Sitting in the garden, one can enjoy our dawns and dusks, with their jubilee of colours ranging from dark yellow to pink, orange and red. In this scenario, it is often possible to observe the flight of pheasants, falcons and buzzards, great tits, chaffinches and sparrows.
This is an enchanting place far from noise, ideal to regenerate body and mind, where one has the opportunity enjoy pleasant walks or rides on mountain bike. The summer breeze that caresses Podere Santa Pia guarantees "cool" holidays even in the hottest weather.
Allerona is a delightful, typical small town atop of a hill, surrounded by medieval town walls with two gates known as "del Sole" and "della Luna". Allerona is immersed in the wood-covered hills of beech, ilex, and juniper. Its origins go way back in time and there is no lack of architectural proofs from the period of the Roman Empire.
Inside Allerona, on the highest point, stands the old Castellana church. The church which used to be a part of a castle, dates all the way back to the twelfth century and has been renovated at the end of the 19th century.
Archaeological remains can be found in the close proximities of the village, among which are some stretches of the ancient Cassia road (between Orvieto and Ficulle) and inscribed pillars relating to the new Traiana. Also visible are the ruins of the Castle of Meana, of a small fortress known as "rudere dell'Armata" and the Bisenzio Tower, outpost of the Papal State. The Castle, destroyed by Carlo VIII in 1465, is certainly worth a visit.
One of the most interesting attractions of Allerona is Selva di Meana, a state-owned park in which the Villa Cahen, an Art Nouveau style villa (1880), is located. Villa Cahen accommodates for a very "rich" and prosperous Italian and Japanese garden, gently offering the visitors a variety of (often rare) trees, plants and herbs, which the owners imported from very distant places. The beautiful garden also contains a glass house, protecting the vulnerable species during winter times.
The most famous and characteristic festival in Allerona is that of St. Isidoro, patron saint of the countryside. This festival is held on the third Sunday in May, with a historical procession in nineteenth-century costumes presenting the so-called "Pugnaioni", small allegorical floats with scenes of rural life.
Allerona is also the host of the national festival of amateur theatre. This renowned festival is organized every year at the end of July - beginning of August and attracts lots of visitors. The performances are conducted in the old centre of the town, which gives the festival a medieval atmosphere.
As you might expect, Allerona is stolidly agricultural, appreciated for its cheeses, its DOC Orvieto wines and also for its lace.
A chance to discover the traditions, the gastronomy and the habits of the "Alleronesi", is offered every Wednesday, when a traditional market takes place, and the fruits of these lands can be found on the customary stalls. Orvieto
Orvieto is one of the main towns of Umbria and just under 20 kilometres away from Casale Colline Dolci. It is a "must see and do", perched on top of a giant rock outcrop in a superb defensive position and a history that goes back at least as far as Etruscan times.
The thirteenth-century Duomo, one of Italy's finest Gothic buildings, is Orvieto's most dramatic attraction. A striking black-and-white creation, the cathedral features intricate carvings on the facade, an atmospherically austere interior and terrifying apocalyptic frescoes by Luca Signorelli.
Orvieto is also renowned for its fascinating underground tours. Indeed, Orvieto is built on tufa, a volcanic rock which is very easy to dig into, and from the earliest times the hill-top dwellers dug downwards to extend their town. On the tour you can visit Etruscan underground 'rooms', with carved roof details, and see the deep wells dug by the Etruscan inhabitants to reach water. Much later many caves were used for practical purposes, with underground mills and stables in use until recent centuries. Most fascinating of all is the underground columbarium, cut into the very edge of the hilltop, with 'windows' looking out from the cliff-face over the surrounding countryside. Here, in countless carved niches, the medieval residents of Orvieto kept pigeons. In an age when siege was a constant threat, these pigeons were a form of insurance for the population. They bred frequently, flew out to find their own food, and provided meat and eggs in times of necessity.
Other underground explorations are the Pozzo della Cava, and the Pozzo di San Patrizio, two of the town's vastly deep wells, which the energetic can descend.
The streets of Orvieto are charmingly medieval, and away from the main tourist routes they are pleasantly peaceful. A tour around the edge of the town offers fantastic views over the surrounding countryside, and plenty of distractions like pretty churches and restaurants where you can enjoy local specialities such as truffles, and of course the famously good white wine Orvieto Classico. Once the tour parties and day-trippers have left, it's possible to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the medieval lanes, and enjoy long leisurely evenings feasting on the excellent Umbrian cuisine abounding in the town's many restaurants.