My husband and I would like to thank you for your services you provided. The Medieval Castle in Umbria was outstanding! Your website was very informative and we would highly recommend to anyone interested in visiting Italy, you must visit Initaly.com first.
We were celebrating our 25th Anniversary in Italy for 3 weeks. My husband surprised me with tickets for a 7-Day Mediterranean Cruise and 10 days in Italy on our own. I was so excited to set up our 10-day itinerary for the both of us. We rented a car in Perugia, Italy and then stayed for 3 nights in a suite at the Medieval Castle in Umbria. The castle sat on top of a hill, the most beautiful and breathtaking views in Italy. We walked the grounds of the castle each day. The in-ground pool was situated in a perfect spot where you can enjoy the view of the castle, olive trees, hills and much more. At night, it was so peaceful you can only hear the wind blow softly nothing else.
The owner of the castle and his wife Natalia, the butler "Leonardo," the receptionist "Virginia" and of course the two chefs were the most warm and welcoming people during our stay at the castle. We were greeted by Carlo, his wife Natalia and other guests in a romantic setting in a formal dining room, served with appetizers and wine. We then were seated at the table, served a seven course meal every night. The dinners were absolutely DELICIOUS and OUTSTANDING! Carlo shared many stories with us about his castle and the history behind it. We were very happy to have Carlo and his beautiful wife, Natalia to have joined us for dinner twice. The breakfast served each morning was just as appetizing and delicious too. We drove up to Gubbio for the day but returned back before dark. The roads are narrow and would highly recommend you don't drive at night unless you like to live dangerously. Carlo, Natalia and staff, thank you for sharing your delicious recipes with me. We will share them with our family in the USA and will think of you all.
To my husband "Don": I want to thank you for making our 25th Anniversary the most memorable time for both of us. I will treasure these memories forever and take them with me. Promise me dear, you will give us another 30 plus more years. "I LOVE YOU"!!
Don & Julia S.
We had a terrific trip, thank you. We have used your site for several earlier trips, and once again you made our travel plans so easy for this trip as well.
As part of our trip, we stayed at Medieval Castle in Umbria for 3 nights in Umbria. This was quite enjoyable. We had been to Tuscany, but never Umbria, so this was a nice departure for us. The property is very unique and the staff was warm and welcoming. The accommodations are sparse and basic, yet period authentic. This wasn't a surprise to us to have things such as hard beds and quite low ceilings, but other potential guests may be taken aback if coming with different expectations. We ate dinner in the castle dining room each evening with other guests. It wasn't necessarily outstanding cuisine, it was simple and a bit ordinary, but it was the ease of dining onsite after a day of adventuring in the Umbrian countryside which made it convenient. Besides, the castle closes at 11, and if you dine late in a nearby town, it's unlikely that you'll navigate the tiny roads and make it back to the castle in time. The owners, Carlo and his wife, were quite charming and gracious hosts. For day trips, we found Gubbio, the closest town, uninspiring. It could be a quaint hilltop town, but it is overrun with tour buses and lost its charm. Montefalco was much more inviting and enjoyable, although a bit farther afield. There, we would recommend Federico II Enoteca on the Republic Comune Piazza for lunch. There were great selections of Sagrantino wines and they chef's antipasto sampler was outstanding. Assisi was also an easy day trip. After visiting the sites, we walked up the hill to Ristorante Metastasio (via metastasio,9) and had an outstanding lunch overlooking the valley below.
Thank you again for you help in making a portion of our trip so easy.
The castle was a unique experience, a 12th century castle high up in the mountains almost in the clouds. The best part about it were wonderful dinners with the other guests and Carlo the owner of the hotel in the beautiful dining room. We enjoyed meeting other couples from France, Netherlands, Canada and the U.S. and sharing our experiences at the dining room table. The conversation was easy and pleasant and we were all surprised to look at our watch and see that it was almost midnight.
The castle is not located well for going to dinner at other places, as it is somewhat isolated off a winding road, might not be great to come back to late at night after typically late Italian dinners.
Some suggestions for the future travelers that have been recommended by other In Italy users that we have found useful and wanted to reconfirm:
Definitely get a GPS, we had out own from home that had Italian maps, but if you don't, rent one with your car, you won't regret it.
