The plain surrounding Lake Trasimeno, over which Il Falconiere looks, was once the scene of some of Hannibal’s fiercest battles against the Romans. Nowadays, however, Il Falconiere is a haven of civilized living. Reached through quiet country lanes, bordered by vineyards, the main villa (built in the 17th century around an earlier fortified tower) is set in landscaped grounds of olives, rosemary hedges, fruit trees and roses, which also contain the old lemon house (now a Michelin-starred restaurant) and the still-functioning chapel with an adjoining suite.
Meticulous attention has been given to every aspect of decoration, from trompe-l’oeil number scrolls outside each room to the hand-embroidered window-hangings and finest bed linen. Persian rugs and handsome antiques rest easily on uneven, original terracotta floors. In the pigeon-loft of the old tower, reached by a narrow, stone spiral staircase, is a small bedroom with an unsurpassed view of the Valdichiana. A villa nearby has been converted to create eight new bedrooms with their own breakfast room and pool. The estate produces its own excellent wine, chocolate and olive oil and cooking courses are organised too. A recent report praises the hotel unequivocally: ‘Everything combines to make this one of the most stylish hotels in Italy.’