Villa Pia Review - An alternative all-inclusive holiday in Italy

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Snuggled in the library on a rainy October morning with my slippers on, warm and cozy by the fire which had been going all day. I had a glass of red wine in hand, was just about to finish the final chapter of my book and was looking out through the shutters at the rolling Italian countryside outside. I could hear the kids in the kitchen next door tucking into a slice of homemade cake which the cook had just brought through for our afternoon snack and I remember thinking that this is the most relaxed I have ever felt on holiday. 

Scroll to the bottom of this post to check out prices and how to book.





Villa Pia is somewhere very special and like nowhere I have ever stayed before. This small boutique hotel sleeps just 25 guests is more like a home from home with staff than a hotel. 

It's an ideal retreat for families with children of all ages and there is plenty to keep you entertained on the 5-acre estate or in the neighbouring towns and villages.

For me, the best part of Villa Pia was the fact that everything was taken care of. All meals are freshly prepared by a team of cooks from the neighbouring village, guests can help themselves to snacks and drinks from the kitchen at any time and the housekeepers will take care of all of your dishes and refresh your rooms with clean linen and towels daily. 

Not having to think about what to cook or where to book for dinner gave me some much needed time to relax - having somebody take away the mental load for a full week was such a blessing and as one of life's planners, was something that rarely happens to me on holiday (perhaps with the exception of our child-free holiday to Cuba).  

Villa Pia can be a place for families and friends to fully relax for the week but equally, it can make a wonderful base from which to explore Umbria and Tuscany or perhaps a combination of the two will work for you - the choice is yours. 

Villa Pia Location & Travel

Villa Pia is located on the Tuscany/Umbria border in Italy. There are a number of buildings sitting in acres of countryside and there's plenty of space to relax. The sleepy village of Lippiano is on your doorstep and just a 30-second stroll away.

Car hire is recommended when staying at Villa Pia - we used Avis and paid £130 for 7 nights hire of a Golf & we spent around 16 euro on fuel. If you don't wish to hire a car, Villa Pia can organise taxis from Perugia airport or Arezzo train station for around 100 euros. A few guests didn't have a car during our trip and I would say if your main aim is for rest and relaxation, you don't really need one. If however you'd like to explore the region, I would definitely recommend a car (it usually works out cheaper too).

There are a number of different airports to choose from - guests during our stay had flown into Rome, Bologna and Pisa. Perugia is the closest airport (around a 40-minute drive) and flights with Ryanair from Stansted seemed to give us the best arrival times (plus the best price of £50 pp return during half term) so we went with this option.

I highly recommend using Skyscanner and trying a few different options and regional airports both here in the UK and in Italy as flight prices and times seem to vary hugely.

After chatting with other guests, I personally think Perugia is the best airport to fly to/from. It's a small airport (usually 3 flights per day) and car hire is super easy to find (it's as soon as you step out of departures).

Villa Pia is really easy to get to from Perugia and pretty much just along two main roads and then turn off to the village of Lippiano. Villa Pia was easy peasy to find and you would struggle to get lost (we used google maps on our phones). There are no toll roads to worry about along this route.

As a side note, this trip was the first time I have flown with Ryanair. I was a little nervous as I had heard horror stories but it was 100% ok. The only thing I would say is take your own snacks and buy drinks from the airport as a coffee on board was over 4 euros - yikes!

Villa Pia Location & Travel

Villa Pia Location & Travel

Villa Pia Location & Travel

Villa Pia Location & Travel


 Villa Pia Accommodation

There are various accommodation options at Villa Pia - smaller rooms for two and a baby, family suites and rooms with multiple bedrooms that can sleep larger families including families of 5 . There was a family of 7 staying during our trip too (although I forgot to ask what their exact room set up was) and hire of the whole property is available.

The private bedrooms are basic but spotlessly clean with bed linen and towels changed daily (at around 10:30am for us). Our rooms were on level one of the building to the side of the main house (our building is pictured below).

I loved our rooms which were filled with traditional features and furniture. I think my favourite feature was the Italian wooden shutters and glorious views over the countryside.

I slept SO well at Villa Pia. I think the combination of the dark skies, stress-free holiday, lack of in-room WiFi and comfortable beds is definitely a winning one.

