“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

TravelHaven Journal: Italy 2013 – Our Villa

Our villa, called Col di Forche, sits on top of a mountain on 20 acres of beautifully wooded land near the village of Monterchi. In the morning, I wake to the sounds of various birds singing, including the cuckoo. When I look out the window, I see beautiful mountains in the distance. We are surrounded by chestnut and oak trees and when we come up the path from the parking, we are greeted by lovely irises, pansies, and an herb garden with rosemary and mint, among other herbs. It is absolutely gorgeous!

View from second floor of villa on cloudy day Leaving the villa

The road up to the villa from the main road is a winding, unpaved road that seems to go straight up through a heavily forested area. It’s very bumpy and the first time we traveled it, following the villa manager, I kept thinking “What have I gotten us into? Where the heck are we going?” It’s about a ten minute ride off the main road and really scary until you get used to it. 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES  In the driveway of the villa

The villa has four good sized bedrooms — three with double beds and one with twin beds. Each has an en suite bathroom which is really nice. On the first floor, there is a large kitchen with plenty of counter space so we can all pitch in with the cooking. There are two refrigerators, but they are only about the size of the refrigerators you see in a college dorm and only one has a freezer (just large enough to hold 4 ice trays). In the kitchen is a table for four, a fireplace (which we were not allowed to use), and the only television in the house.

Jeanie and Ruth hard at work in the kitchen

Having only one television is okay for Arn and me, because we haven’t watched much. When the Fullers were here, Alisa liked to watch the news and Mike liked to watch Russian and Polish MTV (if you have never seen Russian and Polish MTV, I definitely don’t recommend them).

Dinner first night at villa

There is a large dining room, with a table that will seat eight. Outside is a very nice dining area with a great table for eight. Unfortunately, we have not been able to use the outdoor space because it has been too cold. Also on the first floor there is a furnace room that has a half bath and is perfect for drying clothes on those less than sunny days (most Europeans don’t have clothes dryers, which is fine with me because I love the smell and feel of clothes dried outside on the line).

Piano room

Upstairs is the living room, with a nice fireplace (which we are not allowed to use), and a comfy couch and chairs. It’s a very nice room, but would be better if the TV was here and we were allowed to use the fireplace. I’m sure it’s lovely in the summer, but there’s no heat upstairs so it’s been a little too cold to use the living room. Also upstairs is a piano room. It truly is a lovely villa. 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

The walls are concrete and stone. I’m not sure when it was built, but I would guess in the 1800’s. the owners lived in it until the 1950’s. Apparently between the 1950’s and 1990’s, it fell into severe disrepair and in 1999 the current owners bought it and restored it to its original glory. I am sure they sunk a ton of money into it. I think it would be a much better summer rental since they don’t want us using the fireplaces and the heat costs an additional 4 Euro every hour you run it. It is really cold in the house at this time of year so we have had to use the heat a few hours each day just to make it somewhat comfortable.

The sun is up before 5:30 every morning and most mornings so am I. This is my favorite time at the villa. It’s so very serene when no one else is up. It’s when i have written most of my blogs. The sun doesn’t set until after 8:30 at night, giving us plenty of time to bask in the beauty but usually we are off sightseeing during the day. When we return, it’s time for wine and cheese and then, usually around 9:00 or 9:30, we have dinner – with more wine. 

All in all, it has been a wonderful place to make our home base, very centrally located to all the towns I wanted to visit – about an hour to each except Orvieto, which is two hours away.

Molto bello!Iris in the front of the villa