Our Story

L’Antica Vetreria was born from our personal dream, nurtured for ten years after we came to Italy for the first time, landing in Umbria for our honeymoon. We fell in love with the region, the people, history, culture, food and wine. Returning again and again, we explored Umbria to find the perfect place to welcome guests to experience life in a welcoming village.  We found it in 2004, a vast glassworks, abandoned since 1938, and set forth on an evolving journey to rescue this historic jewel, one of the most important structures in the village of Piegaro with its 750 years of glassmaking history.  Our vision for a beautiful resort captured the imagination of our architect and the mayor who immediately made land available for our pool and terraces, built a private road, and helped us to find the best local craftsmen who took great pride in restoring this beautiful, but long neglected, gem.  Using only locally sourced ancient stone, wooden beams and ironwork made by hand, we lovingly brought this remarkable property to life and, in the process, contributed to the life and energy of a welcoming village.  We have integrated ourselves into village life, we live here full-time and are on hand to make our guests’ experience of authentic Umbria a reality.  Making a life within the nurturing and embracing arms of an entire village is really a dream-come-true.

Colleen was asked to write a guest column for "Renovating Italy"; and there is so much more about our story here: http://www.renovatingitaly.com/lantica-vetreria-the-glass-factory-renova...

  • Our first view of L'Antica Vetreria in 2004.

    Our first view of L'Antica Vetreria in 2004.

  • Tom Webb and Colleen Simpson enjoying the life of the piazza.

    Tom Webb and Colleen Simpson enjoying the life of the piazza.

  • All it takes is some hard work by gifted artisans.

    All it takes is some hard work by gifted artisans.

  • Years later we entertain friends from the village in our Villa!

    Years later we entertain friends from the village in our Villa!

  • Tom helps our friends with their tobacco harvest.

    Tom helps our friends with their tobacco harvest.

  • Colleen and Giampiero celebrate Unification Day!

    Colleen and Giampiero celebrate Unification Day!

  • Colleen and the ladies of the piazza.

    Colleen and the ladies of the piazza.

  • We take day trips to Rome.

    We take day trips to Rome.

  • Our friends at the winery Castello Monte Vibiano surprise us with a jeep for lovers!

    Our friends at the winery Castello Monte Vibiano surprise us with a jeep for lovers!

  • Tom in beautiful Gubbio.

    Tom in beautiful Gubbio.

  • We even harvest the vines at Castello Monte Vibiano winery each year.

    We even harvest the vines at Castello Monte Vibiano winery each year.

  • We join Nicolo in Piegaro's Day of Glass Festival.

    We join Nicolo in Piegaro's Day of Glass Festival.

  • We get our guests to dress up too!

    We get our guests to dress up too!

A WORD FROM OUR GUESTS

  • I don't know if I am a poetic enough writer to do justice writing about this property. Not only is there beauty to the eye in the unique, historical building, in the gorgeous views, and in the sweet village, there is also beauty for the soul in all of these elements. An experience like this is my favorite way to travel: some days my family took day trips to local sites and played tourist; other days we hung around the village, being a part of everyday community life. For the owners of this property, Colleen and Tom, this endeavor is so much more than a business; it is a passion of the heart that is evident in every detail, large and small. They are completely accessible by email, phone, or in person to share their joy and knowledge of the region, the people, and each and every logistical question you can throw their way. I traveled here with my husband and 6-year-old son, and we all found something to enjoy, and we all wished we could stay much, much longer than we were able. I can't imagine not visiting here again.

  • Wonderful accommodation in a working village with REAL Italians and few tourists. A great place to get the feel of the true Umbria away from the tourist spots. Lovely hill top villages to explore when you have had enough of lazing in/by the pool admiring the gorgeous view. No need to cook either as there are a couple of great places to eat in the village. The meat from the village butcher may just tempt you to barbeque on the terrace though as it is superb quality. Colleen and Tom couldn't be kinder and are always around in an unobtrusive way to help with queries. You won't go wrong staying with them!

  • We have been singing praises to everyone who will listen on this side of the Atlantic about our visit to L’Antica Vetreria.  We had a wonderful time in Piegaro and before we even returned to Fiumicino Airport everyone was saying that that they wanted to come back for another visit.   Our stay with you is going down as one of those fantastic vacations that will survive in family lore for many years...and generations... to come. It is a trip that our three granddaughters will be telling their children.

    My wife tells me that whenever she wants to relax, she mentally takes a tour through Piegaro. The butcher, the grocer, Luca’s wonderful meals and pasta sauce, the daily meetings of “the ladies of the Piazza,” Papina's weaving of palm fronds around wine bottles, our stunning tour of the eco-winery Castello Monte Vibiano - followed by lunch at the little family restaurant “down the road” among the farms that we would never have found without Tom’s guidance, Colleen’s fabulous tour of Assisi …and, not to be forgotten, karaoke night in the Piazza. Who knew that a village karaoke night could be so much fun. All of these things stand out in minds, but most of all we remember the warm embrace of the people of Piegaro and warm welcome and assistance that Colleen and Tom gave us throughout our time at the Villa. We all wish that we could hit restart and discover it all over again.

  • A friend and I were travelling throughout Europe this summer and our last week was booked at L'antica Vetreria in Piegaro. We fell in love with L'Antica and the lovely, quiet village. It was the perfect place to spend our last week relaxing and enjoying this beautiful area of Umbria and Tuscany. The owner, Colleen, gave us tours to nearby villages and places of interest that we would never have gone on our own. We also visited some of the more well known tourist towns but the charm was in the places not well known to the tourists. Her knowledge of the area, the culture, people and history made our stay very special. Our room was completely furnished so we shopped at the local stores and cooked several meals in but also favored the local eating establishments that had fantastic food. You must try the Pizza Colleen at Juni's restaurant...I'm sure I'll never have one as good until I can return there. We had a beautiful view from our apartment il Nido of the and valley below and the village square is just a few steps from the entrance. Colleen gave pasta making classes one day to guests which was great fun and the glass factory offered etching classes and we each brought home a treasured piece.. I can't wait to go back. It's not just a place to stay, but Colleen has endeared herself to the local people and because of that, they make you feel welcome and embrace you as part of the village. A great stay, don't miss it.
    Iris Matthewson

  • Thanks, Colleen and Tom, for renovating this lovely building in the charming town of Piegaro. It had everything we were looking for - a pool, a beautiful setting in a lovely town (with groceries and restaurants), and lodgings that are luxurious by European standards. Easily accessible from the Autostrada and within an hour to Orvieto, Siena and Florence, it made a great base for our exploring. I just wish we could have stayed longer!
     

  • It's been a year since we've been there, but the sense memories are so vivid...it feels like a week. Colleen and Tom have created a retreat that's elegant and serene. Twenty times a day we'd witness something so simple and beautiful that we'd stop what we were doing and stare: The view of the valley, the clouds, the town, the birds, the 1000 year old interiors. This is the kind of place that when you're telling your friends about it, you'll say: "Go. Trust us. Just go. Stay as long as you can.

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