|Recent reviews posted to the La Preghiera page on the TripAdvisor site:|
9th March 2010
La Preghiera is the consummate, ideal place to visit! This monestery that has been transformed into a vacation resort is tastefully furnished. The surrounding landscape beautifully planted. The immaculate rooms with exquisite linens, everything pristine and spotless! The hosts, Liliana and John, are two not only beautiful people, but extremely intelligent, personable and caring. My stay was the personification of perfection! I cannot wait to return!
Paraskivi, Atlanta, Giorgia, USA
|“A haven of peace and tranquility in a stunning location”|
5th March 2010
Having endured the commercialsm of other resorts in Italy, it was an absolute pleasure to arrive at La Preghiera. I have never been to a more tastefully developed and furnished hotel. Standing in its own grounds it exudes a wonderful sense of rural tranquility and peace. The owners and staff work tremendously hard to ensure that every need is met and there is absolutely no need to move away from the hotel if you are only seeking rest and recuperation. A top-notch holiday destination if ever there was one and a place to revisit time and time again.
baldeagle_10, Berkshire, UK
|More reviews posted to the La Preghiera page on the TripAdvisor site:|
30th September 2009
La Preghiera was a very special place for me this year.
It was a haven providing a week of much need rest and recuperation (after my leaving a job of 8 years that I loved but which had exhausted me). My stay with you marked the start of a year of freedom, learning, travel and music (shortly to end!).
And I look back with immense pleasure and very fond memories of the beautiful place that you created with such sensitivity, skill and passion. I'm sure you'll do the same wherever you go.
Very best wishes
|“Il posto più bello che abbia mai visto”|
13th September 2009
Il posto è un paradiso immerso tra le colline e i prati a due passi da Assisi, Cortona e Perugia.
Noi ci siamo andati per la seconda volta !!!
La Preghiera veramente sbalorditiva con la sua piscina ecologica & angoli nascosti dove leggere un libro in completo relax.
Lo consiglio veramente a tutti: innamorati, amici, nonni, veramente a tutti :)
Spero di tornare al piu presto
|“A magical venue for an idyllic wedding in the heart of the Umbrian countryside”|
7th August 2009
Rob and I enjoyed the most wonderful wedding at La Preghiera. 30 guests joined us for our wedding in the chapel and most of our guests stayed at John and Liliana's stunning home for 3 days. The owners and their staff could not do enough for us and the standard of the catering and services for the wedding was impecable - full of local Umbrian tradition. We will never forget our special celebration there and would recommend this venue to any of our family or friends. In fact we all can't wait to go back to taste the homemade jams, breathe in the scents of lavender and rosemary and enjoy the relaxed setting of this most special place.
Kate and Rob
|“Beautiful Accommodation in Umbria”|
18th May 2008
We have just spent 5 wonderful nights at La Preghiera, an elegant house in Umbria which reflects the warmth and hospitality of its owners, John and Liliana Tunstill.
We are quite particular about the quality of our accommodation when travelling and everything at La Preghiera surpassed our expectations. The feeling is very much that you are a guest in this luxurious home rather than a visitor passing through a hotel or B&B. From the moment we arrived, it was clear that Liliana and John (assisted by a wonderful group of people including the ever-reliable Giulia) take great pride in ensuring that the service they provide is of the highest level. By the end of our visit, we were pretty confident that the only thing our hosts could not do to enhance our visit was to control the weather (which was fair throughout in any event)!
Apart from the outstanding service, the spectacular accommodation and the delicious breakfasts, we would add that Calzolaro proved to be an extremely convenient base for driving through Umbria.
Finally, take advantage of the depth of knowledge that the owners have of this region. Having lived in Umbria for more than 25 years, John and Liliana are a font of knowledge on all things Umbria. The restaurants that they recommended to us on our trip offered us some of the best food we have tasted on any of our trips to Italy.
We would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending La Preghiera to anyone visiting Italy and the beautiful region of Umbria.
akrv, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
27th June 2007
We have just stayed for two days in this lovely place and can thoroughly recommend it to people who love peace and quiet. The rooms are spacious and very clean and have ensuite bathrooms. La Preghiera makes an excellent base for touring Umbria although we also met guests who were enjoying the cooking classes which are available. Ideal for lazing around the swimming pool, which is cleaned with oxygen and minerals with a minimum of chlorine, so the water quality is far superior to most pools. The staff are friendly and helpful and the local restaurants they recommend are fantastic. Having internet access is a nice touch, too. Luxury is such an overused word and rarely means anything but this is one place which is truly luxurious.
