“The summers are extraordinarily mild, and there is always a refreshing breeze, seldom high winds... The character of the country is exceedingly beautiful. Picture to yourself an immense amphitheatre, such as nature only could create. Before you lies a broad, extended plain bounded by a range of mountains, whose summits are covered with tall and ancient woods, which are stocked with all kinds of game.” Pliny the Younger
About Casa Nova
Some views of Monte Acuto and of the main farmhouse at Casa Nova
Casa Nova, meaning “New House”, is a common place-name in Umbria. Of course, the main farmhouse at Casa Nova, like many of the houses so-named, is anything but new. We hope, in time, to discover more about its history in the local archives. Certainly, the nearby hamlet of Civitella can be found on Renaissance maps of the area. The Niccone valley joins Umbria, and the Upper Tiber Valley, to Tuscany, Lake Trasimeno and the Valdichiana. It is an area richly layered in history.
The land, 25 acres, has been farmed organically since the late 1980s and is a haven for wildflowers and wildlife. When walking in the upper fields or woods you’re likely to find the tracks of deer or wild boar. Porcupines raid the vegetable garden. A large hare has made his home in the lower apple orchard. A hoopoe favours the rugged old pine tree in front of the farmhouse. Wild orchids grow in the fields in Spring; a bewildering array of wild mushrooms in Autumn.
At 500m above sea level, the views are breathtaking: they stop you in your tracks and demand that you take time out from whatever you’re doing to just to stand and enjoy. The distinctive conical shape of the landmark local mountain, Monte Acuto, presides over the landscape. The surrounding hills form a natural amphitheatre and are a dazzling backdrop to the small outdoor theatre which is to be found on the hillside below the farmhouse, a legacy from a past visitor who built it as an architectural project.
It is a magical place. We first saw it on a grey, drizzly March day in 2003 and fell utterly and irretrievably in love with it.
In this section you’ll find more information about the farm, its wildlife and wildflowers and the work we are doing to restore the farm to productivity (see links at top and foot of this page). However, for our biggest project to date, the Garden House, see the Rentals section and for many more photos, see the photo-album.