Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1497: Le Case Gialle, Il Sartino
cottage/apartments on farm near Bevagna, Umbria
May 2005, 5 days
We flew into Rome, got a train to Speleto, stayed one night there, and had arranged a hire car (which they delivered to the hotel). We stopped on the outskirts of Spoleto at a Co-Op supermarket and stocked up on provisions. It was an easy drive of about 40klm to Le Case Gialle, little traffic and a good way to get used to driving in Italy (opposite side of the road for us!).
Located on a picture postcard hill side in the country, the views are spectacular over to Assisi, Montefalco and Trevi. It's quiet, picturesque but close to the local village and an easy drive along quiet and beautiful country lanes to the hill towns. We spent 5 nights at Il Sartino, and it was the perfect way to start our Italian holiday.
The closest town is Gualdo Cattaneo, a short drive (or longish walk!). It has basic supplies and is a pretty hill town worth a visit. Bevagna and Montefalco are both stunning towns and we did our shopping here - both are about 15 - 20 minutes drive. Each have a wide variety of shops selling everything you will need and there are supermarkets on the outskirts of each town ... just remember that they are closed from 1pm - 4:30pm!
We didn't eat out at night at all ... we loved coming back to the apartment in the early evening and having a drink looking out of the view as the hilltowns lit up, and the apratment kitchen is very well equiped. The adventure of buying gorgeous fresh food and cooking up delectable new tastes was wonderful.
The owners bought the farm in the early 90s and restored their house, then bought the adjoining property where the apartments are located. They are beautifully restored ... stone buildings, 4 apartments in one building and a separate cottage close by. All apartments were occupied and we met other guests by the pool at times, but they are totally sound proof and there was no noise or disturbance ... apart from the birds, an occasional rooster or the donkey!
The garden is gorgeous. Paths lined with rosemary, roses blooming everwhere, flowers all just starting to bloom (in early May). There is a stunning pool overlooking the view, with a pool house with barbeque. The owners have plans to heat the pool and build a sauna and spa in the near future for winter guests.
Il Sartino is the only apartment that does not have a verandah or deck overlooking the view but it has a very pleasant outdoor area near the front door, covered in climbing roses and vines with a table and chairs. It is sheltered and sunny and out of the wind. We took our afternoon drinks (and occassionally lunch) to the pool which is close by if we wanted to sit with the view.
The apartment was spotless and beautifully appointed with restored "country style" comfortable furniture. The living area has a fire place in the corner (which I imagine would be used in colder months). There are 2 large shuttered windows with lovely views. Il Sartino is designed for 4 people (with a sofa bed in the lounge room) and has a good size extendable dining table and 4 chairs ... it was perfect for 2 people.
The big Italian "matrimonial" bed was extremely comfortable and all linens were good quality. It was beautifully furnished and has a big shuttered window looking over the view. The bathroom is small but very functional with a good shower, toilet, basin and bidet. Good water pressure, endless hot water and good towels.
The kitchen is located in a corner of the living room ... marble bench tops, stainless steel appliances. The 4 burner stove was more than adequate and it is well equiped with cooking utensials and crockery. We cooked every night.
Problems or Bonuses
All surprises were good! The greatest gift was the fresh bread and newspaper delivered to the door each morning! On arrival the bottle of wine, home produced prize winning organic olive oil and jams were a lovely gesture.
We have travelled in Italy several times and this is one the nicest places we have stayed. The Umbrian hill towns are stunning and in many ways nicer than Tuscan towns as they are not so "prettified" - they still feel like real towns with real people! Le Case Gialle is perfectly situated to visit all of these towns. Bevagna and Montefalco are less well known than Assisi and Trevi but are both beautiful and interesting places to spend time walking through and getting to know.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked directly with the owner and all email contact prior to our stay was excellent. She speaks excellent English and has a very hands on role in in looking after the accommodation and garden. The web site is excellent and gives a totally accurate picture - it's even better than it looks! La Case Gialle was one of the most reasonably priced places we stayed in at E65 per night (May 2005).
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I totally recommend this place to anyone wanting a quiet, atmospheric, comfortable holiday in one of the most beautiful locations in Italy! The location is perfect for anyone wishing to visit the Umbrian hill towns (and especially if you don't wish to travel on the larger roads!). You definitiely need a car to stay here. My advice - treat yourself and experience a perfect place!
Things to do in this area
There is a supermarket just below Montefalco (turn right just before you arrive at the walls). It has all basic supplies including wine and beers - but is closed from 1pm - 4:30pm. Other than that, explore the small stores in Bevagne and Montefalco for wonderful breads, olives, parmas, honey and dolce!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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