FussyP, London, UK
|“Home from Home”|
11th August 2006
My wife and I have just returned from an excellent week at La Preghiera where we were able to forget the cares of the world and feel thoroughly at home with friends. Having just spent a week in Tuscany at a hotel, rather than a luxury country house, it was wonderful to come to a place which was like a home away from home. From the minute we arrived there, Liliana made us feel so welcome and all the staff worked so hard to ensure that we had everything we needed.
Apart from being in a beautiful spot in the countryside the house itself is the height of luxury and we spent many hours recharging our batteries by the fabulous swimming pool. Liliana gave us numerous recommendations for restaurants all of which provided delicious local fare at amazingly reasonable prices. There is so much to do in the area and if you are interested in toy soldiers John's collection is not to be missed!
In my mind , this is one of the most wonderful places that we have stayed in and no stone is left unturned to ensure that your stay is perfect. We will certainly be going back as soon as we can.
1420krh, London, UK
17th July 2006
My soon-to-be husband and I spent a too short weekend at La Preghiera. We loved the people, the place, the suroundings, the food... pretty much everything. In fact I cannot come up with a negative thought.
The atmosphere is absolutely relaxing and the service is exceptional. We enjoyed reading by the pool the most. I recommend to rent a car for your stay there, because you need to drive to get to a restaurant for dinner (lunch can be served poolside at La Preghiera !), but also to explore the womderful contryside even more (it was way too hot for biking!).
We had a wonderful stay and we were delighted to meet Liliana and John who made our experience even more memorable. They did anything they could to make us more comfortable and at the end, when we had to leave, the staff, Liliana and John were standing on the small bridge in front of the house, waving us good-bye!! It felt like leaving home. We hope to return soon.
TripAdvisor member, Magdeburg, Germany
11th June 2006
Having just returned from my 4 day stay at La Preghiera I can honestly say everything was Five Star !!! La Preghiera is exceptional not just for the exquisite accommodations and gardens but because of the love and dedication of John and Liliana Tunstill and their staff. They open their home and hearts to you and make you feel comfortable and welcome.
Having attended a family wedding at La Preghiera I can without a doubt recommend this property for the event of a lifetime.
This was an experience of a lifetime that I will cherish forever. For all those who have yet to experience life in Umbria, La Preghiera is the ultimate in country-house hospitality !
TripAdvisor member, Connecticut, USA
31st May 2006
My husband and I have just spent 5 fabulous nights at La Preghiera - and will definitely return. The staff, the rooms, the food is exceptional and the grounds are amazing. We immediately relaxed, (spent most of the time by the pool) and couldn't believe we'd discovered this little bit of heaven.
The location is perfect with lots of good italian restaurants nearby and if you have a car, it's within easy reach of nearby villages. It would have to be one of best holidays we've had and can't wait to go back soon.
TripAdvisor member, London, UK
|“La Preghiera - Simply the Best”|
15th May 2006
As the title suggests - Le Preghiera Luxury Bed & Breakfast is the very best accommodation we have ever experienced in our many years of traveling. We take at least one 2-3 week trip each year to Europe and, as a result, have experienced a wide range of accommodations. We have stayed in everything from 2-star hotels, to basic level B&Bs, to 5-Star hotels and lodges, but have never experienced luxury and service the way we did at La Preghiera.
Situated in the exceptionally beautiful and still very rural province of Umbria - about two and a half hours north of Roma, and easily accessible via train or car - La Preghiera'a literal translation is "the prayer". As that might suggest - La Preghiera is an 800 year old former monastery that has been lovingly and amazingly restored by it's owners John and Liliana Tunstill. Many of the original sections of the three buildings that make up La Preghiera are still visible and this provides a genuine feel for the architecture and building styles of that era.
The restoration, however, was undertaken with the idea that today's travelers desire all the conveniences that are found in modern, urban hotels. On this point, La Preghiera will definitely not disappoint. Each room is the epitome of luxury and modern convenience. Each room has a luxurious bathroom, with marble shower and all the amenities that one needs. The beds are fantastic! The most comfortable we have ever experienced.
The remainder of the main house, outside the bedrooms, is also fantastic! The common areas are very well appointed, yet so comfortable and relaxing that you sometimes wonder if you're back at home. If you want to have a great afternoon nap - try the couches in front of the huge fireplace in the sitting room. I slept there at least once each of the seven days we were at Le Preghiera.
The breakfast that is provided each morning is amazing! Comprised of locally grown or raised produce, cheeses, meats and baked goods - we had a distinctly different offering each morning for seven mornings. And the cafe con latte is wonderful!