Do not get travelers checks, use your credit cards everywhere you can, that's how you'll get the best exchange rate. You can get cash using ATM machines, and use cash where they don't accept credit cards.
Some cities and towns that that I would recommend seeing in Tuscany and Umbria are: San Gimignano, Siena, and Florence and Cortona are musts in Tuscany. Unfortunately we didn't get to see Lucca because of time constraints, we hear it's great, so hopefully next time. I would also drive down the Chianti Road, the views are unbelievable. I would skip Montepulciano: it wasn't the prettiest of the Tuscan hill towns, and you can taste their wine in other places.
In Umbria, Assisi and Orvieto are definite musts. I was a bit disappointed with Spoleto.
For people going to Liguria and the coast, I would definitely recommend going to Cinque Terre, they are breathtakingly beautiful, no photos can describe it. I would skip Portofino, though and go to Portovenere instead. Portofino is very touristy, and very expensive. The worst and the most expensive dinner we had in our 2 week trip to Italy was in Portofino, while dinners and lunches everywhere else were delicious and reasonably priced.
All in all we had a wonderful trip and look forward to coming back again. Thanks to In Italy for a very useful site and many great suggestions.
I would like to thank you for your recommendation for Medieval Castle in Umbria. I had an incredibly wonderful time at the castle. It was exactly what I was looking for. I especially enjoyed the hospitality of the host and their wonderful food. They really made me feel at home away from home. I am planning to return to Medieval Castle in Umbria in May or June with my husband and daughter. Looking forward to booking through your service in the future.
Just a note to let you know that our 2 week idyllic trip to Italy was just that. I spent months and months planning this trip for my husband and me and it was everything I could have hoped for and more. All of our accommodations were wonderful, but the highlight of the trip, especially for my husband, was the 2 night stay at Medieval Castle in Umbria in Gubbio. I booked it after reading about it on your website, but I was still a little concerned as to whether or not it would meet our expectations. I needn't have worried! Our host and his wonderful staff made us feel welcome and comfortable from the start. Our room was large, the bathroom lovely and equipped with a jacuzzi, and everything was immaculate. Breakfast offered many delicious choices, including a wonderful chocolate cake. Although I planned on only one dinner at the castle, my husband would not hear of eating anywhere else. We dined with our host the first night and listened intently as he told us the history of the castle. The second evening we were joined by a couple from England and the former president of Ecuador! The castle is well situated between Gubbio and Perugia and day trips were easily accomplished. The property is lovely and we spent an entire afternoon just wandering about. It was truly a magical experience.
Our car rental which you arranged through AutoEurope was also without a single problem. We did request a GPS and this was, hands down, worth every penny. We were both able to enjoy the fantastic scenery without worrying about reading a map or following someone's incomplete directions. I would highly recommend a GPS for anyone driving in Italy.
We are already planning a return trip and you can be sure that In Italy will be our #1 resource.
Thank you for all your help.
We had a great trip. We were very pleased with all of our arrangements. A special favorite was Medieval Castle in Umbria. The area is beautiful, castle charming and the host, Carlo, a very welcoming and warm person. We ended up enjoying dinner there all three nights, meeting very pleasant other guests. Our regret was that we were so busy seeing everything we could see during our stay.
Another highlight was our Vatican tour. Our guide, Gregory, who is only in Italy during his vacation time from teaching, was absolutely fabulous! Wealth of information, tailoring the visit to our interests, and a marvel at moving us through the incredible throngs of people.
Thanks for your help in planning our trip.
Susan and Mel G.
We had a great trip to Italy even though they were having a heatwave! Above normal temps during the day. Medieval Castle in Umbria was a wonderful place to stay. Very quiet and the pool was an added plus at the end of a long hot day of touring. Carlo was a marvelous host and we enjoyed dining with him twice during our stay. The rooms were spacious and comfortable. The staff was very friendly and helpful in recommending places to eat and making reservations for us. The breakfast that was included was a great way to start the day and meet others. We recommend both of the places we stayed highly, each very different from the other, but providing unique experiences in accommodations.
Thank you for your email. We found the In Italy website of great value in planning our trip.
