Elegant 1,000-Year Old Air-Conditioned Villa in Walled Hamlet
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- Minimum stay:1-7 nights
- Property type:Villa
- Pets considered:No
- Wheel chair accessible:No
“Rocca di Benano” is a five-bedroom, four-bathroom villa that offers you the finest accommodations and location in the heart of Italy. It’s ideally situated near the border between Umbria and Tuscany and easily accessible to Rome, Florence, and many of Italy’s classic hill towns. Set amid lovely vineyards and olive groves overlooking Orvieto, one of Italy’s most beautiful hill towns, this meticulously restored home features original stone walls, exposed wooden beams, terracotta floors, and a wine cellar carved out of bedrock. At Rocca di Benano, a large family or group of up to 10 friends can enjoy Umbrian life as it was 1,000 years ago, yet with all the conveniences of the 21st century, including comfortable furnishings, high-end American beds, beautiful Italian antiques, and – rare for Italian homes – air conditioning. More than offering you just a place to stay, we strive to make your stay at Rocca di Benano the carefree experience of a lifetime. Your stay starts with a "welcome dinner" prepared for you in the villa by a local chef. And long before your arrival, we are available to answer all your questions and offer personal help in designing your vacation. We can help you set up a driver who can bring your group straight from the airport to the villa; refer you to local chefs who can prepare and serve meals at the villa; connect you with guides in towns and cities you might visit; and suggest day-trips, attractions, restaurants, and shopping throughout the region and beyond. Our helpful caretakers live nearby and offer additional services such as grilling out on the terrace, laundry, and extra cleanings.
Rocca di Benano is the principal dwelling in the walled medieval hamlet of Benano, which sits on the edge of a valley, high above the ancient hill town of Orvieto. Its five bedrooms are spread over four levels. Each bedroom can accommodate 2 people. A full bathroom is convenient to each bedroom. The photos below show each bedroom and bathroom.
Ground Floor: There is a lovely bedroom on the ground floor with twin wrought-iron beds, a hand-made armoire and dresser, with a full bathroom with a shower across the hall. This floor includes a family room with satellite TV and access to the terrace. It also features a medieval cistern, well-lit and under glass, so that guests can literally peer into history. From this floor, guests can descend forty feet to the villa’s beautifully preserved wine cellar. There also is a laundry room with a washer and a dryer on the ground floor. An internal staircase connects the ground floor to the first-floor kitchen.
First Floor: The first floor includes a comfortable living room, a well-lit dining room with seating for 10 and a spectacular view across the valley, and a professionally-appointed kitchen already stocked with the basics. The kitchen is equipped with a four-burner gas stove, electric oven, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer, American coffee maker, and a large collection of professional cookware. The living room’s original large stone fireplace is fitted with an iron wood-burning stove for easy, smoke-free fires. There also is a bedroom on the first floor, with a queen-size wrought-iron bed, antique armoire, and rich imported upholstery and linens. The bedroom, dining room, and living room have independently-controlled air conditioning. There is a full bathroom with a shower on the first floor. The internal staircase connecting the first floor to the ground floor descends from the kitchen.
Second Floor: There is an internal staircase of original terracotta tiles leading up to the second floor. The large bedroom, with an exposed stone wall, has twin wrought-iron beds, an antique armoire, and an antique dresser. The bedroom has independently-controlled air conditioning. There is a full bathroom with a shower across from this bedroom.
Third Floor: The third floor also has an internal staircase of original terracotta tiles leading up to it. This floor has a stunning panoramic view across the Benano Valley to Orvieto. Its main bedroom, with restored beamed ceilings and exposed stone walls, features a king-size wrought-iron bed, built-in clothes cupboards, and rich imported upholstery and linens. The other third-floor bedroom features a queen-size bed (European dimensions), an antique dresser, and rich imported upholstery and linens. Both bedrooms on the third floor have independently-controlled air conditioning. Offering another breathtaking view, the bathroom for the third-floor bedrooms is accessible off the internal staircase and also includes a shower.
Terrace: The villa’s back door (off the ground-floor family room) opens onto a private stone terrace overlooking the property’s 25 olive trees, a prolific fig tree (always a guest favorite in late summer), neighboring farms, and a nearby hill town. A beautiful hand-painted ceramic table and wrought-iron chairs provide outdoor dining space for 8-10 people. There is a brick pizza oven and Italian barbecue on the terrace, with firewood stored on a second terrace immediately below. Guests may use the pool at a hotel 2 miles away, free of charge.
Once a defensive outpost, Benano dates back at least 1,000 years, although the villa retains features possibly from an earlier time, including its wine cellar and a recently uncovered cistern from the middle ages. The villa sits on a tiny piazza facing a small, 16th century church, and its external wall forms part of the old “rocca,” or fortress. Benano is home to about 25 year-round residents. Join the small crowd that gathers to meet the bread truck each weekday morning and the fish, meat, and produce trucks that come each week. Or take in the inevitable gathering of locals chatting in the piazza each summer afternoon. Cars and motorcycles are not permitted in the center of the village, so guests are spared the street noise common throughout Italy. Guests can park for free just outside the village gate, 100 feet from the villa's front door.