Having said all of the above relative to the facilities, food, etc. - what really sets La Preghiera apart from anywhere that we have stayed is the people who run it. John and Liliana are the most accommodating, the most gracious hosts you could imagine. They're two of the best people we've ever met while traveling. There is so much to do in the area surrounding Calzolaro that you'll be hard-pressed to get to everything. Do, however, make sure you get to the hillside town of Gubbio. It's amazing! The Roman Amphitheatre, the Church of Saint Ubaldo on the mountain and the rest of the town must to be seen to be appreciated.
The remainder of the staff at La Preghiera are also amazing! They all, in a very genuine manner, love what they do and what they do best is take care of their guests. I could go on and on about the many other attributes of La Preghiera, but the best way to experience them is to go there yourself. You will not be disappointed. And, if you do get there, ask John for a tour of the Toy Soldier Museum - it's phenomenal! We are planning to return again next year as we feel we have not only experienced exceptional luxury and service, but we have made new friends as well.
TripAdvisor member, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|“Cozy Warm Hospitality - relax at La Preghiera”|
30th November 2005
For lovers of Italy who are exhausted by the big cities, tired of overanxious tourists and just want to relax in an environment that encourages pure relaxation, appreciation of good food and great company and conversation then La Preghiera is for you. La Preghiera is situated in Umbria, where you really can experience an Italian lifestyle undiscovered by most tourists. My fiancée and I stayed there in November '05 for 2 nights -- which in retrospect was too short a time. The converted Monastery is bathed in luxury, yet exudes a homey, down to earth and unpretentious ambiance. We stayed in the main house in the Pittore Michelangelo, which was enormous compared to most hotels/B&B's throughout Italy. We had a wonderful nights sleep under the quality sheets and linens. Our hosts, John and Lilliana went above and beyond the call of duty to accommodate our needs. They gave us the keys to main house and told us to help ourselves - which we did. We lit a fire each night in the beautiful main room and sat back and drank the wine that was left for us. Each morning they left out a list of local attractions that they recommend and local restaurants, all with perfect driving directions to each location. The breakfast was wonderful with homemade preserves and other assorted local products. We made day trips into nearby medieval towns of Citta di Castello and Montone. The pictures on their website are exactly as the accommodations look. We recommend La Preghiera to anyone looking to get away from it all (okay, and if you can’t just let life go, they offer a computer with internet in the billiard room!) We will be returning as often as possible. Highly recommended.
scoopmjp, County Durham, England
|“The most beautiful, peaceful villa ever”|
18th October 2005
We spent a quick fire tour of Tuscany and Umbria searching for a wedding venue for next summer. La Preghiera was on our list of stops and was described to us as the most fabulous luxury villa. Having seen it in the flesh and experienced the warmth and hospitality of our hosts Liliana and John Tunstill I have to say it was undersold to us!!
La Preghiera is the an astonishingly beautiful 12th century villa that is picture-postcard perfect in every way. The owners' mission is not just to make people feel at home but to make them relax to the extent that they treat it as a home from home.
Set in amazing Umbrian countryside, it is a dream come true regardless of the length of stay.
My only regret is how little time we had to stay there on this trip. However, it won't be our last trip - we are on the verge of confirming it as our venue of choice for our wedding.
Whether you want the most idyllic wedding venue or just a place to unwind and enjoy, La Preghiera is the place to visit.
pital16, Washington, DC, USA
|“A Slice of Heaven on Earth!”|
2nd November 2006
Italy was the destination for celebrating my 60th birthday and three members of my family and two friends came along to help me celebrate. We spent 14 glorious days in Italy (Oct 9-23). Hands down the most wonderful part of the trip was our week's stay at Villa Moscatelli which is on the grounds of La Preghiera in Umbria. Our hope was to find a comfortable and charming place to relax, walk, read and eat and when we felt like it - venture out to visit other interesting places in the area. We accomplished this and more! From La Preghiera we were able to visit Assisi, Deruta, Siena, Cortona and Montone and still have plenty of time to relax and enjoy walking the countryside. The Villa accomodated the six of us in comfort and style. We loved the self-catering aspect of the villa since most of us are cooks and the kitchen had all the modern conveniences you could wish for. We enjoyed walking into Calzolaro for meat, fresh vegies, cheese, bread and wine. The owners, John and Liliana Tunstill were so gracious and welcoming - they are such an interesting couple! We especially enjoyed the evening we were invited to dinner, at the Monastery (LaPreghiera). Meeting guests from other countries and sharing a meal was one of the highlights of our stay there. We cannot recommend La Preghiera enough - it's a slice of heaven on earth, in Italy!