Medieval Castle in Umbria was a unique experience. We arrived after dark on a rainy night, so the effect of the castle was potent--it was the perfect set for a horror movie. But the host was pleasant and helpful, and the experience of staying in an 11th Century castle was quite special. We had dinner there our second night, a lovely dinner, just the three of us. Mr. Sagrini was in a talkative mood, so we learned a great deal about the castle, the area, his enterprises, etc. This is a unique lodging, not to everyone's taste, but for history buffs it's a must and Mr. Sagrini is a gracious host.
Thanks for your email. Medieval Castle in Umbria was exceptional! Urbino which is reasonably close is an outstanding small Renaissance city. It was developed by Duke Federico who was born in the castle. World class caves at Grotte in Frasassi that deserve to be better known.
We arrived at Medieval Castle in Umbria in the midst of a (cooling and lovely, actually) thunder-and-lightening storm, so it was PERFECT --- especially since I was in the midst of reading the newest Harry Potter, which I finished there. Medieval Castle in Umbria isn't Hogwarts but it is a beautiful, wonderful experience for Muggles. The walls truly are about 2-feet thick, it's sparkling clean, and the bathrooms and towels wonderful.
The best meal we had in Italy was that first night at the castle. The best bruschetta (tomato and arugula), the best meat dish, the best potatoes. We were treated like royalty and had a wonderful discussion at the table with a couple from Belgium as well as the daughter of the castle, Maria Luisa, and her friend. Our fourth (and last) night there we had dinner again at the castle, and it was just as fun; Carlo (the owner) this time joined us, as did Maria Luisa again and a couple from Norway who had just become engaged.
We relaxed more at the castle than anywhere else we went in Italy (Lago Maggiore, Venice, Rome). The cool breezes were a delight, as was the pool, which my husband and son spent time in. The beds were comfortable ... there was nothing wrong at all the entire time. We read the history of the castle and discovered that at the turn of this century, the Zampa family owned it for a bit before selling to the current family. (We're Zampas, too, but they didn't give us a family discount!)
We did day trips from the castle to Florence and Cortona; Assisi; and Gubbio. It's perfectly situated. All in all, a wonderful place. We would definitely stay there again, and we will for SURE use InItaly.com again. All the information you sent was much appreciated.
Thank you so much!
First I would like to thank you and all of the folks at IN ITALY. COM. All of the accommodations that we reserved through your service well exceeded our expectations. The information that I obtained from you was very helpful and accurate and made the adjustment for traveling in Italy less stressful.
We actually spent 30 days on this trip which a week of it was spent up in Austria.
Medieval Castle in Umbria: What a wonderful place to get away from the hussle and bussle. Very quiet, clean, and room to stretch out. Our host, Carlo and his staff provided us with a very memorable stay. This property is rich in history and very well maintained for as old as it is. Carlo is in the process of remodeling, adding additional rooms which from what I could see they will be very beautiful.
Carlo is very attentive to his guests, greets them upon arrival, shares his home, wine, and knowledge of the surrounding areas, and was extremely helpful with recommendations of places to see and things to due. We were fortunate to have experienced different adventures in Umbria that we would have surely missed if it wasn't for Carlo. I very much enjoyed sitting with Carlo, sharing a glass of wine and talking about his adventures and the history of his GREAT CASTLE.
When it came to "where to dine" he was right on the mark. He recommended a marvelous restaurant in Gubbio, "Ristorante La Fornace". What a wonderful experience, our waiter, I believe his name was Michael, was magnificent, we choose the chef's special which was a 5 or 7 course dinner, what a treat. Michael lead us through each course which was so very well prepared and presented, and with his recommendation for wine selection for each course, well, let me say this, the entire dining experience was unbelievable. I still dream about it and would return to Italy just to eat there again.
Of course you can't stay at Medieval Castle in Umbria and not have dinner with your host Carlo. This is truly a traditional Italian dining experience. We spent several hours in the dining room where Nobles dined hundreds of years ago, sharing appetizers, drink, and conversation with our host. Then we moved to the beautiful candlelit dining table and sat down to a bounty of delicious pastas, meat, bread, wine and more. We ate, drank, and talked until our hearts were content and our stomachs were full, then we enjoyed the evening with a stroll around the property.
We really did have a wonderful time in Italy. My recommendations for any "first timers" visiting this country are as follows.
