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We began our search for something special back on a dismal January evening. Having found La Buia we quickly realised that we had stumbled upon a gem and had very high hopes that the property would be all we wanted for a family holiday. From the moment of contact with Lucie and Richard we knew this was going to be a very special place. Pre holiday arrangements and communication - along with excellent road directions - were all fantastic. Lucie and her daughter went out of their way to organise a special Father's Day gift for my husband - a private pasta making lesson - which we all had the pleasure of enjoying! We arrived at La Buia, after driving through a torrential downpour, somewhat jaded. However, any post travel grumpiness was banished as we turned the corner of the house to witness the beautiful gardens and valley stretching before us. We had arranged for a home cooked meal to be awaiting us on our arrival - cooked by Lucie. Within an hour of our arrival we were seated outside, prosecco open and eating a delicious three course meal! La Buia is situated in a stunning rural location, only 10 minutes by car from local amenities and the seclusion and tranquility it provides is truly wonderful. Set in extensive grounds with beautiful gardens abound, including herb gardens that we had the pleasure of using, it is the perfect place to relax. The covered dining area outside is ideal for every mealtime and the terraces perfect for an apperativo! The pool was great for both of our children, 4 and 9 years old - one swimmer and one non-swimmer. The pool steps gave our younger one an ideal place to grow in confidence as the weeks progressed. The sun loungers and umbrellas gave welcome shade as did the grape vine pergolas - you know what they say about mad dogs and Englishmen! All three bedrooms - with en-sites - were very comfortable and well appointed with beautiful furnishings providing home from home touches. The shutters were fantastic at keeping out the heat from the day and in the evening the large windows captured the valley breezes perfectly. The kitchen was spacious and very well equipped in all ways. We certainly made the most of home dining during our stay - although the 8 seater dining table was rather under used as we dined al fresco every evening. The house provides great space and room for everyone to be in their own place. We didn't use the main sitting room very much as the weather was so glorious in the evenings but on the few occasions that we did, it was very comfortable. The whole house has a feeling of light and calm. It is very obvious that Lucie and Richard have invested a great deal time and love into making this a home for their guests to share. There is lovely attention to detail in all the rooms such as Lucie's fantastic paintings - along with thoughtful touches such as jigsaws and books for children along with local information leaflets and booklets. Lucie and Richard were fantastic at giving us ideas of things to do - while I have to say that we were rather lazy - enjoying the house and pool surroundings so much, that we spent more time just relaxing than we have ever done on a holiday before. The location of the house is an ideal spot for day trips - here are just a few of the things that we saw while we were there Citta di Castello - markets Anghiari - ice cream! Sansepolcro Cortona Monte Santa Maria Tiberina - amazing pizza Castello di Sorci - Italian Sunday lunch and many, many more! Our holiday at La Buia has been all that we had hoped for and more. We are glad that we haven't dashed around 'seeing and doing' every day as it gives us the perfect reason to return and I can't imagine anywhere I'd rather come back to. Simply breathtaking - and that's before the stars come out. Thank you Lucie, Richard and family.
La Buia is more than what I had anticipated. Lucy and Richard raised it from ruins to create a beautiful, comfortable and extremely well-appointed villa. Each of the three bedrooms (all located on different floors) is comfortable and spacious with on-suite modern baths. The kitchen is large by European standards and worked well for five of us to prepare meals at home. There are enough areas to relax in the villa that five people can comfortable spread out and not even hear one another. The outdoors offers several areas for enjoyment. The pool was a welcome respite during this very hot August vacation. We dined at the large round table under the pergola. We sipped wine on the terrace and marveled at the quiet and the stars. I live in the country but I have never seen so many stars in my life. Every was done with taste and everywhere you look, Richard and Lucy have taken care to provide something special...draping grape vines around the pool area, potted plants, sculpture, herbs and native plants. The location is remote enought to be peaceful but central enough to be within an hour or so of all of the Umbrian locations we wanted to visit. The surrounding views are straight from a postcard. We were lucky enough to have some wine and conversation with Lucy and Richard, who are really lovely. Lucy made a reservation for us at a fabulous local restaurant and Richard was kind enough to meet the Air France lugguage transporters to claim our lost luggage. Two of their daughters prepared a fabulous meal for our first night. None of us had cell phone reception at the villa but the wifi allowed us to stay as in touch with things back home as we wanted. The laundry facilities were most welcomed as we had been on the road for a while. Rent a car, pick up some groceries and wine at the local market, bring some good light reading, plot some day trips (I recommend Cortona, Gubbio, and Orvieto in particular) and relax at La Buia. I felt it was an excellent value and was a major factor in how relaxing our vacation turned out to be. There is a first floor bedroom so it would work for people who want mostly single floor living but there are stairs, both inside and out. So if you have trouble with stairs it's probably not the ideal location for you.