Last October I spent 3 wonderful, relaxing, regenerating days in Umbria, sleeping in a magical relais called “Il Cantico della Natura” (=the canticle of nature – website here) and exploring the surrounding area, Lake Trasimeno being the highlight!
Italy is full of underrated places and Umbria is one of them. Obviously well known by Italians (not sure all of them could point at it on a map though), but unfortunately overlooked by most foreigners coming from all over the world to visit the usual Florence, Milan, Venice and Rome, Umbria is the only peninsular region of Italy that doesn’t have access to the sea. Unmistakeable, beautiful, authentic and basically in the middle of everything – and yes, close to Tuscany too: aren’t these enough reasons to add it to your itinerary?
Il Cantico della Natura was the perfect place to spend a few days after a very intense season at work. I was tired and stressed and needed a place to escape and relax.
As soon as my friend and I arrived, we immediately knew we found a special place: the location of this 350 years old messuage is beyond beautiful, on top of a hill with a breathtaking view over Lake Trasimeno, facing west hence the sunset. As if this was not enough, there is a huge outdoor swimming pool right on the side where the sun sets. Imagine spending the afternoon there, having some drinks, watching the sunset, silence all around… Romantic to say the least!
Our room was in a secluded part of the resort which made it very quiet and private. Accessing the building felt like entering a private home. Every area at Il Cantico Della Natura is incredibly welcoming and cozy. The name of our junior suite was “Cuore” (=heart) and it featured a round mattress with a heart-shaped frame, which was a first for me!
The original style of the property was very well kept and all modern amenities such as WiFi, a laptop and iPad at guests’ disposal have been implemented with a very tasteful sense of innovation.
What I really liked
What I really liked about Il Cantico Della Natura is that it classifies as an “Eco Resort and Organic Farm”. This means that all cleaning products as well as toilet paper are eco-friendly; the resort mostly uses energy from renewable sources; they offer local and regional organic food; and so on.
Special attention is given to food, both at the restaurant and at breakfast time.
The Spa features sauna, steam bath and a jacuzzi. The really cool part is that the Spa is only reserved for private use which means that you book it for 90 minutes and have it all for yourself. This is the ultimate relaxation technique!
The main character of this touristically speaking underdeveloped (which is a good thing) area is Lake Trasimeno. This is the 4th lake in Italy in terms of size, and there are 3 islands in this lake which can all be visited: Isola Maggiore, Isola Minore and Isola Polvese. In low season (i.e. autumn/winter) only Isola Maggiore can be reached by ferry as it’s the only inhabited one. So there we went!
From Il Cantico Della Natura to the lovely medieval town of Passignano – very well worth a visit – it takes about 20 minutes by car. Then, another 20 minutes by ferry to arrive to Isola Maggiore. On the island it is possible to eat at one of the bars, buy souvenirs, and hike all around the island and up to the Church “Chiesa di San Michele Arcangelo” and back to the little harbour, which takes a bit more than an hour overall.
The main activities revolve around the lake: sailing, canoeing, visiting the islands, biking and quad rides are the most popular ones.