TERRACE & GARDEN
Just outside the front door is a shaded eating terrace – a spot to sit and take in the views. In the summer, the north-facing terrace is a refuge for siestas in deck chairs. A pretty pergola and a converted barn are favourite spots for breakfast and sundowners, overlooking Monte Soratte. Lush terraced gardens give way to the lower pool terrace, beneath which is the olive grove and orchard. The 150 olive trees are farmed organically, producing each October the luscious, bright green, grassy oil typical of this renowned ‘D.O.P.’ region.
THE SABINE HILLS
Sabina is just an hour’s drive from Rome, but a world away in mood and pace. This is Italy’s ancient olive heartland, with silvery groves, rolling hills and distant mountain ranges. From the house you can see eight hilltop towns, all within a half hour drive. The closest is Poggio Mirteto (5 mins), with excellent food shops and a Friday market.
Summer in Sabina is a whirl of village festivals and food sagras with trestle tables under the stars and live music, while the Romanesque Farfa Abbey hosts concerts all summer. You can drive further north for Renaissance cities on the tourist trail, but Sabina’s little towns give a rare glimpse of old-style Italy with their tiny butchers shops and cobbled alleyways.
THE INSIDE TRACK
Casa Poggio’s guest booklet gives you a decade of discoveries, from the pop-up restaurant at the local organic farm (‘the best meal of my life’ said one guest), to the wood-fired pizza shack up in the Monti Sabini pine forests, to the hammocks slung between trees at Lake Martignano (a well-kept secret among Roman expats). Then there’s the medieval flag throwing festival at Roccantica, the white water rapids of Europe’s highest waterfall, and the thermal pools where Renaissance Popes once cavorted.
You’ll meet very few tourists in Sabina, where visitors are welcomed with genuine enthusiasm for just showing an interest.