Villa Gioianna is a gorgeous country residence with a private swimming pool sitting in a large garden, olive grove and vineyards upon a hill above Lake Trasimeno, where it commands a superb view of Tuscany, Umbria and the Lake.
Villa Gioianna has 8 bedrooms, 9 full bathrooms, kitchen, living room, dining room/study, terrace, extensive grounds, private swimming pool, and stunning views. We have posted a large number of photos, here and on various other places on the net. Please browse at your leisure and view all the rooms of the house.
The more people who book in your group, the lower the overall price. Minimum stay is 3 nights.
THE VILLA: Local lore has it that the Villa was constructed in 1918, but experts have dated the foundations on which it was built much older. The 'padrone', or wealthy landowner, of the surrounding farms and vineyards 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 for the new century, but with respect for the original architecture and spirit and history of the house so that the Villa retains the warmth and ambiance of a Italian family country home. The Villa now has, among other changes, modern mechanical systems and a wonderfully productive well - a boring mechanical fact, you may think, until you're here in the summer, the municipality rations everyone to a trickle of water 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 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 new bathrooms are notorious locally, both for their appearance and number: as every woman will appreciate, there are 9 full bathrooms in the Villa, planned that way so that every bedroom has its own ensuite, spacious, beautifully tiled bathroom. Enjoy them without guilt: in the summer, 100% of the Villa's hot water comes from solar panels.
'Gioia' (pronounced joy-ah) means 'joy' or 'jewel' in Italian; Anna is the name of the owner (thus, joy-ahn-nah).
THE PARK: You arrive at the Villa via an avenue of cypresses and lime trees, passing through a mature park of 4-1/2 acres of woods, vineyards, olive groves, fruit trees and flower gardens. Our philosophy is: if you can't eat it or smell it, it doesn't belong in this garden. The Villa is a small working estate that produces its own olive oil, fruit, vegetables, wonderfully fragrant flowers and herbs. We garden 'sustainably,' which, to us, means we compost and practice companion planting and encouragement of beneficial insects, birds and bats (!) to keep plant diseases and pests in check and we solarize or simply pull, rather than spray weeds. Our lawn is local grasses and wildflowers, requiring no commercial fertilizer. We recycle or compost virtually all of the waste produced by the Villa.
OLIVE OIL: 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 in conformance 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 area 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, either through our special offer Olive Harvest packages or through an annual week-long Olive Harvest Tour offered by olive oil expert, Dr Carol Firenze.
PLACES TO VISIT
We have posted a number of photos of the local cities, towns, markets, festivals and restaurants. These are just a few examples of the vivid cultural, culinary and historical riches of our area.
The medieval town of Castiglione del Lago is the nearest market town (6 km). It sits high on an olive tree-covered promontory jutting into the west side of Lake Trasimeno. The town's magnificent medieval castle and frescoed palace dominate one end of the old town center, and 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 enjoy water and waterside activities.
At the Lake's beaches you will find 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, the entire Val di Chiana and Val d'Orcia and western Tuscany , and is the embarkation point for one of the ferries servicing the lake islands. The new town has grocery stores and all the conveniences and services of a thriving town.
*Italophiles who want to slow down, drink in the wonderful Italian lifestyle
*Couples on a romantic break
*Lovers of culture, history and nature
*Families and groups of friends
*Anniversaries, Family Reunions, Significant Birthday Celebrations
*Business events, seminars, training sessions
*“Concierge” services of an English-speaking manager for help with sightseeing, restaurant recommendations and reservations, winetasting, etc (included in your rental)
We would be happy to recommend other services (payable separately to individual providers) such as:
*Italian nonna for a home-cooked meal or cooking lessons
*Tours, drivers, airport or train station transfers
*Wine tasting tours
*Horseback riding or biking tours
*Many, many wonderful things to see and do in our area !
We are so proud of our area and would love for you to visit. If the Villa does not fit your size or budget, please contact us anyway. We may have last-minute offers or short specials and are always happy to recommend alternatives.
Guests have their own private bedroom with ensuite bathroom, plus access to the living room, dining room, kitchen by prior arrangement, grounds and swimming pool.
Interaction with Guests
We interact with guests as much or as little as they wish. There is a full-time English/Italian speaking manager available for help with sightseeing and restaurant/winery/sights recommendations and reservations. We have been hosting guests since 2005 and have a huge "little black book" of restaurant, winery, sights, activities and other recommendations which we are constantly updating. We generously share all our inside information with our guests. Let us know what your special interest is and we most likely have information on that.
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
Citta di Castello and
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, Spoleto, Gubbio and Urbino) can be reached in less than two hours.
The nearest major airports are Rome, Pisa and Florence. Each is about a 1-1/2 to 2-hour drive away. Bologna is a bit farther, but still feasible (approximately 2-1/2 hours). Perugia airport is the closest (about 40 minutes). It services primarily charter and Italian domestic flights and, several times a week, Ryanair budget flights from London.
We are in the countryside. You could get by seeing limited things with just using a bicycle, but you really need a car.
A full house manual explaining the mechanics of the house and containing other useful information, plus the house rules, will be sent via email prior to your booking. Please note that this is a no smoking house. Please contact us ahead of time if you would like to bring your pet.
Stay here and you could give this host their first review!
I am the owner and the chatelaine of Villa Gioianna. Creating a beautiful, comfortable and gracious home for guests from all over the world to enjoy is my passion. I love the calm, fresh air, good living and relaxation of the countryside and the cultural, architectural, geographical and culinary riches of our area. It's a difficult combination to beat ! It is very gratifying to see our guests arrive stressed and tired and worn out from 21st century living and leave after a week feeling refreshed and renewed and glowing with happiness. Some cannot help themselves and grab a secateurs and start pottering in the garden; it's their form of relaxation. I understand that and welcome all hands! But often the best activity is to just sit by the pool and breathe in the lavender and honeysuckle.
The property has a magical effect on everyone. I am only the third owner in its history and I see why: once you are here, it is hard to imagine ever letting go ! I hope to pass it down through my family as well and that generations to come can enjoy it.
In the meantime, you'll find me out in the countryside doing the hard slog of work like eating in great restaurants and tasting wines (purely for selfless research reasons so that I can advise my guests on the best places to go) or trawling through the antique markets and handicrafts shops looking for the perfect item to improve even more the ambiance and comfort at the Villa. But more likely, I'll be engaged in less glamorous activities like slinging compost and manure onto the garden.
It's a challenging but rewarding lifestyle and I hope you will come and enjoy the fruits of our labor. You're most welcome and we look forward to hosting you!