Northern California is a Mecca for lovers of great food and wine. So much so, that there is little or no incentive to travel away. Residents of Italy, however, can likely say the same. Certainly France has a claim to a similar attitude but Italy is widely accepted as the most people friendly and accessible food and wine haven for the global traveler. As the origin and home of the “slow food movement” is should not surprise that Italy remains a desirable and fulfilling destination.
One of the best ways to experience this well known life style and epicurean approach to food and wine is to head to a small farm house in the middle of Italy and hire a local home cook to come and prepare food for you to enjoy. Fondo Le Teglie, in Umbria, is a perfect example of this approach to experiencing Italian wine and food.
Fondo Le Teglie is a restored 17th Century farmhouse in central Umbria within reach of most Umbrian, Lazio and Tuscan locales (e.g. Florence, Rome, Siena, Montefalco, Assisi, Perugia, Orvieto, Spoleto and many others). Surrounded by manicured farms with sheep and goats and grains, the Villa Fondo de Teglie is an excellent place to recuperate from the daily grind, to gather with friends or as a home base for day trips around Tuscany, Lazio and Umbria.
The Villa sleeps as many as 11 people with the 4 main bedrooms (most with private baths en suite) and the annex. The gardens and pool are delightful. The house has a wood fired outdoor pizza oven, wonderful outdoors tables to accommodate breakfast, lunch, or dinner and interior dining and living spaces appropriate to the bedrooms and a large kitchen which is perfect for Italian cooking classes or for an expert local chef/cook to prepare amazing local fare. The host/owner can arrange either of these (classes or onsite chef) with a little notice. An all-time favorite is Dina, a local cook who specializes in local pastas, meats and pizzas.
The wineries of Orvieto and Montefalco are an easy afternoon or morning drive. Orvieto is well known for its underground city and its Duomo. Built on top of an impregnable rock (read mountain) it has survived intact for centuries. Also in Orvieto, Palazzone Winery is most notable. Giovanni Dubini is a great host, winemaker and story teller. The Orvieto Classico is wonderful and the Grechetto is also worth taking home.
Montefalco, about 45 minutes north of the Villa, specializes in Sagrantino, a dry red wine which is quite tannic and inky black in color. The annual Sagrantino festival is mid-September is a very classy event with parades and formal tasting.
Attractive comfortable living spaces (Linda C)
Also fairly close to Fondo Le Teglie is the city of Deruta, very well known for its colorful and unique ceramics. The owner is typically the welcoming party and the tour of the ceramic making process from clay, to paint, to kiln is excellent and helps explain why these ‘pieces of art’ are so expensive and special.
Fondo Le Teglie has so much more to recommend it but suffice it to say that Susan, the owner and host, is passionate about Umbria and goes well out of her way to make sure each and ever guest has a memorable experience that beckons one to return.
Fondo Le Teglie is located in the village of Sismano, town of Avigliano and is about 25 minutes from Todi, a charming medieval hilltop city. To find via GPS enter Voc. Fondo Le Teglie 68, Fraz. Sismano, 05020 Avigliano Umbro (TR). Or you can e-mail Susan at: firstname.lastname@example.org