From Orvieto, we continued further north, passing through Perugia to our farmhouse just outside of Pierantonio where we would be staying the next five nights. This was the longest stay that we would have in one location so we were certainly hopeful that our accommodations would live up to our expectations. As soon as we stepped out of our car, took in the view and were greeted by the two dogs and David, our host, we knew they would.
Casa San Gabriel was the perfect respite from a long overnight flight and three days in the busyness of Rome. We stayed in Il Fienile, the largest of their three farmhouses that are co-located on the property with their primary residence. Even on the first night, the kids couldn’t resist jumping in the pool – and so as not to sully our reputations as Canadians, we continued to go in every day, although I think most Italians probably think that the season for an outdoor pool ends before the third week of September.
David and Chrissie, who own Casa San Gabriel, have a very interesting story of how they came to be there and have included some of that history on their website. Having two children of their own, they certainly knew how to set up accommodations for family travel. Even the simplest things such as having a Brio train set in our apartment provided the kids with hours of entertainment and the small playground that is set up was certainly a hit as well. The kids were able to roam the property and loved the freedom to do so.
Although there are three farmhouses in relatively close proximity, as well as the family house, they are situated in such a way that our place felt completely private. Our favourite aspect was our stone terrace where we lounged about with coffee in the morning, ate every meal, and then finished the evening with whatever wine we had picked up that day.
Other things we enjoyed about this stay were using the Italian bbq – stoking it with firewood and letting the hot coals do the cooking, taking a hike through the valley and the ability to visit so many interesting places that were all within a very reasonable drive. More details on these excursions coming up in a later post. The kids loved meeting and learning about the alpacas, and we all enjoyed the delicious scents of the lush gardens filled with lavender, grapes, olive trees and herbs.
We enjoyed our accommodations everywhere in Italy, but it would be hard to say that this wasn’t our favourite. It really had everything we were looking for: the tranquility of the Italian countryside, lots of things to keep the kids entertained, and all the comforts of home, but with a better view!