Molino Meocci

 

WHERE CAN I GO?


"Often referred to as 'the green heart of Italy', Umbria is a beautiful region of rolling hills, woods, streams and valleys and is predominantly unspoilt. Within its borders it also contains a dozen or so classic hill-towns, each resolutely individual and crammed with artistic and architectural treasures." The Rough Guide to Italy

Molino Meocci is nestled in the Valtiberina foothills just 2km east of San Giustino in the small hamlet of Corposano, beside the mountain road from San Giustino to the Appenines.

The Upper Tiber Valley in 'the green heart of Italy' is full of interesting places to explore - many famous for their rich history or artistic heritage - just a few miles from the house. The walled town of Sansepolcro, the birthplace of Piero della Francesca, hilltowns such as Anghiari, Monterchi, Caprese Michelangelo, the birthplace of Michelangelo, and Franciscan hillside monasteries such as Montecasale and La Verna are all easy to reach.



Just a few minutes by car or 20 minutes walk is San Giustino with supermarkets, banks, bars and pizzerias, restaurants, an adventure playground and a street market every Friday.

Sansepolcro, just 4.5km north of San Giustino, crosses the boundary into Tuscany and is the place to begin exploring the work and history of Piero della Francesca, some of whose paintings have been described as being amongst the greatest ever. His Resurrection occupies pride of place in the town's museum. This walled renaissance town has many very good, stylish restaurants as well as a superb outdoor swimming pool in a lawned and tree-shaded park, complete with its own cafe bar. The town has 2 mid-town little cinemas, and its festival calendar includes medieval processions and crafts, chamber music , archery and banner-throwing.

Citta di Castello, is the nearest main town just 12k south, and is a bustling medieval town with good shops, restaurants and a summer programme of festivals and events.

Arezzo, a 45 minutes drive, provided the backdrop to many scenes in the film La Vita e Bella and is a thriving centre for art, architecture and antiques. The church of San Francesco here contains a series of world famous frescoes by Piero della Francesca, which have recently been restored and the town's other highlights make a pleasant afternoon's stroll through the hilly lanes. Its monthly outdoor antiques market fills the piazza and associated streets and squares.

Spectacular Gubbio, about an hour away, is the most thoroughly medieval of the Umbrian towns with its ceremonial piazza built above a steep escarpment overlooking the valley. Its charming streets are picture-book pretty with houses of rosy-pink stone and seas of orange-tiled roofs; the setting is equally gorgeous with the forest-clad mountains rearing up behind. A cablecar ride or a winding walk lead to spectacular hillside views over the city and valley.

Castiglione del Lago, 1h 20m drive, is the main town on Lake Trasimeno and cuts a fine silhouette from other points around the shore, jutting out into the water on a fortified promontory. With the atmosphere of a seaside town, with a tree lined promenade overlooking the lake, there are plenty of restaurants, many offering local, freshly caught fish. It hosts an international kite festival in summer

About an hour away, perched on a hill is Perugia, the capital of the region and home to Italy's foremost jazz event, the international summer festival known as Umbria Jazz. This city of great historic significance, houses Umbrian art treasures, an international university and provides one of Italy's greatest people-watching streets - Corso Vannucci - packed from dawn through to the early hours.

Assisi, less than an 90 minutes away, is world famous thanks to the extraordinary St. Francis. It also is home to the Basilica of St. Francis, one of the greatest monuments to thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Italian art, containing the renowned and beautiful frescoes by Giotto depicting the life of St Francis.

Under an hour away is Montone, a little-known treasure of a hill town, steeped in history and meticulously maintained, with breathtaking views across the Umbrian landscape.

During the second half of the C15th, Urbino (an hour and a quarter's mountain drive) was one of the most prestigious courts in Europe. Baldassarre Castiglione, whose C16th handbook of courtly behaviour Il Cortegiane (The Courtier) is set in the palace, reckoned it to be the most beautiful in all Italy. This spectacular and lively university hilltown has a great deal to see and plenty of good places to eat and drink. It is built around the extraordinary Palazzo Ducale, created by Federico, Duke of Montefeltro, and contains a wealth of artwork. The work of contemporary architect Giancarlo de Carlo has been woven into the hillside town in many university and civic buildings.

Within 15 minutes of molino, you can also reach local gems of hilltowns, such as Anghiari, with its extraordinary network of winding stepped footpaths, Citerna, which has an annual crossbow contest, and Monterchi, where you can effortlessly find Piero della Francesco's Madonna del Parto.



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