Our rooms weren't perfect - the lack of WiFi and phone signal was a little frustrating at times. Old habits die hard and I like browsing FB and checking my Social Media in the morning (WiFi and phone signal is available in the main villa areas). Also, our shower was liable to flooding the whole bathroom if you weren't careful - there was a real art to it. Finally, if you're next to another room, the walls are very thin. Another guest knocked on our door and asked for us to keep our children quiet on one afternoon as they were trying to take an afternoon nap. This has never happened to us in a hotel before. I guess it depends on your/ the other guest's tolerance if this is an issue.

As well as your bedroom and private bathroom, guests have access to lots of communal space. The hotel was pretty much fully booked during the week of our stay yet we often felt like we had the place to ourselves. You are never on top of other guests.

There's plenty of outdoor seating spread out across the site - from deckchairs and hammocks in the courtyard to loungers by the pool, benches by the play park and covered seating areas in the garden.

Inside you can hang out in the kitchen, library, music room, soft play barn or games room. It feels very relaxed and our children stayed in their PJs until 11am on most days.

Villa Pia Accommodation

Villa Pia Accommodation

Villa Pia Accommodation

Villa Pia Accommodation

Villa Pia Accommodation

Villa Pia Accommodation

Villa Pia Accommodation

Villa Pia Accommodation

Villa Pia Accommodation

Villa Pia Accommodation

Villa Pia Accommodation

Villa Pia Accommodation

All-Inclusive - How it Works

Villa Pia is all-inclusive but could not be further away from the huge all-inclusive resorts we have stayed at in the past. The Villa Pia way is much more relaxed.

Breakfast, lunch and kids tea is served at set times in the dining room buffet-style - you simply pop along and help yourselves. There are always snacks, homemade cakes, yoghurts and fruit for you to help yourself to at any time in the guest kitchen and the same goes for drinks.

In the evening, a sit-down four-course evening meal is served to the grown-ups in a slightly more formal dinner party style but there will be more on that later.

The kitchen is closed on a Thursday (with the exception of breakfast) and this is when most guests choose to take a day trip.

The food at Villa Pia is freshly prepared by a team of Italian cooks from the local village. I loved listening to the hustle and bustle in the kitchen as the chefs cooked up a storm. The team take huge pride in their work and all of the staff sit down to a team lunch once the hotel guests have finished. I mentioned to Steve that I loved how we were eating food completely prepared from scratch and there wasn't a frozen chicken nugget in sight for the whole of our trip.

The food is not gourmet cuisine but I feel like the food you eat at Villa Pia is the kind of food which is being cooked at family dinner parties across Italy. It's hearty, wholesome, fresh and full of flavour.

The food at Villa Pia is seasonal too and we were very lucky to visit during truffle season.

Dietary requirements are catered for very well - the chefs prepared Heidi her own Vegetarian food each day (and there were always multiple Vegetarian options available to everyone too) and other guests with nut/dairy did not seem to have any issues either.

My children are generally good eaters but like most kids, they can have fussy moments. There was always something they would eat. There's the option of a plain-ish pasta dish at every meal.

There's more about the food at Villa Pia to come........



All-Inclusive - How it Works



Help Yourself to Drinks at Villa Pia

The bar at Villa Pia soon turned into my favourite type of all-inclusive bar. Guests can help themselves at any time of the day to drinks from the guest kitchen.

From the fridge, you can grab a large bottle of Peroni or grab a bottle of white wine to take into the garden and enjoy across the afternoon, or perhaps you'd like to pour yourself a glass of red or two with lunch? There is no judgement here about how much/when you'd like to drink either - we found Italians sharing a bottle of wine in the local bar at 10:30am one day so we say its the Italian way.

As Villa Pia is primarily a family hotel, nobody was really there to get drunk but having wine and beer on tap whenever we wanted was just fantastic. We would generally enjoy a couple of beers in the afternoon and with lunch and red wine was our drink of choice in the evening - it was super drinkable.

There is a spirit shelf too. On some evenings we would bring a few bottles of spirits into the dining room after our meal and I am sure on one evening there were shots doing the rounds. I didn't really touch the spirits except for Thursday evening when we all sat around the kitchen table chatting/drinking/playing cards and I decided to hit the Baileys. I felt it the next day! 

