Wow, what a fantastic week in Umbria. To say that Gudiolo was intriguing & unique would be a gross understatement. Picture yourself in a farmhouse tastefully restored to preserve it's hundreds of years old pedigree while providing many of the creature comforts we all demand on vacations. Commanding panoramic views of rolling countrysides and patchwork farmland dominate the horizon. Truly magical.
Let's back up a bit though to give you a thorough review of the property, it's host and the whole Umbrian experience.
We arrived late afternoon in Rome and rented a car. Be aware that renting a car in Europe is a lot different than in N.A. No walk out & hop in. More like take a number at the counter and wait, wait & wait some more. There are many reviews covering the rental experience in Rome, most bad. However, to be fair, our counter wait was only a 1/2 hour and the counter staff were really nice. They were out of the car category we reserved but did provide a decent replacement with navigation. I highly recommend you get nav as getting around the many alleys, roadways & laneways in Italy demand a savant's touch. As a result we weren't able to reach Gudiolo until after 9 o'clock. But, no worries, our host Madeleine had left the door open & lights on so it was a simple matter of moving in, picking our bedrooms, having a glass of wine & crashing for the night. A little about our hosts...
There are 2 houses on their property, both fantastic transformations of rustic farmhouses. Though Madeleine does travel, she lives in one of the homes with her dogs; Atlas, Alma & Nero. Madeleine could not be more helpful; she basically reviewed what we had planned to explore in Umbria, tweaked the itinerary to maximize the experience and provided lots of history. She called to confirm reservations, gave directions etc. - she was like our own knowledgable tour guide always quick with an anecdote. One of the highlights of our vacation was a special luncheon at friends of hers that have a fantastic retreat close to Gubbio. We invited Madeleine, her significant other Mark & brother Rolando and they graciously accepted. It was a memorable day that included a spectacular drive there, a personal tour from the owners, a luncheon to remember with many stories about the history of the area & build of that property.
Back to Gudiolo - Madeleine's dogs, they are fantastic. They took us on hikes through the countryside, always nudging us along on the right trail. They came by the house often