Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1931: Umbria Holiday Rentals, La Passionata
2bed/1bath apartment in countryside near Spoleto, Umbria
October 2005, 1 week
La Passionata is the upper floor of a beautifully restored 16th century convent in the very small village of Bazzano, 4 miles from Spoleto. It's close to other buildings, including the home of the Italian family next door and another rental apartment one floor below, but is nevertheless remarkably private, with a beautiful garden just outside the door and spectacular views over the Umbrian countryside all the way to Montefalco.
It's necessary to drive to restaurants, cafes, and markets, which are about a five-minute drive away. The best selection is in Spoleto, about 10-15 minutes away.
The building, as noted above, is a convent built in the 16th century and restored about 10 years ago, and it's in excellent shape. The history of the apartment reveals itself most clearly in an original fresco and six huge arched windows which seem to bring the beautiful countryside right into the the dining/living room. The apartment is peaceful and quiet - although the owner's website warns of the roosters next door and ringing bells from the nearby church, we were never bothered by them. There's one other apartment, one floor below, with its own terrace, so the privacy of La Passionata is absolute.
The apartment has a private terrace with dining table right outside its entrance, and both apartments share a lovely large garden with pergola and barbeque.
Everything is in great shape, very comfortable and clean, with more than enough seating for both dining and relaxing. There is really an abundance of space, with a breakfast room next to the kitchen and also a large dining table in the spacious "front" room, a combination L-shaped living/dining room. There are actually several sitting areas, including comfortable chairs grouped around the satellite TV and more chairs in front of the massive fireplace, plus a chaise lounge and a sofa in the living/dining area.
The master bedroom, with a very comfortable bed and a dresser, is an ample size and is next to the bathroom. The bath is fine, with a combination tub/shower and plenty of hot water. There is a second bedroom with twin beds and a sloping ceiling upstairs, which I think would be best for children rather than another couple.
The kitchen is very usuable, with plenty of dishes and pots and pans, all of good quality, and a unique feature - it's built into rocks behind the convent. It's a good kitchen for cooking full meals - because of an eye injury, I had to spend 5 days in the apartment without going out, and my husband cooked all our dinners there.
Problems or Bonuses
The spaciousness of the apartment, especially the living/dining area, is a delight. And the furniture is extremely comfortable and very tasteful - in fact, everything about the apartment is stylish and tastefully done.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked over the internet with the owners, who are English and live nearby in Spoleto. The website gives an accurate portrayal of the quality of the apartment, its furnishings, and the beauty of its location. But it does not portray the helpfulness and hospitality of the owners, who told us where to go when I had the injury to my eye, actually came to the hospital to see about me, and then visited me during my "confinement" at the apartment.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
There are absolutely no qualifications to our recommendation, other than I think the apartment is better suited to a couple or a couple with children rather than two couples. Having lived here for five days without leaving, I can say that I felt lucky to be "stuck" in such a lovely place.
Things to do in this area
It's a great location for visiting Spoleto, Assisi, Spello, Trevi, Montefalco, and Bevagna, and is less than an hour from Perugia, Todi, and Norcia.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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