There's an ice machine and garnishes in the kitchen too.

In terms of soft drinks, children (and adults) can help themselves to jugs of fresh juice, milk or still/sparkling water from the dispenser. My kids are old enough to do this themselves and not having them ask me for a drink for the whole week and just doing it themselves was bliss!

A few guests were pregnant/ t-total and there was plenty for them to enjoy.

If coffee is your thing, the coffee is of course prepared from fresh coffee beans at Villa Pia. The coffee machine is industrial-sized and once you got the hang of it, pretty much like a coffee machine at home which uses beans but on a larger scale. The coffee was, of course, fantastic and Steve and I would hit the double espressos in the garden after breakfast as the kids finished up. The perfect start to the day.

The drinks on offer at Villa Pia were always plentiful, of good quality and never run dry. This aspect of our holiday was a huge plus point for us and a far cry from the thimbles of beer we were given during our last all-inclusive hotel stay a few years ago.

Help Yourself to Drinks at Villa Pia

Help Yourself to Drinks at Villa Pia

Help Yourself to Drinks at Villa Pia

Help Yourself to Drinks at Villa Pia

Help Yourself to Drinks at Villa Pia

Help Yourself to Drinks at Villa Pia

Breakfast at Villa Pia

Breakfast is served between 8am - 11am at Villa Pia. As a family we love a lie in and would generally head down at around 10am which was way later than the families with younger children. If you need to eat before 8am, simply grab some cereal from the guest kitchen cupboard, yoghurt from the fridge or fruit from the counter.

Breakfast is a very laid back affair and served buffet style. I wasn't quite brave enough to head down in my PJs but the kids did (as did other families who were up earlier than us).

Breakfast is served in the dining barn - usually freshly baked croissants, bread rolls, a huge selection of jams and spreads, hams and cheeses alongside jugs of fresh juice.

In the kitchen, you can help yourself to cereal, toast, coffee/tea, yoghurts and fruit.

If you're heading out for the day, Villa Pia do not provide packed lunches but they have no problem with you taking food from the table to use later and some guests made up their own sandwiches for later from the buffet table if they were heading out later.

I loved that the staff were vigilant and noticed when new families appeared at the breakfast table. They'd be straight there with fresh rolls and ensuring the buffet table was fully stocked.

During our stay, other than a quick hello, guests seemed to keep to themselves during breakfast and it was pretty spread out. Some would sit outside, others would take breakfast back to their room, some would sit in the kitchen and others would dine in the breakfast barn. There's no formal or correct way.


Breakfast at Villa Pia

Breakfast at Villa Pia

Breakfast at Villa Pia

Breakfast at Villa Pia

Breakfast at Villa Pia

Breakfast at Villa Pia

Breakfast at Villa Pia


 Lunch at Villa Pia

The cook rings the bell at 1pm and this is your signal that lunch is served. Lunch is a generous affair at Villa Pia with around 20 dishes taking over the table for guests to help themselves to.

Families dine together at lunch but it is all pretty relaxed - quite often our kids would be in their swim shorts, a t-shirt and flip flops.

There was always the option of a couple of salads, a few meat dishes like ribs or drumsticks, a selection of pastas, sometimes a pizza, vegetable dishes, cured meats, cheeses and potatoes,

My all-time favourite dish at lunch was the platter or roasted peppers - sometimes the simplest dishes are the best. I was also a huge fan of the tempura cauliflower which is surprising as its not one of my favourite vegetables.

The kids would mostly eat pasta for lunch and Steve and I would dig into the salads - they were honestly so good!

There was always a couple of desserts too (typically a couple of cakes) but usually, we were pretty full after breakfast and lunch and would skip dessert.

Many families were out and about over lunch during our stay and it wasn't unusual for us to be dining alone of with just one or two other families.


