AZIENDA   PILARI        Val di Pierle    Mercatale di Cortona        -++ Sleeps 4 & 2

A bedroom

Front of Pilari apartments

Back of Pilari apartments

Just on the border of Tuscany, Pilari is an old 'Borgo' only a short walk from the small market town of Mercatale.
The road on from Mercatale winds upwards through lovely countryside and you have stunning views of Lake Trasimeno and its islands.
There are wonderful views across the sunflower fields to the hills beyond, both from the apartments and from the swimming pool which has shady arbours for sitting under in the heat of the day.
The owners, who have lovingly restored these delightful old farmhouses, have provided plenty of lounging chairs around the swimming pool for a really relaxing stay.

Pilari is a marvellous place to unwind completely in glorious countryside, while also visiting the the sites of Umbria and Tuscany.
Up above the main farmhouse there are three newly restored apartments. Each apartment has a private terrace for sitting and eating out. It is only a a few steps to the beautifully landscaped pool area, with its hydromassage spa area.
Cars are parked a little way off down the path so it always remains peaceful, though you can drive to the door for unloading.
The owner now speaks English, and farms this whole part of the valley as his family have done for centuries. He produces excellent wine which I am sure you will sample while you are there.

It is well positioned for exploring the wonderful cities of Assissi, Gubbio and Perugia. Only 20 minutes drive away is the famous Etruscan city of Cortona.
Mercatale di Cortona is 10 minutes walk from the property and has a selection of shops, two banks with cashpoint machines, two supermarkets, three bars, a chemist, a post office, restaurant and other services.


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The Pilari apartments are in the ancient village that is the heart of this farm and its origins are lost in the distant past. The oldest part of the village was built as a watch tower of Pierle castle near the XIII century. This castle was a very important fortress in Valle di Pierle. The watch tower base was cut out of the rock and you can still see this in the wall of the cellar. Over time the tower became a farm house and the owner added other rooms so the house grew. The last part was built in the 1922, and it is now the owner’s house.

The restored apartments are the rear part of the village and it is only a few years since it was occupied by the last ‘contadino’ and his animals . This apartment is called CASTAGNOLO because that was his nickname.
Another apartment was the stable (STALLA) and the other was a TABACCAIA (a big oven for drying tobacco leaves).
These three apartments are on three different levels because the house was built up the slope.

Stalla (sleeps 2) is on the first level (ground floor) and it was the old stable. Next the entrance there is a stone ring in the wall where people tied their horse or the cow. In the bedroom the bed is put on the old manger. In the apartment there is a the sitting room with corner kitchen, a double bedroom, the bathroom with shower and a big veranda. In the kitchen there is a cooker and fridge freezer.

Castagnolo (sleeps 4) is on the second floor. You go up the old stone stairs. This was a farm-worker’s and some parts have been left almost as the original. The sitting room and kitchen ceilings are constructed in a local style of woodwork. On the first floor there is the sitting room, the kitchen, a double bedroom with bathroom, another bathroom and a terrace; on the third floor there is the other double bedroom. In the kitchen there is a cooker and fridge freezer.

Tabaccaia 3 (sleeps 4) is on the third level but is still at a ground floor level. On the bottom floor there is a sitting room with corner kitchen and a big veranda. On the first floor there are two double bedroom and the bathroom with shower. In the kitchen there is a cooker and fridge freezer.
In the older part of the house was a big oven where the farm workers put dried the tobacco.

In each kitchen there is a gas stove, electric oven and fridge freezer and all you need for cooking. Each apartments has independent entrance and heating and there is a laundry room with a washing machine.
On all the verandas and terraces there are tables with chairs and sunbeds.
There is a laundry room with a washing machine and iron.


Plan of Stalla
Plan of Castagnolo     See layout with pictures.
Plan of Tabaccaia     See layout with pictures.

Sterling Prices
per apartment
per week
1 Jan-11 May
22 Sep-31 Dec
12 May-22 Jun
1 Sep-21 Sep
23 Jun-31 Aug
Xmas & Easter
per day
Castagnolo - 4 £495 £750 £950 £160
Stalla - 2 £395 £495 £595 £90
Tabaccaio - 4 £495 £650 £850 £150
Price includes
Hot and cold water, electricity, gas for cooking, linen and towels, pool and weekly linen change.
Price does not include: Heating

In Mercatale di Cortona,1 km away, you can find: 2 banks with cash machines, two small supermarkets, three bars, a chemist, a post office , restaurant and other services.


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Location and walks - on foot, horseback or mountain bike

About The Farm

Hi, my name is Vanni and with my wife Diletta and my mother Maria, manage this agriturismo. The farm "Pilari" is situated in a little valley, Val di Pierle (Pierle valley), near Lake Trasimeno and it is 118 acres (48 hectares) in size and is divided into areasgrowing Maize, Sunflowers, Wheat, an olive grove, a little vineyard and wood.

A few years ago we also produced Tabacco for cigarettes, this plant being very important for the valley economy. Tabacco has been grown here for a long time and it's become a part of the history of the valley. I'm looking for some historical and technical information about Tabacco and I hope to do soon a web page dedicated to this plant.

The most important products that we produce are red wine and olive oil that you can taste in our azienda.

Vineyard Story

Vine growing, the leading feature of Tuscan agriculture, was a rich resource for my farm. Since 1960 all the fields of the farm were bordered by rows of vines, but my father decided to improve vine growing, gathering all the rows of vine in a single plot.

The wine production was satisfactory in the seventies and eighties, but gradually it began declining until the production was only for the family and for few friends. In the middle of the nineties wine had a sudden revival and many tourists appreciated it very much and many of them liked to take back home some bottles of Tuscan wine.

At that time we were restoring some old farm houses to turn them into the apartments, when we had the idea to increase vine growing and to produce wine of better quality.

In 2002 I found some notes written by my father about a field where he wanted to plant a new vineyard. Then I spoke to my mother and she told me that the field was called "Ranco". This local word means "field situated in the mountains". This field was terraced and along the border of every terrace there were vines, olive trees and fruit trees.
Some old men who worked for my grandfather in their younger years told me that the grapes of "Ranco" were famous in the valley. Many people wanted these grapes from my grandfather to improve the quality of their wine. With the increasing use of machines in agriculture my grandfather and my father decided to leave this field, because it could be worked only by men with draught oxen. My father tried to prepare it using a tractor to trasform "Ranco" into a modern vineyard. But in the eighties the sale of wine was diminishing and my father abandoned his plan.
The first vineyard planted in 1970 is now at the end of its biological life. So I decided to plant a new vineyard in "Ranco".
On the 17 th January 2005 I began levelling, trenching, screening the soil and then we planted the vines. During these works I found a very old olive tree and I left it as a proof of the old life of "Ranco".

I hope this vineyard will produce excellent wine and in this case I will have realized my father's plan.

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