Prato di Sotto - the hidden jewel of Italy

Latest Guest comment... 'Nothing can quite prepare you for what you will find on the long drive up the 'Strada Bianca' to Prato di Sotto. My family first made that journey 18 years ago and it is a place that has remained in all of our hearts since. It was a very special place then and remains so today as affirmed by our most recent stay in La Capanna, an idyll for a couple. It is all too easy to go overboard with superlatives but what Penny has created deserves them. She took on a group of derelict buildings on top of a hillside and worked tirelessly, with extraordinary resilience to create something totally unique. In the years since she has overseen and curated the development of a place that exudes a rare combination of elegance, style and informality. She is a woman of exquisite taste and great generosity with the experience she provides for others being testimony to that. In a world where there is such an abundance of choice, where style is so often the victor over substance, Prato di Sotto is 'the real deal'. A stay here is very special indeed. 

Prato di Sotto is for the connoisseur. This collection of historic stone buildings sits above the tiny 13th century hamlet of Santa Giuliana, not far from the market town of Umbertide in northern Umbria. Lovingly restored by the owner, Penny Radford, and furnished with her personal collection of kilim rugs and antiques from around the world, the emphasis is on comfort and style. Beds are large and comfortable with crisp linen sheets and kitchens are equipped for even the most demanding cook.

When you arrive at Prato di Sotto, it feels like you are in a tiny village nestled in the hillside. Three of the buildings are arranged around a central courtyard; the original 18th century farmhouse, a 14th century Olive Mill and the owner’s house. Narrow ‘streets’ or steps lead off to other parts of the grounds; up to the pool and the vegetable garden or down to the lower lawn and gardens. At the top of the property is a detached cottage overlooking the pool. Everywhere there are well established trees, shrubs and flowers.

Penny was personally involved in the restoration of the buildings, a labour of love over the last 20 years, which shows in the quality of the building work using reclaimed tiles, oak beams, stone fireplaces and doors. It shows in the elegantly decorated rooms, the thoughtful interior design and antique furniture. Most of all it shows in the garden – a marvelous mix of English country house and Italian style, with roses everywhere.

At the top of the property is a 15m infinity edge swimming pool (opens May 1st) with ample room to relax on a lounger and just enjoy the views. The garden and individual terraces have been carefully designed to offer elegance and privacy, scented with roses, jasmine and lavender.

Penny offers her guests a unique mix of rugged Umbrian scenery with the warm hospitality of an English country house, sharing her knowledge of Italy, the pick of her vegetable garden and the company of her friendly dogs, always available for walks!

Prato di Sotto has been independently accredited by Sawdays - follow the link to the right to read what they have to say about us.

Special Interests Breaks during 2019

Contact me for further information on the following breaks for small groups: Walking, Horse Riding, Painting & Drawing, Photography, Tennis & Golf.

Watch our Video


Please click on the video below for a short tour of Prato di Sotto. There is also another video created by a recent guest, which is still a work in progress, featuring some great footage using a drone so giving a terrific bird's eye view of Prato di Sotto. This video can be seen at the following link but you will be taken away from this website to Youtube so will need to navigate back after watching. Thank you.