“A carefully restored old house with fabulously modern interiors and a relaxed vibe: 5 rooms for B&B or an amazing rental for 10”
Named after local towns, the rooms and suites branch off from the central hallway, and are all very swish. Regardless of which category you book, you're assured clean lines, sleek dark-wood furniture (echoing the original beams overhead), funky designer touches and gorgeous bathrooms.
We were lucky enough to stay in the largest suite, Assisi, which stretched the width of the house, with big shuttered windows overlooking both the front courtyard and Tiber valley behind the house. We loved the decor, and our double-ended Philippe Starck bath.
Montone, a suite, is lovely. You walk into a square living room and are faced with a large grey sofa, original fireplace and amazing views over Umbria. On closer inspection you find a record player and stack of old LPs, and a bathroom with a double rainshower.
Cortona is a similar size to Montone, but there's no separate living room. Cool details include a trio of marbled lights suspended from the ceiling and a very slick bathroom with a vast half-egg bath. If you want space to relax, choose Montone; if you want indulgent ablutions, Cortona's the one. Perugia's bedroom is a little spars, but its views over the valley make up for this.
Since our visit, the Siena suite has also been added - we're yet to view it, but there's a bedroom, a living room and windows gaze over both the village and the countryside.
Breakfasts are served in a long room next to the kitchen, with square black tables flanked by 3-legged wooden prayer chairs. Eggs cooked any which way are on offer, but we were happy just to have the cold buffet, an impressive spread in itself: croissants, baguettes, various cheeses and meats, cereals, fruits and yoghurts. You help yourself to tea, coffee and juice, too. In keeping with the Palazzo's relaxed vibe, there is no set breakfast hour, so you sleep till you wake, then trot down for breakfast. If Mario's gone out for the day, he'll leave it out for you.
For lunch and dinner, Lugnano itself has a little restaurant with an excellent reputation - L’Archibugio. Alternatively Mario has lots of restaurant suggestions, including Syrah Wine Bar in Citta di Castello, which has over 1,200 wines and a menu of Umbrian specialities.
If you're here on a self-catering basis, the kitchen is very well stocked for whipping up a feast, with an oven, microwave, 4 hobs, a great collection of pans and cooking implements, and a big fridge-freezer. There's a range of basic cooking ingredients - oils, salt and pepper etc - and Mario stocks up on fresh tomatoes, herbs and fruits for guests to help themselves to. There's a supermarket in Trestina, a 10-minute drive away. You can also request a private chef service; Mario is an excellent cook and can whip up some or all of your meals, should you want him on a live-in basis. It is a very flexible arrangement!
Family friendly, and ideal to hire exclusively as 2 families. There's a ping-pong table and a few board games, plus kids will enjoy the pool. It's perhaps not suitable for toddlers though as there are steep steps everywhere and the pool is not fenced off.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
Cortona, Montone and Assisi can fit an extra bed for a child and a baby cot; Perugia can fit a baby cot only.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
You can use the kitchen to heat up bottles/prepare kid meals, regardless of whether you have hired the place exclusively.