“An 18th-century retreat built for the bishops of Todi, now an outstandingly welcoming dimora di charme with panoramic views of the Tevere Valley”
The Zocchis collected the furnishings first and designed the rooms around them, and that’s exactly how they look – everything (from the sumptuous beds to the armchairs and the antique armoires) fits together like a dream.
Named after old farmhouses on the original estate, there are 8 rooms in the house (4 Superior, 2 Suites, 2 Romantic) and 1 in an annex - the latter designed for guests with disabilities. All are light and spacious, decorated in warm colours (cream, red, gold, burnt umber, ochre) with rustic walnut beams, terracotta tiled floors, antique mirrors, ornate beds and handmade Montefalco linens. Some of the top-floor rooms have sloping ceilings, hand-painted with delicate friezes. The look is traditional country house but there are 21st-century touches – like wide-screen plasma TVs and energy-efficient air conditioning. All windows have shutters and insect screens.
The bathrooms are lined with marble and mosaics; the floors are terracotta (some inlaid with antique tiles from Naples) and they all have a window (in ours, we could look at our spectacular Umbrian view from under the shower).
In terms of comfort, there isn't a lot to choose between the different room types, but the Suites (Vescovo and Rota) are the largest. One is furnished with a wrought-iron four poster draped in floaty white muslim, and both have generous sitting areas and kingsize bathrooms (double sinks, bath tubs and walk-in showers). The Romantics (Poggio, Torricella) have arched ceilings and large wet-room showers. The special-needs room (Spineta) has a private entrance and terrace.
Cooking is Paola’s passion, and both she and Stefano are enthusiastic hosts, keen to share their love of Umbrian cuisine and regional wines. Their speciality is a delicious home-cooked 4-course dinner offering 2 choices per course (ordered in advance) and served in the dining room (a cosy space with restaurant-style tables and a living-room atmosphere) or outside on the terrace.
The menu, which changes every day, is modern-traditional and driven by the availability of seasonal produce. Paola's philosophy is to only use ingredients sourced locally by farmers, and all meat and vegetables are organic. A typical dinner might start with lentil flan with shrimps or grilled aubergine served with mozzarella and parmigiano cheeses, basil and fresh tomato sauce. A pasta dish usually follows – pappardelle al cinghiale (wild boar), or tagliatelle with Norcia truffle. Main dishes might include fillet of beef cooked in red wine, or rolled turkey filled with chestnut and truffles. For dessert? Strawberry bavarese with vanilla cream, or pan di spezie with vinsanto and pear.
Breakfast is continental (cereals, fruit, pastries, yoghurt, cooked eggs to order) and is served (until 10am) in the dining room or on the terrace. You can have breakfast in your room at extra cost.
Though children are welcome, this is not an ideal place for them - especially for toddlers (think fragile antiques, shattered peace and sticky fingers on expensive fabrics). For older offspring, all rooms can be converted into twins, and some rooms interconnect to provide a family suite. A babysitting service is also available. Bookings are limited to just one couple with children per night
Teens (over 12)
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Babysitting available by arrangement
Baby cots available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking