When the gates of Relais La Tenuta Del Gallo closed behind me, I swore that I would go back. My lunch there was not enough to completely appreciate the whole place. I was just passing through for lunch after I discovered it in the restaurant list of the Michelin Guide for Amelia. The relais is a little paradise tucked in the middle of the countryside a few kilometers outside the walled town of Amelia. The villa was originally built in the 17th-century and set on a sprawling area of 1,000 square meters of gardens, fields and walking paths with an incredible unobstructed view of the beautiful landscape of Umbria. It was enchanting!
I was back sooner than I expected because exactly a week later, I traveled back with my overnight and camera bags after agreeing to photograph the beautiful villa. It is just about 100 kilometers from Rome and a pleasant 1 hour and a half drive going northwards. On that glorious day the brick stone villa stood splendidly against the backdrop of blue sky. It is a quiet place where you can hear the birds chirping and the leaves rustling. It’s just what I wanted – some quiet time away from everything. They have an abundance of flowers and rose varieties scattered about in the gardens and when they bloom they give a wonderful natural perfume to the whole area especially to the external seating of the restaurant.
From the large balcony of my room, the view was breathtaking. The blue, almost cloudless sky touched the lush green of the valley. There is a small brick stone duplex just at the edge of the swimming pool that have two separate rooms with garden access. The swimming pool is on the right and the fountain is in the middle of the garden. On the right season, there will be flowing fountain water too to add to the resplendent scenery of the garden.
If nature plays a dramatic bucolic setting outside, inside Relais La Tenuta Del Gallo is another striking ambience. A showcase of antique paintings, furniture and decors, a grand piano, a large double fireplace in the decorated ceilings can easily daze the eyes of every guest.
The restaurant is situated in the inner part of the villa after passing through the sitting area. A few tables inside overlook the garden while the bigger part is the outside seating, in a covered area where the breeze can take the natural fragrance of the flowers. Relais La Tenuta Del Gallo is a place where you can get the best of everything under one roof because apart from the gardens and the luxurious interiors, the restaurant is also an area where they excel in. The kitchen epitomizes traditional Umbrian dishes mixed with contemporary twists by their young chef Andrea Anasetti where only raw materials are carefully selected and sourced from local producers and from their own land for the optimum quality of the dishes.
When there is excellent food, there can only be wine that can parallel the quality. Their well-stocked cellar has a very good selection of Italian and international wines that you can pair with the dishes. At the cellar, they also hold tastings where the walls are made of antique roof tiles made as 3,200 compartments to hold the wines.
Because the relais is a part of a 20-hectare cultivated land, they produce a lot of the ingredients in their own kitchen.
The vegetable garden and various fruit trees offer exquisite seasonal produce which in turn they use for making their own jams, dried fruits, sauces, conserves and candied fruits. Their fine meat and salamis are also produced by them from the pigs that are growing freely in the woods of the farm.
The relais offers total comfort in all of their 6 rooms and 3 suites with balconies. They are equipped with jacuzzi, satellite TV, mini bar, telephone, safe and wifi (in most rooms). All of the rooms are also fitted with independent air conditioners and heaters. The rooms are splendidly decorated with antique furniture with matching furnishings.