Relais Casamassima

near Perugia, Umbria, Italy Book from

Recommended awaiting i-escape review
Seductive and exquisite 5-suite retreat on an agriturismo surrounded by vines and olives, just 10 minutes from Perugia
Tinkling bells, chirping cicadas and a swathe of hillside covered in olives and vines - happiness on the outskirts of Perugia. From the refreshing aperitif on arrival to the organic toiletries from Spello, all is simple, beautiful, and run with great kindness by owner Anna. As well as welcoming overnight guests, Casamassima is a working farm with a little on-site shop selling its very own extra virgin olive oil and wines. At breakfast you’re served fresh cakes, homemade jams and eggs from the hens, and lunch is delicious: we’ve heard tales of stuffed peppers from the garden and just-picked cherries from by the pool (then maybe limoncello tiramisu), and we cannot wait to visit for ourselves.

Wide brick arches span the renovated stable, rugs lie scattered on sloping brick floors, and there are drinks you can help yourself to, plus cards, chess, music - Anna has thought of everything. The suites, a meticulous mix of antique and contemporary, will enchant you with their pretty stone balconies and romantic bedrooms. Working fireplaces ensure winter is cosy, and summer brings idyllic swimming amongst the lavender trees. With Assisi, Perugia, Montone and Gubbio nearby, plus an ancient tower with nesting doves and rambling pastures with sheep and chickens, this is a perfect slice of rural Umbria.

Highs

  • A tranquil retreat in the rolling hills of Umbria - Italy’s ‘Green Heart’ - yet just a 10-minute drive from bustling Perugia
  • Anna is a warm and dedicated hostess with meticulous attention to detail and a wealth of knowledge about the local area
  • Deliciously luxurious and seductive suites, all with private living rooms, fireplaces and balconies
  • Beautiful food, all produced within the grounds - fruits, vegetables, eggs, wine and olive oil

Lows

  • Although Perugia is only 4km away, you'll really need a car to make the most of the region
  • With so few rooms you may be obliged to be sociable - a plus for some people
  • The pool is small and unheated, but it's a blissful spot to while away an afternoon

Best time to go

The elevated position - and the bedrooms’ air-conditioning - makes this a good choice for high season. But avoid July and August in Umbria if you don’t like the heat or crowds: the hilltop towns are at their best off season. In spring and autumn the restaurants are frequented mainly by locals, and in May-June the countryside is garlanded with flowers. Winter at Casamassima is really cosy - the suites have working log fires. October is the month for mushrooms, truffles and wild-boar hunting, and Christmas is a surprise in Città di Castello.

Come in July for the Umbria Jazz Festival. It's held at a 4,500-seat outdoor arena in Perugia with views of the Santa Giuliana church - amazing. Alternatively, October brings EuroChocolate in Perugia, one of the world’s biggest chocolate jamborees: 9 days’ worth of displays, tastings and sculptings across the city’s squares. Scoff yourself silly.

Our top tips

Give yourself at least a day to relax in the garden, breathe the pure air, listen to the bells (they keep sheep) and idle by the pool. Find a romantic wrought-iron table under the gazebo or by the clambering wisteria. Pluck a juicy fig from the trees.

Great for...

Foodie
Great Outdoors
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique B&B
  • 5
  • Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • Wine-tastings
Room: Suite 4

Rooms

All suites are elegant, refined spaces that you won’t want to leave. Seductive lighting throws a warm glow on bare stone walls, a decorative wooden bed is reflected in a mirrored armoire, and peonies sit on an antique chest of drawers. A canvas of a nude dominates an anteroom, and Anna has included thoughtful little extras like bottle openers should you fancy a soak with a glass of red (choose Suite 2 or 4).

Suite 1 is themed in cool greys and blues, and has a private, secluded terrace. Its bathroom, with a large shower, is distinguished by a rustic mix of new and old: a gilt-framed mirror on an exposed stone wall touched with tiny mosaics.