Lunch at Villa Pia

Lunch at Villa Pia

Lunch at Villa Pia

Lunch at Villa Pia

Lunch at Villa Pia


Our top 10 foods at Villa Pia include:
  • Lamb chops cooked on the fire
  • Roasted peppers & tomato salads 
  • Whisky chicken stuffed with roasted veg
  • Homemade pasta with ragu 
  • Chocolate fondants 
  • Grandmas cake 
  • Seasoned chicken wings 
  • Mushrooms topped with cheese and truffles 
  • Pasta with truffle oil 
  • Cured meat platters 


Lunch at Villa Pia

Lunch at Villa Pia

Lunch at Villa Pia

Lunch at Villa Pia

Lunch at Villa Pia

Snacks at Villa Pia

As well as meals, snacks are included at Villa Pia. You can help yourself to yoghurt or fruit at any time and at 3pm the cook would bring a selection of cakes into the kitchen and they would stay there until kids tea. Usually, I don't have too much of a sweet tooth but they were too hard to resist. Coffee and cake at 3pm became the norm for us.

Our favourite cakes were the crispy cakes (old school), Grandmas cake and Lemon Drizzle.

As well as the 3pm cake, if there was a cookery class on that day, guests were invited to dig into the feast at 4pm.

There were lots of surprises too - you just didn't know what was going to turn up in the kitchen. One day the cook randomly brought a pizza out for the kids who had gathered around the table playing Minecraft and another day they roasted some chestnuts on the fire for us all - we were spoilt!

Snacks at Villa Pia

Snacks at Villa Pia

Snacks at Villa Pia

Snacks at Villa Pia

Snacks at Villa Pia

Kids Tea at Villa Pia

Kids tea is served at 6pm at Villa Pia. There are no set rules or age limits and to be honest there's nothing stopping grown-ups from digging in too if you need an early night.

Everything is super child-friendly. Youll find plastic cutlery and highchairs. The staff will make baby purees for you too if you ask.

Kids tea is served buffet style and again, there are around 20 dishes to choose from. Don't expect chicken nuggets and chips but do expect plenty of choice. Pasta was a big hit as were veggie dishes and chicken drumsticks.

We supervised on a couple of occasions but after a few nights, our kids were fine to go down by themselves as Steve and I got ready for the evening.

Kids Tea at Villa Pia

Kids Tea at Villa Pia

Kids Tea at Villa Pia

Kids Tea at Villa Pia

Kids Tea at Villa Pia

Kids Tea at Villa Pia

Kids Tea at Villa Pia

Pre-Dinner Drinks at Villa Pia

Dinner at Villa Pia is served at around 8pm with pre-dinner drinks available in the kitchen from 7pm. After kids tea, most parents would settle their kids for the night and then meet in the kitchen at any point between 7-8pm.

As our kids are older, they just stayed up in the evenings and hung out in the courtyard or kitchen playing Minecraft with the other tweens/teens or watching YouTube videos. I was thankful for the free WiFi as because we had usually been busy all day, they were really chilled by this point and just ready to wind down for the night.

Most of the parents of younger kids didn't change for dinner as time wasn't on their side - the benefit of having older kids though means that we did have time and wed be showered, changed and in the kitchen for 7pm. Anything goes though - you could go down to dinner in your PJs and wearing a sleeping baby and nobody would bat an eyelid.

Pre-dinner nibbles were laid out on the table - wine, G&Ts, nuts, crackers, olives......all by the fire. A lovely way to start the evening.

Pre-Dinner Drinks at Villa Pia

Pre-Dinner Drinks at Villa Pia

Pre-Dinner Drinks at Villa Pia

Pre-Dinner Drinks at Villa Pia

Dinner at Villa Pia

Adult guests are called through to dining room from the kitchen at around 8pm. Older children are welcome too - just let the staff know. In our group, kids aged 13+ seemed to join the adults. Harry did a mix of both but preferred the adult meal - I think he enjoyed feeling grown-up.

Evening dining is super flexible and families dealt with sleeping (or not sleeping) kids in various ways. Older kids tended to sit in the courtyard or kitchen with their various devices, some parents would tag team each other and take it in turns to sit at the table/settle their kids between courses, sometimes there would be a baby asleep in a pram in the corner of the room and at other times one parent would skip dinner entirely to stay with the kids.

The most common method seemed to be for parents to settle their kids and use baby monitors in the dining room.

Dinner is a 4-course feast served at the table. Typically, we would be served an individual starter of mini tarts or parcels which was followed by a pasta course. After this, a meat main and two/three side dishes are served in large dishes at the table and you just help yourself then it is onto dessert and coffee.