EJRW, Orange County, CA, USA
|Weddings at La Preghiera|
|“As close to a perfect wedding as you can imagine........”|
9th April 2008
We had our wedding here in late March 2008.
We live in Beijing and had chosen Umbria as the perfect place. Our criteria was a restored older place, with a chapel, bedrooms and a restaurant on the one site. We'd actually booked another similar Umbrian venue and 6 weeks before the wedding they decided they couldn't accommodate us for dinner (not what we wanted at all!) Well that could have been a disaster as friends and family had booked flights etc, but in the end - what a stroke of luck!
From the very first phone conversation with an extremely understanding John, everything about La Preghiera was absolutely wonderful.
The photos, and previous reviews testify to the fantastic day we had and the place, but here are a few points:
- venue is stunning. Absolutely. The restoration has been wonderful, to the highest standard. Lovely modern touches like sleek modern bathrooms blend really well with the traditional features.
- its a perfect size for an intimate wedding. I think they have 12 rooms in total (inc Villa Moscatelli) and the dining room and chapel can both seat up to 40 (larger dinners can be done outside and chapel doors can be left open for a bigger crowd). But for our 38 guests, it was all absolutely perfect, and wonderful to have the whole place to ourselves.
- the chapel is beautiful, simple and elegant. And fantastic we could hold a legal and religious ceremony in one go (not always possible in private chapels in Italy.)
- the place isn't stuffy at all, just stylish and relaxed.
- breakfast was wonderful. Different every day and all locally-produced.
- wedding catering was excellent. Everyone was stuffed (!) and loved the variety, from the beautiful antipasto buffet, to the fantastic ravioli with spinach and ricotta, to the three types of tiramisu' and the lemon sorbet.
- lots of lovely touches by the owners (we won't write them here so as not to spoil the surprises!)
- the owners, and the manageress, Giulia, know exactly what they're doing and have a great wedding day down to a fine art. They handle all the legalities, liaisons, paperwork etc brilliantly. They looked after the wedding registration, liaision with the Minister, the caterers, the hairdresser etc.
- we loved the flexibility. We didn't want a typical wedding day, and they were absolutely fine that we didn't do everything a more typical wedding would.
- Villa Moscatelli (also on site and owned by La P) is a great option for pre-wedding. We took the place, with its three bedrooms, for almost a week, and it was perfect to have the lounge, kitchen etc for preparations, and then welcoming the other guests as they arrived.
- the gardens are stunning. Beautifully presented, and a real testament to Angelo's hard work.
- the nearby hill towns of Gubbio, Cortona, Assisi and Orvieto are fantastic. And La P is a great base to see them all. Umbria is also fantastic value compared to more touristy parts of Italy.
- the pizzeria 10 mins walk from La P serves the best pizza we ate in Italy.
- the hairdresser recommended and booked was wondeful.
- the Minister organised by La P was a lovely chap.
We would have our wedding there again tomorrow, no doubts at all. We were so luck to have found a place like this, at just 6 weeks notice, and they John, Liliana, Giulia, and the whole team were superb.
You also don't need to have a wedding to go to La Preghiera. It's also a perfect place for a few days or a couple of weeks break. We'll definitely be back.
Overall, we couldn't recommend this place, and the people enough.
mnab, Beijing, China
|Hannah and Russells' Wedding on 5 August 2007 at La Preghiera|
Dear Liliana and John
Well, the real purpose of this e-mail was to send a huge, warm and heartfelt thank you for all your hard work in organising the Caulton-Sanderson wedding and for everything that you have done for us over the past 2 years. You have been truly amazing.
We returned to England on Thursday 8th August however our memories of our time at La Preghiera, in particular the weekend of 3rd –5th August 2007 when we celebrated our marriage remain etched in our memories and our smiles aren’t fading yet (the tears have stopped for now though!).
The time that we spent at La Preghiera before our wedding was lovely and relaxing despite increasing excitement and Hannah's constant questions, that seemed to add to those already though of by yourselves! Then when our guests started arriving the excitement grew even further and with each new face came more smiles of pleasure in finally seeing the beautiful surroundings, which we had chosen for our wedding. The complements about La Preghiera were flowing.
The Pizza and Ice Cream evening was a wonderful event which joined all our guests together the night before our wedding. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves due to the wonderful setting, food and atmosphere. Our special thanks go out once again to the World Champion Ice Cream chef – we can still taste the amazing flavours that we tried in particular the cookies ice cream, which was Hannah’s favourite!
Then the wedding day arrived with an early morning trip to the Commune in Umbertide and the excitement was definitely reaching an all time high. Many thanks Liliana for accompanying us and for translating the ceremony, you were wonderful and we couldn’t have done it without you. We think that we speak for everyone when we say that the ceremony at the Commune was more that we imagined (definitely in a good way!) and that we all found it a little emotional (some of us more than others!). There are also some quirky moments from our visit that we will always remember including the little lady with the dog that frightened the life out of Hannah’s mum! These all serve to make the day even more memorable than it already was.
Back at La Preghiera we started to get ready and the hairdresser was wonderful. All the guests who had their hair done said how fantastic she was and there were even plans at one stage to try to smuggle her away or invite her to come back to England with us!! Please pass on our thanks once again to her. Then there was the beauty therapist…what can we say – a master at all trades. My nails lasted for a week and I even treated myself to a manicure set in Pienza to see if I could do it myself! Once again all the ladies that had their nails done said how great the beauty therapist was. In addition to this my makeup on the day was perfect. I couldn’t have wished for it to be any nicer and thanks once again.
The wedding day was perfect. We don’t know what else to say. Neither Russ nor I couldn’t have wished for it to have gone any better and looking back now there is absolutely nothing that we would change. Our special thanks go to the Pastor, the harpist and also to John for your translation – once again, without you it wouldn’t have been possible (thanks also for the handkerchief!). We would also like to send our thanks to the team of photographers who spent the day at La Preghiera and made us feel as though we were celebrities being followed by the paparazzi!!! We await the photographs with excitement! We would also like to send our thanks to the florist. All our flowers were beautiful and were exactly what we requested. On the photographs that our guests took, the flowers really stand out and look wonderful. The atmosphere of the day was made even more special by the Jazz Trio (Grandad’s favourite!). Thanks especially for "Just the way you look tonight" which was perfect and also for organising the I-pod! The day was filled with complements from our guests about the setting, food, atmosphere and organisation, the whole wedding party send their thanks to everyone who helped out in front of and behind the scenes! You are amazing.
Finally the meal at Il Vecchio Granaio on the Sunday was wonderful and was a lovely way to complete our time at La Preghiera. By this stage there were 32 exhausted but thoroughly happy guests.
La Preghiera is a truly remarkable and special place in terms of its history and setting and it is made even more special by the people who work there. You are a magnificent and wonderful team who work hard to successfully achieve the dreams of your guests. Thank you for everything and for giving us a wedding weekend beyond our wildest imagination. You have created and been a part of many happy memories that will remain with us for a lifetime. We will definitely be back to see you all in the future and wish you continuing success.
Many thanks once again
Hannah and Russell x x x
|“An amazing find - Perfect”|
26th March 2007
We spent some months searching for a suitable venue for our wedding in Italy. We were looking for something with a real wow factor but at the same time relaxed and informal. Towards the end of our search we had become experts in our own right on wedding locations and properties from the far north of Italy to Sicilly. We then came across La Preghiera on the net and the rest is history!! We visited La Preghiera in late January for a weekend to look at the property and to talk through our wedding plans. We flew from London Stansted to Perugia and then hired a car for the short drive to Calzolaro which was ideal and certainly a big plus point for our friends and family travelling from the UK for our wedding.
We had fairly specific ideas of what we wanted for our wedding day, which was first and foremost a stunning location closely followed by a place for our family and friends to enjoy our day in style. We couldn't believe it, upon arriving at La Preghiera it was almost too good to be true all our hopes and aspirations were being realised, this place was perfect!!!
John and Liliana are very warm and welcoming hosts with attention to detail never being far from their thoughts. They have spent many years transforming this once near derelict 12th century monastary into a real work of art, from the moment you pull up at the wrought Iron gates at the driveway to stepping into the front door the presence of this building hits you right between the eyes. From the internal decor to the marble bathrooms, it is all absolutely stunning.
We are returning to La Preghiera in May to finalise our plans for our wedding in September, we can't wait to return.
Sichal, Dorset, UK
|The Ranson-Bartlett wedding at La Preghiera|
Dear Liliana & John
Just a quick note to thank you both for the fantastic weekend we have just spent with you for the Ranson-Bartlett wedding. From our perspective the whole event was perfect, and we were very pleased to have participated in such a lovely occasion for our good friends. We enjoyed sharing your home very much indeed: I have made a note of all the little touches that I want to copy, but in our brand new suburban detached house I am sceptical of being able to achieve such a tasteful result as you have in La Preghiera!
It was lovely to meet you.
With best wishes from Fife
Andrew & Yan