Palazzo Terranova – Citta di Castello, Umbria, Italy

Una Villa Stupenda

High up in the hills of Umbria sits a stately Palladian-inspired palazzo. It is the “dream for all seasons” of a very special British couple, Umbrian by adoption, who have opened a lovingly run jewel-like country hotel to a few extremely privileged guests.

This is every Italophile’s fantasy made real; the unrivaled site 1,800 feet above the Tiber Valley commands heart-stirring views, especially from the 18th-century villa’s tur­ret, and there are 30 acres of idyllic countryside per­fect for quiet strolls.

The ver­dant, unspoiled region of Umbria is known for its clear light and vibrant spectrum of colors that inspired the palettes of Raphael, Luca Signorelli, and Piero della Francesca. The large and airy guest quarters consist of eight magnificent suites named after favorite com­posers and operas.

La Traviata is the most splendid—its romantic bathroom includes an enormous travertine tub carved from one solid block of stone. The oversized windows of La Boheme open on to storybook views, as does the front terrace from beneath white canvas umbrellas.

This is truffle and wild mushroom country, thick with forests that offer wild game that may show up on the palazzo’s menu when in season. The elegant cuisine shows a sophis­ticated, albeit unpretentious, hand.

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