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Review 145: Le Case Gialle, L'Isolina


Review by Marion from NY

cottage/apartments on farm near Bevagna, Umbria


August 2001


We had a really delightful time there. I can wholeheartedly recommend Le Case Gialle, even though I don't really want it to become too popular! Actually, they're already getting a following around Europe because they're so nice and the place is really comfortable.  

The hosts live in a house down a dirt road from the rental properties, which include 4 apartments, and a separate tiny house, which is what we rented. Our place was like a studio, with a bedroom area, a kitchen/living room area, a bathroom. Just about anything you need is there, with decent kitchen equipment (and Silvana, one of the owners, gives you complimentary organic olive oil from their farm, and fruits and vegetables and fresh herbs too, and wine), a comfortable king size bed, new bathroom fixtures, satellite TV, phone, etc.

Every morning on our table outside the front door, Mauro would leave us a loaf of fresh bread and the daily newspaper. It's not a bed and breakfast, but the owners are around if you need anything, like advice on where to eat or help doing the laundry. They also have a lovely swimming pool which is open all the time in the summer, with great views of the surrounding olive groves and grape vineyards. We were invited to use their barbecue, but we didn't get around to it. There's a feeling of pastoral calm and harmony with nature, which most urbanites like us will welcome. Silvana and Mauro really add to the warmth of the place; they're both so nice and inviting (and they both speak English well, especially Silvana). We felt at home immediately.

Though we might have been content just to sit and gaze at the landscape and occasionally take a dip in the pool, we did manage to see many hill towns in the vicinity, like Bevagna (a great medieval piazza and several really good restaurants) and Montefalco (a fine museum featuring a beautiful fresco cycle by Gozzoli; also good restaurants), and we did a bit of wine tasting (following an itinerary given to us by Mauro, including visiting a small family-run organic wine maker, and some larger famous ones too) and a lot of great eating. While Umbrian wines may not be as well-known as their Tuscan counterparts, there is some truly great winemaking here, and some really good bargains, too.

Our great plans of hiking fell by the wayside. Sitting out on our little porch overlooking the beautiful farm country was almost more activity than we could handle. Actually, we did drive to Norcia. The mountains around Norcia look especially intriguing for hiking; we were sorry not to have had more time to explore that area. It was a little far from our house.

One other outstanding thing we did was a splurge on lunch at what is reported to be one of the best restaurants in Italy, Vissani. It's on the road between Orvieto and Todi. Very expensive ($150 a piece, before wine and tip), but possibly the best meal I've ever had, including some great Parisian places. Definitely special, and recommended.

So that's our review. I hope it was helpful. All in all, we had a great time, and we were sad to leave Silvana and Mauro, who became our friends in a very short time.

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

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