Cà di Cicala

Eastern Tuscany

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Web Ref: 621
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Accommodation

  • Casa d'Estate
  • Ground floor: Kitchen/dining room (oven, microwave, dishwasher) with door to terrace. Living room with door to terrace (wood burning stove, CD, TV for viewing DVDs and videos only, DVD and video, selection of CDs and books). Central heating throughout both houses (payable locally). WiFi.
  • First floor: Bathroom (separate shower). Steps up to half landing. Twin bedroom. Double bedroom (four poster bed) with external door leading to stone walkway linking the two houses and steps down to the terrace.
 
  • Casa Primavera
  • Ground floor: Twin bedroom with door onto terrace. Bathroom (separate shower).
  • First floor: Kitchen/dining room (oven, dishwasher, CD, selection of CDs and books). Living room (fireplace). Steps up to double bedroom.
 
  • Outside: Laundry room (washing machine, WC). Terraces. Shower. Pizza/wood oven. Parking area.
  • Private swimming pool (5m x 4.5m) with Roman steps.

This idyllic setting must have been created for lovers of nature. A winding lane takes you past woods, vineyards and tobacco fields until you stumble across Cà di Cicala, set in seven acres of unspoiled woodland in a hidden valley on the Tuscan/Umbrian border. The walks through these forested slopes, teeming with wildlife, are delightful and one such farmer's track crosses the parking area below the property.

The owner has transformed a tumbledown ruin into two charming cottages, interlinked by a stone walkway. Craftsmen from the area have sensitively restored the cottages to reflect the local style and the designs of the stone chimneys, the tiled roofs, and the detail above the doorways are unique to the valley.

Inside, the poplar wood doors have been handmade to a local design, whilst chestnut wood furniture, patterned rugs, and paintings complement the 'cotto' tiles and white walls. Outside, the terrace with lavender bushes and hollyhocks and the stylish deep blue pool overlook the fields.

Whilst you may not want to leave this tranquil setting, the hidden jewels of Umbria and Tuscany are more than worthy of discovery. Cortona (25km), Sansepolcro (37km), Città di Castello (22km), Gubbio (53km), are all intriguing and entrancing places.

Closer to home, San Leo Bastia is a 10 minute drive and has a small shop attached to its village bar, as well as a trattoria. More amenities, including an excellent bakery, can be found in Trestina (15 minute drive).

  • Parties paying the small party rate will have use of Casa d'Estate only.

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Location of Cà di Cicala

Locality

Great Things to Do Near Cà di Cicala

Enjoy the peaceful setting of Cà di Cicala,

where the only sounds will probably be the birds in the trees, or a cheery 'Buon giorno' from one of the local farmers passing by.

There are lots of walks in the area (information is provided in the house).

Set off from the house and wander along the country lanes enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Drive or walk into the hamlet of San Leo Bastia

where you will find a pizzeria and a great bar where you can enjoy an aperitif of the local wine.

From San Leo Bastia, follow the road westwards,

which winds its way through the hills - a beautiful drive through the forested countryside until you arrive at the back of Cortona where the landscape opens out in front of you.

Spend the morning or afternoon in Cortona

wandering its narrow streets that lead to the main piazza. There are lots of little shops and plenty of stunning views to admire.

The weekly open-air market is part of Italian life.

Stalls laden with produce, scents and smells filling the air, and a crowd of Italians - finish the morning's shopping with a coffee in a bar. Go to Umbertide on Wednesday morning, Trestina on Tuesday and Cortona on Saturday morning.

A 'must do' on anyone's list is to experience the 'passeggiata'.

No, it is not an Italian dance. In any town or large village, especially on a weekend or holiday, the inhabitants of the town will congregate in the main square in the early evening, to have a stroll around, talk to their friends, have an aperitif or ice cream, before dispersing for dinner. It is the perfect time to people watch!

Make time to visit Gubbio, one of the jewels of Umbria.

Less well-known than Perugia and Assisi, but no less impressive, it is a wonderful place to wander around. A huge music festival takes place in the town throughout the month of July.

Pick up one of the many booklets available at the tourist offices.

They suggest various drives around Umbria based on different themes e.g. Art Trails, Wine, Life around the Lake. Discover Umbria at your own pace.

For a relaxing day, visit the spa 'Fontecchio',

2km from Città di Castello. Set in a wooded park, the thermal baths have been around since Roman times. Nowadays, you can simply relax and enjoy the treatments on offer.

Visit the little village of Caprese Michelangelo, birthplace of the great man, Michelangelo.

The 14th century castle houses plaster casts of his work. On the way back, stop at Anghiari, a beautifully preserved medieval hill top town.

Relax on the terrace at Cà di Cicala,

catch up on the books you have been meaning to read for ages, take a dip in the pool, sunbathe, or do nothing!

Head to one of the markets and buy some fresh mozzarella, salami, tomatoes and salad

and have lunch al fresco on the terrace. Or attempt to make your own pizzas in the authentic pizza oven at Cà di Cicala.

Visit Arezzo on the first Sunday of the month and you will come across the famous antiques fair,

which takes place in the main piazza. Antique dealers come from all over Italy to attend. See if you can pick up a bargain!

Take the country roads to Lake Trasimeno,

at the centre of the country, and its fourth largest lake. Go to Castiglione del Lago for a wander around, a fish lunch and then a paddle in the lake. If you are there between 24 and 30 July, you will see the Palio of the Boats - a big boat race on the lake.

If you love jazz, go to Perugia in July for its world famous Umbrian Jazz Festival.

Performers come from all over the world, and concerts take place day and night.

Pop over to Le Marche and the magnificent town of Urbino.

The drive takes you about 1 ½ hr and you go through some lovely countryside. Urbino itself is a Renaissance beauty, with fantastic architecture.

If you want to visit Rome,

take the train from Perugia (2 ½ hrs) and maybe stay overnight. Italian trains are actually very efficient and good value. The best way of getting into Rome.

Make sure you have some Italian ice cream

most towns will have at least one 'gelateria' (ice cream shop), where you will be able to pick from a vast array of flavours.

On a warm summer evening, sit with a glass of wine on the terrace and wait for night to fall,

to the sound of the cicadas. Count the number of stars you can see in the deep blue velvet sky.

Nearby

Towns

Umbertide 30 mins
Citta di Castello 35 mins
Sansepolcro 40 mins
Cortona 45 mins
Gubbio 60 mins

Airports

Perugia 55 mins
Florence 120 mins
Bologna 165 mins
Rome Ciampino 165 mins
Pisa 165 mins
Times are approximate

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