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Genzano di Lucania: B&B Gatto Carlo

Phone: 0971.774074

Reviewed by: valerie from Italy, review #2059

When: September 2007

Like staying at Grandma's!

I called Signore Carlo to inquire about a room for the night and was disappointed when he told me they were booked for the weekend. With only three rooms, I expected as much but had hoped. He was cordial and chatty, asking me where I was coming from and interested in my travels to Basilicata.

I told him I would surely pass that way another time and would try to book in advance the next time around, and hung up the phone wondering where I would find lodging in rural southern Italy. Just as I was scouring the internet without much luck, Carlo called me back to inform me that someone had cancelled but his wife hadnít told him. The room was available for Ä50 if I wanted it.

We arrived at the tidy villa to find Carlo tending the large garden. The shrubs and layout bespoke of a century gone by, the splendor of which he was trying to restore. The villa belonged to his grandfather and has been updated without losing the essence of the era. High ceilings, a huge fireplace, a kitchen with an enormous wood-fired stove all charmed me. The sweet reception of both Carlo and his wife won us over completely. We felt like we were staying with a favorite uncle. It's sort of like being at Grandma's house if Granny happened to live in a 200 year old villa in Italy.

Our room was not huge, but nor was it the typically-tiny type one normally finds in Italy. The bath was outside the room but reserved for our use only. Everything was spotless and cozy. The DellíAgli couple told us about the area and made dinner reservations for us at their favorite restaurant, where they ended up dining with friends the same evening. We talked about Basilicata and how the locals prefer to call it Lucania. They gave us a beautiful place to stay, a home-baked breakfast, and a history lesson along with their hospitality. Iíd return again without a doubt if I pass this way again.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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