(1) Be very open minded :
The "Norm" does not necessarily apply here
(2) Forget about taking travelers checks :
It is bad enough taking the hit on the currency exchange rate, however it will just make things worse for you when you do cash a travelers check and get an even worse exchange rate PLUS pay a commission for doing so. Use your ATM card, there are a lot of ATM machines all through Italy plus a lot of places due take major credit cards. By doing so you will assure yourself that you are going to get the "actual "current exchange rate at that time and not have to pay an additional commission. This will help take a lot of frustration out of your vacation.
(3) Charge tour road tolls on your credit card:
This will get you through the tolls quicker and prevent the 100's of locals waiting behind you from honking and yelling at you while you are trying to figure out how much to pay. Even if the toll is just a couple of euro, "Charge It", I believe you should charge as much of your vacation in Italy as possible, after all, it cost you nothing to charge it "PLUS" you get the best exchange rate. Cash is a commodity, you will need it. Keep lots of Euro in your pocket at all times because there are places that do not except anything else and you don't want to be caught without it. When you get home you can then spend your cash paying off your credit card, you will then see just how much you actually saved by taking full advantage of the fluctuating exchange rate.
(4) Just have fun:
Don't worry about driving in Italy, it is not as difficult as you might think it just takes a little getting use to. Italians are very aggressive drivers and they will honk and perhaps make gestures at you. Just keep in mind that you are a tourist and are not expected to know where you are going. Simply pull off to the right onto the shoulder, relax, view your directions then proceed. You don't want to make a wrong turn or take the wrong exit, after all it may be extremely difficult if not impossible to find your way back. Then you'll be forced to find an alternative way to get where you're going. Having a partner to navigate as you drive is a must, I would only drive solo if I had made the same trip a few times and was very comfortable with my landmarks.
Anyway, thank you once again for your assistance. I hope this is what you wanted, and should we return to Italy I would use your services again as well as recommend them to others who may be planning on going.
We adored Umbria and the Medieval Castle. The room was fine and looked over the countryside. We ended up having dinner at the castle on four nights, a fully served five course experience that lasted for three hours. We were joined by Americans, Dutch, South African and Italian guests, making for lively and fascinating conversation.
The trains made travel very easy and we used them for travel between all cities, using the car only during our stay at the castle. I did the numbers before going and found it less expensive to buy tickets as we went along than to buy passes. There is no reason to travel first class. Second class seats are very comfortable. When possible we reserved seats, not knowing how crowded a particular train might be. Italian trains run on time and leave on time.
We found it easy to use metro in Milan and Rome so we didn't try busses.
By limiting our trip to five destinations in three weeks we were able to settle in a little. Only in Milan did we stay one night at each end of the trip. Our itinerary took us Milan - Venice-Florence-Umbrian countryside-Rome-Varenna (Lake Como)-Milan. We limited our "must-see" list and stopped when we were tired.
Food was excellent throughout. We sought out small restaurants on side streets when we could, very often family run and always friendly. Because small tables are close together, we were almost always able to have conversations with others over meals. Our Italian was extremely limited, but almost everyone spoke at least a little English and wanted to be helpful.
We experienced absolutely no anti-American feeling. I recommend that everyone who dreams of going to Italy should do it.
Thank you for your help.
Susie and Bill O.
We enjoyed our trip to italy and certainly to the castle. carlo was a most gracious host. the hospitality couldn't have been better. we even had dinner in the castle-an experience i would recommend. one could close his or her eyes and easily imagine being back in the middle ages. the suite we were in was spacious and comfortable, although a bit austere. carlo had a printed history of the castle and surrounding area presented on arrival, which was a nice touch and he was quite knowledgeable and most willing to divulge what information he had. visits to gubbio and assisi completed our stay in umbria. the only difficulty we encountered was the routing around and past perugia and the sign for the castle on the way from perugia was so small that we drove right past it and went part way to gubbio, before getting instuctions from a local gas station. it didn't help any that we were driving after dark. that is really the only negative i found. i would suggest arrival during daylight hours.
All told, our trip to italy, including the castle, couldn't have been better. we certainly hope to return in the future.
Our trip to italy was great, we were on budget [in order to stay three weeks] but we did want to do something different, and that was the castle in umbria. anyone staying splurge for there dinner, you'll feel royal. the family carlo and daughter were very nice hosts. what a way to end our trip. on top of a mountain in a castle, sipping wine in the evening. the host carlo shared about castle being in same family 150 years. it was better than what we expected.
