|Minimum Stay||3 - 7 nights|
Villa Gioianna is an exclusive and gorgeous country residence sitting in a small working estate composed of gardens, olive grove, fruit orchard, woods, and vineyards upon a hill above Lake Trasimeno, where it commands a superb view of Tuscany, Umbria and the Lake.
We have 8 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, kitchen, living room, dining room, terrace, extensive grounds, swimming pool, and stunning views.
We can provide one of several excellent cooks, all of whom loves to spoil guests with delicious, homemade meals using our produce and other locally sourced ingredients. From a traditional nonna to an enthusiastic "New Italy" younger chef, we will find the right culinary fit for you. Or, combine a meal with a cooking lesson from an Italian "Nonna" chef or a wood-fired pizza lesson from a vivacious Italian Mama at her home or a master Pizzaiola at a local restaurant.
We would be delighted to provide a dream location for your special event. Please contact us and tell us what you're celebrating.
First, a few details:
-Pets welcome with prior notice
-Start or end your holiday on any day of the week
-Please read the Notes; the vrbo Quick Quote is not always correct. Kindly furnish details of your group and we'd be happy to give you a personalized quote.
Why don't we have online booking?
Your time at the Villa should be special. This means something different to every person. We like to maintain personal contact with all of our clients so we can ensure that we provide the best holiday we can to suit your needs.
When choosing a home for your vacation, we encourage you to consider the following, which we happily quote from John O’Donohue: “Some of our most wonderful memories are beautiful places where we felt immediately at home. We feel most alive in the presence of the beautiful for it meets the needs of our soul. . . . Without beauty the search for truth, the desire for goodness and the love of order and unity would be sterile exploits. Beauty brings warmth, elegance and grandeur.” Creating such beauty and protecting and appreciating the natural assets around us are at the heart of life at the Villa. We hope you will also embrace the warmth, elegance and grandeur of our Villa, gardens and surrounding countryside and look forward to welcoming you as our guests.
THE VILLA’S LAYOUT AT A GLANCE:
- large entrance hall
- tiled dining room with fireplace
- large kitchen with fireplace, wood-burning oven, modern appliances, doors opening to large terrace overlooking vineyards
- large living room with comfortable sofas and chairs, grand piano, baronial fireplace, doors opening to terrace
- powder room
- grand staircase leading to . .
- wide hall with seating area
- 3 bedrooms with queen-sized beds with ensuite bathrooms
- 1 bedroom with 2 small doubles with ensuite bathroom
- grand staircase leading to . . .
- wide hall with seating area and fireplace
- 4 bedrooms with queen-sized beds and ensuite bathrooms
- terraces on the front and back, each the width of the house
- 6.5 x 13 m tiled swimming pool
- jasmine-covered gazebo
- honeysuckle and rose-covered pergola
- bocce court
- private woods
- olive grove
- lavender-lined pathways to fountain
- large garden
OVERVIEW: Local lore relates that the Villa was constructed in 1918, but experts have dated its origins much older. The 'padrone', or wealthy landowner, of the surrounding farms built it as his showcase residence and he and his descendants resided here until the 1970s. In the early 21st century, the Villa was renovated and updated, but with respect for the original architecture, spirit and history of the house so that it retains the warmth and ambiance of an Italian family country home. The Villa now has, among other changes, modern mechanical systems and a well - a boring mechanical fact, you may think, until you're here in the summer, the municipality rations water to a trickle a few hours a day, but the Villa's showers continue happily at full pressure. Terracotta and hand-painted tile floors, whitewashed walls, walnut doors and wood-beamed brick ceilings form a simple background for the carefully detailed interior furnished with splendid antiques, sumptuous textiles, supremely comfortable beds and gorgeous lamps dressed with lampshades designed by the owner and made with vintage and antique fabrics. The Villa's bathrooms are notorious locally, both for their beauty and number: as every woman will appreciate, there are 9 full bathrooms in the Villa so that every bedroom has its own spacious, beautifully tiled bathroom. Enjoy them without guilt: in the summer, almost 100% of the Villa's hot water comes from solar panels.
