Last September, I posted here that we had started the process of transforming our old home into a venue for holiday rentals and Yoga retreats in Italy.
We were back out in Umbria over the Easter break to continue that process. When we arrived, it seemed quite impossible that we could get everything done in time!
But, after another two weeks of very hard work, we did.
The house is now ready to welcome its first guests in late May.
And, in my humble opinion, it is looking quite fabulous.
The house – called Pian della Volla, but fondly known as Little Doing – is available to rent on Airbnb to holiday-makers and yogis in search of a beautiful and spacious venue, extraordinary natural beauty and deep tranquillity.
Large and Lovely Yoga Space
Most exciting of all is the new retreat/activity/play space in the centre of the house. The laying of the new wooden floor was challenging (especially when the builders twice drilled through the house’s water pipes). But it was definitely worth it, for it has completely transformed the feeling of our old stone-floored hallway, making it gentler and brighter. So it’s a wonderful addition, whether you come here for a Yoga retreat, some other activity or just for a holiday. With up to 50sqm of usable floor space, there is room for 16 well-spread-out Yoga mats (which we provide, along with blocks).
Six Lovely Bedrooms
We’ve cleared out years of stuff from our old studies and turned them into two new twin bedrooms, so the house can now sleep up to 14 people. Or 12 people, if all beds are used as singles. This makes it the perfect house for two or three families or for groups of friends looking for a beautiful and spacious venue to spend their holidays together. Or, of course, for teachers of Yoga, meditation, art, dance or other activities who want to host a retreat. I plan to hold one here myself in June 2019 – more details soon …
Lots of Communal Space
This is a big house (nearly 400sqm), so, besides the open central space, there are plenty of other places for guests to gather. The kitchen is enormous and centres on a big oak table built around a wooden pillar. It leads into the dining room, which, in addition to the long table, has a comfy sofa to drop into when you’ve eaten just a little too much fantastic Italian food (fyi we can put you in touch with some great local caterers). Upstairs is perhaps the most stunning room in the whole quirky house – the deep-red living room with its huge fireplace and its unusual vaulted ceiling of original oak timber (the house is old! Italians did this before terracotta tiles were introduced). This room too has just had a bit of an overhaul to make it super-comfortable for big groups.
Breath-taking natural beauty
For all the loveliness of the house, when we bought it as a ruin in 1997, it was its secluded, 700m hill-top location and its extraordinary views over unspoiled, oak-forested hills that won our hearts. And this is what we think makes it the ideal spot for Italian Yoga retreats and holidays for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in the wonder of nature.
The house is surrounded by a 2.5-acre terraced garden. There are plenty of shady places to gather and relax to enjoy views, great food or the unpolluted canopy of stars, including on the wisteria-covered patio outside the dining room or in the stone gazebo next to the BBQ and pizza oven. We plan to add a swimming pool by 2019, giving Italian bureaucracy time to get its head around granting permission for this within this European-level protected area of outstanding natural beauty.