Decorated in warm biscuit shades, romantic Suite 2 has a Jacuzzi tub and hydromassage shower. Outside there’s a stunning stone loggia sprinkled with fairy lights.

Decorated in sage green and purple with Art-Deco styling Suite 3’s fireplace is big enough to sit in. In the bathroom there's a magnificent shower with horizontal jets, and it also has a small balcony for stargazing.

More recently, a twin Deluxe Room with lofty beamed ceiling has been added, as well as the B&B’s most decadent room: welcoming Suite 4 with its split-level bed and lounge area, and large bathroom with freestanding tub and walk-in shower.

Safes, minibars, wide modern sinks on thick slabs of travertine, colour-changing chromotherapy showers, goose-down duvets and pillows, organic toiletries from Spello,: all are the norm.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Fireplace
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfast is served in the conservatory, where the citrus trees were once housed in winter. Big windows overlook the garden and trees; there are smart cane chairs, cream china, and fresh flowers on glass-topped tables. Tuck into homemade cakes and jams, eggs (from the hens) cooked as you like them, yoghurts, cereals, croissants, bacon, fresh juice, coffee and tea.

Light lunches can be served by the pool: Anna’s delicious omelettes and pastas, stuffed green peppers and tomatoes drizzled with olive oil, meringues and plum cakes, fresh hazelnuts, peaches, strawberries, cherries, and a wicked limoncello tiramisu. There's also a small selection of drinks in the stable guest lounge. In the evening, informal dinners are available on request; you'll get 2 or 3 courses and the menu is designed around what's in season.

Unfortunately, there is no restaurant within walking distance, but you can take a taxi to Perugia (mere minutes). For atmosphere and authenticity, Osteria A Priori comes recommended.

If you want to take a little bit of your holiday home with you, an on-site shop sells the agriturismo’s own olive oil and wines - i-escape guests get a complimentary bottle of their choice.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee tea making
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Sample the local wines, starting with Casamassima’s own; its vineyards were planted at the end of the 1800s. Also try Montefalco’s elegant sagrantino reds - little-known outside Umbria - and Orvieto’s crisp whites
  • Take your pick of Umbria’s hill towns. All have enough to keep you busy for the day - Perugia, Assisi, Orvieto, Todi, Spoleto and Norcia. More intimate are Montefalco, Bevagna, Spello, Trevi, Narni, Bettona, Città di Castello and Città della Pieve. Anna can organise guided tours
  • We love Montone, closed to traffic and perfectly preserved, where you can feast on Slow Food at the lively little Il Capitano hostelry and visit the 11th-century frescoe’d chapel of San Francesco
  • Follow the spectacular mountain road to Gubbio and immerse yourself in 2,000 years of history. There’s a Roman theatre still used in summer, plus palazzos, churches and the Duomo. Don’t miss the cable car that links the sanctuary of St Ubaldo to the summit of Mount Ingino, for breathtaking Apennine mountain views
  • Trek or ride in the mythical Sibillini mountains of Monte Subasio Park: spot a wild cat or a porcupine, and discover the Gorge of the Inferno, where butterflies flit, rivers flow and the wild flowers riot in early June
  • In summer, you can relax by the B&B's little pool, surrounded by lavender and pear trees - magical from dawn until sunset
  • In winter, flop onto a large cream sofa in the sitting room in the stables. Dip into books, magazines and games, with music and a glass of the hotel’s red. Like home, only better
  • Treat yourself to a massage in the garden spa. There is a masseuse on site daily from 5-8pm
  • Play golf and tennis - both are close. Just ask Anna for directions and information

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Wildlife
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Although Relais Casamassima is not an obvious destination for families, and the swimming pool is unfenced, Anna’s welcome is warm and there's plenty of space for kids to run around and let off steam.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Suite 3 has space for a baby cot or an extra bed; Suite 4 has a sofabed. Older children could make use of the twin beds in the Deluxe Room.

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available for an additional charge.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots and high chairs are available on request.

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
10/
Food
10/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

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