You arrive at the Villa via an avenue of cypresses and lime trees, passing through a mature park of 4.5 acres of woods, vineyards, olive groves, fruit trees and flower gardens. The Villa is a small working estate that produces its own olive oil, fruit, vegetables, wonderfully fragrant flowers and herbs. We garden 'sustainably;' we compost and practice companion planting and encouragement of beneficial insects, birds and bats (!) to keep plant diseases and pests in check. Our lawns are local grasses and wildflowers, requiring no commercial fertilizer. We recycle or compost virtually all of the waste produced by the Villa.
The Villa’s name comes from a two words: 'Gioia' (pronounced joy-ah) means 'joy' or 'jewel' in Italian; Anna is the name of the owner, thus Gioianna (joy-ahn-nah).
OLIVE OIL: Our olive oil is our pride and joy. In late October/early November we harvest the olives by hand in the traditional method of 'stroking' the tree, then quickly press them at our local mill. Also consistent with tradition, we pick the olives before they are fully ripe in order to maximize the flavor, aroma, and peppery taste of our oil. Olive oil from our region - the border of Tuscany and Umbria - is highly prized for these qualities and has been given its own special regional designation. Guests are welcome to join in the olive harvest.
NEAREST TOWN: The medieval town of Castiglione del Lago is the nearest market town (6 km), sitting high on an olive tree-covered promontory jutting into the west side of the lake. The town's magnificent medieval castle and palace dominate one end of the old town, the 19th century church of Santa Maria Magdalena the other. In between are a number of small shops, restaurants, cafés, bars and bakeries and, on Wednesdays, an outdoor food, crafts, clothing and sundries market. Below the town are public beaches that are a great place to meet locals. The beaches offer paddle and rowboats, a pizzeria, gelato, pick-up volleyball and soccer, tennis courts, cafes and a disco. Or, simply float on your back in the lake, gazing back at the ancient town up above on the hill.
For touring, Castiglione del Lago provides easy access to the superstrada linking Perugia and eastern Umbria to Siena, Chianti and western Tuscany, and is the embarkation point for ferries servicing the lake islands. The new town has all the conveniences and services of a thriving town.
LOCATION: A few kilometers away is Chiusi, whose old town is worth a visit for its Etruscan museum and good restaurants. The new town has excellent transportation links, with high-speed train connections to all destinations on the Naples-Milan high-speed train line, including Rome, Florence and Orvieto, and convenient access to the A-1 Autostrada. Within an hour's drive of the Villa are many historic Umbrian and Tuscan hill towns such as Assisi, Arezzo, Cortona, Montepulciano, Orvieto, Pienza, Perugia, Deruta, Spello and Montalcino, as well as other less well-known, but perhaps more charming, smaller villages. Many of central Italy's other leading historical and cultural centers (Rome, Florence, Todi, Siena, Spoleto, Gubbio and Urbino) can be reached in less than two hours.
AIRPORTS: The nearest airports are Rome, Pisa and Florence. Each is about a 1.5 to 2-hour drive away. Bologna is a bit farther, approximately 2.5 hours. Perugia airport is the closest (approx 40 minutes).
*Laundry Room with Washer, Iron and Ironing Board
*Transformers for North American plugs
*Stereo with iPod cable
*High quality linens
*All cotton comforters made from traditional Umbrian and Tuscan textiles, feather down duvets and choice of feather or hypoallergenic pillows
*Sumptuous en suite bathrooms
*Groups of friends, tour groups
*Anniversaries, Family Reunions, Birthday Celebrations
*Business events, seminars, training sessions
*Exclusive use of the Villa, grounds and pool
*All linens and towels, including pool towels
*Weekly pool cleaning
We would be happy to recommend and arrange other services such as:
*Home-cooked and first-class chef-cooked meals
*Refrigerator filled prior to arrival
*Tours, drivers, airport transfers
*Wine tasting tours
*Horseback riding or biking tours
*Many, many wonderful things to see and do in our area !
