NEW KDHamptons Travel Diary: Kim Hopkins In Magical Murlo, The Green Heart Of Italy
“When I was looking for an Italian villa to rent last summer, I had a few requirements: It must be in Umbria [my favorite region of Italy], have a fabulous golf course [not easy to find], luxurious accommodations, and a great pool. A tall order,” shares KDHamptons contributing editor Kim Hopkins [above]. “Dad was to visit for two weeks, so I wanted the perfect combination of golf, sightseeing, and relaxation. When I saw the breathtaking photos of Murlo Estate, I knew I’d found something special.” Kim shares her magical Murlo experience in this NEW KDHamptons Travel Diary, below:
Antognolla Golf Course features dramatic cliff-lined fairways, beautiful lakes, ancient ruins and stunning views of the castle and surrounding countryside.
Owned by the same family for generations, Tenuta di Murlo is a private country estate located in the center of Umbria, known as “Il Cuore Verde d’Italia”, the green heart of Italy. The property sits on thousands of hectares of woods, mountains, beautiful valleys, lakes, rivers and olive groves. The Antognolla Golf Course is a magnificent 18-hole championship track designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., and features views of the imposing Antognolla Castle, dating back to the 11th century. The Estate also has its own restaurant, Il Caldaro, offering local Umbrian cuisine using fresh ingredients from the property, as well as handmade pizzas cooked in the original medieval oven.
My son, Brady, loves spending our summers in Italy….and of course enjoying all of the delicious homemade pasta dishes of the region.
Cacio e Pepe with Black Truffles
Perugia, the region’s capital city, is just 20 minutes away and offers a wealth of art, history and architecture, and of course great food and wine. Florence and Rome are within a two hours’ drive of the Estate and the famous towns of Cortona, Siena, Arezzo, Assisi, Gubbio, Spello, and Todi are all less than an hour away.
The 11th century Antognolla Castle overlooks the golf course and will soon be Italy’s first Four Seasons Resort.
There are five Umbrian-style villas, three pretty apartments, and two romantic cottages at Murlo. They are all beautifully furnished with the comfiest beds and linens, luxurious bathrooms, A/C [rare in Italy], TV, internet, and well-equipped kitchens. Each has a heated pool, sunbeds, BBQ grills, outdoor dining areas and unforgettable panoramic views of the mountains and valleys. A butler is also assigned to your villa and is available to arrange in-home dinners, cooking classes, fishing, hiking and so much more.
All of the accommodations are so pretty and different, it was difficult to choose just one, so we opted to stay in Villa Caminata [“chimney” in Italiano], for one week, and Villa Torre the other. Caminata has five bedrooms, each with an en-suite bathroom, as well as a separate cottage with a king-size bed, bathroom and living area. The views from the villa and the pool are unforgettable. I loved the sweet-smelling lavender and lush gardens, with more than 3,000 plants that bloom according to the season, always providing a beautiful display of colors.
Sunset at Villa Caminata. All of the villas are far from one another, ensuring privacy and relaxation with breathtaking views
Villa Torre is arguably the coolest villa, rebuilt on the ruins of a medieval defensive tower. On three levels, the views from the property are among the best, overlooking the mountains and wide, wooded valley below. There are three bedrooms, each on their own floor, all with en-suite bathrooms. The decorating is Umbrian luxury at its best, with plush sofas, pillows and a large wooden farmer’s table. The elegant living room has a wood-burning fireplace to enjoy most months of the year.
View from the sun deck atop Villa Torre, which means tower in Italiano.
My son Brady with my dad at Villa Torre
Santa Croce is the newest addition to the luxury villas at Murlo. Referred to as “the villa on top of the world” thanks to 360-degree views over the Estate and Umbria, the home has three bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, exquisite interior design, and a large infinity pool that seems to float over the valley below.
Stunning Villa Santa Croce [above and below]
So what sets Murlo apart from other resorts in Italy? “First of all, the history of the Estate and the love we have for it,” says owner Carlotta Carabba, whose family has owned the property for generations. “Then the relaxation, privacy and exclusivity, accompanied by high-quality service. Also having the restaurant that caters to the villas is something guests appreciate more and more. We do so many new things now such as cooking classes for adults and children, dinners in-villa, wine tastings with our sommeliers, and we also arrange wine tours. And then of course the golf course is always a big attraction.”
The latest news at Murlo Estates is that the ancient Antognolla Castle is being converted into Italy’s first Four Seasons Resort. There will be new villas branded Four Seasons to sell all around the Estate, as well as a luxurious spa, three restaurants, golf, tennis, bars, and much more. It will open in 2019. The existing Murlo villas will remain as is. Here’s a few photos of the castle as it undergoes its transformation to the Four Seasons:
View of the golf course from the castle.
* For more information go to murlo.com
To book: Elisa: +39 346 734 3527
Tenuta di Murlo
06133 Perugia (PG) – Italy
* Kim Hopkins is a luxury travel and lifestyle writer based in Abu Dhabi, and spends her summers in the Hamptons and Italy. Follow more of her amazing travel adventures @kimhopkins on Instagram