The house is 2 miles up a well maintained, gravel road from the SS 416 which links Umbertide with the village of Mercatale di Cortona (and on to Lake Trasimeno). The last couple of hundred yards of track from the road is unmade.
Most people drive right to the house but some park off the road and walk for two minutes. Spedalicchio, a small village, is two miles away at the bottom of the road with two shops which sell most things including a few fresh fruit and vegetables.
In the hamlet of Molino Vitelli, a few kilometers further along the valley, you can buy wine direct from the local vineyard. Heading down the hill in the other direction you can find more bars, shops and pizzerias in Cazolaro, San Leo Bastia and Trestina (Eurospar in Trestina is good for Sunday morning shopping).
This holiday house is an old rural school which has been restored in the traditional Umbrian style, it is comfortable and well equipped. All the habitable rooms – 2 bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen/dining room and living room – are on the first floor.
The ground floor is used for storage and washing and is accessible via the external staircase. All rooms are light and airy, with white walls, original exposed beams and arched windows. They are comfortably furnished and well equipped. The floors are in traditional terra-cotta.
There is a farmhouse style kitchen/dining room with a large open fire, fridge, hob and oven. The kitchen window looks out onto the pineta (pine forest). Next to the kitchen is a sitting room with comfortable furniture, including a double sofa bed.
There are stunning views across the valley from the window, and the original arched door opens onto the terrace. There is a double bedroom and a second bedroom with two single beds, a folding bed, and a cot. There is ample storage space. An attractive tiled bathroom with sink, WC, bidet and shower.
Hot water for the house is provided from an electric heater in the bathroom. A large terracotta tiled terrace runs along the entire front and one side of the house, with terrace furniture. There is a large outdoor dining table on the gravel at the front of the house, an ideal spot for shady al fresco lunches or evening dining.
The large (12 metres x 6 metres) swimming pool is on a terraced piece of land above the house, there are spectacular views of the valley below and across to the hills of the Tuscany-Umbria border. It is accessed by broad steps leading up from the front of the house, it is for the exclusive use of guests.
Around the back of the house there is a grassed area, part of which is shady for much of the day. There is a washing machine, iron and ironing board and a barbecue. Linen and some towels are provided, but guests will need to provide their own beach/pool towels.
There are many day trips possible from Casa della Maestra to the surrounding historic and cultural centers of Umbria and Tuscany. Cortona is a twenty minute drive, and within an hour you can visit Perugia, Deruta, Assisi, Arezzo, Sansepolcro, Siena, Gubbio, Orvieto, Montepulciano and other hill towns. Florence is around two hours by car or an hour on the fastest train (station 45 minutes away).
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