We aim to be as 'green' as possible. We
*Recycle 100% of plastic, paper products and glass/metal, encourage our guests to do so as well, providing facilities so that it is not difficult to achieve this.
*Compost all vegetable matter and food scraps.
*Severely limit the use of chemicals in the gardens.
*Air-dry our bedlinen whenever possible, instead of using the dryer.
*Use products made from recycled materials or from certified sustainable forests.
Castiglione del Lago and two neighboring towns -- Panicale and Paciano – have each been designated as one of the 'borghi piu belli d'Italia' -- most beautiful villages in Italy -- and it's true. Once fortified against frequently invading foreign armies, they are now lovely but not overly restored towns full of life and warmth. Aside from the obvious benefits of local (coffee) bars, several excellent family-run restaurants, food shops, postal, pharmacy and bank services, a very good hospital, wineries nearby, walking and biking trails and amazing art, the villages have lively social lives with summer concerts, festivals, art exhibitions, and theater.
And the people are friendly and welcoming; within days, you will be greeted by the locals as one of their own and develop your own morning and evening rituals of coffee and apertivo at the local bar, catching up on the local news. Plus, it's simply beautiful and close to everything.
But overall, the house was love at first sight. There is a wonderful feeling about it: whether it is the Liberty-style symmetry, its position on a hilltop, the history or just warm feeling that it exudes. It’s a very special house. It has the perfect balance of privacy, yet proximity to cultural treasures and modern-life amenities.
And the views ! On one side there is the lake, with its magical sunlight-on-water or moonlight-on-water views. On the other is such a picture-perfect panorama of vineyards, hills, villages and mountains, that you might be justified in thinking it's a painted scrim.
We are surrounded by the vineyards of a world-class, but family-run winery. You can walk a few minutes, knock on the kitchen door of my neighbor, be greeted warmly, and then return later with a jug of very good and reasonably-priced table wine (vino sfuso) or a bottle of one of the best sangiovese or cabernet wines to be had. How wonderful is that?
Privacy. Tranquility. Beauty. Fabulous food and great wines that are punching way above their weight in terms of quality for the reasonable price. Relaxing garden and pool. Warm Hospitality . . . . This perfect Italian getaway has the best of both worlds: located in the heart of the countryside with all the benefits of having a lively historical city and charming villages nearby.
Everything you could want to see in central Umbria and Tuscany is at your fingertips - 10 minutes from the main train line leading to Rome in 2.5 hours, Florence in just over 1 hour, 1/2 hour drive to Perugia for chocolate making, Montepulciano or Chianti for wine, Pienza for amazing cheese and countless little hilltop towns along the way. Less than an hour drive to Siena (famous for its horse races, the Palio), Montalcino for wine and many other towns.
Plus this is our home town! We live here and we've explored the area for you, so we're ready to help with reservations, little out of the way spots to explore, hilltop towns to discover, small family-run wineries to see. Years of enjoying our territory and helping guests to discover its magic has built up our 'little black book' of special restaurants, wineries and amazing sites.
The Villa is wonderful. The food was out of this world and the hospitality was great. Thank you for a wonderful stay.
Our family group of 10: 2 generations (6 adults ~60 and 4 adults ~30) had a wonderful, special time at Villa Gioianna in late May, 2016. The villa is an older property with its quirks and charms (if you want a slick new place this is probably not for you) but for us, the historic feel of the house was part of its appeal.
The house has a very open feel inside. The dining room had delightful painted details, the hobbit door to the ½ bath is a kick, and we loved having a baby grand piano for house music. It can be a bit dark when rain storms come, but they usually pass quickly and we enjoyed the grounds so much.
