Villa Metato

Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy Book from Book from £203 per night

A ravishing bolthole for 2 in an 18th-century villa furnished in 20th-century style, with huge views, ancient forests and peace and quiet
Umbria is the “green heart of Italy”, and you certainly feel that when you visit Villa Metato. Found in the rolling hills on the border with Tuscany, this villa provides the perfect place to come and sit and snooze and never be tickled by the desire to leave. Situated just above the Upper Tiber valley amongst ancient woodland, it's reached via a breathtaking journey through the mountains. You’re surrounded by acres of private garden, timeless views, and your own pool. It’s staggeringly beautiful - heaven for those who wish to shake the city from their hair.

If this setting sets precedents, the 1-bedroom villa matches them. This 18th-century building has been renovated with true panache: huge windows frame the view, and fabulous 20th-century designer pieces adorn the open-plan interior. On your terrace, take a deep breath, relax and feel part of the ancient wood itself. Fig trees stand on the hill, a Bocce court is shrouded in vines, and those who want to explore this undiscovered part of Italy can hire scooters and take to the hills.

Highs

  • The location is truly peaceful, with forest and mountains all around
  • An exceptionally stylish and highly romantic country retreat which you get all to yourself
  • Nick, Margherita and son Marcello live next door, prepare breakfast for you each morning, and help organise anything from a private chef to massages and one-to-one yoga
  • Speakers for your iPod in every room
  • The area is rich in architecture and history - the perfect place to follow your nose, off the beaten track

Lows

  • It's a relatively remote location, and most historical and artistic centres are a good 50km away - but to some that's a bonus
  • Getting to a restaurant involves a drive (the nearest village is 3km away), but there's a fabulous private chef to hand
  • Dogs or any other pets aren't allowed

Best time to go

As with the rest of Italy, May and June are gorgeous, with warm sunny days and lots of flowers, though early May can be chilly in the evening in these hills. July and August are hot and busier in the towns, although that wouldn't bother you at Villa Metato. October is another good month for those who can, and the villa's heating and open fireplace mean winter stays are also an option.

Our top tips

If you're here for Christmas, head to Città di Castello on Christmas Eve where a group of canoeists, each dressed as Father Christmas, paddle down the river, under a bridge decoarted with a crib, and then get out and distribute small presents to any children gathered there.

Great for...

Great Outdoors
Honeymoon
  • Boutique Villa
  • 1
  • Self-catering (breakfast provided + chef on request)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Bicycles Available
Room:

Rooms

Be prepared for the "wow" factor when you enter - if you're into design icons then sleeping at Villa Metato is a real treat. The 1-bedroom villa is split-level, arranged over 2 floors (ground and lower ground), and the whitewashed interior is furnished with an eclectic range of cool designer items. The owners, ex-property developer/fashion photograper Nick Ferrand and his Italian fashion-stylist wife Margerhita, both have an eye for detail.

On the ground floor the bedroom comes with a 1960 Memphis bed, matching bedside tables and early 60s Conran lamps. A huge stone arch separates the sleeping area from the dining area, complete with a classic 50s Saarinen table and tulip chairs. Another arch introduces the sitting room with its open fire, Scandinavian teak writing table, contemporary art and Eames chairs. An open-plan feel runs throughout, creating a great sense of space, and the whole upper floor floods with light.

You have the place to yourselves so you can fling open all the shutters and doors during the day and relax. The doors open out on to a lawned garden for your own use, where you can sunbathe and read. And you have your very own pool.

The lower ground floor is reached via a spiral staircase and houses the kitchen and another dining area. It's the same size as the upper floor, but slightly darker, despite french doors leading to the terrace. It's a little cold in the spring months, but the whole apartment is blissfully cool in the summer. Rather like the décor really. The highlight of the lower floor is the table tennis table - yes, you have that much space. Unfortunately, the bathroom is also on this level, down the same spiral staircase, so watch out if you take a shine to the local wine! The bathroom and dressing area, decked out in 70s G-plan teak furniture, isn't as luxurious as the rest of the apartment - there isn’t a bath, but there's a powerful shower and a washing machine (useful should you stay for a while).

Features include:

  • Barbecue
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Cots Available
  • Dvd player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Fireplace
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Ipod dock
  • Oven
  • Swimming pool
  • Terrace
  • Tv
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

You breakfast outside under the wisteria and vines. It’s included in the price and prepared by the owners, who live next door. You’ll get fruits in season, with the wild strawberries, blackberries, figs, apples and pears coming from the garden. Homemade bread can be topped with local honey and washed down with fresh juices. Organic eggs from resident chickens and the odd slice of local bacon are also on offer for a small supplement. Breakfast can be left waiting for you at a certain time if you wish to not see a soul.

You have a fully equipped kitchen (with a cooker, all crockery, pans, a sink, a large fridge and a small freezer, but no microwave) to yourselves on the lower groud floor, so you can stay at home and whisk up your own lunch or dinner, and there's a BBQ for your use next to the Bocce court. The kitchen has French windows that open out on to your secluded terrace with a dining table and a cushioned seating area.

