Luxury Explorer Review

Luxury Villa Review

Le Due Case

Italy, Umbria

A very private and special residence, surrounded by dense evergreens at the tip of a promontory

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Le Due Case
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Le Due Case

Bedrooms

4

Sleeps

9

Location

Orvieto

Travel Information

Rome - 1 hour 30 mins

Le Due Case

Sitting at the tip of a promontory, with the land sloping away all around, Le Due Case has a very private and special atmosphere. Surrounded by tall trees, dense evergreen borders and high walls, it feels it is a million miles away from everything, yet is literally minutes from Orvieto and two delightful villages.

The lovely town of Orvieto is a long-standing favourite and is a delight to visit in any season. It holds a commanding position – high on a hill of soft, porous tufa stone – with one of the most important churches in Italy. The signature frescos of Luca Signorelli have been restored and are strikingly modern for 500-year-old paintings.

Orvieto essentially defines the westernmost boundary of Umbria and, like so much of this central region, bears a close resemblance to Tuscany. Food, wine, topography and history bind these lands together in a way that renders geographical boundaries irrelevant.

The villa's position makes it an excellent choice to explore the myriad of towns in western Umbria such as Perugia, Assisi, Todi and Spoleto. From this location, it's also easy to visit southern Tuscany: San Casciano dei Bagni, Cetona, San Quirico d'Orcia, Pienza and Montepulciano. Don't forget Viterbo and the lake of Bolsena.

For an experienced traveller to Italy, this area is rich in art, culture and history as well as food and wine. The scenery is exceptional – dramatic at one moment, quiet and ancient the next. Here, there is still the chance for discovery of the unexpectedly beautiful, the dramatically important or the memorably delicious.

In this respect, the location is a gateway to fantastic shopping, dining and cultural points of interest. There is nothing but the owner's driveway separating a newly updated series of roads that allow very easy access to Orvieto, the highway and the high-speed trains to Rome and Florence.

The property

This is a truly historic home, with the remains of the original tower dating back a thousand years and a former stable from the 1800s. The result is a property that has maintained the dramatic integrity of its architecture under the trained eye of its exceptional owner.

The rugged grey stone walls are handsome, softened by time and the surrounding green of the naturalistic garden. A 20-year process of reclaiming the leftover stones created two buildings which work together as one, joined by a courtyard with lawn and a healthy shrub garden of hydrangea and jasmine.

The layout of the property offers guests the luxury of gathering or separating according to preference in a number of different environments. There is lawn for playing, a sun-drenched pool for relaxing and swimming, and a flower-fringed courtyard for breakfast or dining under the stars. Each of these spaces has its own character and appeal. The courtyard is cool, private and green. The pool is tucked into the southern-facing terraced hillside, wide open to the expansive panorama of unspoiled countryside.

Le Due Case sits beyond a long and lushly green lawn with tall, shady trees of lecchi and querce fringing the edges. Dipping into the cool shade of the trees along the south edge is a path leading past a round stone table, and down to the pool (16 x 5m), set on a lower terrace. An undulating wall holds back the healthy broome – a vibrant yellow throughout the spring and early summer.

The design of the pool, as with everything the owner/designer touches, is carefully and creatively considered. Rather than a solid stone border, she has left narrow gaps between travertine tiles, which bring the water just to the edge of the terrace. Along the length of the pool you can enjoy the stunning view of Orvieto between the soft green of two hillsides, like a jewelled ring set into a velvet box. Fields lie immediately below. A wood pergola has been built at the far end, furnished with a teak dining table and white canvas armchairs for dining al fresco. Lounge chairs and sunbeds can be set as you please.

The proportions of the property are generous and the style is strong and confident, retaining the textured, handmade cotta floors and beamed ceilings throughout, while lightening the wood with 'calcio'. Exceptional contemporary paintings by a noted Japanese painter enrich the entire house. Each of the four double rooms have an adjacent sitting room, which allows for truly gracious living and plenty of opportunity for diverse gatherings.

For four couples, there is complete privacy and a freedom to live as desired. For those travelling with young adults, there is the option to have a suitable distancing from the elders. Le Due Case is comfortably spacious for a group ready to drink in the delicious privacy of the setting, the incomparable views and the stylish d├ęcor that defines this home.

Grounds

  • Very private setting with expansive front lawn and woodlands surrounding the house
  • Private pool (16 x 5m, depth 1.5m - 2.3m) set on the lower terrace with beautiful views over Orvieto; fully-equipped with lounge chairs and sunbeds
  • Shady pergola by pool with table and chairs for dining alfresco
  • Beautiful courtyard for casual dining or relaxing in the sun; casual, intimate al fresco meals and conversation under spreading oak tree

Casa Grande - entry level

  • Entrance ramp to arched entryway with doors right and left
  • Vestibule leads into kitchen/dining room (with separate entrance from lawn used by staff)
  • Country kitchen with working hearth; dining table comfortably seats ten; double doors onto patio
  • Stairs lead to mezzanine and upper level
  • Double bedroom (king/twins) with ceiling fan, reached directly from entryway; staircase leads down to garden-level sitting/dressing area with ensuite bath (tub with hand-held shower, no curtain); double doors open to lawn

Casa Grande - first floor

  • Living room with working fireplace, satellite TV with DVD, CD/tape/radio
  • Guest bath
  • Stairs down to mezzanine

Mezzanine

  • Double bedroom suite (king) with vestibule, ceiling fan and air conditioning. Ensuite bath (tub with hand-held shower, no curtain)
  • Full bath (enclosed shower stall)

Casa Piccola - garden level

  • Covered pergola with seating for ten for alfresco dining
  • Two sets of double doors open into sitting room; stained glass doors lead to kitchen; short flight of stairs leads up to entry passageway, also with stairs to first floor
  • Second country kitchen with table for eight; double doors open to pergola
  • Double bedroom (king/twins) with ensuite bath (tub with hand-held shower, no curtain)

Casa Piccola - first floor

  • TV room with satellite, Multi-system VCR and DVD; working fireplace and comfortable seating for four; single bed (French) can be used by child or young adult
  • Double bedroom (queen) with ceiling fan, air conditioning
  • Private bath (claw foot tub with hand-held shower, no curtain) under sloping eaves (somewhat low clearance in places)
  • Studio with desk

Points of Interest

  • Viceno: two minutes
  • Castel Viscardo: five minutes
  • Orvieto: seven minutes
  • Bagnoreggio, Civita, Lago di Bolsena (beaches, restaurants): 40 - 45 mins
  • Todi, Perugia, San Casciano dei Bagni: 45 minutes to one hour
  • Chiusi, Montepulciano: one hour
  • Rome: 1.5 hours

Notes

Welcome dinner with wine included courtesy of the owner. Weekly cleaning included at three hours per day, six days a week. An additional three hours, Mondays & Fridays, included for cooking, personal laundry, etc. Weekly linen change. Excellent country cooking services available for dinner and other meals at additional cost. Further staff hours for cleaning and advance shopping available at additional cost. Air-conditioning in two master bedrooms. Complimentary WiFi provided, although there may not be consistent coverage throughout the property. An excellent layout for couples or families with older children. Each bedroom is separated from the others, with an adjoining sitting room. Many common spaces for sharing meals and relaxation. A new local road passes well below the house speeding access to Orvieto. Newly-constructed wall and extensive plantings moderate road noise. Rentals can begin on any day, Monday to Saturday. Additional days are prorated, for stays of more than one week. Arrival time is 4-5pm; departure time is 10am.



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