Special experiences at the villa:
**Breakfast outside on the terrace gazing across the neighboring vineyards
**Sitting by the pool reading, and then ducking under one of the vine covered arbors to read in the rain.
**A music night singing around the baby grand piano
**Meals at our favorite lovely restaurant in nearby, La Cantina, with its outdoor terrace with flowers, in Casteglione del Lago.
**A dinner prepared by the neighborhood nonna; after the first, we arranged a second night as well.
**The special dinner in the vineyards Anna told us about and took us to.
**For some, a visit to hot springs that, again, Anna told us about.
**Wine tasting and horseback riding that, again, Anna told us about.
**A visit to Orvieto with its stunning Cathedral frescos.
**Hiking from the door of the villa into the lovely countryside.
**Ask Anna for directions before coming, especially if you will be arriving after dark.
**The four bedrooms on the lower floor have big, high windows with views; the four bedrooms on the top floor have low, sloping ceilings with small low windows. Our older generation used the large rooms and the younger generation stayed upstairs in the low ceiling rooms. All the rooms have charming details.
Anna was repeatedly a great help to us and clearly enjoys introducing visitors to the delights of Umbria, especially experiences only the locals know of. She has a very special house in Villa Gioianna.
I've stayed at the villa before and knew what to expect. Stylish, traditional and well equipped Villa Goianna never let's us down. We had a fabulous relaxing holiday in the beautiful Umbrian countryside and can't wait for our next visit. Caio Anna!
We visited Villa Gioianna for the olive harvest but found so much more. The home and grounds were amazing -- nightly fireside dinners in the kitchen (each exquisitely prepared by local chefs, and, of course, copious Italian reds), beautifully decorated rooms, entrancing panoramic views as we stripped the precious harvest from the olive trees. The food, the ambiance, the countryside, all an experience of a lifetime.
I have stayed here before and love it more each time I come back. The house, gardens and pool area are beautiful. Each room has been lovingly restored with antiques and each bedroom has a stunning enough suite bathroom. Anna arranges for a local lady to come in and cook local specialties for us and can make reservations at wonderful local restaurant. The house is secluded and quiet for a really restful break if that's what you want but very close to castglione del Lago for shopping and markets. Corona, nontrivial and sienna are a short drive. I prefer to take a train from the local station to Florence which is a bit too touristy for me. Really excited to go back later in the year with friends.
We rented the Villa for a week in August. Within minutes of arrival, our expectations of this beautiful villa and surrounding area were blown out of the water. The photos do not do the villa or the gardens justice; they just do not capture the beauty and ambiance. The gardens are lovely and well kept. And inside . . . well, Anna should be an interior decorator; her taste in furniture, linens and décor in general is exquisite. Plus she has an eye for the unusual piece that keeps the house from being too stuffy or museum-like. I want her to redecorate my house!
Our planning began a year before our trip. We asked Anna to help us. It was clear from her initial emails that she knows a lot and is generous with her knowledge. Anna was invaluable; we could never, ever have found all the unique things she proposed and arranged for us by ourselves or even with all the "Rick Steves" of the world. Travel agents and so-called Italian experts Stateside just do not have the inside information that Anna has collected from doing what she calls her “selfless research” into wineries, restaurants, sights, etc.
Anna was always helpful and patient with our questions and concerns. Thanks to her, we had the most amazing experiences, from winetasting overlooking Orvieto to a private lunch at the home of a chef on a terrace overlooking a spectacular view, to a spa visit for the ladies and outdoor thermal springs for the men to one of the most amazing meals I have ever had at the Michelin-starred restaurant, again overlooking stupendous scenery. And we did was just a fraction of the many things Anna had suggested . . . it was hard to choose and I desperately want to go back to explore more.