I can be slightly fussy and I was worried about being served a 4-course meal and not knowing what it was going to be. It was fine though and all of the food was so good. If there is something you really don't like, let the staff know in advance ad they will accommodate. For example, on one evening we were served slow-cooked lamb and they brought chicken out as an alternative.

Our favourite dinner dishes include pork chops cooked on the kitchen fire -  they were melting in the mouth and packed with flavour. Steve loved the parma ham parcels stuffed with truffles and cream cheese we were served as a starter one evening, we all loved the whisky chicken and lamb and the chocolate fondant was a particularly favourite pudding.

The staff were so accommodating and flexible - I really can't stress this enough. If you were late for dinner, they kept plates back for you or if wanted to eat in your room, this wasn't a problem either.

You do need to chat with other guests over dinner. Steve and I aren't really the type of people who make friends on holiday so I was a little worried about this aspect of the holiday but it was all so relaxed and I can hand on heart say that dinner each night with our new friends really made the holiday for us. Meeting and chatting with people from all walks of life really is good for the soul. There will be more on the social aspect of Villa Pia later though.....

One thing that I loved about dinner at Villa Pia was that the wine flowed freely. As soon as one bottle was finished, another would magically appear in its place. Dinner normally ends between 10-10:30pm but sometimes we'd stay in the dining bar for hours afterwards chatting and drinking. Good times.

Dinner at Villa Pia

Dinner at Villa Pia
Dinner at Villa Pia


Dinner at Villa Pia

Dinner at Villa Pia

Dinner at Villa Pia

Dinner at Villa Pia

Dinner at Villa Pia

Facilities for Younger Children at Villa Pia

The facilities for younger children at Villa Pia are second-to-none. Under 2s stay for free and I would HIGHLY recommend taking advantage of the cheaper term-time prices and staying here if you have children under the age of 5.

First of all, there is a Little Tykes heaven in the courtyard with lots of ride-ons and equipment, all in perfect condition. This was super popular with pre-schoolers.

Kids can also help themselves to bikes and tricycles and I loved that there's a baby swing in the courtyard too.

Inside there's a playroom packed with all sorts of toys from puppets to cars, books and trains. It is like a real home from home.

Villa Pia has it's own soft play for under 5s in the play barn and there's a playground, trampoline and separate toddler swimming pool too. You'll find baby floats and swimming rings by the pool so no need to bring your own.

It was perhaps a little cold during our trip but Villa Pia even has their own sandpit. Cute!

Babysitting is also available at Villa Pia for 10 euro an hour.

Villa Pia also run cookery classes for children aged 3+ twice a week. They are priced at 15 euros for 2 hours and well worth signing up for. Children can cook with the Italian chefs in their kitchen and learn how to make biscuits, pizzas, muffins and pasta. Jack did this and had a brilliant time.


Facilities for Younger Children at Villa Pia

Facilities for Younger Children at Villa Pia

Facilities for Younger Children at Villa Pia

Facilities for Younger Children at Villa Pia

Facilities for Younger Children at Villa Pia

Facilities for Younger Children at Villa Pia

Facilities for Younger Children at Villa Pia

Facilities for Younger Children at Villa Pia

Facilities for Younger Children at Villa Pia

Facilities for Younger Children at Villa Pia

Facilities for Older Children & Teens at Villa Pia

I was worried that Villa Pia would be filled with younger children and there wouldn't be as much to do for H, H and J but I was wrong! Villa Pia is also super popular with tweens and teens and a brilliant choice for families who have children of various ages.

For us, our children really enjoyed the freedom that Villa Pia offered and it was a real chance for them to unplug during the day. The grounds feel super safe and I was happy to let them wander off and play on their own.

There is a playground, giant trampolines, tennis courts, bikes to ride, tyre swings and trees to climb. My three had a ball!

Inside there is a music room, library, games room with table football and table tennis and you can ask to borrow board games too. We loved sitting around the kitchen table with the kids playing games and on some evenings we played 5 Second Rule with some of the other families.

The main draw of Villa Pia for my three was the pool - they loved it! There are inflatables for you to help yourselves too and the main pool is 1.2m-1.4m deep. The pool is heated but it was still cold. I think my three were crazy for going in at the end of October / beginning of November when it was just 16 degrees outside but there was no stopping them and they were in every day.

