Villa Hotel Torre Palombara is introducing its American guests to a very special corner of Italy with ‘insider’ excursions in truffle hunting, to vineyards and Umbrian cashmere workshops – and a jazz festival that overflows into timeless piazzas
Most visitors are familiar with the names of Umbria’s most famous cities – Spoleto, Perugia, Assisi – and they’ve probably sipped the acclaimed wines of Orvieto and Montefalco. But once they get there what they find is a land of classical landscapes, waterfalls and vineyards, olive groves and walled villages, venerable churches and the sanctuaries of saints. Summer brings a host of fascinating festivals – everything from jazz to opera and colorful celebrations that fill the piazzas with medieval knights and their ladies in traditional garb.
And it’s so close to the Eternal City that Umbria is a favorite weekend getaway from pleasure-loving Romans.
Leonardo’s ancestors have lived in their imposing country estate since the 1500’s so he is well-versed in the gentle charms of Umbria — and totally passionate about his heritage. He loves to sit down with his guests and help them plan trips along backroads to join, say, an authentic truffle hunt with a local farmer. Or tour one of the local workshops producing Umbria’s world-famed cashmere (see special offer below). Or to nearby Narni, a magical hill town where must-see sights include Narni Sotteranea (an underground city dating from Roman times), a church with 13th-century frescoes and an ancient dungeon where doomed prisoners covered the walls with remarkably upbeat graffiti .
“We love to open Americans’ eyes to the gentle charms of our Umbria,” says Signor Leonardo, co-owner of Villa Hotel Torre Palombara.
“It’s wonderful that guests wake up in a four-poster bed among the luxuries and antiques of our historic inn but we also want them to get out and about to savor one of the most unsung but most eye-opening corners of Italy — Umbria. Surprising Umbria.”
The villa is also offering a special 2-night package called The Secrets of Umbrian Cashmere: The most prestigious cashmere in Italy comes from Umbria, crafted by artisans whose families have been knitting cashmere for generations. The Torre Palombara offers two nights in a superior room, for two people with buffet breakfasts; a tour of a nearby family-run cashmere workshop, admission included; two special gifts of Umbrian cashmere and special discounts for Torre Palombara guests. All for Euro 460 per couple.
Villa Hotel Torre Palombara, www.torrepalombara.com