ITALIAN VILLAGE VACATION   is an association created to give people a completely different and unknown experience of Italy.  DIFFERENT because we cater for people who are tired of being tourists, and tired of the usual treadmill of souvenir shops, mass produced food, crowded locations and general  commercial tourism.  UNKNOWN because we are offering vacations in a most beautiful part of Italy unknown to the majority of visitors to Italy.  Unknown because we offer you a stay in a tiny 16th century village unknown to most of the world.  Quiet, peaceful  and yet real.  A village where the inhabitants still don’t feel the need to lock their doors and are on first name terms with each other.

 

The village is Castel Cellesi , with 200 inhabitants, located in the most beautiful are of Tuscia – at the meeting point of Northern Lazio, Tuscany and Umbria.  An area of outstanding natural beauty – hills, lakes, spas, old Etruscan villages famed for their ancient tombs and amphitheatres.  Towns such as Bolsena, Civita di Bagnoregio,  Montefiascone, Orvieto, Viterbo, Tarquinia, Bagnaia and Bomarzo.  An area ideal for relaxing, sightseeing, walking and trekking, horse riding and much much more.  At Viterbo there are the hot springs of Bulicame, known to Dante – here you can visit the local Spa for many and varied treatments for both outside and inside the body!  An area famed for its cuisine, based on both meat and fish.  Its wines, its many local festivals, antique fairs and more. 

SO WHAT ARE WE OFFERING?

The independent traveller

We are offering a relaxing, interesting vacation tailored to your needs.  The independent travelers who require a base from which to travel and explore.  We are available to help and offer suggestions for sightseeing, eating, wine tasting, location of spas, events and much more.

The not so independent traveller

We also offer vacations for the less independent travellers who still wishes to get away from the regular commercial  tourist scene.  Who would perhaps like to have home cooked meals prepared for them, or be accompanied on sightseeing to local places of interest.  To go on walks through the local countryside, or maybe just relax by the pool.

You tell us your needs and we will be delighted to help you.


OUR  IDEAS FOR YOUR STAY IN CASTEL CELLESI              

Christmas in Castel Cellesi     NEW FOR 2008!!  (link a testo)

Walking vacation.  (link a testo)

Cooking lessons with a difference (link a testo)

A week in Castel Cellesi  (link al testo)

 

Castel Cellesi  is a little jewel really unknown to most of the world.  Being in Castel Cellesi is like stepping back in time.  What makes Castel Cellesi so different?  The most important factor is that the road to Castel Cellesi ends here.  There is no through road – this means that the world has mostly passed the village by.  It is quiet, safe and unspoilt.  The village boasts  two beautiful piazzas, a parish church, a post office, a bar, small food shop and a local pizzeria.  Being in the middle of the country just a short walk and you find yourself in olive groves and vineyards.  Although  isolated it is easily accessible – just  4kms along the main road and you arrive at Bagnoregio with its supermarket and shops.  A little further you come to Montefiascone with again more supermarkets and shops.  20 minitues you are in the quaint town of Bolsena situated on its famous lake.

 

The village was originally an enclosed square structure composed of small farm houses which surrounded a larger open space accessible through two main gates known as the “Upper Gate” and the “Lower Gate.” The Church and the Palace of Count Giromamo Cellesi were in the center of the village. Gradually more farmers joined the first settlers and the village spread out of its lower gate. Another large square was then added on, rectangular in shape, encircled by small houses which all looked alike in color, shape and size. Count Cellesi had decreed that no building could be erected higher than the second floor of his own palace. The result is a lovely hamlet; homogeneous, harmonious, and unique. The asphalted road is in very good condition and ends at the village itself. There is very little traffic and pollution; people can park their cars in front of their own homes; children can safely play in the streets-in short, life is as quiet and peaceful as it was hundreds of years ago.

In the older of the two squares, one finds the Parish Church dedicated to Saint Girolamo. Its construction was commissioned by Count Girolamo Cellesi in 1664 and his monumental tomb is on the right hand wall entering the church. The building was restored and decorated with large frescoes in the late 1800’s. The interior of the church has only one nave, covered with a wood beam roof and three steps lead to the altar where the statue of St. Girolamo is located. A large wooden statue of the Virgin Mary in the Assumption into Heaven, highly venerated in Castelcellesi, is located on the left of the altar.

The most important monument of the village is the small church named after the Holy Sepulchre, founded by Count Girolamo Cellesi around 1674. It originates as a very modest chapel dedicated to the Madonna del Soccorso. Later, in 1703, another Count Cellesi, Francesco, had requested some Holy Relics from the Great Custodian of the Holy Land and started reconstruction of the chapel, enlarging it to twice its original size. During the renovation, a large rock slab was found in the center of the new church site. Since it was not possible to remove it, they decided to erect a Shrine around it shaped like the Holy Sepulchre in the Holy Land. The Holy Relics arrived at Cestelcellesi at the end of February 1704 and were placed in the Shrine. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was officially consecrated by the Bishop on n March 7th,1704. A Brotherhood was founded to take care of the Holy Sepulchre and of the Church. For almost two centuries, until the end of the XIX century, the Holy Sepulchre of Castelcellesi was the destination of countless pilgrims coming from all over the Tiber valley. Even today it is one of the most important sites on the itinerary “Shrines of the Holy Sepulchre in Europe.”

The panoramic view from the hilltop of the Holy Sepulchre is breathtaking. From west to east, one can see the outline of the dome of Montefiascone’s Cathedral and Papal Fortress, moving on to the peak of the Mount Amiata, followed by the hills surrounding Orvieto to the Umbrian Appenines studded with charming towns and villages, finally sloping down towards the Tiber Valley. Farther in the distance, the mountains of the Sabina terriritory, Abruzzo and the snowy peak of Termillo are visible while a bit closer the Cimini mountains decline towards the plain of Viterbo. Much nearer, one can enjoy the spectacular sight of the buttresses of Bagnoregio’s valley, surrounded by lush woods, fields, vineyards and olive groves.


ACCOMODATION AVAILABLE IN CASTEL CELLESI


The association is a group of home owners who have bought old houses in the village and lovingly and tastefully restored them.  There are houses of various shapes and sizes, able to sleep from 2 to 8 people comfortably.  All houses have comfortable beds with bathrooms and cooking facilities, and all are located in the centre of the village. Some houses have views over the church piazza, while others have views over the beautiful countryside.  The houses have been designed with your comfort in mind, however they can all be said to have an old world charm, they are in keeping with the tone of the village.   There is a swimming pool (May to October)  set in an Italian garden available for use by the guests.  On days you prefer to stay at home and relax you can have lunch or dinner served to you at the pool.

 

HOW TO GET TO CASTEL CELLESI

We strongly recommend arriving by car.  The village is situated about 110kms north of Rome on a road between the towns of Bagnoregio and Viterbo.  Close to the Via Cassia and Orvieto.   See map. (link to map).  It is strongly recommended that you bring a satellite navigator to be able to enjoy fully the local area.

It is also possible to arrive by train.  The local station is at Alviano, a one hour journey from Rome’s main station.  We could then pick you up from Alviano station.

A private transfer direct from Rome airport can be arranged.

 
 
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