Alternatively, there are a couple of simple restaurants and trattorias in the village of Volterrano, a 5-minute drive away. However, for busier restaurants with a more extensive menu you'll need to drive to Città de Castello, 20km away. We had an excellent pizza from a local trattoria, and Nick is happy to go and collect it for you if possible.

And if you really don’t feel like lifting a finger, there's a private chef who'll come and cook for you - perhaps some lasagne or ravioli, followed by local meats (or fresh fish on Fridays), fresh fruit, homemade cakes and so on. It's very simple but tasty traditional Italian food (“just like mamma used to make!” says the chef). Dine alfresco perched above ancient woodland, watching the setting sun...

Nick has an endless supply of the local farmer’s wine, and can stock up the fridge with this and other supplies prior to arrival if you give him instructions.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Chef on request
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Oven
  • Shopping service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Laze in the hammock amongst the trees, sipping local wine with only the sounds of the local wildlife to distract you

  • Strike out from the front door and explore the hills; maps and a compass are available. Keep your eye open during a gentle stroll in the woods, as porcini mushrooms grow wild. If you find some the local chef can prepare them for you!

  • Borrow bicycles and head off on your very own tour of Italy to roam the villages and towns for hilltop churches, bustling markets, irresistible bars and tempting restaurants

  • Treat yourself to a relaxing massage or manicure/pedicure within your villa, or enjoy a one-on-one yoga session in the tranquillity of the garden

  • Try your hand at Bocce, the Italian equivalent of boules, on the specially made Bocce court under the shade of vines. Play table tennis in your villa or rummage around in the outhouse and pull out the odd game. There's also an 18-hole golf course, Antognolla (designed by Robert Trent Jones II), 25km away

  • Closest to home you'll find Città di Castello (20km away), a Stone Age and Roman settlement with a duomo, churches, palazzi, and a lovely Pinacoteca containing 16th-century frescoes, paintings by Signorelli and di Bartolo, and a single work by Raphael. And the 20th-century Burri Collection - a relatively undiscovered gem of a gallery - is worth exploring

  • You’re in the epicentre of Renaissance country - Michelangelo was born nearby, Piero della Francesca’s frescoes adorn local walls, and the stunning medieval architecture of Montone will elate. Ancient historical centres and artistic towns such as Arezzo can be reached by car in less than an hour. Check out Perugia (45 minutes away) for some cool Umbrian jazz, or head to other classic Umbrian towns: Assisi (55 minutes away), Cortona (45 minutes away) and Gubbio (50 minutes away)

  • Socialise: pop down to the nearest village 3km away and stop for a drink in the local bar, or chat to the lovely English-Italian owners - they know the area inside out and can help you make the most of your stay

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming
  • Traditional cultures
  • Yoga

Kids

Small ones are welcomed with open arms, and cots, babysitting and extra beds are available on request. However, the spiral staircase, the lack of separate sleeping areas and the designer furniture mean the villa might not be suitable for all kids.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement.

Baby listening:

Baby monitors are available on request.

Baby equipment:

Baby cots are available on request.

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

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 13 independent reviews from i-escape guests

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

We spent 2 nights at Villa Metato and wished we had stayed much longer. The villa is absolutely beautiful with several different outdoor seating areas around a lovely pool. Margarita, the owner' is charming and extremely helpful. We would love to return to villa Metato one day and would highly recommend this unique villa.

10/10, , September 2016

The accommodation is spacious and wonderfully presented. The location is great, far enough out into the countryside to be peaceful, but close enough to the essentials - markets, towns, restaurants etc. Villa Metto is an excellent base from which to explore North Umbria, and if you miss the hordes of tourists, then you aren't too far from Tuscany. Margherita is a delight, and presented wonderful breakfasts by the pool every morning, cereal, loads of fresh fruit, and toast with home made preserves, plus freshly squeezed orange juice and excellent coffee. It will be some time before I covet a "full English" breakfast again. Margherita insisted on changing the linen and towels more often than they get changed at home, and was also a fount of useful information on the local markets and restaurants, and booked us into a lovely one for our first night, to save us cooking. On the occasions that we dined "in" it was on the lower patio, which catches the evening sun, but has trees to provide dappled shade. We look forward to staying again in the not too distant future.

10/10, , June 2016

We had a great stay at Villa Metato, which is situated within the most beautiful Umbrian countryside. The villa itself is stylish and comfortable and, apart from breakfast which is served by the owner, Margherita, we were left entirely alone. We hired a Fiat 500 and bombed around the lanes, visiting surrounding towns, such as Assisi, Perugia and Arezzo. We bought provisions from the local market at Citta di Castella and had great fun cooking at the villa. There are lots of good restaurants in the area too - our favourite was in Montone where we ate the most delicious ravioli with mushrooms and black truffle. A chic retreat in the heart of Italy - what could be better.

