Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1106: San Potente, Residence Vallemela
Apartments on an estate near Spoleto, Umbria
August 14 - 21,2004, 1 week
The location is in a beautiful quiet section of the hills of Umbria, approximately 20km from a larger type town. The views are lovely and the grounds well maintained and private it was a great place to get a way from the city. It is very remote. As long as you know that going in you'll love it.
This location requires that you bring in groceries, and other items for cooking on the premise. The nearest town is about 12Km, although Sellano does have a few people and a general store, that is also almost 6km away by auto.
The town of Montesanto was originally inhabited by the Etruscans and Romans and remains are still in the town. An earthquake took out much of the town which is slowly being re-built, however, the buildings we stayed in were not affected and are in impeccable shape. There are three apartments at Vallemela.
The property is set up for privacy and the entire property is sprinkled with indigenous plantings. Although there is a large pool which all shared, there are two levels on the property, enough so that a family can enjoy themselves privately for a picnic or a nice get away to read and absorb the fantastic views.
The furniture was adaquate, comfortable enough for the little time spent inside but fairly sparse. It was more comfortable outdoors on the pation which was lovely. It was clear that it had been cleaned along with the grounds and pool, prior to our arrival.
Yes, very airy and great views from the bedrooms. The bathroom space was adaquate for two adults and an 11 year old girl but small and compact. Storage was a little unusual - very high built ins that required a hook to put things up or down. The smaller bedroom had no storage at all.
There was just enough pots and pans to prepare a meal but of low grade quality. Some pans did not sit flat on the burners. With a little creativity you could accomplish most cooking. No wine glasses were avaialable. The coffee pot was somewhat small even for preparing expresso. The frige and oven were just fine for our needs.
Problems or Bonuses
The biggest surprise was that on Thursday night, there was a party for all the tenants which included the local flavors of sausages, cheese, breads, and wines. In addition, there was music performed by a local entertainment vocal group playing and singing 1600's type folk Umbrian music. An other bonus was that the other tenants were from Belguim and Italy, no one spoke the same language so it was interesting and fun to try to communicate with each other. Few Americans have apparently visited this region according to the locals.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owner Mr. Paolo Tonti, visited daily to ensure the property was satisfactory, and he was very helpful in helping us locate trip information, suggest hikes, and help us with our Italian. They speak little English, but that is what we expected. There is no laundry facility but Mr. Tonti offered to take our laundry to be cleaned and returned in a couple of days. We did not take him up on ther offer and do not how much it would have cost. There are drying racks out in the back yard.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
For Americans that would like a quiet week after or before a hectic week near a larger tourist type Italian city such as Florence or Venice, I would recommend this part of Umbria for a respite. There are plenty of day trips you can take which also would allow you to take advantage of the residence. I have recommended this location to numerous people already and would return should I choose to visit Mt. Silbia for a hiking or biking vacation.
Things to do in this area
We enjoyed a different activity off site every day. There are great hikes in the Mountains, or just outside of Montesanto, you can walk to Sellano and see some trails and waterfalls along with Roman bridges. Spoleto is the largest nearby town, they have a great grocery store in addition to some spectacular museums including an art gallery, a Roman house and the Pallazo. We had our best meal in our 16 days in Italy, at Pecchiarda a restaurant frequented by the locals and not well marked.
Norcia is an interesting town too, it is apparently the sausage capial of Europe. Not far away is also the largest waterfall in Europe, a nice place to picnic.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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