Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1475: Owner, Casa Marilda
1bed/1bath apartment in Cetona, Tuscany South
May 2005, one week
This apartment is located in the medieval village of Cetona, which is in southern Tuscany, near many famous Umbrian towns. Cetona has a large main square that is closed to traffic, and this apartment is just uphill from the square, perhaps 100 meters (if that).
All ordinary shops, restaurants, etc. are within very easy walking distance. One surprise for us was the very restricted hours of the local businesses: closed all afternoon (until 5:00) and all day Wednesday -- this applies to virtually everything in town but the bars.
The apartment is part of a much larger, very old building -- the owner's own apartment is also in the building. The apartment itself is quite new -- 2 or 3 years old, I think. It was very nicely outfitted and maintained.
There really is no outside sitting area other than the small space at the door, which is on a path leading to other homes. However, roses and other plants have been planted by the door, and lend a nice feeling to this small space.
Everything was perfect! The living/dining/cooking area is all one room. There's a sleeper sofa, as well as a large table with four chairs, all in very good condition.The kitchen area is quite small, but it works. The entire apartment was very clean and comfortably furnished.
The bedroom and bath, which are on the second floor (one up from the ground) are especially nice. The bedroom is quite large, with a big closet. There's a very comfortable king-size bed and chest of drawers. The bath is new and spotlessly clean. It has a shower, toilet, bidet and large sink. The owners have outfitted both bed and bath with many nice touches, as if for a family guest: luxury soaps, shampoo, very heavy towels, etc.
The kitchen is quite small, and really not intended for serious cooking. I'm sure the owners expect people to dine out often. We actually cooked dinner there 3 or 4 times, and had no problem doing so. The owners provided a great many food items, more than I've found in any other rental (and we've stayed in more than 20.) There was also a washing machine, with laundry soap provided.
Problems or Bonuses
The best surprise was the friendliness of the owners, Patrick and Marilda. They are delightful, and treated us like their guests, not their tenants. Although neither of them is American, they have lived in the US for many years. That gave us much to talk about, and we really enjoyed their company. They invited us to dinner one evening and we all had fun. They offered to show us around, but our plans didn't allow for that (this time!).
It wasn't a surprise, but there's no other place on this form to report this, so I'll add it here: parking is at some distance from the apartment. That's because the town has shut off all vehicle traffic in the area. However, we were able to drive up to the apartment to unload our car, and so it really wasn't a problem for us. Anyone with mobility problems should consider this, however, because parking is some distance from the apartment.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Absolutely! We would love to stay there again. It's a handy location, a "real" Italian village experience, and great owners. What more could you want? (The price was very fair too.)
Things to do in this area
There's a very good restaurant in the village, but I've forgotten the name. It's at the opposite end of the square from the entrance and parking. Very good food, low prices, lovely outdoor garden dining area.
The bakery on the street into town is much better than the one on the square. Same applies to the grocery stores -- there's a good one just past the turn for the parking lot; the Spar in town is minimal at best.
Chiusi is the next nearest town, and that really is a find for anyone who likes history and very old places. There's so much to do in this area I won't even try to list more.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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