THE PERFECT SETTING
Umbria is known as “Italy’s green heart” – and as you approach us in the National Park of Mount Subasio, you’ll be in no doubt as to why. Possibly the country’s most verdant region, we lie between Tuscany, Lazio and Le Marche; our landscapes are a picture of forests and undulating hills, dotted with medieval towns and villages. It is because of these woods and groves that we are famous for our truffles, pork and olive oil; and it is in towns such as Deruta, Orvieto and Assisi that we’ve become known for our painted earthenware, fine wines, and historical architecture respectively.
A SPACE FOR PEACE
Casa Rosa’s immediate surroundings offer a near-unparalleled place for retreat. Days can easily be spent reading or painting in the garden or grove, walking amidst the hills in search of wildlife and plants, or taking a splash under the nearby waterfall and pool. With stunning gardens and a large swimming pool, delicious home-cooked meals and a fine selection of local wines at hand, guests can spend their time simply unwinding in and around Casa Rosa.
A SPACE FOR BEAUTY
That said, more beauty lies in wait for those who seek it. Assisi is just a short drive away, and within a 40-mile radius of the estate guests will find a number of hilltop towns: Gubbio, Cortona, Spello, Spoleto, Todi and Orvieto all boast something special. From their medieval centres, to celebrated works of art and architecture, there are numerous ancient churches and spectacular frescoes to discover. The university city of Perugia, and capital of Umbria, also houses Etruscan remains and major works of art just 15 miles away. The historical treasure troves of Rome, Florence and Siena, meanwhile, are easily visited on day trips.
A SPACE FOR PILGRIMAGE
Of course, Assisi is the main draw for those visiting Casa Rosa. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the town is famed as the home of Saint Francis (or San Francesco), one of Italy’s two patron saints – as well as his female counterpart, Saint Clare (Santa Chiara). It has been an important place of pilgrimage for some seven centuries, and thankfully, the town has been very carefully preserved. Roman remains lie alongside medieval churches (the ancient Temple of Minerva is now the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, for example) and Assisi’s steep, warren-like streets hide a wealth of wonderful details.
Of the nine churches in Assisi, the towering Basilica of San Francesco is the undoubted masterpiece. Completed in 1253 and built over his tomb, the church interior contains magnificent frescoes by Cimabue, Lorenzetti, Martini and Giotto. Outside, the sun’s rays make its white, ornate exterior all the more striking. Much can be learned about San Francesco here, and he is widely thought of as one of the most fascinating figures in Christianity. A lover of animals and the environment, he chose to live in poverty and preach on the streets for much of his life. He was – it is said – more dedicated to live and carry out the work of Christ, in Christ-s way, than any other saint before or after him in history. In 1223, he arranged the first ever nativity scene, and in 1224, he was said to receive the stigmata.