In the evenings, the tweens and teens seemed to hang out in the kitchen/courtyard and make use of the free WiFi. A few of them became Minecraft friends. There's no TV at Villa Pia but we didn't miss ours at all.


Facilities for Older Children & Teens at Villa Pia

Facilities for Older Children & Teens at Villa Pia

Facilities for Older Children & Teens at Villa Pia

Facilities for Older Children & Teens at Villa Pia

Facilities for Older Children & Teens at Villa Pia

Facilities for Older Children & Teens at Villa Pia

Facilities for Older Children & Teens at Villa Pia

Facilities for Older Children & Teens at Villa Pia

Facilities for Older Children & Teens at Villa Pia

Facilities for Older Children & Teens at Villa Pia

Facilities for Older Children & Teens at Villa Pia

Facilities for Older Children & Teens at Villa Pia

Facilities for Older Children & Teens at Villa Pia

Facilities for Older Children & Teens at Villa Pia

Facilities for Older Children & Teens at Villa Pia

Facilities for Older Children & Teens at Villa Pia

Facilities for Older Children & Teens at Villa Pia

Facilities for Adults at Villa Pia

Villa Pia really does have it all and there's lots to do for grown-ups too. My favourite thing to do was to sit in the library and read with a glass of wine. It felt like heaven!

A local beautician visits Villa Pia regularly and you can book in for various treatments. Yoga and reflexology are also available.

Steve and Harry signed up to the adult's cookery class which they thoroughly enjoyed - the cost was 30 euro per adult and 20 euro per teen and the lesson lasted for 2 hours. Class size is small (up to 5) and Steve and Harry prepared pasta, sauces, traditional Italian desserts, pizza and more.

The classes were fun and they learned a lot. At 4pm all of the guests were invited into the kitchen to sample their cooking with a glass of Prosecco (it was good). I am hoping Steve and Harry will recreate an Italian feast at home!

There was a bit of a language barrier with the Italian cooks but Steve said this kind of added to the fun of the afternoon.

Adults can go swimming, check out a local walking route, play tennis, enjoy a game of chess - there is lots going on at Villa Pia and you can choose to be as relaxed or active as you like.

Facilities for Adults at Villa Pia

Facilities for Adults at Villa Pia

Facilities for Adults at Villa Pia
Facilities for Adults at Villa Pia


Facilities for Adults at Villa Pia

Facilities for Adults at Villa Pia

Facilities for Adults at Villa Pia

Facilities for Adults at Villa Pia

Facilities for Adults at Villa Pia

Socialising at Villa Pia

The questions I received the most during our trip to Villa Pia were related to the other guests. I think there is a bit of a misconception that the other guests would be very middle class and a bit posh. As I mentioned above, Steve and I aren't really the type to make friends on holiday so the Villa Pia experience was all new to us.

Villa Pia (& flights) can be expensive in the summer holidays but our holiday in October Half Term was less than £2000 based on 2 adults and 2 children all-inclusive - this is within our budget and the kind of price we would normally spend on holidays so I didn't feel like we were experiencing a holiday  that was out of our reach.

Except for a quick hello, we only really socialised with other guests in the evening. Everyone was too busy doing their own thing or out and about on day trips during the day.

There was a huge mix of people staying at Villa Pia from all backgrounds and chatting around the dinner table wasn't awkward at all - in fact it added so much to our holiday. I really looked forward to our evening meals. The conversation really flowed over the dinner table and everything from Political systems and what we were watching on Netflix (I have returned home with a big list of recommendations) to Vegetarianism and tips for where to visit in the local area were discussed. I think having the addition of teens at the table really added to the experience too.

As a quick snapshot, during our break we shared the table with a lovely couple who had just moved to the Netherlands to raise their young family, a vivacious Chinese lady who was visiting Villa Pia with her family for the 13th time, a family of 7 with children ranging from baby - a 15 year old and a fantastic American writer who now lives in Rome and shared lots of stories from her travels.

From the 25 people staying at Villa Pia, there was only one I didn't really click with but it was still all very polite, civil and not awkward at all.

Villa Pia gave me something that I had never really experienced on any other holiday I have been on before and that was the chance to grow and learn as a person through meeting and chatting with new people from all walks of life rather than the slight echo chamber I live in at home and online.

