One AWEful view after another
in Tuscany and Umbria - Part 2

May 2008
By Allegra Pawlowski

We returned to Perugia and thanked Sonia for a wonderful day and headed out to explore Perugia. We walked around for a little bit and settled into some Spaghetti alla Carbonara at Da Cesarino and then called it a day.

On to Tuscany!

San Casciano dei BagniWe began the day by waking up at the villa BRV AIO, a wonderful villa located about 25 kms away in nearby Sarteano. BRV AIO is a very quiet, private, comfortable yet elegant villa with 6 bd/6 ba. The rooms are wonderfully dressed with warm reds, yellows and blues. The house is large, but it does not feel cold or too spacious because of its size. It is cozy without being small. The villa is also fully modernized with WIFI, showers, fully equipped kitchen – everything you might need and more.

Villa BRV MIMAfter a hearty breakfast prepared for us by the housekeeper, Angela, we were off to our 9 a.m. appointment at Villa BRV MIM in San Casciano dei Bagni. Over the years, I have read many things about this village, including the book, A Thousand Days in Tuscany by Marlena de Blasi and wanted to finally see what it was like. BRV MIM is just outside of the center of town (a very easy 3 minute stroll across the street to the main piazza of the village). The villa was at one time a school (built in the 1960's) and was completely renovated by the present owner, a decorator (which is clear by the interiors). The location cannot be any better. You hear the church bells, you can walk to town for dinner or groceries or you can walk to the nearby spa for treatments. BRV MIM has 6bd/6 ba and is a one level house. The walls are all painted white, making it very crisp and cool in the summer along with the breezes from the beautiful rolling green hills of the Val d'Orcia. I pictured myself here in the summer, spending all of my time by the pool constantly "oohing" and "aahing" over the view. I left this house, very reluctantly, but inspired to completely redecorate my house when I got back to Boston.

View from the Piazza MatteottiAfter BRV MIM, Suzanne and I realized we had about 45 minutes before our next appointment so we walked into the village to see what an early weekday morning was like in San Casciano dei Bagni. We walked to the Piazza Matteotti and both gasped at what we saw and stopped in our tracks. As the village is located on a hill, the main piazza overlooks the distant and gentle hills of the Val d’Orcia. We expected something like this after having seen BRV MIM, (which has a similar position) but we were not prepared for just how breathtaking the view actually is. The village is enchanting. There are a few parking spaces in the piazza but the village is pedestrian. There is a Michelin rated restaurant overlooking the piazza, located next to Bar Centrale (for your espresso, panino or gelato), a verdure (a tiny vegetable store which displays the veggies as works of art-I love the mini carciofi), a ceramics store for all your tableware, a home decorator store, a tabacchi, a small grocery, an antique jewelry store and last but not least the pasticceria! Even though we had eaten, we just HAD to get something in the pasticceria. We stopped and got a couple of scones with grapes and nuts, an espresso and a cappuccino and grinned at each other from ear to ear.

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