Villa Zuccari, Montefalco $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
Still owned by the Zuccari family, which began developing the estate in the 16th century, this large, elegant villa sits just outside the village of San Luca, near the wine town of Montefalco. The pink main house looks more Sicilian than Umbrian, especially when you factor in the palm trees in the formal garden (which will look great in a few years' time; since the hotel opened in summer 2005, some of the plantings still have that straight-from-the-nursery look about them). Inside, the common areas are decorated with delicate botanical wall frescoes; most charming are the trompe l'oeil creations in the breakfast room. There's not a huge price gap between top- and bottom-range rooms (there are 34 in all), so it's worth booking a deluxe double, like rooms 126 or 127both of which have hot tubsor going whole hog and nabbing the Torretta tower, which has wraparound views over the countryside, and a telescope to help you enjoy them. The huge swimming pool, well-stocked bar, and gourmet restaurant (open for dinner only) are strong motives to stay put, but Villa Zuccari is well-placed for wine-and-culture jaunts to Montefalco and Bevagna, and day trips to Assisi, Spoleto, and Todi. It's also one of the few Umbrian country hotels open year-round.
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