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Cielo Chiaro

Cielo Chiaro is set in 2 acres of private olive groves in the hills above the Niccone Valley, near Mercatale on the border of Umbria and Tuscany. The house in San Martino has good access and is gated for security, and is 5 minutes from the nearest village with shops, bars, restaurants and banks. The area is rural and tranquil with people who are open, warm and welcoming to everyone; it is a magical mix of charming historic hill towns, breathtaking scenery and a unique concentration of artistic and architectural riches. The garden has fig, pear and walnut trees for guests' use, and there is a shady pergola for outside dining. The accommodation is all on one level with several steps up to the front door and the ground floor houses the boiler,and water tanks. The cottage is now ready, with 1 bedroom, kitchen/sitting room, modern bathroom, utility, and terrace. We purposely made the accommodation suitable for disabled guests with wide doorways and level access.

The villa was completely restored six years ago, and we have tried to make the house as comfortable and attractive as possible with all the facilities needed for family life. For those who are looking forward to preparing delicious meals with local ingredients, we have tried to equip the kitchen with all necessary utensils, as well as some cookery books, should you need inspiration. The kitchen has a table where most guests eat breakfast, and the living/dining room has an antique walnut dining table extending to seat 12. There is a wood-burning stove in the marble fireplace, making it cosy for cool evenings and metered central heating for winter bookings. The house is child friendly since there are no steps inside, but must be supervised at all times when outside especially at the pool.

The cottage is newly restored with modern kitchen, granite worktops and bathroom with stunning multiple shower, marble tiles, and black granite washbasin.

Bookings are accepted for any time of year. Places like Siena and Assisi are always busy but many, charming villages remain gloriously empty out of season.


The villa has one double bedroom and two twin-bedded rooms with en suite bathrooms, one with a balcony overlooking the Niccone Valley. The kitchen is equipped with a fridge/freezer, washing machine, microwave, a dishwasher and a hob and oven. There are plenty of glasses, pots etc.

Water, gas and electricity are included in the rental charge. The house will be cleaned for your arrival and linen and towels provided.


The gardens are terraced, with the 12m x 6m pool about 100m stroll away from the house, through olive trees.The pool is private and for the sole use of our guests. Roman steps take you gently into the shallow end of the pool and the view over the wild flower meadow is stunning. An outside shower with seat is under the cherry tree and there is plenty of room round the pool for garden furniture and umbrellas. There is a vine and passion flower covered pergola near the house where guests can dine and use the barbecue. Deck chairs and sun-beds are provided by the pool and several umbrellas for shady reading, and there is a table and 6 chairs under the pergola. The house is secure with large new gates, and parking on gravel in front of the building.

The cottage is situated in a secluded position, about halfway between the main house and the pool and has it's own terrace.

Further Details

There is a man-made beach at Lake Trasimeno - about 25 mins drive from the house,with sun-beds for hire, and ferries to the islands on the lake, one of which is a nature reserve.The restaurant Ciao Ciao is on the beach where guests can have a glass of Prosecco whilst waiting for the ferry.

The ferry takes you to the one of the islands famous for lace-making and fishing. There are at least 2 good restaurants and a beautiful small church.

The village of Lisciano Niccone is a 5 min. drive and has a small supermarket, two bars and two restaurants.

The small town of Mercatale has shops, banks restaurants and the best baker for miles!

Assissi, Siena, Orvieto, Montepulciano and many other famous cities are an easy drive from the house and we suggest travelling by train to Florence, Rome and Perugia - fun and cheap!

The house is an excellent base for exploring such jewels as Florence, Assisi, Perugia, Siena, Gubbio, but there are many other lesser-known towns within easy reach for you to discover. A spectacular 20 minute drive over the hills offers you Lake Trasimeno, Italy's 4th largest lake. Subtly beautiful in itself with miles of placid water and 2 islands to visit by ferry, there is an opportunity for water sports here. Throughout the area during the season there is a wide variety of entertainment including music festivals antique fairs, and village 'festas' which the locals use as an excuse for a celebration.

There are many good restaurants but a short drive from the house with specialities such as homemade pasta with truffles and wild boar. One restaurant has a Sunday "brunch" - a set buffet style meal much appreciated by previous guests - another is in a wonderful position with a brilliant chef - just 10 mins away from Cielo Chiaro.

We always visit guests soon after their arrival to answer any queries and to give local advice on what to see and where to eat.

There is a shoe warehouse near Anghiari (about 30 mins drive) which caters for all tastes, and they have recently added clothes and luggage, handbags etc. A good day out would be to buy shoes, lunch at Castello di Sorci - a set price 6 course meal, and visit the museum with the Pregnant Madonna fresco in nearby Monterchi. Many guests have enjoyed our suggestion.

There are many supermarkets within easy reach, some with fresh fish counters, and the weekly markets offer the opportunity to join the locals in buying fresh fruit and vegetables, chat with friends over a coffee or glass of wine, and enjoy a porchetta roll (the famous whole roast pig stuffed with fennel and garlic) - a speciality of this area, not to be missed !

Changeover Day: Sunday