pool, a sauna and a jacuzzi. Here many families with children experience a wonderful holiday in total relax.

Il Podere

Also at Il Podere there is a lovely pool and a sauna with amazing views. This is the ideal spot if you want to be away from it all: you can only hear the birds sing and the insects zoom. Total peace and quietness reins.

Instagram - Villa in Umbria on Instagram

It is a few months now that we are also present on Instagram. Are you already following us? The account is villainumbria.holidays.

It is the same name as our Facebook page where we post about the holiday homes of Villa in Umbria, but also about events in Umbria and in general suggestions of what to do in the green heart of Italy.

Newsletter April 2016

April is coming to an end and in Umbria we already enjoyed wonderful spring weather: sunny with temperatures around 20 °C (about 68 °F). Not bad, isn't it? For us the start of the spring season is the Festa del Tulipano in Castiglione del Lago. It is every year at the beginning of April and this year it celebrated its 50th anniversary. As always it attracted a lot of visitors and the tulip decorations were a joy for the eyes.

Stories from Umbria - From our blog

Saffron in Città della Pieve

Città della Pieve is the town where the famous painter Perugino was born. On top of its hill, Città della Pieve looks out over the rolling hills of both Tuscany and Umbria. From here one can easily explore the area around Lake Trasimeno and Perugia.

A visit to the Monti Sibillini

Since we had a very mild winter, the second in a row, we decided to go up in the mountains to find some snow. We had a great day out in the Sibillini mountains, bordering Umbria and the Marche: fun for the kids, great food and a stunning landscape.

Spring discounts - Discounts in May and June

Did you just decide to have a week off in spring? Come and enjoy Umbria in spring! Umbria is quiet in Spring and often has mild weather. We selected 4 houses where a last minute discount applies. You can also have a look through all discounts for holiday houses in Umbria.



Events in Umbria - Traditions in Umbria in May or June

If you are in Umbria in May or June, don't forget to attend one of the traditional events that
will surely be a highlight of your holiday. Go back to the Middle Ages at the Corsa all'Anello, Calendimaggio, the Festa dei Ceri or the Mercato delle Gaite. Enjoy excellent wines at the Vini del Mondo in Spoleto or admire the flower decorations at Corpus Domini in Spello.

Mark the dates in your agenda:

In Narni: Corsa all'Anello from April 21 to May 8
In Assisi: Calendimaggio 4-5-6-7 May
In Gubbio: Festa dei Ceri 15 May
In Spello: Infiorate di Corpus Domini May 27 and 28
In Spoleto: Vini nel Mondo June 2 to 5
In Bevagna: Mercato delle Gaite June 16 to 26

If you go, tell us about your experience or send us a picture. We'd love to hear from you.

Mercato delle Gaite in Bevagna  Infiorata di Spello - corpus domini

Newsletter March 2016

Without even noticing Spring has arrived and it is Easter again.

Easter in Umbria is first of all a religious feast with all its rituals connected to the Catholic church. Still today many families take this very seriously. In Umbria one can still have the Easter eggs blessed in church and even the food that will be served to the family on Easter Sunday. I wonder whether this also exists in other more Calvinistic societies?

On Good Friday in many towns and villages there are processions commemorating the Crucifixion of Christ. You may have heard of or even attended the Via Crucis in Rome, but the local processions are very intimate and suggestive too. It always surprises me how many young people still participate in these age old traditions.

You can read more about the Good Friday procession and Easter in Umbria on our blog.

I joined the local cake designer when she made the Torta di Pasqua. A very typical Umbrian Easter bread with cheese in it. It is usually served with raw ham, salami and eggs.

The 5 best wheelchair friendly holiday homes

Did you know that we also rent some holiday homes that are adapted for disabled guests? The larger holiday structures are obliged by law to adapt one or more rooms or apartments for guests in a wheelchair. Not all are as practical as necessary, but on our website we collected the apartments and the private houses that can host guests in a wheelchair. Never fail to ask us for more details or to let us know any specific requests, just because not all houses may be suitable in your specific case.

Five of these wheelchair friendly holiday homes, I'd like to give some extra attention here:

Agriturismo Tuoro, apartment 8 - at Lake Trasimeno.

Countryhouse Dante, apartment Sotto Sinistra - there is a good restaurant on site.

Villa Attigliano, apartment 1 - at one hour from Rome with airconditioning.

Villa Ecologica - a spacious private villa near Spoleto.

Casale Assisi - the former owner had a son in a wheelchair, hence this house really is a top location for guests in a wheelchair.

Happy Easter and see you in Umbria!

Umbria Newsletter February 2016

Spring is in the air: the apricot tree in our garden is about to bloom, the crocuses already finished flowering and everywhere you can spot yellow trees blooming: the mimosa!

The past month we have been visiting new holiday rentals in Umbria and added two to our website. A third is back after an absence of a couple of years: we are happy to represent the Appartamento Lago again. Just picture it: sitting on its terrace at sunset overlooking Lake Trasimeno, sipping from a glass of wine or a cool beer, the children down in the garden enjoying a late dive into the pool....

And have a look at this lovely country home: Casale Assisi. A rural location close to Assisi where you can walk to via the "Bosco di San Francesco". Do you want to improve your Italian? That can be organised! The owner is Italian teacher for foreigners.

This house is one of the best private houses we ever saw for wheelchair users. The former owner had a son in a wheelchair hence why the whole house is accessible and one bedroom with bathroom is specifically prepared for somebody in a wheelchair. You can't find a better place, even the pool is easy to reach from the house.

For a smaller group or a larger family this cute cottage in the hamlet of Vernazzano at Lake Trasimeno is the perfect spot to feel Italian amongst Italians for a while. The Casa Vernazzano has recently been restored and all rooms have air conditioning.

Umbria Newsletter January 2016

And again it is a new year with new challenges and good intentions. Hopefully it will be a happy and healthy new year for all our readers.

In this newsletter we highlight a few holiday rentals in Umbria where families with children like to spend their holidays.

To Umbria with children

As anywhere in Italy also in Umbria children are much appreciated. Italians in general have an enourmous patience with children and we often hear that tourists are pleasantly surprised how easy it is to take the children out for dinner or join in at local events. In Umbria there are several parks and attractions particularly suitable for children: we made a list of these

The Lake Trasimeno area offers ideal opportunities for children to enjoy themselves: go to the beach, make a tour by boat or even try surfing or waterskiing for the older children. These houses in the Lake Trasimeno area are good choices for families with children.

Casale Trasimeno

Vacanze Lisa

La Pergola

Houses with a paddling pool

Agriturismo Pietralunga in the North of Umbria

Il Mulino, not far from Montefalco

Agriturismo Umbria, south of Perugia, near Deruta

Extra tip

I Nani di Valfabbrica is particularly adapted for families with children due to the fenced pool, garden equipment for small children, a ping pong table, bikes and a vegetable garden. This is very small scale with only two holiday houses sharing the pool.

There are many more appropriate holiday rentals for families with children. Send us un email for more information.

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Here you can read the newsletters from 2011-2012-2013.