Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 133: Owner, Casa Francescani
2bed/1bath apartment on farm near Montegiove, Umbria
We are first time Tuscany/Umbria renters. My husband and I stayed at Casa Francescani near Montegiove in western Umbria (just east of the A1) for 5 nites -- September 8-12, 2001. We were originally booked for the full week, but left early because of the tragedy in the U.S. and the need to get nearer to a source of information.
Rented through vacationspot.com -- previous excellent experience with this agency for a rental in Puerto Vallarta last year. Casa Francescani is an apartment attached to the main house, which is lived in by the owner/manager, her daughter, a nanny, a baby and a small boy. The website info did not make it clear that this was not a free-standing unit. The owner raises an ancient breed of horses on the "farm" though we were never really aware of them.
Overall, I would rate this rental as a 5 on a scale of 1-10. Our lukewarm reaction may be partly due to the fact that we had just spent a week at La Fornacina in Tuscany (review 97), which was a wonderful place.
Because the unit was attached to the main house, we were very aware of noises such as a child crying every night when he was being put to bed, the phone ringing, people using the bathroom (which must have been right next to the connecting wall), etc. There were 3 (friendly) dogs on the grounds who barked to be fed every morning about 7 am.
The unit itself was clean and well-cared for -- modern, though small, bathroom with shower. It was definitely a kitchenette, not a kitchen--stove top, 1/2 refrigerator, sink, etc. Cooking supplies were also limited -- not the place to cook gourmet meals.
Two bedrooms -- each with two twin beds, the master bedroom had them pushed together and made up as a king. Adequate closet space, TV, no telephone (could use owner's in an emergency). Website stated washing machine, but this was also in the main house, so we didn't use it.
Owner was very nice and helpful -- recommended restaurants, etc. (Great lunch in Chiusi at La Solita Zuppa -- but the manager/waiter was not so friendly).
Lighting was good, mattresses on bed were very soft, mattress on "sofa" was very hard. CD/cassette player/radio in living/dining room, but no CD's. Comfortable chairs in living room, fireplace for colder weather. No screens on the windows, but we had no bug problem.
Very close to the A1 -- about 20 minutes due to steep/winding roads (like everywhere else in Tuscany/Umbria). Nearest towns had NOTHING -- Montegiove, Montegabbione. But Orvieto, Chiusi, Citta della Pieve all less than one hour away. Even Perugia was only about 1 1/2 hours away -- this is where we ran away when the "country" got to be too much.
The best thing about this place was the price -- $700 for a week! For that, others may find the inconveniences worthwhile. And the Umbrian countryside is beautiful -- we thought it was prettier than Tuscany -- more wooded, much greener.
Note from SlowTrav: VacationSpot is a web site that is a database of listings by owner. The owner pays to be listed and creates their own listing. VacationSpot does no selection for listings, so quality of listings can vary. You are really renting from an owner.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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