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Casa Sora Chiara
Vacation Rentals, Italy, Umbria
3 bedroom beautiful house in the town of Montone in northern Umbria (SlowTrav Favorite)
3 bedroom, 3 1/2 bathroom house in the village of Montone, in northern Umbria
The Village of Montone
Enchanted, romantic, and deeply peaceful are some adjectives used to describe this classic hilltop village on the Umbria/Tuscany border not far from Cortona. Less than a thousand people live within its medieval walls. Unlike busy and very touristy Tuscany, Umbria, "The Green Heart of Italy", is mainly free of crowds yet full of art treasures, timeless vistas, and the edifices and artifacts of a land layered with ancient civilizations.
Over the years we have spent many vacations renting Italian properties — apartments, villas, and farmhouses in cities, towns, and countryside. Then we discovered magical Montone. Sometimes it casts its spell when it appears to float above a sea of clouds. At other times the eternal atmosphere of this tiny citadel transports us. We especially enjoy living inside this ancient fortification and participating in the daily life of the village.
Montone is not a tourist town, but welcomes visitors. It has many traditions, festivals, and fairs throughout the year honoring its proud history. There is no traffic inside its walls — only the occasional delivery vehicle or car of a townsperson blessed with a rare and coveted garage located on one of the few drivable streets. This makes walking and exploring an undiluted pleasure. Along each narrow stone street and at every bend there is something wondrous — a doorway, a garden, the stories of centuries in stone.
Town life centers in and around the main piazza. Here you will find the bank, post office, and newsstand. Also — Alfredo the green grocer, a linen shop, a jeweler, and a beauty parlor. There are two cafes whose tables and chairs fill the piazza at the first sign of spring. Just off the square there is a butcher (Guido makes great porchetta on Tuesdays), a pharmacy, and a lovely small inn with a fine restaurant. Down the main street (our street) through the lower town gate and down the stairs are more homes and services — a shop for other food staples, plus a trattoria/pizzeria, gas station, florist, another butcher, more vegetables, and the baker! Montone — self-sufficient and embracing.
Here it is possible to have the best of both worlds for just five minutes down the road is the E45, a major north/south superhighway. Or you can keep to the back roads. Either way, Montone is well located for short distance excursions to nearby medieval towns as yet undiscovered by many, as well as important places such as Assisi, Perugia, Gubbio, and Tuscany — each no more than 30 minutes away. Returning to Montone at the end of a day of adventuring always seems like coming home to the castle.
Casa Sora Chiara
Just off the piazza at the end of the main street stands Casa Sora Chiara. Recently restored, the house had its beginnings in the 14th century. Its fine and convenient location, in Montone’s historic center, is right inside of the town’s lower gate.
The house sleeps 6 comfortably, has central heating, and is available year-round. The ground floor entrance is through a small enclosed patio opening into the kitchen/dining /living area. Our well-equipped kitchen even has a cooking fireplace and the dining table comfortably seats 10. In the living area there is a lovely large Persian rug and a thoughtful eclectic mixture of Umbrian country antiques and contemporary Italian lighting. A bathroom with a shower and laundry is also on this floor.
Stairs climb along side a wonderful faux fresco garden mural leading to a cozy loft — the "curling up with a good book" spot. A few steps further is the large master bedroom with sitting area and fireplace. There is a bathroom en suite with a tub/shower.
On the second floor are two twin-bedded rooms (one can be made into a king-sized bed). A bathroom with shower and an additional 1/2 bath serve these two bedrooms. From each of the bedrooms is a remarkable view looking out over the town wall, taking in the valley below and the hills beyond.
Well-known blacksmith Gian Luca Volonterio crafted the ironwork throughout the house. His forge can be found tucked into the old town wall. Carrying on a tradition begun in the 16th century in nearby Anghiari, the Busatti family wove the fine linen curtains on their antique looms.
Top 10 things that we didn’t have in many of the properties we rented in Italy that we made certain are in our house:
1. Firm beds
2. Thick towels
3. The largest refrigerator available
4. A fabulously well-equipped kitchen with plenty of pots and pans, utensils, dishes, and table linens
5. A high quality cooking range with a 5-burner stovetop that can accommodate a big pasta pot
6. A great big oven
7. Enough wineglasses for everybody to have a glass of wine at the same time
8. A washing machine AND a dryer
9. Plenty of hot water
10. 3 1/2 baths!
Casa Sora Chiara is a SlowTrav Favorite!!
We have several great reviews for this house - see the links below. And we are a SlowTrav Favorite!
Go to Margie's Travel Notes for Montone for more information about the town.
Please send all rental inquiries to: CasaSoraChiara@hotmail.com
Slow Travel Reviews
Company: Casa Sora Chiara
Name: Margie BullockE-mail: Click here to send an e-mail inquiry
Listing #1084, on Slow Travel since 12/12/2003
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