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Viterbo: Zia Cathy's

Reviewed by: tom thrasher from NE, review #1131

When: May 2005

We spent our last evening in Italy at Cathy's. Wish we could have been there much longer. What a terrific B&B and what a wonderful person Cathy is!

On our last evening before departing from Rome after 2 wonderful weeks in Italy, we wanted to get closer to the airport so drove from Siena to ZiaCathy's for our last night. This is a beautiful place and it was truly a shame that we had only one evening there. The countryside was very nice and our drive from Porto Ercole was terrific. Cathy was a great hostess and our room was great as was the entire facility. Beautiful grounds and a very quiet setting. A great place to stay and I highly recommend it. Thanks Cathy for making our last evening special.

Reviewed by: Nicole & Jeff M from NY, review #815

When: May 2004

First we fell in love with the Villa, then we fell in love with its owners.

Poolside, photo by Jeff McSpadden

It’s taken us a long time to write this review because it’s difficult to put into words how much Zia Cathy’s means to us. A couple of years ago when we became engaged, we had a fantasy of an outdoor wedding in the beautiful Italian country side. Our expectations were not high, we only hoped for a simple ceremony amongst close friends and family. In the months before our trip, Cathy worked with us via email to plan our wedding. Through her kind and attentive emails, we felt a warmth and closeness to Cathy before even meeting her face to face.

When we first drove up to the beautiful wrought iron gate entrance to Zia Cathy’s in May of 2003, we we’re taken aback. It was better than the photos! The villa is gorgeous! From the front manicured grounds, to the veranda in the back surrounded by fields of poppies. The rooms are immaculately decorated, the bathrooms beautifully done in Italian ceramic tile.

During the week leading up to our wedding day, Cathy, her husband Tocci, and wonderful daughter Adriana basically adopted 20 members of our friends and family. Cathy and her family went out of their way with great suggestions of places to visit, assistance with reservations at local restaurants, and just spending time with us. From Cathy’s villa you are close to many of the wonderful towns of the Lazio and Umbria regions such as Perugia, Deruta, and Assisi. Not to mention the ancient Etruscan ruins you can visit just walking distance from the villa!

On the day of our wedding, Cathy had taken all our dreams and translated them into reality. We were married on the picturesque front lawn beneath an arched trellis of flowers. The reception started poolside and moved to their country style portico for an evening of food and dancing. It couldn’t have been more perfect. Everything was handled in the truest of Italian style. Cathy arranged for a string quartet to walk us down the aisle, a sumptuous menu for the reception, and even had the Mayor of Castel Sant’ Elia officiate the ceremony.

We have such wonderful memories, that we would need to fill many more pages to convey them all. We will leave off by saying that there’s so much to see, do, and experience, that we had to return for our first anniversary in May of 2004. We’ve always thought the best places to visit are those where you have family. If you want to visit a place where you will not feel like just another tourist but a temporary native, come visit Zia Cathy’s. We can’t wait until our next visit!

Reviewed by: dfriscia from NY, review #750

When: 2003

So much more than we expected!

Good friends of mine decided to marry in Italy. Friends of theirs referred them to Zia Cathy's. We had all seen the website and thought it was a really pretty place, but the day we drove up to the villa gates everyone in the car was completely speechless. Zia Cathy's far exceeded our expectations. The wedding guests (about 20 in total) took over the entire property for the week filling up the main house and Villa Adrianna, the adjoining house on the property.

Cathy, her husband Adriano and their charming daughter Adrianna couldn't have been more gracious, and helpful to us all with driving directions, special places to buy local pottery in Deruta and calling ahead to area restaurants to accommodate our group for special dinners.

The accommodations were beautiful and tastefully decorated. The bathrooms were gorgeous and colorfully tiled! We walked away from those seven days feeling that we had experienced something very special and magical and I plan on returning someday...maybe for my wedding!

Reviewed by: Bellini from UK, review #746

When: August 2004

Ideal hospitable hideaway for travellers heading north from Rome looking for off-the-road relaxed comfort, great accommodation and a knowledgeable hostess.

I am a seasoned traveller of Italian extraction so I was curious about what the Lazio region north of Rome had to offer. I was signed up for a week's cookery course near the coast with my teenaged daughter and wanted somewhere for us to stay for a few days to relax either side of our culinary exertions!

We were both so delighted to discover Zia Cathy's -- we all struck up a bond straightaway and our two visits were great opportunities to unwind and drink in the local atmosphere. We felt we'd been adopted by this warm and generous family in a lovely restored homestead set in beautiful and extensive gardens. I realised very quickly why Zia Cathy's is such a tremendously popular favourite amongst wedding couples in the region for their nuptial festivities. We were lucky enough to be staying when a sumptuous wedding party took over the place --and of course we were invited along!! Such lovely memories.

Zia Cathy's is a very comfortable travellers rest set in quiet farming countryside about 50 kms north of Rome. The mood is delightfully slow. You can take it easy by the pool or explore the many historic locations in the area. Cathy is a gold mine of suggestions about places to visit and things to do. They also do cookery courses, so maybe I'll check in with Cathy next time round! I'll be back soon.

Reviewed by: Kim B from Australia, review #704

When: 2004

Zia Cathy's is heaven on earth just north of Rome with beautiful grounds and pool, spacious rooms and gorgeous bathrooms. Cathy is a delightful host!

Zia Cathy's 4 sunflower (star) Country House is nestled on 5 acres of graciously appointed grounds that any bride would want as her back drop. Trees, flowers, fountains, lawns and grand entrance set the mood for a relaxing weekend, extended stay or large formal events.

Cathy is a wealth of information and local secrets, and she is only too happy to help you plan your stay. I enjoyed hiking through ancient Etruscan ruins just a few kilometers from the property, and the ancient towns of Civita Castellana, Nepi and Sutri are also close by.

There is a very comfortable loggia right off the pool and championship golf 15 minutes away. At Zia Cathy's, relax in the country quiet or be shopping in Rome within 20 minutes if you prefer. Reasonably priced.

(Stayed several times; most recently in 2004.)

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

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