The Medieval Castle in Umbria is unique, also a great base point for exploring Umbria. The owner and host is a perfect gentleman and extremely gracious host. We ate all our diners at the Castello with Carlo and other guests, and they were outstanding and very reasonably priced for the quality and quantity. The dinners were one of the high points of our entire trip. Thanks again for your prompt and gracious help.
Ray and Elaine G.
The four of us loved Medieval Castle in Umbria and spent a very happy 2 days there. Our host was delightful and very helpful. The rooms were comfortable. It was very easy to explore Assisi, Perugia and the gorgeous village of Gubbio from the castle. I appreciated all your help and was very impressed with your company. We look forward to returning to Italy in the future and will definitely contact "In Italy". Thank you and best wishes,
We had a wonderful time at Medieval Castle in Umbria. The owners of the castle are warm and inviting people who make you feel at home. The dinner was top quality: both the food and conversation. It is not your typical lodging and I suggest it to anyone looking beyond hotels. We actually live in Rome and brought my in-laws there for a two-night stay. I thought it was a good idea since they have been to visit us numerous times and I was looking to provide them with a new experience.
Thank you again for your help with the booking.
We had a wonderful time! Medieval Castle in Umbria was really nice - loved the ambiance and the remote, quiet location. Dinner with Carlo was an interesting (and delicious) experience. We visited many hill towns, took the ferry to Isola Maggiore on Lake Trasimeno, enjoyed climbing on the roof of the Duomo in Milan, the museums of Florence, Lake Como, the Cinqueterre, and especially the food and wines of each region. Sorry to come home and back to reality.
Had a wonderful time in Italy and an especially good time at the Castello. It was one of the highlights of our trip. I think what I liked most about our stay at Medieval Castle in Umbria was the feeling that we were not staying at a hotel but were the guests of our host, Carlo. When we arrived, Carlo greeted us and invited us to share a bottle of wine with him in his sitting room while he explained a little about the Castello's history and made small-talk with us about our vacation so far in Italy. Carlo was present at dinner and breakfast and shared the food with us. He really made us feel at home. I would recommend the Castello, without any reservations, to any of my friends who were going to be in Italy.
Thanks for asking. Our stay at the Castello was incredible. Because of cancellations, they upgraded us to a suite that was larger than our apt. in NYC. You really should encourage everyone booking through your service to inquire about the "dinner with the family". Truly unforgettable. We ate with Carlo the owner and his wife, a 5 course meal prepared by their personal chef. It was so good the first night that we ate with them the 2nd night as well.
We learned from staying at the Castello that we don't like castles unless the weather is hot and sunny. It was wet and cold during much of our visit and that dampened our spirits considerably. Our room and bath were adequate, but barely. One saving grace was a couple of excellent dinners and ample breakfasts.
We had a great time in Italy. It was our first trip and we will be definitely going back. The Medieval Castle in Umbria is everything we expected. The owner is delightful, had some wine and a chat on arrival with another american couple. We had dinner in the Castle both nights that we stayed with all the other guests and the owner - very homely and a great way to meet new people.
Thanks again for everything and I have recommended the site to loads of my friends!!.
Medieval Castle in Umbria was great! Very personal and warm treatment of guests. Owner of castle had dinner with us almost every night. Met wonderful people. Highly recommended. This is no ordinary hotel or B and B.
We had a fabulous 18 days in Italy. The highlight of our trip was the 5 nights we spent at Medieval Castle in Umbria near Gubbio. Carlo was a wonderful host. The accommodations were great, the food fabulous and the company very enjoyable. My husband and Carlo had some very lively discussions about agricultural policy and genetically modified foods - passionate topics for both of them. We met some great people from among the guests as well. We really appreciated the very informative package of information we received from In Italy prior to our departure. The instructions to Medieval Castle in Umbria were excellent and the rest of the information was very useful.
The car rental we had arranged through your contact was also great. I particularly appreciated the suggestion of picking up our car in Venice rather than my original plan to take the train to Florence and pick it up there.
