Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1079: Casa Rina, Sangiovese
apartments on a farm on Lake Como (Gravedona), Lombardy
May 2004, 4 nights
We stayed in a fantastic two-bedroom apartment above Lake Como, in the village of Gravedona, which is about 20 minutes by car north from Menaggio, on the West side of Lake Como.
Two partners, Messrs. Camata and Rossum, have renovated one of the large stone buildings in the hills above Lake Como into incredibly attractive apartments. The design of the apartments is top-notch, with modern features (such as marble countertops, built-in refrigerator) and artistic architectural features.
We stayed in a two bedroom apartment called "Sangiovese", which is upstairs and has French doors leading to a small balcony with sweeping views of Lake Como and the snow-capped mountains around the Lake. The apartment is not huge, but very comfortable for 2 - 4 people. There are two bedrooms, one with queen bed and one with twin beds. The bathroom is modern, with a very good shower, skylight which opens and washing machine.
The small kitchen has a very good stove top, sufficient complement of dishes, pots and silverware; no oven, but stove top cooking very good. The living room is ample, leading to the small balcony, which has table and chairs for early evening glass of wine. There is a small loft above the living room, with sound system (also TV with cable).
The road to the apartment is extremely narrow, and quite windy; this is not for timid drivers. Get good driving directions to the apartment, and cell phone numbers in case you need help (we did). Messrs. Camata and Rossum are very friendly and both speak English (once you get Mr. Camata talking, he is a wealth of information and happy to give you the best way to get to the Milan airport).
We were the first Americans to stay at the apartments; apparently, mostly German and Swiss stay there, and as a consequence, we got complimentary wine and some special treatment.
We paid approximately Euro 125 - 130 per night for four nights. The apartments are listed on a number of websites advertising apartments in Lake Como, but we found dealing with the agency (La Breva) extremely difficult -- they were German, sometimes arrogant and sent us very confusing information, sometimes in German and sometimes in English, about deposit, cancellation policy and contact information. We suggest you deal directly with the owners (see their website above).
You can easily drive to Menaggio (park in the pay lot along the waterfront, not at the meters, drive into town and follow signs) and get on one of the boats that travel back and forth across the Lake. There is a day-pass for the mid-Lake area, which allows you to take any boat traveling in the mid-Lake area, and you can happily go to Bellagio, Varenna, and the small towns along the Lake all day long. Highly recommended.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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