Accessed from a delightfully flower-filled alleyway in the centro storico of medieval Città della Pieve in Umbria, Pieve Suites offers three simple but very chic self-catering studio apartments for travellers with a desire to immerse themselves in the life of small town rural Italy.
I spent almost two years restoring this townhouse, which was originally part of the stabling for Città della Pieve’s 13th-century defensive fort, the rocca. Stripping back through the accretions of centuries, I uncovered hidden beams, doors and windows, then blended them into a contemporary plan in which much of the furniture and fittings were made by local artisans to my own design.
Each of the spacious individually decorated suites has its own particular character. The Top suite is a duplex unit where you can watch clouds and stars from the bed beneath the eaves. The Mid suite is bright and airy with a wonderful view (shared of course by all the rooms) over green Umbrian hills. Uniquely in these parts, the ground floor Garden Suite has its own private garden which nestles above Città della Pieve’s ancient walls – a fantastic green space in which to relax and unwind.
Neither a hotel nor a B&B, Pieve Suites is aimed at independent travellers seeking a stylish base for their own explorations in the glorious Umbrian-Tuscan borderlands around Città della Pieve. But in their suite, guests will find a copy of the detailed guide to sights, eateries and more that I have compiled. And if that doesn’t suffice, I’m always just a phone call away for help and advice.