OUR GUIDE FOR EXPLORING
TOWNS & FOOD
For towns we offer the possibility to book a private guide that will guide you through the town. We also offer private tours with professional guide of Florence with Uffizzi museum tickets skipping the line and Rome with colosseum tickets and cooking class and wine tastings in both city. We design private tours of wine visits and tastings to family owned winemakers in Umbria and Tuscany, contact us for more details and prices.
SUPERMARKET & MORE
(click on the names to open google maps pin)
Nearest supermarket: Gala Supermarket | 2km from us
Best fresh vegetables & fruits km0 products: Azienda Agricola Birelli | 4.5 km from us
Best butcher’s store for your barbecue night advised from the guest Einar: La Bottega del Futuro 15 minutes by car from us
Best place for ice cream: Tropical Bar in Passignano | 8km from us
Best lake beach: Albaia Beach, there is free shade, dogs are allowed, best cleaner water (respect to the rest of the lake), big parking and a bar. If you would like to take a quick lunch nearby there is Faliero that does the best Torta al testo of the entire area you may also take away and eat it at the beach. Nearby it worths to visit the super tiny village of Monte del Lago.
Best places for an aperitivo:
Puntabella bar is at 2 minutes by car from us (you can also go by walking from our pool but remember that at night olive grove fields will be dark :)) it has a great view and the place is lovely! I recommend to reserve very in advance! (the picture on the right is this place) The food is really grate and they have both vegetarian and vegan options!
La Dogana (yes it is called like us 🙂 it is truly magical it is at 20/30 minutes from us, the view its breathtaking!
Acqua DolceSailing which is near a lovely super small town that it worths to visit called Monte del Lago. When you book ask for the sofa near the lake shores or if you want more privacy the sofa at the entrance on the left near the food truck. Tip: bring mosquitos repellant because is right on the lake shores!
Best Pizzeria with amazing gluten free home made pizza: La Tufa restaurant (between Dogana & Cortona, I advice to book one day in advance). It is at 20 minutes from us. Tip: when you book ask for a table at the end of the terrace with view.
Important: the parking of la tufa is a little bit before in a small road with a tiny antique church that goes up on the right.
CASTIGLIONE DEL LAGO
At 25 minutes from us an old town with a bird view over the Trasimeno lake. It worths to visit the ancient town hall Palazzo della Corgna full of ancient affresco. Is one of the few museums which is liked also by children because outside you may visit the walls of the Palace’s fortress were soldiers guards the town.
From this town I recommend to visit Città della Pieve: best restaurant in the town Trattoria Coppetta Bruno I suggest to take the “Cacio e Pepe” is the best one I ever ate in my life! Otherwise if you like fish I absolutely suggest a restaurant that is on the street to go to Città della Pieve called: Osteria il Poderaccio
TRASIMENO LAKE ISLANDS
Maggiore Island is the biggest island still inhabit, with some shops and a small old church to visit. The ferry boat departs from Tuoro beach.
Polvese island is the middle island, not inhabit, with more wild nature and a nice beach. You may do the tickets directly into the ferry.
Tuoro point to take the ferry: https://goo.gl/maps/jSk7EJXSs3CXiGhM6
Ferry boat hours click below, you have to look on Tuoro Navaccia – Isola Maggiore:
PASSIGNANO SUL LAGO
Passignano (5 minutes driving far from DOGANA) is one of the most beautiful town on the shores of the Lake. It has 2km of walking in front of the water with bars, restaurants and shops. If you love ice cream don’t miss Gelateria Tropical and if you have children at few meters from the ice cream shop there is a big free playground on the lake shores! The modern town is dominated by an ancient castle and there is a big tower La Rocca where you can enjoy a magnificent view of all the lake.
My favourite restaurant very romantic with view over the lake, super quality in food and a good selection of wines is Rosso di Sera this important to book very in advance!
PERUGIA | SPELLO | GUBBIO
Perugia (30 minutes driving far from the house) is a medieval town on the top of a hill and it’s famous in all the world for the chocolate festival Eurochocolate and for the chocolate company Perugina. I suggest to visit the centre passing trough the fortress Rocca Paolina !
To go from the venue to Perugia there is a little town called Corciano (small but super lovely!). After visiting Perugia I absolutely recommend to visit Spello and I advice nearby to visit the free entry garden of the Villa and absolutely visit Collepino is an ADORABLE little town, you have to visit it! From there it worths to visit Gubbio and if you still have time near Spello there is Rasiglia that they call it the small Venice because it has water going all inside the little town. Nearby I suggest the restaurant Lochness
Other two towns to visit in that area are: Gualdo Tadino and Umbertide, I suggest here the restaurant Ristoro in Campagna that is on the road to come back to Dogana really delicious !
A romantic ancient town at 30 minutes by car from us with a stunning view over the valley and full of lovely artisan shops.
We advice to visit first l’Eremo “Le Celle” a Franciscan hermitage located at 5 kilometres from Cortona, a charming and peaceful place between an ancient wood. Then you take back the car and go up at few minutes there is the stunning Margherita church and nearby there is also the Girifalco fortress. Then you may go down to the town walking (although I advice to not do that during summer because then the way back up is tough) or you go back down with the car and visit the town that is absolutely beautiful!
Suggested restaurant in Cortona town is Osteria le Rughe, important to book in advance especially if you would like to go eating there in the week-end.
To go to Cortona there is a wine shop Enoteca Meucci where you may find collections of Italian wines and much more and it is the heart of our wine club.
The restaurant of Enoteca is amazing too or you may stop there for an aperitivo! At the wine shop we have many rare bottles, when you go tell them you are Dogana guests so they know you are special!
If you have time in Tuscany I also suggest to visit Siena and Arezzo, in Arezzo the first week end of each month there is the biggest antique furniture fair of all Italy right at the heart of the town.
MONTEPULCIANO & PIENZA
Montepulciano (40 minutes driving far from the house) is a medieval town and it’s famous in all the world for the wine Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. There are many shops and wineries spread in all the town, I suggest to visit the most historical ones: Palazzo Ricci (in the main square of the town, a perfetct place to feel the medieval essence and have a good lunch with wines) and Cantina Ercolani (the winery hides an underground city: don’t miss that!)
I suggest if you go to Montepulciano to visit also Pienza there are near to each other and Pienza that si absolutely stunning. In the street between these town you may stop at this farm for a pic nic lunch with an breathtaking view: Cugusi Farm or if you would a like a more formal restaurant I absolutely recommend Podere il Casale they are a organic and biodynamics farm and its restaurant has their own km 0 organic products, they offer farm visit (they produce cheese) and also cooking classes and the view of the restaurant well … one of the best overlooking Val D’Orcia.!
WANT TO EXPLORE SOME NEAREST MOUNTAINS & A STUNNING LAKE?
At 2 hours from Dogana in our nearer Marche region there is the Monte dei Sibillini national park. It is a stunning place to visit, super fresh during the summer.
I recommend to go early in the morning and do a swim in the beautiful Lago di Fiastra, after trying many spot I recommend this one I leave you below the google map pin, you will see a place where to stop and leave the car on the right and you will see on the right in front a small wild street you follow it and on the right you will find the perfect spot on the lake. Google Maps Pin Click Here
If you would like to stay more then one day I recommend camping at this farm: Fattoria Monti Sibillini They have apartments, an area where to camp with your camping things or you can rent from them a tent, pillow, everything you need. The camping bathroom is super new and cleaned, breakfast are delicious! And if you can in the morning to milk their cows with them and bring them outside to their fields. At 30 minutes walking from the farm there are some super small waterfall in a little spot that is magical. They are super friendly with dogs too!
For eating I recommend this restaurant (the camping has a 10% discount for the restaurant ask it they will give it at the reception) there is situated in the nearby super adorable town of Montemonaco: Ristorante Scampagnata be sure to book in advance the table at the end of the wooden pergola with mountains view.
To explore a town that is half street from the lake to the farm I recommend to see the town of Sarnano that won many prices for one of the most beautiful little town in Italy.
If you would like to do kayaking on the lake (possible also with dogs!) or rent an bike, and have a hikes guide I recommend Alessandro, his experiences are the best!
