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Dreamy I Cappucini

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Dreamy I Cappucini

Villas General Manager Adam Coats learns the rules of shoe golf, eats his way through Umbria and enjoys the surroundings of our beautiful new property, I Cappucini, on a short break in Italy.

i-cappucini

“Anyone for Shoe Golf?” came the cry from our ever attentive villa host. Having thought I had experienced everything on offer at this truly stunning former convent in the hills above Lake Trasimeno, I was in for yet another surprise. As an occasional golfer myself, this sounded exactly my sort of activity, but I had no idea what I was letting myself in for. What was to follow in the ensuing hour of ‘play’ was full of hilarity, the occasional injury, a narrow escape with a drenching in the pool and many a moment scrambling through bushes and trees to retrieve one’s shoe (the replacement for a golf ball is indeed, your footwear). There are ‘rules’ to this game, several pages of them in fact, but in essence it involves any number of players flinging their loosely placed shoe to a designated ‘hole’, which could be anything from a plant pot, tree base or disused well for example, anywhere in the beautifully landscaped grounds, with the minimum amount of ‘flings’ (shots). I have no idea exactly who won, or quite what the point was, but I am a confirmed disciple and determined to spread the gospel.

I-cappucini

i-cappucini

For me this game summed up the spirit I Cappuccini: there’s no shortage of opportunities for competition. An evening on the infuriatingly addictive shuffle board with an 80s soundtrack (not my choice) is an opportunity to win (and lose) friends, and arguments over who found the best truffle in the 25 hectares of grounds are easily settled at either the pool table, on the croquet lawn, tennis court or boules pitch. Quite how anybody is even able to contemplate many of the activities available with the outstanding culinary extravaganza on offer is beyond me, but it’s there if you so desire. During my time at I Cappucini I was subjected to an onslaught of incredible food (it’s a tough job, I know). The kitchen whipped up amazing dishes showcasing Umbrian cuisine – not Tuscan as we were regularly reminded! – and the emphasis is on local produce, so much so that the estate produces its own olive oil (sadly it’s not been a good year) and a vineyard is soon to follow.

i-cappucini

i-cappucini

Indeed, I could wax lyrical for hours about the luxury on offer at this 16th century former Capuchin convent: the beautifully intricate private chapel, the stunning library dining room, the fabulous spa and treatment rooms or the in-house 16 seat cinema. Equally, the expansive estate also encompasses a private tennis court, boules pitch, woodlands, cosy fire-pit and stunning pool areas and numerous places to dine and enjoy the grounds and the villas privileged setting. However, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, of a lovingly restored retreat, with few rivals in Italy and with bedrooms and facilities to match many a five-star hotel. I Cappucini is an ‘experience’, a chance to sample the very best life can offer, without pretence or the need to boast. An attentive and highly professional team want only for their guests to depart with a smile on their face; that really seemed to be their over-riding motivation.

i-cappucini

i-cappucini

But this is Italy of course, and you mustn’t stay put entirely at the property, however much the temptation. The Umbrian and Southern Tuscan Val d’Orica regions near to Lake Trasimeno are rich and vibrant in culture, art, history and of course wine (and grappa if you dare). A short hop lands you in the medieval town of Cortona (best to take comfy shoes) or the UNESCO-Listed centre of the city Pienza. Should you choose, this can all be arranged in real Italian style – in Fiat 500 style to be precise, or by Ferrari, Maserati or for those more adventurous, by Vespa safari. You can come and go by helicopter should you desire, but please, please don’t mess with the grounds; this is the home of ‘Shoe-Golf’ and long may it remain.


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