Why staying in Genius Loci was the perfect choice for my holidays in Umbria!
Scene 1: An room in Umbria; a wood table by the window, a window that overlooks the most poetic scene of Italian vineyards; a glass of locally produced wine; a red-headed girl looking out that window; a blank page in a computer…
This post starts here…
Scene 2: A train in motion, crossing the Italian country, passing through little stone villages up in hills, sunflower fields, and grapevines. The destiny is Florence. The red-headed girl is seated by the window, writing. She`s traveling inside as well. Her mind is filled with a million thoughts, her heart has a million feelings inside.
The Italian countryside could not be any more beautiful…
This post started during my stay at Genius Loci Country Inn, the most beautiful B&B in the Umbria region of Italy. I planned to finish it there but my last 3 days have been so peaceful and relaxing and also intense in a totally unexpected way that I left it to finish now, on this train. As I travel towards my destiny, I have mixed feelings. I always wanted to visit Firenze, but right now I find myself wishing I could have delayed this trip for a couple of days more.
That`s the effect that my stay at Genius Loci had in me and I `ll explain why in this post.
(This is not an affiliate post, all the opinions are my own).
Welcome to Genius Loci!
Italy is my all time favorite country in the world.
I`m half Italian so not only it is in my blood, but it`s also in my heart. I love everything about Italy: The landscapes, the food, the lifestyle, the people. This is my 8th time in Italy and I even lived there for 1 month last year. Weird enough, I, being a countryside girl, had never been to central Italy before. I`m glad I changed that. And I`ll be coming back.
One happy Vick!
The Genius Loci Country Inn is a familiar B&B in Bevagna, Umbria. Surrounded by vineyards and nature, the farmhouse was renovated by the owner, Michael Tacconi, who always dreamed of turning the old house into a hotel. The house was part of the property his father bought because of the vineyards, and until today they produce their own wines there. As a kid, Michael used to ride his bike in the area. He left Italy to go study in the United States, where he worked in hospitality in many prestigious places as the Swiss Hotel School in Newport and the Rode Island Vanderbilt Hall.
After years working in the States, Michael decided it was time to go back to his origins and start his own business… And that old house of his childhood was the perfect place to do that. He started the renovations in 2004 and 3 years later, Genius Loci was born.
The rooms are named after wine varieties. Mine was called Sagrantino, which is the local grape. This already started well!
Genius Loci`s terrace overlooking the vineyards and the hills of Umbria…
Your first impression when you get there is that you`ll be really staying in a typical Umbrian house. The ceramic tiles of the floor, the big fireplaces, the wood beams of the ceiling, the reading room, the huge porch overlooking the vineyards, the special pieces of decor like the antique tables and the ceramic vases, every detail there makes up for the coziest atmosphere.
Michael`s gentle attitude also helps with that. He`s a friendly and charming host that is always available to help you with any doubts or requests you may have. He really made me feel at home! 🙂
The main room with the fireplace. Imagine that on a colder night… Humm…
The reading room, which also features a fireplace, so cozy! I just love the wood beams, don`t you?
The rooms are spacious and elegant in a rustic way. I have to say, after the first night, I was already feeling like I would love to live there. My room had the most beautiful views of the vineyards, and even just by looking out the window, either at sunset with the gold, romantic light kissing the valley above and making it perfect for pictures or during the sunrise, when the sun would rise exactly at my window and I would be awake by the warm rays of light and the sounds of birds singing, I would be impressed.
…and I would update everything daily on my Instagram! Are you already following it? If not, follow here!
I`m not a morning person at all but I would intentionally sleep with all the windows opened so that I could start the day with this beautiful natural spectacle (fair enough, after taking photos I would close the curtains and go back to bed for a little more sleep!)
My super cozy and lovely room…!
After lazily getting up, my sweet routine would consist of changing into a bikini and having ahead of me the hard task of deciding if to spend the day reading by the swimming pool looking at the most amazing landscape or to venture myself on a walk between grapevines, olive trees, and sunflowers fields. Such a hard life…
The swimming pool of Genius Loci Country Inn, in Umbria. I could easily get used to this…
Can I make this place my house? Can I???
The days I chose to just lounge by the pool with a book I would be surrounded by the beautiful sound of silence (and some crickets singing in the nearby trees) and would have as my companion birds and butterflies. And let me tell you: That was exactly what I needed for my holidays. Barcelona is a great city to live but sometimes, especially in the summer, it can be quite overwhelming with so many tourists and people all the time… I was desperate for a break, for some calm and quiet days of doing (almost) nothing. And at Genius Loci I found the right place to do just that. It was perfect.
Chillin by the pool with the most scenic views. Follow me on Instagram to see daily pics of my adventures!
Genius Loci is also close enough to other Umbrian cities so that, if you get tired of relaxing and enjoying nature, in 20-30 min you can find yourself exploring medieval walled cities like Montefalco – where I had the most delicious dinner at this restaurant called L`Alchimista, right at the main square (book a table in advance!) – Bevagna (the closest one, famous for it`s Mercato delle Gaite Medieval Festival), Foligno or Assisi (the city of San Francisco de Assisi which I visited and I`ll tell you all about it in my next post).
Sunset over the grapevines… Just like in the movies!
Some details of the place: Flowers and grapes!
Another activities that you can find there are: Wine and Olive Oil tasting, all produced by the Tacconi`s with organic, local ingredients that they grow themselves; a photographic tour (upon previous reservation only) and even a cooking class.
Being an assumed and proud wine lover, you can imagine the one I chose! Salute!
Sipping my wine, enjoying the golden hour and the most beautiful views!
You can taste the wines inside, where they have the most charming bar, or outside on the covered porch with views of the Umbrian valley. Since it was summer, I chose to drink outside, watching the sky turn from blue to orange to red and then to blue again, before the night takes over – You can see so many stars there, like you can never do in the cities!
Isn`t this charming?
If I was not drinking wine, I would be found photographing the vineyards, especially during the golden hour!
At Genius Loci they produce 3 types of wine: Two reds – the Montefalco Rosso and Montefalco Sagrantino – and one white – the Grechetto Colli Martani. I`ve tried all of them (imagine if I wouldn’t!) and they are delicious. For my enohappiness (I know, I just invented this word), you can be a part of their Olive Oil and Wine Lover`s Club, and they will ship the products yo you wherever you are in the world.
The Genius Loci wines…Can`t wait to receive my bottles in Barcelona!
Back to scene 2: Here I am, writing this while the rain speeds it`s way to my next destination, Florence. And even though I always wanted to go there, right now I really wish I hadn`t. It took me a few days of total natural immersion in the countryside for me to realize how much I miss being among nature. How much I miss the sounds and smells of country life, the quiet nights surrounded by nothing but the silence and an impressive sky full of stars above me (one where you can actually see the stars without the light pollution of the big cities). My stay at Genius Loci Country In was everything I wished for, and more. And I`m sad to be leaving…
I`m a fan of all the movies about wine tourism, and Umbria is the perfect place for that!
Thank you, Michael, for welcoming me and I`ll make sure to come back someday!
Another day ends at Genius Loci Country Inn…
And if you never been to Umbria, I highly recommend not only going but staying at Genius Loci. It`s an experience that you won`t forget! 😉
For more on wine tourism and the Spanish Toscana, click here!