ITALIAN VACATION VILLAGE
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"Castel Cellesi is one of those perfect places to have the dream Italian holiday: it's a small village filled with friendly characters, even if you don't speak a word of Italian. It's central enough that you can do so many day trips, yet, far away enough from the hustle and bustle that having dinner under the stars is not only possible, but almost an expected. We spent an amazing two weeks in Castel Cellesi, along with our friends, and it was truly one of the most memorable holidays ever. Our host and our resident 'tour guide' was not only helpful, but really gave us the cream of the crop of the local experiences: the required dinner under the stars, but not only that, locally sourced and prepared dinner, with local wine (which I might add is some of the best value for money and taste that I've ever had!). We were recommended the best places to eat (there's a reason Italy forms the 'eat' part of 'Eat, Pray, Love'!), were given practical guidelines as to where to go and what to do, and in summertime the azure blue swimming pool is a haven for tired feet, a respite from the Italian heat.
Some of our experiences that were in excess of our expectations: We have two toddlers and when our son came down with tonsillitis, Eddie (our English speaking 'tour guide') came with us to hospital and assisted us way beyond anything that was required of him. Our host (Telly) treated our children with ice creams on a regular basis, and when my husband wanted to surprise me with a new wedding ring, Telly was the one who helped him make it happen, without ever having met us.
The accommodation gave us the impression of authentic Italian countryside, with everything that you need, and our our group of 12 people everyone found something that worked for them. We were able to take many hikes into the countryside, and explored the are around Castel Cellesi, always finding something new to see and do.
Don't be fooled: this is truly a special village, the people are incredibly welcoming, and in terms of value for money, one of the best choices in Western Europe!"
What there is to do
Castel Cellesi, being located at the crossroads of Northern Lazio, Umbria and Tuscany, has endless possibilities.
There is always an English speaking host on site to help and advise you, tell you about the sites, restaurants, villages – whatever help you need, we will be on hand to help you.
Remember, we are in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Nature reserves, lakes, beautiful Etruscan villages, some of the finest food and wine of Italy.
Don’t forget that Castel Cellesi is a year round resort – we welcome you 12 months a year.
Relaxing in Castel Cellesi
Castel Cellesi is first and foremost a place to relax and let go.
A place to forget the tensions and troubles of everyday life.
Spend yours days with the villagers, sitting in the piazza.
Stroll through the beautiful countryside, perhaps have a picnic surrounded by olive trees and vineyards.
Relax at our swimming pool – swim, sunbathe, have cold drinks, a delicious light lunch….
The evenings are particularly lovely in Castel Cellesi.
The sun begins to set (a time ideal for lovely photographs) sit outside and have a thirst quenching aperitif, then when ready, on to dinner.
For dinner, you could have dinner by the pool, have dinner served to you at your house, or go to the local pizzeria for a delicious pizza.
Feeling a bit more adventurous? Then you could go to a local beach at Lake Bolsena, visit a local winery or enjoy some of the local scenery.
For the evening we can always recommend excellent local restaurants.
A week stay in Castel Cellesi
DAY 1 - Welcome to Castel Cellesi!
A bottle of very special italian champagne is waiting for you in your fridge. Get familiar with your very special country-style house, discover the village and enjoy some time at the swimming pool.
DAY 2 - Civita di Bagnoregio
Take a trip to Civita di Bagnoregio (the dying city) and, if you feel, a bit of hiking through the spectacular "calanchi" (volcanic buttresses) around the city. Maps and information at the local "Tourist Office". At the end of the day, get back to Castel Cellesi and relax at the swimming-pool.
DAY 3 - Lake Bolsena
Why don't you drive around the Lake Bolsena? Start your visit with Montefiascone (15 km.), see the Rocca on the very top of the hill, enjoy the magnificent panormaic view, then reach the shore of the Lake, pass Marta, stop at Capodimonte for a relaxing walk. Have a light lunch in one of the many Restaurants or "Cafeterias" along the banks of the Lake, then continue in the direction of the charming little town "Bolsena". Visit the Castle, the museum and St. Cristina Church famous for the Miracle of the Eucharist. Return to Castel Cellesi.
DAY 4 - Tuscia District
Visit the Tuscia district! First a stop at Bagnaia crowned by the Villa Lante, the country house of several Popes and also a great example of Renaissance gardening style. Continue your trip heading to the Pope's city of Viterbo (from Castel Cellesi to Viterbo km. 27). Visit the Cathedral Church of San Lorenzo, the Pope's Palace with its enchanting Loggia and take a strolll through the fascinating Medieval Quarters. At the end of the day, make your way back home to Castel Cellesi!
