Come visit us in Guardea, Italy

Casa Tartaruga is a classic Italian farmhouse with a modern sensibility. Perched in the Umbrian hills the stone house has a 360 degree view overlooking the Tiber valley to the south west and the dense oak forest of the national fluvial park to the east.  The house, surrounded by 6 acres of olive orchard and vineyards, is easily accessed from Rome, and some of Umbria's most beautiful sites are a short distance including Orvieto, Todi and Amelia.

A short walk away is a cave where St. Francis lived and wrote. 30 minutes on foot will thread you through the farmers' white gravel roads past orchards and spectacular wild flowers and land you in the local , with many coffee bars, grocery stores offering local produce and homemade pasta, and a Sunday market. By the way, Tartaruga means tortoise and we thought it was an appropriate name that captured our lifestyle, both moving our home from place to place as well our appreciation of Italy's slow food movement.

Casa Tartaruga's open floor plan includes a large modern kitchen with creamy marble counters and double ovens, and a dining area that easily seats 8 with views of Montefiascone and the hill towns through three sets of french doors. The living room is on a raised level overlooking the dining area and kitchen: the heart of the house.  Travertine flooring and a traditional ceiling  of terra cotta and chestnut beams fan across the open area offering a warm inviting space for relaxing and entertaining. A second floor terrace under an old oak tree offers shade or a lovely spot for morning sun with your coffee.

Each of the three bedrooms upstairs have spectacular views. The ensuite master bedroom has a queen bed, a dressing area and full tub.  Two more bedrooms -each with queen beds - share a bathroom through separate entrances. This bathroom has a double shower and double sinks- it also has the best view of any bathroom in Umbria! There is a fourth bedroom ensuite on the first level with a separate entrance.

Other amenities include a washer and dryer, under floor heating, and green technologies such as solar hot water and photovoltaic panels.  

Casa Tartaruga is surrounded by more than 150 olive trees - mostly moriola and leccino- so even though we aren't ready to retire, every November we gather family and friends to harvest our trees.  We place large nets under the trees and hand pick the olives dropping them into the net.  From the net the olives go into crates and make the trip to the local "frantoia," or oil press. Actually, our local press has state of the art equipment ensuring that our olives are centrifuged and kept cool. This attention to detail keeps the acid content low and makes for exquisite cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.  Of course, the weather conditions vary from year to year so that while the oil from  2012 was grassy and peppery, the oil from 2013 is buttery with a peppery back taste.  We look forward to sharing our oil with you.