We asked the little “ Nonna” chef to cook for us. Those meals were delicious, made with the kind of love and care and authenticity that I guess Italian families get to enjoy every night. Initially, we had some high maintenance diet wannabes who claimed they couldn’t eat this or that or whatever. Their dietary quirks were accommodated with aplomb. But they changed their tune almost immediately and were soon happily slurping pasta and fighting over the last tiramisu, carbs and diets apparently forgotten.
This is a magnificent 19th century villa renovated into a high-quality residence with warm and caring hospitality. The pool is first class, the location for visiting Umbria and Tuscany is perfect, the welcome and service and food are all superb. Just magical. Well done! We will be back!
I have visited the Villa 6 times over the last 10 years. I love, love, LOVE Villa Gioianna! I’d go every year if I could. I’ve visited in the Spring and the Fall. The Villa is set in a glorious garden with woods. In the Spring, antique roses with a really strong, old-fashioned fragrance bloom profusely and their scent wafts over the entire garden. The Tuscan irises explode with color. And the wisteria! It covers the front fence and you can smell the flowers from about a quarter mile away. Heavenly.
All the rooms have ensuite baths. There’s plenty of hot water and pressure, even when all the bathrooms are in use at the same time. And being eco-aware, I was glad to see the solar panels; apparently most of the hot water comes from them. I've stayed in 3 of the 8 rooms and each time felt like a princess. The mattresses are custom-made and super comfortable. I slept like a babe.
The food is fabulous! The continental breakfast could almost last you until aperitivo time: home-made lemon curd & jams, fruits from the Villa's orchard or a local farm, ah-mazing local yoghurt, fresh bread & pastries from a local bakery or - sometimes – homemade coffee cake (made with olive oil; you won't believe how delicious it is and better for you than butter). I’ve eaten many a delicious dinner prepared by a the Villa’s “chef,” a cute little Italian grandmother. I walked to the winery next door to buy really good wines at great prices: the bulk red wine is about 1.80/liter and the bottled wines start at 3.50. That is much less than we are used to in the US for that quality.
This historical villa has 21st century luxuries yet is environmentally friendly. I love that. Frogs and bats (so shy; they emerge only at night) help control bugs instead of toxic sprays; the fountain and pond are not chemically treated so the frogs are not poisoned. The swimming pool is crystal clear, but the other water features are as nature intended: pond-green and healthy. If you’re squeamish about that (green and algae are not bad things – what do you think baby fish and frogs eat for heavens’ sakes) and think everything has to be fake clear by chemicals, think again. There is great concern globally about the disappearance of bees, but here you see butterflies and bees and little hummingbird look-alike bugs happily sucking nectar from the lavender. Because there are no pesticides and no chemicals polluting the plants and water. You can breathe easy here.
HIGHLY recommend; will go again!
Winetasting, thermal baths and spas, outdoor music and food festivals, jazz, classical and blues concerts, folk dance exhibitions, art, historical and nature tours, outlets and handicrafts shopping, outdoor markets, bird watching.
Please read this: the VRBO Instant Quote is often incorrect and usually wrongly includes a booking fee, which is not payable if you book through us directly. Please contact us to confirm the rental fee, citing # in your party, # of children, if any pets are included, and length of stay.
Weekly rates for all other periods do not include refundable security deposit, final cleaning fee or utilities above 100 euros/week. Heating and phone payable separately, as per use.
For small groups/short stays, please contact us.
Pets welcome, please just let us know what type and size of animal you have. There is a small additional damage/cleaning fee.
The Comune (municipality) has recently imposed a small overnight guest tax. We have to collect this on behalf of the Comune and pass it on to them. This is not included in the rental fee.
Thanksgiving weekend is priced for a double room for four nights. Please contact us for details about what it includes.
December's and New Year's rates include heating. These are the only rental periods when heating is included in the rental rate.
We love having writers, composers, artists, chefs and other creative people for long-term stays (minimum one month) in the lower seasons. Please inquire if you have a sabbatical and need an inspiring, peaceful place to create.
Discounts for repeat customers.