Based just outside the stunning medieval city of Gubbio, which sits at the foot of the Apenine mountains, San Vittorino is a high quality development of eight properties set in its own 125 acre elevated valley. The views are around the valley and beyond over lines of nearby hills to the impressive Apenine mountain range.
San Vittorino traces its current origins back to a returning crusader who built a fortified home in this beautiful valley. By the 12th century a monastery had been established, with a small chapel next door which retains the restored 14th century fresco depicting St Ubaldo, the patron saint of Gubbio. With the demise of the monastery the main building, which has been extended many times over the years, became a farm and a number of outbuildings were added. Ultissimo acquired the abandoned buildings in 2006 and restored them fully using reclaimed materials to restore them to their current state – with the blend of ancient and modern creating eight spacious, attractive homes of the highest quality.
There is plenty to do at San Vittorino. Should you tire of the views, then the swimming pool, tennis court and extensive estate provide more active alternatives. Despite being less than 15 minutes from the centre of Gubbio, San Vittorino is exceptionally peaceful with views over unspoilt countryside and an entirely undisturbed, natural setting. You may well see deer in our valley and hear the call of cuckoos.
San Vittorino is reached by a 5 minute drive along a rising tarmac road which leaves the main Gubbio-Perugia road. Perugia International airport, 30 minutes’ drive from San Vittorino, provides UK flights with Ryanair from Stansted which operate on five days each week during the late spring and summer season, and four days a week otherwise. There is significant expansion of the airport underway to increase the international flights. The airport at Rome and Bologna is a little over 2 hours’ drive from San Vittorino, Ancona well under 2 hours and Pisa and Bologna airports offer further options.
Gubbio is an absolutely stunning medieval city which has been beautifully restored and updated. It has a long history dating back 2,000 years to the Etruscans and beyond, associations with St Francis of Assisi and medieval pageants that survive largely unchanged to the present day. It also has the world’s largest Christmas tree, formed by a huge chain of lights which pick out an outline running 1,000 feet up the mountainside above. Gubbio occupies a commanding position on the lower slopes of the Apenines.
Apart from the delight of wandering round meandering medieval streets with endless beautiful doors, some of the most incredible Italian architecture, many wonderful restaurants and delightful shops selling local specialities (Gubbio is the home of majolica pottery) there are plenty of other attractions. The Roman Amphitheatre hosts open air performances throughout the summer.
There is a ‘cable car’ which takes visitors to the top of Mont Ingino where the church contains the remains of Saint Ubaldo. The walk back down is delightful. There are many festivals throughout the year, including the world famous Festia di Ceri, which is known worldwide as ‘The Race of the Candles’. Since medieval times three competing teams shoulder heavy wooden litters each with a wooden candle weighing half a tonne and topped with the image of one of the three local saints, race manically through packed streets around the lower part of the town and up to the basilica on Mont Ingino. YouTube has footage of this unique, exciting event – just search for Gubbio and you will see for yourself.
On the 12 minute drive between Gubbio and San Vittorino is a unique shop selling reproduction suits of armour, swords and period furniture. They provided the armour and swords for Lord of the Rings and other films, so it is well worth a visit as we know of no other shop like it anywhere.
30 minutes from San Vittorino, set amongst steep hills and beside a medieval castle, is the Trent-Jones designed golf course at Antognolla (www.antognolla.it) which offers attractive green fees and provides a technically challenging 18-hole experience. There is a Pro shop on site where you are able to hire clubs, and a restaurant and bar in the club house which is open for lunch and dinner offering amazing views over the golf course.
Rome, Florence, Assisi and Urbino are all easily accessible for day visits, and you can reach the lovely beaches of the Adriatic coast in a little over an hour.
Gubbio, its surrounding area, and San Vittorino in particular offers a combination of tranquility, history, culture and activities and, most importantly, a slice of true Italian life. The food and wine available locally are often excellent..