10/10, , September 2015

We spent a wonderfully relaxing week of our honeymoon at the fabulous Villa Metato - the perfect antidote to wedding mania. The Villa itself is absolutely stunning with amazing attention to detail. Each day we would notice something different – whether it be a funky painting or a ridiculously cool chair. The surrounding countryside is sooo picturesque and you really feel as though you have ‘escaped’. Each morning we sat by the pool and were brought a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit, cereal, homemade jams and toast prepared by our host - the fabulous Margherita. The perfect way to begin a hard day of lounging by the pool. We rustled up some tasty lunches (and apperols) in the very well-equipped VM kitchen but decided to eat out most nights as we were keen to sample lots of Umbrian cooking. Margherita very kindly booked us into some lovely restaurants and gave us some great menu recommendations. If you have a car then do go and explore the local countryside – it really is stunning. If you are looking for romance, tranquillity and the perfect host then Villa Metato is definitely the place for you.

10/10, , August 2015

We had the most wonderful week at Villa Metato. Everything was as per the photos except that the swimming pool and surrounding area was slightly bigger and even nicer than it looks in the pictures. Margherita is the most wonderful person and made our stay truly amazing, and Metato really does give you the best of both worlds - the friendliness, breakfast and services of a B&B but the freedom and privacy of a private villa. The space is wonderful, and the upstairs has been beautifully furnished. True the spiral staircase isn't ideal, but you quickly get used to it and downstairs where the kitchen and bathroom area is located is cool and pleasant. The kitchen was well equipped with everything you need and we enjoyed the BBQ a few times whilst there. The local area is very rural (and a car is a must) but there are some wonderful villages a short drive away and amazing towns like Arezzo within an hours drive. If you're looking for somewhere to escape to, and relax there really couldn't be anywhere better. The only thing that wasn't perfect is the wifi which is a rather slow, not surprising given you're in a remote location. Finally, you cannot beat drinking wine the other side of the wall from the vines and the Motato Rose was truly delicious.

10/10, , August 2015

We stayed at Villa Metato in June this year as part of our honeymoon after getting married in Tuscany. The stay at the villa was a highlight of our honeymoon and Marghertia was an incredible host who could not have been more welcoming and helpful. The villa itself is a stunning and romantic combination of “old Umbria” and modern design. The upper level has a super comfortable bed and is a very cool place to relax during the day if the sun gets too much and the lower level has a kitchen with everything that you could need as well as a small bathroom with a very good shower. The outdoor areas are fantastic – the pool is beautiful and the surrounding area is quite and scenic, there is also a BBQ and plenty of places to relax and eat. We chose to eat in every night, but Margherita has plenty of suggestions for activities and restaurants, but this is the perfect place to relax in total privacy. Finally, Marghertia really made the whole 5 day stay extremely special, from her amazing breakfasts brought to you poolside, to her great sense of humour and tactful hosting, she really knew how to create the perfect atmosphere for an unforgettable holiday. We miss Villa Metato and we cannot recommend it enough.

10/10, , June 2015

A little slice of heaven. Perfect for a few days away from it all. Margherita seems to have poured her heart and soul into Villa Metato and it shows in every detail. Delicious local fresh fruit for breakfast, huge, airy room, nice and cool downstairs where our 20 month old daughter slept leaving us to enjoy lounging upstairs or around the pool. Absolutely nothing was too much trouble. Staff even dug out some armbands for our daughter who was treated like a princess. The attention to every detail is wonderful and the decor is simply amazing - eclectically, yet unpretentiously styled with a wonderful mix of iconic art and furniture. We left sad at saying goodbye to our new friend. We all loved our stay and we will have to return. Bellissima, Margherita, grazie mille.

10/10, , June 2015

A little piece of heaven. Seclusion, wonderful hospitality and attention to every detail - nothing too much trouble, delicious breakfast with fresh local fruits, and a frankly amazing "room": huge amount of space, superbly equipped and beautifully furnished with an eclectic yet stylish blend of iconic art and furniture. My wife, our 20 month old daughter and I all left sad to say goodbye to our new friend - Margherita seems to pour her heart and soul into Villa Metato and one feels it in the welcome. Perfect for a few days away from it all. Loved it and may well return x

10/10, , June 2015

My wife and I had a fantastic and very relaxing time staying at Villa Metato. If you are looking for an amazing place to unwind with an incredible hostess, then look no further. Thank you Margherita, we will be back again.

10/10, , September 2014

What a fantastic little hideaway for a week, and a perfect honeymoon destination too. A wonderfully individual building with fun and quirky decor too. We had a lovely week lounging around the house and the grounds - our most taxing decision every day was which seat/hammock/lounger to sit in! Marguerita provided a tasty fresh breakfast every morning and was always so helpful with dinner suggestions and anything else you needed. We just wish we could go back now!

10/10, , August 2014

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Rates for Villa Metato