The Umbrian landscape is a succession of plains, valleys, plateaus and mountain chains. Umbria is the “heart” of Italy, the region that the world envies for the unquestionable natural beauty, art, culture, cuisine, traditions, history. Cradle of the spirit, the home of St. Francis and St. Clare houses the Benedictine and Franciscan monasteries, basilicas and churches everywhere welcome and console. Inspiration for architects and artists who generously left us the testimony of a still tangible and alive Renaissance.
In this framework of creative magnificence, the story takes place in the residence which now houses the hotel Alla Posta dei Donini. The family of Donini Conti, of Venetian origins, moved from Tuscany to Umbria between the late sixteenth and early seventeenth century deciding to build in San Martino in Campo, a town between Perugia and Assisi, his summer residence. At the same time it started the breeding of silkworms for the production of fine brocade and velvet. Prestigious activity, which places the family among the wealthiest and most influential of Umbria of the eighteenth century.
During the construction of Palazzo Donini in Perugia, now the headquarters of the Umbria Region, they were made important works for the embellishment and modernization of the villa which also involved the main floor. The surface, consisting of a row of classic lounges, was ennobled by the intervention of famous painters of the school of Francesco Appiani and Nicola Giuli of whom you can also recognize a series of painted canvas dated 1780. In the hall, created for concerts, walls are lined with paintings by the school of Appiani. It is also attributed to him the Altar of the shovel, oil on canvas, in the eighteenth century chapel – representing San Filippo Blacks and Madonna – and the frescoed ceiling with architectural elements, floral decorations and stretches of sky with angels in what once was the dining room of Donini. A very charming place transformed today in the the most prestigious bedroom of the residence. In the five rooms on the ground floor, the ceilings were painted between the beginning and the end of the nineteenth century. In the lobby: lounges in fine fabric, furniture of the eighteenth and nineteenth century, Murano glass chandeliers, terracotta floors and Deruta ceramics, immediately introduce the visitor to the style of the house.
The residence consists of two houses: the main building Villa Costanza and Villa Laura, internally connected by a covered walkway with windows overlooking the park, and the Pantagruel restaurant, placed in the caretaker’s house. The property is also surrounded by 22,000 sq. m of private botanical park surrounded by evergreen vegetation. Of note: the mausoleum dedicated to the Countess Donini, dating back to 1850 and, in the same period, the dovecote completely painted in faux wood. Along the avenue are preserved five Etruscan urns of the III century BC and in the main entrance are located six terracotta vases dating back to the eighteenth century.
The rooms that make up the complex are forty-eight, and they’re of different types. Frescoed, with exposed beams and four-poster beds. All characterized by extreme elegance and fine interiors. In addition there are eleven rooms of varying size, including eight frescoed, to accommodate events and Ginkgo Spa wellness center, opened in 2008, with heated pool and purified with sea salt.
The exemplary maintenance of the estate, which differs substantially from other historic homes, is due to love and foresight of the Donini family that, from generation to generation, lived in this house until 1964, when the property was sold to a family from Perugia. In 1999 there is an additional step, with the purchase of the villa from Eng. Ennio Mencaroni that opens it to the public as a luxury hotel. Classified as a historic home is constrained by the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage.