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Bevagna: B&B Genius Loci

www.geniuslociumbria.com

Reviewed by: Diana from Virginia from VA, review #2737

When: October 2009

I thoroughly enjoyed staying in this family-owned B&B. Located near Assisi, it has panoramic views of vineyards & farms. My room was lovely and very clean.

Genius Loci is a meticulously renovated 1800's stone farmhouse overlooking a valley of vineyards not far from hilltowns of Spello, Montefalco and Assisi.

From the moment I arrived, I was swept up in the gracious hospitality of the Toccani family. Michael Toccani, who studied & worked in hospitality in the US where he went to college, manages the inn. I enjoyed taking a cooking class with his mother Mary (American ex-pat) and met Michael's father in the family's small winery. I especially enjoyed the conversations with Michael and Mary which gave me an insight into life in Umbria.

The public rooms are very attractive ... filled with the family's antiques. It was really pleasant to sit out on the veranda at sunset or in the library/sitting room to read or enjoy music in the evening. My room was spacious, beautifully decorated, and squeaky clean with state of the art bathroom fixtures. Breakfast with a view of the vineyards & hilltowns was a treat.

The nearby walled medieval village of Bevagna offers a number options for dinner. I would recommend the inn as a romantic destination for couples or for an individual seeking solitude. A single traveler might find it a bit isolated ... it's a peaceful but not a lively atmosphere.

My only small quibble is that the bathroom only had liquid hand soap, so guests need to bring their own shampoo/body soap. I paid 160 euros per night (including breakfast), which I thought was in line with the quality of my experience of this beautiful inn. All in all I would highly recommend Genius Loci and plan to return in the future.


Reviewed by: Jane from CA, review #2369

When: August 2008

Genius Loci is quite wonderful! It has a warm, inviting, elegant ambiance. It's a place to totally relax, enjoying spectacular views. Its setting is exquisite.

Bedroom, photo by Jane Parker

The owners spent several years restoring this building and finding the very high quality and unusual antiques that are found throughout the bedrooms and common rooms. The pool area is delightful with views over the vineyards and surrounding hills with Montefalco clearly perched on a nearby hill. The veranda is used for breakfast or for simply kicking back and enjoying life on holiday.

Throughout the lovely common rooms - a library, a room for quiet games, a dining area - are pieces of pottery from Deruta that have been carefully selected by Mary for those who don't want to take the time to go to shopping.

Unusual for facilities in Italy, Genius Loci has a beautiful room, I think the nicest, which is totally handicapped accessible.


Reviewed by: Palma from CA, review #2044

When: July 2007

A charming Country Inn, 3 Km from Bevagna, with fabulous views, overlooking Umbrian vineyards and olive groves. Rooms are spacious and beautifully appointed.

Early morning light at our window, photo by Palma

We were warmly greeted by Genius Loci owner, Mary, and her son Michael, who manages the property. There are a total of eight guest rooms, each decorated with tasteful fabrics, soft colors, lovely furniture and fixtures. The rooms and private fully-tiled baths are spotless, comfortable and well lit, all with air conditioning. The public rooms include a large sitting area with fireplace, a breakfast room, library/reading room, bar, and guest bath off the reception area.

The breakfast room opens to a large beautiful terrazza overlooking vineyards and olive groves with views of nearby Umbrian hill towns. There is a large inviting swimming pool with the same stunning view.

Genius Loci means "spirit of the place", and it is a true Umbrian experience. Michael and Mary, along with their family have lived in the area for decades, and are well-acquainted with the area and its art, foods, wine, and cultural treasures. The location is ideal and convenient to the charming towns of Bevagna, Montefalco, Spello, Assisi, Trevi, Foligno, Spoleto and Perugia. Close by are many wineries, olive oil producers, and excellent restaurants.

There are many amenities including hair dryers, marble vanities, LCD televisions, direct phone lines, CD players, daily housekeeping, and wireless internet availability. Room rates ranged between 100-130 a night, and is an exceptional value for the quality of this property.

We were very fortunate to have found Genius Loci this summer when we attended a Slow Travel Umbria GTG. We were staying in the Chianti region, and at the very last minute, we decided we wanted to stay closer to the event, even though our room in Chianti was non-refundable. Genius Loci was mentioned in a Slow Travel post, and we called the morning of the party, and booked the only available room.

We had already fallen in love with this part of Umbria, and knew the nearby town of Bevagna, as we had spent a week in a vacation rental earlier in the month. We were immediately impressed with the beauty of the setting, the charming room, but most of all, we felt a deep connection with Mary and Michael's warmth and sincerity.

We spent the first two hours we were there, engaged in intriguing conversation with Mary over cool drinks on the terrace. By the next day, we had to drag ourselves away. Mary left California nearly 40 years ago to marry her Italian husband and has raised her family in Umbria. She has many interesting and enchanting stories to share with guests. We developed the beginnings of a mutual connection and friendship, and have already made plans to return for a longer stay in 2009.

This is a GEM, and we DEFINITELY recommend Genius Loci Country Inn to others!


Reviewed by: mary jane from Italy, review #2040

When: July 2007

Perfect country getaway in green Umbria.

As a resident in Italy for over 4 decades when I take a break from my "corner of paradise" it really has to be something special. The greeting received from the Tacconi family, the level of hospitality and the lovely surroundings were perfect for a short getaway in the center of Umbria. I especially enjoyed the panoramic pool (pool towels and lounge chairs provided) and air conditioned suite (wonderfully spacious), for our visit coincided with the hottest days of July.

