live the f**k It Life
One of the most beautiful places we have ever stayed - it is one's dream of a perfect country house hotel come true.
H.E., New York
A wonderful place to say the least. Tasteful, luxurious and very relaxing.
The setting is 360 hectares of magnificent hills, vineyards, gardens, and fields, with stunning views of pastoral hillsides in all directions.
The buildings are beautifully restored old stone farmhouses, with 21st century Italian modern design interiors. The gardens and flowers are lush, and the infinity-edge swimming pool with the distant views is a place one could spend all day and evening.
Breakfast and dinner were delicious, and the estate-bottled wine is wonderful.
H.E., New York
We're doing the majority of our F**k It Retreats at this spectacular location near Urbino (and near where we live). When we were considering doing our retreats outside The Hill That Breathes (the retreat we owned and ran until 2011), we decided that if we could find a place as special as The Hill close to us, then it would be a great sign to go ahead. Well, we are going ahead… a this place really is something special, and it feels like it was there waiting for us - and you- just like The Hill was when we first started out 10 years ago.
Aside from the beauty of the place, and all its features (and very beautiful it is too… there's a style to everything, and an attention to detail that blew us away), what made it clear that this was the right place for us all, was that every time we visited the Estate we would relax instantly and deeply. There is a softness and peace in the place that conquers everyone. You too will relax instantly when you’re there: lying back in the lap of luxury and giving into peace (and plates of handmade linguini with rocket and pecorino pesto too).
The estate comprises 400 acres of land: in fact it’s the land that Raphael would have wandered as a boy, as his grandmother was born here. There are acres of vines here, creating the estate's own wine (which you will, without a doubt, enjoy) and almond, chestnut, apple, fig, orange and cherry tree orchards. The estate is an ‘Oasi Funistica’: an important protected area, with protected fauna and flora, a river, three lakes and marked trails offering amazing walks of all lengths. The estate is so vast that there is the same beauty and tranquility that we're used to on The Hill.
In the middle of these amazing grounds is the 14th century borgo (small village). The hotel has been created from this borgo: several renovated farmhouses for guests; a converted barn for the indoor pool and spa, and even a church.
They have used a well known Roman architect to bring back to life the traditional look of the buildings, but giving them the elegance and luxury of a great hotel. The details are amazing: wood, leather and stone textures; the varied colours, the large and warm spaces; the light.
After a short time there, you’ll want to move in.
The spa, set in a converted barn, is stunning. The main feature is a delicious indoor heated pool (with a swim jet). The pool is included in the price of your holiday (guests usually have to pay extra for this).
Then there is a sauna, steam room and a relaxing series of pools and jets with chromo-therapy that you walk through (these facilities are €20 a day for you, though usually €30). Upstairs, there are loungers to nap in, and an area for massages and treatments.
The Estate has a beautiful infinity pool overlooking the hills and vineyards. To make it even more enjoyable, you’ll find one of the oldest building of the borgo right next to the pool: a little building from 1300. This building now functions as an organic bar, where - shaded by a cherry tree - you can drink organic juice (or more likely a cool beer or one of the estate wines.)
The Estate provides both a wide range of massages, and a choice of beauty treatments.Prices vary depending on the length of the massage (30 minutes or 50 minutes) or type of beauty treatment, and you can get a special price if you want a few. You can book everything directly at the Estate’s reception.
The massages include Aromatherapy; Acupressure; Reflexology; Shiatsu; Revitalizing, Relaxing or Sports Massage and more.
The beauty treatments: Manicure, Pedicure, Cleaning, Make up, Face Scrub and Massage and more. So you’ll leave the spa feeling very relaxed and looking very pretty indeed (particularly the men).
The rooms are gorgeous: large, stylish and luxurious. They have the facilities of a hotel – with TV, mini-bar, phone, internet connection (if you have to) – and the style of a boutique hotel. Each room has its own bathroom (for those of you now used to The Hill) – and even these bathrooms are magical.
In short, you’ll have everything you need to enter a zone of deep rest and comfort, short of being tucked into bed (though you may able to convince someone in the group to do that for you anyway).
The Estate is well known in the area for its superior cuisine. Not just scrumptious Italian food, but prepared by top chefs with high quality, local, fresh organic ingredients. We are, after all, in the middle of organic land and vineyards. So you’ll be drinking the amazing organic wines of the estate, and eating organic products from the farm. And you’ll get your gnocchi with pecorino cheese and pears; your home-made tagliatelle with red-wine-meat ragù; your mushrooms and wild garlic pizza rustica; and your home-made croccante ice-cream with dark chocolate sauce… do you want us to go on?
(Yes, for those who are used to The Hill, there will be some meat – though the you’ll still get wonderful vegetable dishes too).
The Estate caters for food intolerances or other requirements, just tell us in the booking form when you book.
The estate will also organize an afternoon cookery lesson, run by one of their chefs, where s/he will teach you how to make a full Italian meal. So you’ll be able to cook like an Italian when you get back home (and you can give M&S a miss).
Your stay is full-board, with a buffet lunch (similar to how The Hill was) and a three course menu dinner. Lick lips… now.
The estate has a wonderful large group space, with a large opening leading onto lawns and herb gardens. It’s very peaceful. Though we will occasionally make lots of noise (it has a great sound system). You will feel safe in this space: we’ve checked it all out with our divining rods… and though there’s no water underneath the room, it’s overflowing with good energy.
Talking of group spaces, there are several places at the Estate that you can hang out as a group. We will be using, for example, the rooms of one house on the Estate that has a lovely open fireplace: so whenever it’s cooler weather, we can head down there to roast some marshmallows. The same house has another lovely group room where we can put out board games for those of you who might get bored sitting around talking about the meaning of life.
First of all, there will be no early rising for yoga and chanting. No siree. Rise leisurely and head down for some breakfast in the sumptuous breakfast bar.
Then we’ll start at 9.30am and run through 'til lunchtime (1pm) - and with a tea break of course. There will be sessions on every day during your stay (excluding arrival and departure days, so 6 days), though there will be a shorter session on one day, when you will have the opportunity to have a longer trip out somewhere (such as a walk in the mountains, or a trip to Fano, on the coast).
So your time is your own every day from lunch onwards: and you won’t have trouble filling it with all there is to do (and not do) at the Estate.
If you fancy extending your stay, either at the Estate, or elsewhere, do ask us (we’ll put some details on here and the FAQs soon).
You’ll find more info in travel. »