More and more articles are being published about the way social media now affects our lives. Twitter and Facebook are still the leaders, but new possibilities are emerging every day. We tend to spend more and more time interacting with our virtual "friends" online. But how about our real life friends? Do we still have time for them? How would you say an experience such as described below compares with how popular one can be on social networks?
Our group of four friends were driving through the dark oak forest. We finally came to a clearing and there it was, the house! We got out of the car and took the time to admire the myriad of lights around Lake Trasimeno below us. We then looked for the key that would open the beautiful Umbrian property in front of us and quickly found it. We had of course seen lots of photos of Casa Bramasole but the reality surpassed what we had been expecting. We immediately felt welcome as we entered the old converted farmhouse, while retaining its original features of old beams, terracotta tiles and brickwork. The colourful flowers and fresh fruit waiting for us in the dining room were a nice and thoughtful addition.
As we entered the spacious kitchen, we realised that this was where we would spend most of our stay. On top of the two dishwashers, massive fridge and freezer, a surprise was waiting for us: a Pavoni coffee machine! This completed the feeling of belonging that we had experienced as we had first walked into Casa Bramasole. Once the bedrooms, all different, were attributed, we set out on a complete tour of our home for the week. All the rooms were absolutely gorgeous and fireplaces could be found in the kitchen, bedrooms and living room. We were ravenous by then and the oak logs were quickly thrown into the barbecue on the terrace. We did not even wait for the fire to completely turn to embers to cook the impressive steaks we had bought on the way in Tuoro. The result was heavenly: Tender and juicy meat, eaten with tomato and garlic bruschette.
The following morning we fully discovered the unbelievable view on the lake below and the nearby hills. We were very lucky with the weather and were able to enjoy the outdoor swimming pool and to eat outside, except for one evening when we gathered around the big wooden table and ate by candlelight. The whole week was a culinary festival: mushroom risotto, steaks alla Fiorentina, homemade pasta filled with ricotta and basil, zabaione, berry tiramisu and apple tart, accompanied by local white and red wines. That last dessert we savoured in the TV room, just so we could say we had used all of these stunning rooms at least once. This part of the house was once a pigsty and the original arrow slits gives it a special atmosphere.
As we were about to leave we all stated how much we would love to come back. Perhaps this time in the winter? If only for the opportunity to snuggle up on one of the big leather sofas in the living room, with logs blazing in that enormous fireplace.