Close to the walled town of Bevagna, easy to find, with lovely antiques set in a beautifully renovated country inn, I definitely recommend the Genius Loci. Since I am a travel and guidebook writer I did peek in at other local hostelries and can report that the Genius Loci came out in first place in the comparisons.


Reviewed by: Art D from PA, review #1994

When: June 2007

A wonderfully relaxing home base from which to indulge yourself in the ambiance, lifestyle, and culture of central Italy.

Genius Loci, photo by Art D

How fortunate we were to stumble on this gem of an Inn near the city of Foligno.

A short 15 minute drive from the train station in Foligno, the Inn is situated in the central part of Umbria and is convenient to the whole of Umbria, as well as the eastern part of Tuscany. The Inn is located on a hillside just outside of the medieval town of Bevagna an overlooks a broad, fertile valley, brimming with vineyards, olive groves, and fields of sunflowers. The panoramic view from the Inn is breathtaking and is one you never tire of. Within this magnificent vista you can see the old hilltop towns of Assisi, Spello, and Montefalco as well as the walled town of Bevagna and the whole of Foligno.

In its first season of operation, the Inn is a meticulously restored 1880's farmhouse and the result of a 4 year long restoration project. Many of the Inn's furnishings are antique pieces which have been part of the innkeeper's family for generations. Everything was tastefully done and faithful in its recreation, yet modern and up to date. Almost no detail was overlooked. The Innkeeper (Michael Tacconi) and his staff were friendly, helpful, attentive, and very responsive.

Lifelong residents of Foligno, the Tacconi family provides expert advice of what to do and see, and where to go. But the most beautiful part of our stay was the very homey atmosphere at the Inn which made you just want to remain there and enjoy the spirit of the place. No need to rush here and there with a check list of must do or see items. Sitting rooms, reading rooms with a well stocked library, dining room and bar, beautiful patio, and immaculate pool with its magnificent view all made it difficult to leave even for a day, yet afforded a comfortable haven upon return.

During our two week stay at the Inn, we never lacked for things to do from shopping, to sightseeing, fine dining, exploring the area, or just "vegging out". It was all at our fingertips. We are already planning a return visit in the near future.

Getting to Genius Loci was as effortless as it could be. We flew from Philadelphia to Rome, caught the Leonardo Express train to Termini, the main train station in Rome, and thence from Rome to Foligno by train. An Avis rental car office was located right within the Foligno train station building and we found driving in the local area to be easy and uneventful. Taxi service to the Inn was also available at the train station had we chosen to use it.

All in all, we had a relaxing and memorable stay at Genius Loci and can's wait to get back to our "home in Umbria."


Reviewed by: Holly B from USA, review #1989

When: June 2007

My father and I stayed in this wonderful country house in Umbria.

The last two weeks in May my father and I toured in the Umbria region of Italy. We stayed several days in a wonderful agriturismo named Genius Loci, a farmhouse restored by Maurizio and Mary Tacconi and managed by their son Michael. (Maurizio is Italian with roots in Foligno and Mary is American, living in Italy for over 30 years.) It is located about 2 miles from the ancient village of Bevagna on a hillside overlooking a beautiful farming valley with vineyards, olive orchards and sunflower fields.

Michael and Mary have a wealth of information about the area villages, sites, art, wineries, restaurants, places to explore and experience and provide several day-trips within a 40 km radius. Michael is professional, attentive and warm in his interactions with guests, makes you feel at ease in the surroundings and makes great cappuccinos!

Genius Loci is about 15 minutes from Foligno and Spello, 20 minutes from Perugia, and near Assisi and Spoleto. The place is newly redone, using the old timbers, stone and tiles from the original 1880s farmhouse. The rooms (8, one is accessible) are comfortable for two, with antique furnishings. Bathrooms are large and clean and there are wonderful sweeping views from the windows. The eating area, bar and reading room provide a variety of areas to talk, read or nap.

Outside there is a large pool and patio for sun and water fun. My favorite spot was the lovely portico which looked out over the valley and mountains and was a perfect location when the thunder and lightening storms passed through.

Our Umbrian experience was wonderful, thanks to the warm and friendly dealings with the Tacconi Family. We will be back!

115 euros (mid season) to 160 euros (high season).


Reviewed by: Renee G from USA, review #1988

When: July 2007

A lovely, tranquil place ... Perched on a hill overlooking Bevagna and Montefalco and the Sibillini Mountains in the distance.

We had a wonderful time at Genius Loci. The inn itself is a restored farm house with beautiful tile floors, and baths throughout. Each room is unique, and furnished with antiques. It has a lovely pool large enough for lap swimming. The views are spectacular with mountains at a distance and the inn is surrounded by vinyards, and olive trees. It is a perfect place for reading, painting, and contemplation.

The Tacconi family makes their own wine and olive oil. They were very gracious hosts and so knowledgable about the area. Michael Tacconi, the manager, was always eager to recommend restaurants, set up winetasting at local wineries, and, make reservations any place we wished to visit. This is truly a place to slow down. Each day after visiting one of the hill towns such as Assisi, Spello, Montefalco, we were pleased to return to the inn and relax.

The price of the room was between 130-160E and included a continental breakfast. I highly recommend Genius Loci and hope to return.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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