• The History of Umbria’s Villa Santa Caterina

    Villa Santa Caterina began as a simple farmhouse in an extraordinary setting. For 300 years, tenant farmers in the region tended the ancient olive groves and vineyards of this fertile valley, growing cereal crops and raising livestock. The stone farmhouse had no bathrooms, electricity, or running water.


    By the 1950s, post-war industrialization offered higher-paying jobs in Italian cities, and slowly, farmhouses were abandoned. When the present owners purchased the estate in 1996, the stone farmhouse was in ruins.


    After years of rebuilding and restoration, Villa Santa Caterina transformed into a holiday home for entertaining and spending time with family and friends. In recent years the owners began to open their beloved estate to select guests, who repeatedly express the same sentiment: that Villa Santa Caterina feels like home.

  • The Inspiration

    The award-winning film Enchanted April inspired the owners to rent a villa in Italy in the mid-1990s. Not only did they fall in love with Umbria, but after a year of searching, they immediately fell for the magical setting of Villa Santa Caterina. 

    “I felt I was on top of the world; I knew this was my corner of heaven.”
    Marie Lerner, Owner of Villa Santa Caterina

    The Restoration

    Villa Santa Caterina was the first property in the valley to complete restorations. The owners worked closely with a surveyor born and raised in the area to preserve the original character of the stone farmhouse and its outbuildings. Missing elements were sourced from similar properties of the same period.

    The Character

    The owners travelled throughout Umbria and Italy to acquire the beautiful collection of antiques and furniture for Villa Santa Caterina. Guests can appreciate the artisan quality of the furnishings, from the painted chests from Val Gardena to the delicate crocheted bedspreads from Sicily and the elegant lamp shades from the Island of Burano.

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