Valle Di Assisi, Italy
Valle di Assisi is a 4 star dog friendly hotel in Umbria just below Assisi of St. Francis of Assisi fame. From the outside, my heart fell as I looked at the two storey modern building with Best Western emblazoned on the front. Appearances can be deceiving. Once inside I was in a smart, high tech hotel.
Set in 70 hectares surrounded by vineyards, olive trees and organically cultivated fields there are also villas and self-contained apartments. It produces its own wine and olive oil. Guests can go fishing in their pond, and there is an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts, and bikes, available for use by guests within the property.
It took a while to work out the high tech electronics in my bedroom. The lights only worked when the plastic key was in the slot but then I had to work out the illuminated buttons, which turned on the lights or stand in the right spot for the lights to come on. The shutters on my floor to ceiling windows were opened and closed by remote control, opening completely if I pushed the button in the right way to reveal an outdoor veranda with table and chairs, and the most wonderful views of the landscape with Assisi in the distance, 5 kilometres away. In my bathroom the deep corner bath had its own whirlpool and back rests on two sides so that, had I been with a partner, there would have been space for us both.
Dinner was served in Recanto, their semi-circular first floor restaurant with floor to ceiling windows where in the distance we could see the twinkling lights of Assisi. The outdoor terrace was not in use as it was too cold but must be a very romantic spot to eat in the warmer months.
What better way to start a meal than with a glass of Prosecco, Italian white sparkling wine. Our menu introduced us to some of the specialities of the region. Prosciutto, thinly sliced pieces of cured pork; bruschetta, slices of bread rubbed with garlic and baked in the oven with extra virgin olive oil; omelette with slices of black truffles; and spaghetti coated with olive oil, and sprinkled with truffle shavings.
If visiting the area, I would definitely recommend both the hotel and restaurant. Worth looking at for an economical stay as the hotel, out of season, is very reasonable with flights into Perugia courtesy of Ryanair.
T. 0039 0758044580 www.valediassisi.com