Not everybody knows the cute little town of Montone in Umbria. It is a small jewel not far from Umbertide in the North of Umbria. It is officially one of the ‘Borghi più belli d’Italia’, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. We organised a wine tasting here some years ago at the restaurant Tipico Montone.
Sue and Chris from the UK are the owners of Villa Montone and have shared with us their experience buying their second home in Montone. They also share a bit of its history, give you some idea’s of what to do in the area, and help you discover their favourite restaurant. Read about their magical corner of Italy.
The story of Sue and Chris
Way back in 2003, we set out from the UK to find a home in beautiful Italy. Our main requirements were Tuscany, affordability, beautiful location and close to a vibrant village. After two long visits and literally hundreds of house viewings, we found it. Not in Tuscany as planned but in its more beautiful and more authentic close neighbour Umbria, the green heart of Italy.
The 300-year-old farmhouse we found was owned by the Italian footballer and coach Sergio Canuti. He had used it as a holiday getaway and hadn’t been there for years, so everything was in a very poor state. We immediately fell in love with it mainly because of the completely unspoilt and breath-taking beauty that surrounded the property as far as the eye could see. It came with ruined barns and pigsty’s and 56 hectares ……. yes 56 hectares of glorious Umbrian countryside.
Creating a holiday home
So, in early 2004 work started to bring the main house back to something habitable so that we could live there and watch our dream unfold. Our plans for a small guest cottage in one of the barns started to take shape and before we knew it a three-bedroomed and three-bathroom villa emerged!
As luck would have it, the old barns sat in the most beautiful spot with stunning views and all-day sun, so this is what Sole e Luna enjoys today. Overlooking a large swimming pool and with extensive landscaped grounds, everything was complete and by 2006 we were open for business.
Fourteen years later, hundreds of holidaymakers from all over the world have enjoyed this very special place. We have tried very hard to provide all of the comforts that should be expected for a comfortable and safe holiday. An extensive library and hundreds of DVDs ensure that no one gets bored whether it rains or shines. Thankfully, it’s mostly sunshine throughout the Summer.
About Montone in Umbria
The name of the hill with the house and barns that we purchased back in 2003 is Montebestia which translates to Animal Mountain, a well-known landmark in the area. Montone, our fabulous medieval walled village that’s only one kilometre away, enjoys a hilltop position and is home to 600 people within its walls. It rates as one of the top ten most beautiful villages in the whole of Italy. Small shops, wonderful restaurants, a bakery and bars make Montone a totally unique place. Add to this the numerous festivals, including the Umbrian Film Festival, that are held throughout the year and the visitor can see why we call Sole e Luna and Montone our magical corner of Italy!
Where to visit
So what would a typical day be for us when we are there? Something like this – a leisurely rise with a swim before breakfast. Fresh fruit and good Italian coffee in the shade of our grapevine just by the pool. Then it’s off in search of culture! Assisi, Perugia, Cortona, Lake Trasimeno, Castiglione del Lago, Spello to mention only a few of the gorgeous towns within easy reach of Montone. All beautiful places to visit full of art and so much more. Then it’s home for another swim and a cool down before getting ready for a delicious night out in Montone.
Our preferred restaurant
So many excellent restaurants to choose from but our favourite is Erba Luna run by the creative chef Claudio and his partner Edith who runs front of house. Try the Rack of Lamb with the pistachio crust or the fabulous Fillet Steak cooked in Grand Marnier – stunning!! After a wonderful meal and a decent bottle of Italian Red, we wander down through the narrow lane to the piazza for a nightcap in the bar and one of Michele’s wonderful ice creams.