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At 700 meters above sea level in the Mount Subasio Park, outside of Assisi, Relais Tenuta Le Silve offers a veritable refuge.   Its 230 hectares of unspoiled, forested land is populated by deer, wild boar, cattle, horses, donkeys, foxes and a variety of bird life.  There are 20 kilometers of hiking trails on the estate, making it the perfect place to enjoy Umbria “off the beaten path.”

I wake early this morning and walk the grounds to admire the magnificent panoramic views.  A silver mist is pierced by shards of light, brightening the greens and burnishing the copper of the autumn colors that are beginning to appear.   Nature has woven a blanket that envelops me in peace.  Pax and Bonum – we are after all in the land of St. Francis.  In fact, this ancient stone structure dates back to the time of St. Francis.

Marco, the current owner, has every right to be proud of this property, which his father discovered and purchased five decades ago and dedicated years to its careful restoration, transforming it from an abandoned ruin into the elegant inn it is today.  The rooms are rustic, yet graceful in their simplicity.  The views are magnificent.  There are several sitting rooms where one can choose to hide away with a good book or wander outdoors to a quiet spot to sit with a glass of wine in hand.   Hiking trails beckon one to explore, and when the weather is warm, it would be hard to resist a lazy afternoon by the pool.  For those who wish to discover the treasures of Assisi, it is a slow yet scenic drive to the heart of the city.

The restaurant at the Tenuta le Silve was named after the nearby hamlet of Armenzano whose inhabitants herded their sheep from the lower plains to the high grounds of Monte Subasio.  On this crisp autumn evening, flames dance over fragrant logs in the large stone camino, adding warmth and atmosphere to this lovely dining room, rescued from a structure where sheep once sheltered.     The terracotta floors show the patina of the ages; the stone walls and wood-beamed ceiling whisper stories of the past.  Skirting the tables are linens with needlework inserts reflecting the grace of by-gone times.   The ceramic plates were hand-painted by a Deruta artist.   Every detail invites guests to sit back and enjoy the cuisine of Umbria.   Chef Giorgio Valiani doesn’t simply cook.  He celebrates – the flavors born of the land that surrounds us.  The sheep cheeses and wild boar, the mushrooms and truffles, the fragrant herbs and wild berries…

At Le Silve, the pace is slow and the environs magnificently beautiful – a perfect combination for savoring both the spiritual and natural heritage of Umbria.

October 2013

All images and reviews copyright 2015 by Ginda Simpson

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Romantik Hotel Le Silve Di Armenzano

Assisi ~ Umbria, Italy

Romantik Hotel Le Silve Di Armenzano ~ Original watercolor painting by Ginda Simpson