Mountain bike and e-bike renting
You can rent bikes of any kind! The shop is called Cicli Valentini and is 20 minutes from our venue at Castiglion del Lago. You can contact the shop directly. Giancarlo and his family have an amazing passion for biking and have ran this bike shop for generations. Shop location and contacts click here: https://ciclivalentini.it
E-bike with private guide tour
Francesco has an amazing passion for biking and through them he loves sharing the love for his region with guests from around the world as well as with locals to which he is known for being the the first to introduce e-bike to the Umbria region. An E-bike tour with Francesco or one of his guides lasts 2.5 hours for €80 per person for a minimum of 4 guests. Price includes: e-bike, guide and helmets. Contact us for reserving the experience.
Rent a boat at the lake: thank you to Florian a guest of Dogana we can recommend this service business located in Passignano : Passignano Rent Boat
Kayaking and SUP
Another beautiful way to experience Lake Trasimeno is to enjoy a few hours on a Kayak or on a Stand Up Paddle. Our friend Domenico rents these out not far from the venue and will pick you up to take you directly to the beach where you will be able to enjoy the kayak or SUP while knowing that Domenico is there for anything you need. Lockers are also included in the price as well as life jackets. The cost is 50€ per person. Contact us for reserving the experience. If you go by your own car you will have a discount on the cost of the experience.
Massage at the venue
Fidalma is a Master Reiki of the Traditional method and graduated with a focus in naturopathy at the Riza Psychosomatic Institute in 2005 and in natural bio energies at University of Arezzo in 2017. Fidalma is also a kinesiology teacher specializing in applied, emotional, and energetic kinesiology. She offers a 50 minutes Holistic or Reiki massage for €70 per session.
For reserving please contact Fidalma directly on WhatsApp or iMessage at +39 335 5767178. Policy: if you cancel the appointment when you are at the venue for any reason the service will not be reimbursed.
Hiking with Giacomo
There is a gorgeous hike from the retreat center that takes you up the hill to a castle with a stunning view over the Trasimeno lake. The duration is 2.4h and is to be considered of middle difficulty. You will be led on the hike by a professional local hiking guide called Giacomo. Price: €60 a head for a minimum of 4 guests. Contact us for reserving the experience.
Horseriding with Lucia & Vasco
This experience is possible to book only for experience riders and for children from 14 years old with experience of riding. We will go by car at Vasco’s place (Vasco is our guide) that is situated at 30 minutes from us, the whole experience last 1.30 hour, the cost if €40 per person. Over 80 kilos is not possible to ride for the health of horses. Contact us for reserving the experience.
Olive oil mill private visit and tasting
We bring our olives after the harvest to Cooperativa Oleificio Pozzuolese which is at 10 minutes from Castiglione del lago. This mill is a small association of farmers (we also are part) that help each other during and after the harvest. Emanuele the manager of the mill will show you all the mill and the steps of the process and will let you taste different kind of the association extra virgin olive oil. The cost is €10 per adult, children under 12 years old do not pay. To book you may contact on whatsapp Emanuele directly at +39 334 7722 140. At the mill you may buy big cans of their delicious olive oil at a very good price!
Herbal remedies workshop
The herbal remedies workshop is held by Asia and her translator at the retreat center. Asia has been working with plants since she was a teenager and her mother worked with plants before her. She uses mostly wild plants that she harvests seasonally and some plants which she grows herself. She lives in a hindu ashram in the mountains of umbria with her partner who is a woodcutter and her two children. She has been teaching remedies production and plant recognition locally for 6 years. Her products are also sold to her community who rely on her for her knowledge.
The lesson includes all materials which are all locally and sustainably sourced with exception of the alcohol. The lesson includes:
- introduction to herbs and their healing and cosmetic properties
- different extraction methods with demonstrations
- use of herbs found in every kitchen
- hands on where each gets their own ingredients and equipment to create their very own ointment to take home
The cost is 60€ per person for a minimum of 5 participants. Contact us for reserving the experience.
Local wine tasting Montemelino at 3 minutes by car from us, book in advance contacting Tiziana on whatsapp at +39 338 2858 418, €20 per person.
It was a spectacular experience, Maurizio and his staff are incredible, also if I am very scared of height I felt very safe with them.
The whole experience is around 2.30 hours but the fly is about 10/15 minutes, the time depends on the weather conditions Maurizio will text you the day before with the time decided.
The cost is €120 per person, with a discount if more than one person does it.
You find more details and contact at this link: Umbria in Volo