Overall, we appreciate all the help from In Italy. Your website was a valuable asset that I just happened to stumble into. I'm always pleasantly surprised when I find a really good internet site - you can never be too careful as I'm sure you realize! I've already recommended your services to other friends planning trips to Italy. We'll be sure to contact you again for help with future visits.
Medieval Castle in Umbria was great. Staying there added so much value to our vacation! Its authenticity allows one to capture the spirit of Umbria. Our host was gracious and also interesting as a person. We would definitely recommend the castle to our friends. Overall it was excellent, and I am very pleased with initaly.com
Two highlights were the day we spent in Orvieto and the two nights at Medieval Castle in Umbria. Carlo is a wonderful host who truly enjoys making you feel at home. We ate with him and approx. 15 other guests both nights (the place was booked), speaking Italian with everyone. It was truly a joy to spend time with someone who so enjoys catering to his guests.
As for Medieval Castle in Umbria, well, it was a unique experience. It is a wonderful medieval castle and the owner has spent lots of effort to keep the 'atmosphere' just as medieval. Just for the atmosphere cause the rooms are splendid.
I can't find the words to describe the castle itself, the beauty of the surroundings.... well, I think one has to see it to fully understand what we felt over there. Now this destination (Umbria and the castle) should be on everybody's list. Not that many tourists, and we've had the chance to visit Assisi, Gubbio and Perugia which turned out to be great journeys.
Finally, special thanks to Italy Online which gave us the opportunity to live these experiences. I'm delighted to say the your service has been extremely professional and based on what we've seen, I would like to have the chance to visit all the destinations you offer on your web site.
This is a sure shot for anyone who wants a unique journey in Italy,(not just a plain, impersonal "3 stars hotel" stay).
Perugia was almost just as I remembered it. One major change: escalators throughout the town. Now, you have to understand that Perugia is a town that was built as a fortress on top of a hill. The town is fairly big with really no places to park. So they have recently (about ten years ago that is - that's recent in a place where time is measured in 500 year increments!) built parking garages under the town. You park and then take a series of escalators up through marvelous medieval excavations under the town. About six escalators bring you right up to Corso Vannucci - the main drag. Pretty neat. We walked around and had lunch on a tiny vicolo (small street) which a car could not fit through. Panini and drinks - it was fun. They had a TV set up with a soccer show on. A sports bar Italian style! We had gelato and then saw the national museum of Umbria. It was very nice and its frescoes are considered among the best in all of Italy. We saw the basilica or I think it's really called a cathedral. And the "Fontana," my God, it was covered with a space age bubble for restoration work! We saw the house where I lived 25 years ago but we didn't go in.
We left Perugia and traveled toward Gubbio. The roads would make James Bond drool - curving, up and down hills. The Alfa did just great. I can't say the same for the other passengers!
We arrived at the "Medieval Castle in Umbria." What a place! A real castle with a tower - the owner met us. He invited us to a glass of wine with him in the courtyard once we had unpacked. Oh, he invited us to dinner, too! What a marvelous meal. There was a long medieval table set with a single chair on each end. High backed chairs of course. And there were two chairs on each side of the table. Candles were lit on the table and the atmosphere exuded a medieval air. The food was very very good. We started with sage and carrots, batter-dipped and deep-fried. The sage was especially good. Pasta alla primavera was offered next. The pasta was rigatoni done with zucchini, peppers and onions in a white wine sauce. It was a very delicate sauce for a very hearty meal. This was followed by maiale (pork) done in a similar sauce with other ingredients (I suspected pine nuts) that even Signor Sagrini did not know. ("Non entro mai in cucina.") Oh, dinner was at 8:30 p.m. - but we were done by 11!
We had a wonderful trip, if a somewhat wet one toward the beginning. The highlight of our accommodations was the Medieval Castle in Umbria. When we first got there it was grey and raining and we wondered what we had gotten ourselves into for three nights, but our host Carlo was absolutely charming. He is a delightful host and we thoroughly enjoyed our dinners en famille. Carlo was very complementary about you.
Thanks again for your help and for putting all this together so quickly.
I have just returned from Europe, and I wanted you to know that Medieval Castle in Umbria was FABULOUS. Our accommodations were spacious and tasteful, and the castle itself is enchanting. Wonderful location as well. It certainly gets my highest recommendation. We loved it. Thanks for the tip and the service.