When we first arrive at that longed for location that we have booked for our holiday villa experience and that will jump start us into a quelled relaxation mode, those personal touches that make one feel appreciated as a guest where someone has taken the trouble to put themselves in your shoes, enables the fun to start immediately. These days originality pays off in this respect and discovering the house and grounds after a weary journey of flights and long drives, can be a thrilling experience.

La-Buia_Umbrian-Villa_Rear_TerraceYou can be unlucky with the weather but in Italy, unlike England, after half a day, the sun comes out and the exuberance in the party soars, bringing with it wit and laughter that can lighten up any situation, unlocking the very essence of that holiday spirit that was packed along with your summer clothes, to bring out and dust down for this years vacation!

Private PoolFirst a bathe and a splash in the sparkling pool to release us from the sleeve of care that we wrap ourselves in all year to protect us from the world. Soon we morph into a tourist nymph, ready to through those cares to the balmy breeze, encased in our private domain and able to become extroverts of an awesome breed!

La Buia Garden

Flutes of fizzing Prosecco adorn the marble surface or ice cold Peroni beer glasses that when spied make our taste buds go berserk and slip down easily with a slither of Pecorino cheese, instilling that ‘let it all hang out’ rush. Shoes get kicked off with childish abandonment, toes wiggle in the warmth and the comfort of terra-cotta under foot all adds to this important process of winding down.

Females of the party have put on sun dresses and busy themselves organizing the food. Children run off to discover the garden and its myriad of little critters that inhabit the place; the slowed down scraping sound of cicadas herald that big old sun in the azure sky going down. Shrieks of delight are heard as the famed fire flies strut their stuff, indicative of a gentle strobe light over the dancing night air.


The tempo slides into adagio as everyone sits back under the al fresco gazebo, having eaten the platters of traditional and authentic Italian cuisine; fried zucchini flowers and mouth watering mozzarella di buffala made that morning, sourced from the dairy along the valley. Prosciutto with sweet cantaloup melon is utterly more-ish and ideal to have before a delicious pasta dish.

Tobacco tower window

Simple to make and not devouring precious time spent under the starry heavens. Balloon glasses of Sagretino di Montefalco are drained in preparation for ‘tootsy friutsy icea creama’ which starts melting on the scoop before it even reaches its destination. Inevitably the rest of the evening becomes a blur of first night delectability engraved into the holiday journal of our minds.

Tomorrow surprises us as we wake and for an instant forget where we are, then the magic spell starts working again, flowing over us but tinged with a small fraction of disappointment as the realisation of one less day in paradise hits us!