CASA ROSA is a traditional stone farmhouse set high in the green hills of Umbria, some 10 km (6 miles) Northeast of Assisi. The house is divided into self catering apartments – one large holiday apartment occupying the whole of the first floor of the original farmhouse, two smaller apartments sharing the ground floor, a small cottage in the converted stables, a two bedroom apartment and a studio apartment in a new extension. Each apartment is completely self-contained, with its own kitchen and bathroom, and its own balcony or terrace.
All the apartments are simply but comfortably furnished, beautifully decorated, and have full central heating. There is a spectacular swimming pool, shared by the apartments, it is located a little way above the house in a marvellously tranquil position with panoramic views over the national park.
The pool is bordered along one side by lavender, local herbs and a large cherry tree; on the other side is a wide terrace paved in local stone with sun-beds and deck chairs for lounging and sunbathing, here there is also a barbecue and gazebo. Around the house is a small farm of 18 hectares (44 acres) – roughly one third cultivated, one third pasture, and one third wooded with planted trees.
The Farm is surrounded by woods and farmland, located on a spur the farm has panoramic views over the National Park of Mount Subasio. The hills and forest hide martens, porcupine and wild boar, all of which have been seen on the farm. The wealth of bird life includes buzzards, goldfinches and hoopoes. In spring the meadows, fields and verges abound in wild flowers, among them poppies, cyclamen, wild gladioli, and many types of orchid. From May to July fireflies dance in the night, and through the summer the Farm is home to thirty varieties of butterfly. Along the river are waterfalls and natural pools where one can bathe in the summer. The hills, woods and valleys offer many possible routes for walking.
ASSISI, the nearest town, is the home of St. Francis and his female counterpart, St. Clare. For seven centuries Assisi has been a focus for pilgrimage, and the area is rich in traditions associated with the saints. The town itself has been carefully preserved, its steep medieval streets winding between churches and houses of rose-coloured stone.
Casa Rosa makes a great base from which to explore Assisi and the surrounding district. Assisi, though not a large town, has a huge amount to explore, and the surrounding Umbrian countryside is very beautiful. In August, it was hot, but Casa Rosa provides some relief from the heat, being up in the hills and catching what breeze there is.
It was perhaps our most relaxing holiday ever, partly because we stayed 2 weeks at the one location, which made it feel very spacious, but also because of the quiet beauty of the place itself.