Member since: 2009
- Vacation Rental
- Guests Provide Their Own Meals
- Private Chef
- Long-Term Renters Welcome
- Children Welcome:
- Non Smoking Only
- Pets Not Allowed
- Wheelchair Inaccessible
Bedrooms: 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10, Beds for 10
Bathrooms: 4 Bathrooms
- Complimentary house wine, English-language satellite TV, onsite washer and dryer, a GPS pre-programmed with the locations of local restaurants, ATMs, grocery stores and popular tourist sites, two pay-as-you-go Italian cell phones, free landline calls to the US, window screens, a bread/pizza oven on the terrace, and pool privileges at a hotel in Castel Viscardo (see map)....moreless
- CD Player
- DVD Player
- Satellite / Cable
- Video Library
- Health/Beauty Spa
- Winery Tours
Local Services & Businesses
- Massage Therapist
- Horseback Riding
- Sight Seeing
Sports & Adventure Activities
- Dining Area
- Air Conditioning
- Clothes Dryer
- Free Long Distance
- Hair Dryer
- Iron & Board
- Linens Provided
- Mobile Phone
- Parking Off Street
- Towels Provided
- Washing Machine
- Wireless Internet
- Wood Stove
- Catering Available
- Coffee Maker:
- Cooking Utensils
- Dishes & Utensils
- Deck / Patio
- Outdoor Grill
|Dates||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
May 14 - Nov 4, 2016
7 night min stay
Late Fall 2016
Nov 5 - Dec 16, 2016
7 night min stay
Dec 17 - Jan 6, 2017
7 night min stay
Jan 7 - May 12, 2017
7 night min stay
Spring through Fall
May 13 - Nov 3, 2017
7 night min stay
Nov 4 - Dec 15, 2017
7 night min stay
Winter holidays 2017
Dec 16 - Jan 5, 2018
7 night min stay
Additional information about rental rates
- Taxes Not included
Owner's cancellation policy:
Cancelled bookings will not receive a refund.
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Cooking classes, olive harvesting and pressing, wine tasting, and referrals to great tour guides for the best attractions in the area.
Year Purchased: 2008
About the owner: Karen and Paul live in Cincinnati, Ohio. When she’s not in Italy researching ways for guests to make the most of their time in Italy, Karen works with guests to prepare for a trip of a lifetime. She offers her guests free concierge services to help make them feel right at home in Benano and give them everything they need, including the confidence to explore the area and all that it has to offer. She can help guests develop an itinerary personalized to their interests. She can steer them to unforgettable off-the-beaten path towns and restaurants; introduce them to friends in the community who can, depending on their guests’ interests, teach teach them to cook like a local, cook for them in the villa, show them around their organic farm, and serve them a meal there. She knows where you can rent horses or bikes. She can introduce you to the best tour guide imaginable -- a teacher who, when she isn't working, can tour with Rocca di Benano’s guests around the area she loves and has studied extensively. Karen can also help you arrange winery tours, a visit to an artist's studio (it's in a castle, by the way) in the neighboring village, or help you arrange for a photographer to capture your vacation memories. On a more practical level, she can help you think through how and where you want to rent your car, recommend a perfect 'welcome dinner,' suggest driving itineraries, and even put you in touch with a driver/personal assistant who can stay with you throughout your visit and drive you wherever you want to go whenever you want to go there.
The Unique Benefits at this Villa:
Benano is the perfect location for exploring Tuscany and Umbria. It overlooks Orvieto, offering stunning views of one of Italy’s most beautiful hill towns. Guests can enjoy a peaceful village pace yet be in the heart of Orvieto in just 20 minutes. Orvieto’s position on the main north-south rail line and autostrada makes it a perfect jumping-off point for day trips to many popular tourist destinations in central Italy. A 10-minute drive from Benano is Torre Alfina, recently selected one of Italy’s “most beautiful small towns,” which features a picturesque castle, good restaurants, and the best gelato in the area. Twenty minutes further along quaint back roads is Lake Bolsena, Europe's largest volcanic lake, which offers fishing, sailing, swimming, and sunbathing. Driving thirty to forty-five minutes in another direction, you reach the four gems of southern Tuscany – Pitigliano, Sorano, Sovana, and the spa town of San Casciano dei Bagni. Benano is close to another jewel, Civita di Bagnoregio, which travel expert Rick Steves calls “Italy’s classic hill town” and his personal favorite. Equally convenient to Benano are the many acclaimed towns that have attracted travelers to Umbria and Tuscany for centuries – Umbria’s ceramic towns, Gubbio and Deruta; Tuscany’s wine meccas, Montalcino and Montepulciano; Perugia, the capital of Umbria and Italy’s chocolate capital; Pienza, home to Tuscany’s finest cheese; Norcia, a must for lovers of Italian meats and sausages; the renowned thermal springs and spas of Chianciano, San Filippo and Saturnia; and Monticchiello, a tiny gem in the Tuscan hills. Viceno, only a mile from Benano, has a small store and a place for coffee. The nearby villages of Castel Viscardo (2 miles), Castel Giorgio (3 miles), and Torre Alfina (5 miles) also have restaurants, groceries, bakeries, cafés, gelaterias, and pharmacies.
- Primary: (513) 321-9599 (Ohio, USA)
- Secondary: +1 5134700371
Links to more information:
The walled hamlet of Benano. In this view, Rocca di Benano is on the left side.
Third-floor bedroom (Queen)
One of the in-home chefs the owners can put you in touch with. Buon appetito!
Traffic Jam -- a 'hazard' of driving in the area around Benano.
Welcome home! The front door opens to a small piazza.
Rocca di Benano's front door taken from the piazza.
Third-floor bedroom (King)
Our ever-helpful villa caretakers who will treat you like cherished guests
Benano morning as seen from the third floor bedrooms
Inside the village church. Mass is held here about once a month.
Another view of the village of Benano, taken from the closest village (Viceno).
This listing was first published here in 2009.
Date last modified - Thursday, October 27, 2016
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