DAY 5 - Terme dei Papi
Spend your day relaxing at the famous "Terme dei Papi" (Pope's Thermal Baths) just 2 km. from Viterbo. Park your car, pay the day admission fee to the large swimming pool of sulphurous water located in the Hotel "Terme dei Papi", rent a deckchair and enjoy your day swimming, and/or having treatments, mudbaths or massages. Return to Castel Cellesi.
DAY 6 - Orvieto
Drive north to the hilltop town of Orvieto ( km. 29). Visit the breathtaking Duomo (Cathedral Church) with its incredible fresco-paintings by Luca Signorelli, take a walk through the medieval streets, enjoy palaces, churches, towers, stores, ceramics) and taste the famous Orvieto white wine. Return to Castel Cellesi.
DAY 7 - Siena
This morning drive through a beautiful landscape to S.Quirico d'Orcia (km. 82 from Montefiascone SS. 2 - Via Cassia), visit this charming village and its geometric garden created around 1580. Then proceed to the picturesque medieval town of Siena (km. 45 SS.2 - Via Cassia) and stroll through its cobbled streets to the vast Campo Square, where the Palio horse race takes place every year, amid great festivities. See the Fountain of Joy and then walk up to the black and white striped Cathedral Church. Return to Castel Cellesi.
A day in Umbria
One day trip to Assisi:
Across the Tiber valley, drive into the Umbrian hills and stop at Todi for a short visit (km. 50). See the main square "Piazza del Popolo", right on the hilltop, with the Cathedral of SS. Annunziata (XII - XIV cent.) and the two monumental palaces "Palazzo del Popolo" and " Palazzo del Capitano" dating back from the twelve hundreds. Then continue on to mystical Assisi (Expressway 45 - km. 59).
Arrive at St. Mary of the Angels Basilica, where St: Francis died, before reaching the hill-top Assisi to visit the magnificent Basilica.
Stroll down the Via San Francesco to St. Clare's Church, then see the Cathedral with its Baptismal font where St. Francis was christened.
Take time to explore, to shop or to enjoy the views from Assisi's medieval ramparts before going back home to Castel Cellesi.
A day in Florence
One day trip to Florence (2,15 hrs):
Early morning leave Castel Cellesi and drive first to Orvieto and then to Florence (Highway A1 - km. 166). From Florence-South drive into the city, stop your vehicle in one of the two large Parkings you find on your way (Piazza Beccaria or Piazza Ghiberti/Mercato St. Ambrogio) then walk to the historical centre.
Visit the Basilica of the Holy Cross with the tomb of Michelangelo and Galileo, proceed to the political square "Piazza della Signoria", open air museum, to enjoy the sculptures by some of the greatest Renaissance artists.
Then on to the world famous bridge" Ponte Vecchio" with its fantastic jewellery stores, stroll the narrow streets of the medieval district before reaching the breathtaking, spectacular Duomo of Florence (Cathedral St. Maria del Fiore), the Giotto's Belltower and the Baptistry of St. John with its famous Golden Door or Gate of Paradise.
After all this you may visit the Museum of the Accademy with the original marble statue of David by Michelangelo and/or the famous art gallery "Uffizi" where the masterpieces of the best known painters in the world are shown, such as Sandro Botticelli, Giotto, Michelangelo, Raffaello, Leonardo da Vinci etc.
For both Museums reservation is needed during the high tourist season. At the end of the day return to Castel Cellesi.
One day trip to Tuscania
If you are interested in the Etruscan civilization, you are in the right place! All around you there are archeological sites connected with the Etruscans...
For istance take "One day trip to Tuscania" (49 km.): drive to Montefiascone, down to Marta (Lake Bolsena) then on to Tuscania.
Visit the historical center of this beautiful town with the marvellous romanesque Churches Santa Maria Maggiore and San Pietro. The latter is situated on the Acropolis (hill-top)of the ancient etruscan settlement and preserves a number of interesting etruscan sarcophagies.
Spend your day visiting the rocky necropolis (tombs excavated in the rock) all around the hill slopes, the "dado" tomb in the area called Peschiera (it's a tomb in the shape of a little house with a double sloping roof and moulded cornices). At Pian di Mola see the incredible Tomb with pillared porch and statues, don't miss the large necropolis "Madonna dell'Olivo" which preserves, among the others, the famous "Tomba della Regina" (Queen's grave). Return to Castel Cellesi.