If socialising isn't for you, there are ways to avoid it - there is plenty of space at Villa Pia and you don't need to chat with the other guests if you don't want to / you could eat in your room etc.... it would be a real shame to pass up on this opportunity though and I would highly recommend stepping out of your comfort zone.

Socialising at Villa Pia



Thursdays at Villa Pia

The kitchen closes every Thursday at Villa Pia and it is when the staff have their day off. You are still provided with breakfast and can access the snacks/drinks but no cooked meals will be provided.

Most guests plan a day trip on Thursdays but some did choose to stay at the villa - you can walk into the local village for food (although the village bar is very limited in terms of what it serves).

We drove to the local train station at Arezzo (30 minutes away). It was simple to find and there is plentiful parking at the station (8 euro per day). We caught the train to Florence which took around an hour. I pre-booked tickets online via the trainitalia site after speaking with my fellow guest who lives in Rome. We were emailed a PDF ticket so no printer was needed. The cost was 31 euro each way for 2 adults and 3 children.

My top tip would be to ask other guests for their tips for days out and where they have enjoyed - some of the photos and stories other guests shared were fantastic and nothing beats a personal recommendation.

Florence was fantastic and I am so pleased we visited - I am going to write up a full post from our trip so look out for that soon.

We arrived back in Arezzo at 7:30pm after a fantastic day. It was really dark and pouring with rain though and I was not a fan of driving back to the villa in these conditions (the roads were really narrow and there were no cats eyes/a lack of lights on the roads). Add to the mix a couple of road closures and by the time we reached the villa at 8:30pm my nerves were all over the place. If I was to take this trip again, I would make sure we were always driving in daylight. Other guests were fine and weren't bothered by driving in the dark but as a nervous passenger, I didn't like it.

Back at Villa Pia, a few families had gathered in the kitchen for drinks at the usual time despite dinner not being served. We joined them and played a couple of card games/spent the night drinking and chatting. Thursday was the only night I over-indulged with alcohol but it was a brilliant night so no regrets.

Thursdays at Villa Pia

Thursdays at Villa Pia

Thursdays at Villa Pia

Thursdays at Villa Pia

Thursdays at Villa Pia

Thursdays at Villa Pia

Thursdays at Villa Pia

Thursdays at Villa Pia

Lippiano Village

Villa Pia is situated in the sleepy village of Lippiano. It is within very easy walking distance (literally out of the gate) and I would feel happy sending the kids for a walk to the shop.

There isn't much in the village but there is a cash machine (always open) and a post office (open two mornings per week). There is a castle and a church too and I enjoyed walking around and admiring the beautiful buildings.

There is a bar/shop/cafe in the village generally open from 8/9am - 8pm. The bar has a TV and shows sporting events - we all gathered there for the Rugby World Cup Final. There are a few toys for children and the bar serves alcohol, soft/hot drinks and you can buy chocolate bars, ice creams and postcards too. There is also a small bakery counter with pastries, pizza and fresh bread for sale.

I honestly found it fascinating sitting in the bar - Italians think nothing of cracking open a bottle of wine at 10:30am in the morning to share over gossip. I loved how the Brits were all sitting at the tables and chairs drinking long coffees whereas the Italians were stood at the bar drinking espressos or wine and catching up.

Lippiano Village

Lippiano Village

Lippiano Village

Lippiano Village

Lippiano Village

Lippiano Village

Lippiano Village

Lippiano Village

Local Area - Where to Visit

Villa Pia sits on the Umbria/Tuscany border and there are so many places to visit in the area. In your room you will find a comprehensive guide to day trip ideas including ideas for rainy days and on the noticeboard in the kitchen you will find a list of local markets - most are within a 20 minute drive.

You can catch the train from Arezzo to Florence and Rome (both will take around 1 hour if you book the express train) and beyond.

Some of the days out recommended by our group included:
  • Florence by train
  • The chocolate factory at Perugia 
  • Local truffle festivals
    Rome by train
  • Siena 
  • A long lunch in Arezzo
  • San Marino (gorgeous views)
  • Grotte Di Frasassi (fantastic grottos - check out Mudpie Fridays Instagram Stories from Umbria)

To get the best out of the region, you definitely need a car.


