I still find myself daydreaming about the rolling Italian hills of the Umbrian countryside months after our visit to the incredible winery and boutique hotel, Locanda Palazzone. This little piece of heaven sits a mere 4 kilometres from the famed clifftop town of Orvieto.
We had driven our little Fiat the few hours from Cortona in Tuscany to Umbria and couldn't help but gasp at the beauty of the scene that lay ahead.
We were surrounded by vineyards as we drove up the long, dusty driveway and there in the golden afternoon light was the Locanda, majestically looking down over her fields as though she were protecting them as she had done since the 14th century.
Lodovico and Sylvia welcomed us as the perfect hosts into their archway surrounded reception room and they took us up the glass elevator to our split-level suite.
We threw open the doors to one of the balcony's and just stopped. What a view!
Creepy Italian trees (for all those 'Under the Tuscan Sun' lovers out there).
A gleaming Duomo.
What more could we ask for?
The perfect wine and the perfect sunset, perhaps?
Check that box too!
That night we slept with the curtains open and fell asleep watching the cars slowly roll over the hills from our bed on the mezzanine.
We woke to the delicate song of birds singing outside our window (they just don't sound as sweet anywhere else!).
J and I considered for a moment never leaving our room and just enjoying the view for the rest of our days, but Orvieto was calling our name. We hopped back into our little fiat and made our way up the steep road that winds around the town (thankfully we didn't have to 'Flintstone' our way).
I had fond memories of Orvieto from when I had visited on Christmas Day as an 11 year old and I was eager to turn the corner of the little ally we had parked in to discover whether this ancient town held as many beauties as it had many years ago.
Of course I was not disappointed! The Duomo stood majestically in the cobbled main square, its ornate high ceilings and cavernous entrance are a must-see.
We wandered the streets finding quaint shops filled with unique souvenirs and little piazza's with perfectly placed blooming wisteria and gardenia's.
Before we knew it, it was time for lunch. We got a fantastic recommendation from Sylvia for Trattoria Vinosus and took a seat on the terrace which has equally wonderful views over the Umbrian hills and of the Duomo.
Completely in love with truffles, I ordered the truffle pasta (which was heavenly) with a serving of greens cooked deliciously in lemon and garlic.
J got a Roman classic which we happily complimented with a glass of Locanda Palazzone wine.
Working on my Italian I decided to order "Due macchiati, per favore". I think they were either impressed by my efforts or that as tourists, we ordered a macchiato (not cappuccino, latte or americano) after lunch as Italians do so, we got two cups of exceptionally strong but smooth and delicious coffee to finish off our meal.
Then it was back to the hotel for a relaxing afternoon. We took to the gardens and vineyards, soaking up the last hours of sunshine and the scent of lavender beginning to bloom, feeling completely refreshed and restored by the end of what was a wonderful stay.
xx The Strawberry Story