Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1344: Villa Gaidello, Apartment
apartments/rooms on a farm near Castelfranco-Emilia, Modena, Emilia-Romagna
March 12-15, 2005, 4 nights
Villa Gaidello is located just off of the SS9 in Castelfranco Emilia. It was very private; the gate was locked and you either needed a key or rang a buzzer to be let in. There is also a closed circuit camera so that the staff can see who is coming and going. The courtyard and stairs to the apartment were well lit.
Downtown was not really walking distance, I suppose one could bicycle there. I don't know if there was a grocery nearby. There wasn't a coffee shop etc. just outside the door.
Villa Gaidello is a small farmhouse with several rooms/apartments. We only saw one other person during our stay. It is run by Signora Bini, a lovely woman in her 70's and her niece Marta, as well as a nice young couple named Martin and Mary. Martin told us they are there for a year. The farm has been in the Signora's family for a long time, but we were told there is not as much farming as there used to be.
There is a lovely pond out back with swans, and a pretty courtyard in the center. As we were there in March, not much was in bloom.
We had a two bedroom, 1 bath apartment that was very spacious. There were two sitting areas, one with television. The one without a television had some pretty old chairs, and a bookcase full of farming magazines going back who knows how far! We didn't use this room at all. The couch was comfortable. The apartment had large pieces of furniture with lace doilies on which a pretty vase or pitcher would be set.
The kitchen had a small refrigerator. We did not cook so I didn't even notice if it had a working stove, or the supply of dishes/pots/pans sorry! There was a small single bed in the kitchen area also.
There was plenty of room for everyone.
The bedrooms had large armoires, and were nicely decorated. The beds were comfortable, although the mattress was a little too soft for me. The sheets were beautiful, hand embroidered around the edges. The bedrooms had clothes valets and ours had a vanity also. There was a hairdryer with diffuser. The bathtub was very large, the shower was a hand held. There wasn't a lot of counter space in the bathroom. There was plenty of hot water, (not warm, hot)
The radiators had decorative holders on them for water so that the air wouldn't get too dry. I would recommend filling them each night, as it did get warm. I wish I knew where I could find something like that here.
See above note. The folks at the Villa stocked the refrigerator with bottled water, and also brought fresh towels the 2nd day, which was nice as we had not expected a change of towels for our short stay.
Problems or Bonuses
The breakfast each morning was wonderful, although the homemade prune/plum juice was different, very chunky, skin and all!
You must eat at least one dinner here. It is a 6 course meal and one you will not soon forget. You need to make a reservation ahead of time for this. We had our own private dining room, that continued to be ours each morning for breakfast, it was just wonderful. We felt very taken care of.
There is a train that runs behind the farm, you can hear it at night, but it wasn't too disturbing. We have a commuter rail near us at home, so I'm used to the whistle and sound of it.
There is no phone inside the apartment. While I can certainly live without a phone, this made me a little nervous, in case of an emergency (how would I know who to call anyway?). It was a small inconvenience. Since it is not a hotel, but a working farm, it can feel somewhat isolated. If you like being able to call a "front desk" at any time, or walk across the street for a cup of coffee, this is not the place for you.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Signora Bini does not speak any English. She speaks Italian very slowly so if you know any at all it is easy to understand her. Her niece is from the US and speaks English. The couple she had on hire for the short term spoke English also. For the four nights and dinner for four our cost was euro 488, which came to $663.00 US. This included breakfast each day also.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would stay here again. We had very specific plans for Bologna and Parma, and this was a good location for that. It is very peaceful. The signora was a lovely, elegant hostess. Marta made what is normally for us a hellish drive to Bologna so easy with her specific directions to a garage! Martin was terrific on our tour of the cheese factory.
Things to do in this area
If you stay here ask Marta to arrange a tour of the parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar production. It is fascinating, close by, up close and very personal. Modena, Bologna, and Parma are short distances away. There are many small towns nearby also of interest, including Maranello, home of Ferrari.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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