Local Area - Where to Visit

Local Area - Where to Visit

Local Area - Where to Visit

Local Area - Where to Visit

Local Area - Where to Visit

Why we Loved Villa Pia

Our typical days at Villa Pia would involve a great nights sleep and lie in, late breakfast at around 10am, morning coffees as the kids played in the park, a fantastic lunch with a few beers, an afternoon reading by the pool or in the library, cakes and coffee then a 4 course dinner party with fantastic food and wine. Honestly what's not to love.

Steve and I both commented that Villa Pia was the most relaxing holiday we have ever been on with the kids - I genuinely felt refreshed and it is not often that happens on holiday as I never stop usually but Villa Pia provided some much-needed headspace.

The views and opening our bedroom shutters to the beautiful Umbrian countryside is something I will never forget.

The staff at Villa Pia are all second to none. They are always there in the background and provide impeccable service yet at the same time often feel like they are invisible - everything is taken care of for you. The two managers speak perfect English and nothing is ever too much trouble.

A special mention has to go to the food and wine - I feel like we dined like Kings at Villa Pia and I have to say, the food is probably the biggest thing I have missed. It is SO good!

Harry, Heidi and Jack absolutely loved Villa Pia - they left feeling relaxed too. They adored the pool and it was almost like their private pool a lot of the time plus they appreciated the freedom and how much there was for them to do. Harry really enjoyed the grown-up dinners in the evening and the kids had lots of fun at the cookery classes too. Plus the free WiFi in the evening!

I haven't really mentioned this yet but we enjoyed lots of proper time together as a family too - I really cherished our afternoons/evenings around the kitchen table playing games together and the conversations we had over dinner.

Finally, how could I forget all of the lovely new friends I met at Villa Pia - it was lovely to meet so many new & interesting people and listen to their stories.

I would return to Villa Pia in a heartbeat. If you are looking for somewhere to celebrate a wedding or big family party in Italy, I really think Villa Pia would be perfect. I am kind of annoyed I am already married to be honest!
 Why we Loved Villa Pia

Why we Loved Villa Pia

Why we Loved Villa Pia

Why we Loved Villa Pia

Why we Loved Villa Pia


Why we Loved Villa Pia

Why we Loved Villa Pia

Why we Loved Villa Pia

Why we Loved Villa Pia

Why Villa Pia may not be for you


  • Although the facilities at Villa Pia are absolutely fantastic, I wouldn't describe this as a luxury holiday. You won't find gourmet cuisine, the latest tech in your bedroom or expensive furnishings here - it is much more of a home from home environment. 
  • If you are not keen on socialising, Villa Pia may not be for you.
  • Although not essential, you really do need a car to get the most from your holiday. 
  • There are no TVs.  
  • A washing machine is only available on a Saturday (which is most people's day of arrival). 
  • There is not much within walking distance of the villa
  • In October the weather can be dull and rainy in Umbria 
  • Although there were couples at Villa Pia without kids, personally I would say because Villa Pia is so geared towards families with kids that it is probably not the best place for a child-free escape (unless you are hiring the property privately or attending a retreat)



Why Villa Pia may not be for you


We are almost at the end! Well done for reading this far......

Villa Pia Prices & Booking

We visited during October Half Term (band 4) which is £620 per adult and £295 per child. Prices include accommodation plus all meals  (except Thursday when only breakfast is provided) and drinks/snacks at all times. Under twos are free. Flight prices vary - our Ryanair flights from Stansted to Perugia were £50 pp return plus £25 per case (we had two cases) and car hire was £130 for the week through Avis.



Villa Pia Prices

Villa Pia Prices

Villa Pia Prices


Let me know if you have any questions and if Villa Pia could be for you.


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Villa Pia Review - An alternative all-inclusive holiday in Italy



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4 comments

  1. Oh my word, this sounds the perfect place to stay. All that food too, I think I’d better start dieting now for a visit in October 2020!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is just our sort of place! Cosy and full of character, and I love that it's slightly off season (even thought it's October half term).

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a wonderful place to stay in Italy! I need to visit! Grandmas's cake sounds amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is such a comprehensive review of what really sounds like an amazing place! I'd be happy to visit just for the food - let alone all the other fun things there are to do there :)

    ReplyDelete

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