THE CASA ROSA ESTATE
Casa Rosa is a special space: A traditional stone farmhouse set high in the hills of Umbria, it’s a space for peace; a space for beauty; a space for pilgrimage; and a space in which to get back to nature. It is, in short, a space for the mind. Set just ten kilometres (or six miles) from Assisi, it is surrounded by ancient churches, medieval hilltop towns, and some of the finest vineyards in Italy – and yet set as it is under the majestic gaze of Mount Subasio, you’d think you were very much further from civilisation.
It is this equal sense of seclusion and wonder that has made Casa Rosa a perfect setting for the practice of Mindfulness.
The estate – with Casa Rosa at its heart – was first purchased in 1989 as the ambitious project of artist Jennifer Gay Holmes; her first guests arrived in 1990. Over the next few years, Jennifer Gay would be profoundly inspired by the people, landscapes and themes that surrounded her, and decorate Casa Rosa’s apartments with her artworks and hand-painted furniture. Wonderfully evocative of the area, they remain central to the accommodation’s unique appeal.
Today, the estate is made up of six dwellings. Casa Rosa itself is split into three separate apartments, and there’s a small cottage in the converted stables. Designed by Jennifer Gay’s husband, architect Godfrey Grima, the piccionaia (or pigeon tower) has an apartment at its top, and another apartment lies in a new extension. Each dwelling offers everything needed for self-catering, and comes with its own kitchen, bathroom, and balcony or terrace. Shared by the apartments is a large swimming pool, set above Casa Rosa where it enjoys panoramic views of the countryside. Also amidst the estate lie outdoor dining areas, sun-beds and deck chairs for lounging, and extensive gardens of lavender, fruit trees and flowers, designed by landscaper Robert Bryant in 1999.
Surrounding the immediate estate are some 100 acres of land, made up of olive orchards, woods and pasture. There are a number of walks that can be taken through these groves and fields, and a small waterfall and natural pool (where bathing is bliss) lie just a short walk away. Whether at Casa Rosa or further afield, the beauty of these lands is breathtaking: the protected area is home to an explosion of life, from wild boar and buzzards, to fireflies and butterflies that dance during summer.