Bubble is the English word for bolla. And immediately the mind goes to the bubbles that rise in a glass of lively wine or, further back in time, to the childhood memories of when we made bubbles with soap and water and then, blowing inside them, we made them hover in the air.
The Bubble Retreat, glamping dome in Umbria
But … have you ever slept in a bubble? We tell you it can be done! And in this post we tell you about the night spent in three, with our inseparable Otto, looking at the world from a porthole. Where is it? In Valnerina, in the green Umbrian countryside of Monteleone di Spoleto, in one of the suites of The Bubble Retreat, a glamping dome born from an idea of David Vincenzi and Alessandro Monaco, helped to realize their dream by the architect Giacomo Sanna, who designed the “bubbles”.
As soon as we arrived, we immediately saw the eco domes from afar which at first glance have all the appearance of alien spaceships landed on earth.
The four self-supporting geodesic domes, instead, come from Canada and are dedicated to those who want to spend their holidays in close contact with nature from which, once inside, they are separated only by a thin but resistant layer of a special PVC.
Each of the three dedicated to rest, one of which is completely immersed in the woods, is a sort of luxury tent of about 20 square meters with private bathroom, positioned on the top of a hill overlooking the village of Monteleone di Spoleto.
Through the transparent section you can enjoy the view of the greenery for a truly immersive experience in silence and in the unpolluted landscape even at a light level.
The fourth is a completely transparent hemisphere which is an aggregative space.
Alessandro, who met us and who accompanied us in our bubble, told us that in the future they would like it to become a meeting place. And he explained very quickly what is in the geodome with a panoramic window that allows you to enjoy a wide-ranging view of the green hills all around.
Each tent has a private space with sitting area and hammock, while the interior is furnished with minimal design with an eco-friendly tone.
In the semi-transparent bubbles of The Bubble Retreat there is no wi-fi, no television, no electricity, but each dome has a bathroom and large shower with hot water, king size bed, power bank to recharge led devices and torches to light up the night.
We try to understand more but Alessandro is adamant: “everyone must draw their own conclusions from this experience which is dedicated to those travelers who want to find contact with nature in particular structures like these that draw their strength from being Euclidean geometric figures in contrast with the surrounding landscape”.
It was impossible to unstitch anything else. And we just have to live the experience firsthand and then tell it to you. First we allowed ourselves a walk in the woods with our Otto and a tour to discover the places that would welcome us among the sheep pastures and the horse enclosure. Then we reached the transparent bubble, perfect for creating a particular photo shoot, Otto permitting!
When we returned to our dome we wanted to dedicate ourselves to total relaxation to experience that psycho-physical well-being that you feel in close contact with nature and which is, together with the dream of freedom and the desire to rediscover the exclusive beauty of uncontaminated places, what convinces to spend a stay here.
As evening falls, it’s time for our aperitif, served directly at home. The first fresh one convinced us to consume it inside in an atmosphere made special by the light of the lanterns multiplied by each transparent “slice” of the bubble, creating a magical effect.
In the “basket” exquisite artisanal cured meats that arrive directly from the Casale Montebello farmhouse, which is nearby and also provides morning breakfast, local cheeses, spelled and tomato salads, bruschetta and a bottle of wine. Only note: we would have preferred this place too.
Then, in the starlight, we let ourselves be enveloped by the silence and peace of the place, interrupted only by the sound of the cowbells around the horses’ necks. And it was wonderful to watch the day come, with the sky slowly turning pink, until Otto, attracted by a bellow, got a little too close to the window … I was afraid he wanted to “cross it”!
The rich and tasty breakfast, with bread, rusks, jams, cakes, fruit juices, an exquisite ricotta and milk and coffee in the thermos, is left on the outside table at 7.30 so that everyone can then consume it at the hour which is more convenient.
At this point we can enrich David and Alessandro’s bubble story with ours, just as they asked us. Geodomes are ideal for those who, despite wanting to experience a holiday in nature, prefer not to shy away from comfort.
And certainly The Bubble Retreat glamping meets the need to give the trip a green sense and at the same time the pleasure of relaxing on vacation in elegant and comfortable spaces. In the morning, however, in not too hot periods, it is a bit hard to get out from under the duvet to take a shower, but on this we were reassured: The Bubble Retreat is an ongoing project and grows and innovates thanks to the feedback from who like us experience it.
They are already thinking about a heating system and the goal is to create a home automation system that manages the full operation of the structure: control of internal ventilation and humidity, lighting and all those parameters that can increase comfort.
Conclusion? We and Otto can’t wait to try the experience again, maybe in another season, to watch the changes in the surrounding nature from a privileged observation point, feeling almost suspended in the air in a bubble that is so reminiscent of soap bubbles. iridescent from when we were children. The advantage of The Bubble Retreat’s geodomes? They don’t burst!