When we started our search for a summer villa in Italy, we imagined a dream place and hoped that we would find something that met at least half of our ideal qualifications: total privacy, quiet, authentic Italian charm, history, a massive pool, stunning views of nature, nearby small towns to explore, and overall, the feeling of being on a luxurious adventure. Though a bit further south than we had originally planned on traveling, we decided to give Renato's castello a chance - and it turned out to be everything we had expected and more.
A 1,000 year old castle, the grounds are a series of massive stone cottages, a converted chapel and tower. At every turn, there are bushes of wild lavender and sage, lovingly tended lemon apple and olive trees, tall cypruses, and basil and chili. Our apartment had its own private area, a huge bathtub and a television. We had a huge kitchen with modern amenities stocked with all the utensils and spices we needed (but be sure to bring your own groceries). A bottle of prosecco awaited us in the fridge upon arrival. Every morning we woke up to two fresh pastries on our patio. Every night we watched a spectacular sunset either from our private terrace or the tower rooftop.
An intuitive host, Renato checked in briefly each day either by text or in person to make sure we were comfortable, then gave us our privacy. He was extremely quick and helpful with any and every request - giving us the benefit of both a secluded hideaway and a luxury hotel at the same time.
We spent the majority of our time swimming and reading by the massive pool, cooking with fresh local products, and playing the board games stocked at the house. When we needed a break from deep relaxation, we drove to Citta di Castello (30 minute drive) Perugia (1 hour drive) and Lago di Trasimeno (1 hour drive) - all worthwhile day trips. There are many restaurants and vineyards within a 45 minute car ride and pizzerias and small local tavernas within a 25 minute car ride.
For a romantic private getaway, a meditation retreat, a wedding, or gathering with family and friends - Renato's castello is a dream destination. We will definitely come back.