A day in Tarquinia
One day trip to Tarquinia (71 km):
Tarquinia was one of the the most important and most prosperous centers of the Etruscan civilization and still today can boast one of the largest collections of Etruscan exhibits. Don't miss to visit the National Museum of Archeology located in the Vitelleschi Palace right in town. Also the medieval Tarquinia (the ancient Corneto) is extremely remarkable: the historic centre is still encircled by large parts of the town wall symbolically represented by the high tower facing the Church of Santa Maria in Castello.
The city proudly displays many other wonderful Romanesque churches along with the superb building of the Town Hall. Spend the rest of your day admiring the tombs at the Necropolis of Monterozzi: Tomb of the Bulls, Tomb of Hunting and Fishing, Tomb of Jugglers, Tomb of Leopard etc. This area is exceptionally rich in chamber tombs with paintings that fully display the painting technique used by the Etruscan people from the VI to the II century B.C. Now it's time to go back to Castel Cellesi!
The Archeological Area
One day trip to Archeological area (South of Viterbo):
Just a few kilometers south of Viterbo you find a great concentration of Etruscan necropolis such as:
Castel d'Asso - It was the first etruscan rocky necropolis to be discovered. The tombs are excavated in the rock one on top of the other in two or even three levels. Most of them are in cubic form on a simple façade, other show a more elaborated front with façade, under façade and the actual burial chamber.
Norchia - The most spectacular rocky necropolis in Tuscia and in the whole of Italy! An incredible number of tombs are dug out in the rock, either cubed or not, with beautiful decorations, mouldings, fake doors, porches.
Following the Via Cassia (SS 2) you get to Vetralla. In the vicinity there are more interesting Necropolis like Grotta Porcina, Barbarano Romano (archeological sites of San Giuliano and Valle Cappellana) and finally the famous Blera.
The urban part of the archeological area is only a deserted field, today, with evidences of oval shaped huts dating back from Bronze and Iron Age. Remains of many Etruscan homes are also visible, examples of the most ancient Italic and Etruscan domestic architecture (VI cent. B.C.).
Also the remains of city walls are on existance as well as the pillars of a bridge, one of the oldest in Italy, with tuff (tufo = volcanic rock) blocks and panel flooring. Surrounding the urban centre numerous hole graves, mound tombs and chamber tombs (VIII - III cent. b.C.)
Other Etruscan Archeological Areas in the Province of Viterbo:
Fabrica di Roma (Faleri Novi)
Grotte di Castro
Ischia di Castro
Vulci (Montalto di Castro)
Walking & Trekking
A large range of paths, trails and country roads to discover the beautiful scenary and the historical/artistical sites of the Tuscia area:
Along the south - west bank of the Lake Bolsena from Capodimonte (334 m a.s.l.) to Gradoli (470 m) through the romantic archeological site on the top of Mt. Bisentium (406 m) overlooking the lake.
From Civita di Bagnoregio to the Calanchi of Ponticelli (the most spectacular of all the volcanic buttresses in the area) through the breathtaking “Bucaione” (a sort of tunnel excavated in the rock by the Etruscans).
Monte Rufeno - This nature preserve occupies three hectares of mostly wooded land located in the hills around Acquapendente, approximately 50 km. from Viterbo and km 49 from Castel Cellesi. From an altitude of 200 metres a.s.l. (the Paglia river), the terrain rises to a height of 700 metres on Mt. Rufeno, an area offering opportunities for excursions and trekking for all ages with several hiking itineraries which are diversified according to duration and difficulty.
Lake Vico - This nature preserve extends for over three hectares within the old crater area of Lake Vico. It is located approximately 20 kilometres from Viterbo and 47 from Castel Cellesi. I lies within the territorial bounds of the towns of Caprarola and Ronciglione. It is one of the most beautiful nature areas in Italy and its marsh area is of extreme environmental importance as the refuge of thousands of migratory and stationary birds. The area also includes the beech woods of Mt. Fogliano and Mt. Venere.
The Beechwood – This wood covers the higher areas of Mt. Cimino (1053 m) in the municipal area of Soriano nel Cimino. These towering beech trees create an environment of unique natural beauty. Among the natural curiosities of the wood is the “trembling stone”, a huge boulder which has perched balanced on a narrow base for centuries.
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