about the apartment

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St. Francis, Perugino, Iris Origo, Masolino di Panicale, Frances Mayes, Aldo Gallo... just a few of the luminaries, past & present, of Umbria, the green heart of Italy. Be it a slow drive to surrounding hill towns in Umbria & Tuscany, or taking the train to Rome or Florence, you’ll always return to the tranquility of the lovely village of Panicale...

Our home in Umbria is in the outer wall of a medieval town. After parking your car outside the wall, you will take a short minute or less walk to the apartment. A short flight of stairs takes you to the front door. Entering through a very old double wood door, you take another short flight to the main level of the apartment. There you will find an open plan living and dining room with working fireplace, and a petite, fully equipped kitchen. At the top of the stairs is a half bath with washing machine. Continuing up an open flight of stairs off of the living room, are two bedrooms and a full bath with a large, tiled walk-in shower. The master bedroom has a queen-size bed, the second bedroom has two twin beds that can be made up as a double. The smaller bedroom overlooks a small park outside the wall of the village. The larger bedroom views the interior of the town. The floors are terra cotta tiles, the ceilings  ancient beams interspersed with small terra cotta tiles. A few sections of the older parts of the structure have been exposed to reveal some of the earlier architectural details.

          Panicale is a charming small village with lovely residents. It is also an excellent base from which to explore the wonderful Tuscan and Umbrian hill towns. Best accessed by car, the hill towns are abundant in this area. After 10 years of ownership, there are still plenty of towns to explore. And so many that warrant repeat visits... To the north about 10 minutes by car is Castiglione del Lago, a town with a spectacular location on a narrow peninsula on Lake Trasimeno. Further along is Cortona, (about 35 minutes from Panicale). A drive around the lake will take you to Tuoro and Passignano. Both towns (as well as others) have ferry service to the three islands on the lake. To the northwest, about 50 minutes, is Siena. To the northeast about 30 minutes is Perugia, to the south are Todi and Orvieto (both about 45 minutes). Other nearby Tuscan hill towns are: Chiusi with its Etruscan museum and tombs; Montepulciano, home of the famous Vino Nobile; Pienza, one Pope's ideal city; and San Casciano dei Bagni with its wonderful day spa and mineral baths. Deruta, the center of Umbrian ceramics; Citta della Pieve, the birthplace of Renaissance artist Perugino; Assisi, the home of Saint Francis; as well as Spoleto, Bevagna, Montefalco, Spello, and Gubbio. The Benedictine Abbey of Monteoliveto towards Siena or the Abbazia di San’Antimo on the way to Pienza are marvelous to experience. The former for its frescos, the later for its weekly service with Gregorian chants.

          All of these towns can be reached as a day trip; each has its own special attractions. Rome and Florence can be easily visited by driving 20 minutes to the Chiusi train station, leaving the car and taking an InterCity train an hour to Florence or to Rome. It's a relaxing way to visit these large cities and return to the tranquility of Panicale at the end of the day. And best of all, avoid the big city driving! At the end of the day, we might pick up a meal on the way to the station to eat on our train ride back Chiusi.