Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2030: Owner, Apartment Alba
1bed/1bath apartment in Todi, Umbria
October 2005, 10 days
Our first trip to Todi was most enjoyable, made even more so as we were lucky enough to find this wonderful apartment through other reviews on this site. We wholeheartedly echo the virtues and amenities of the apartment and recommend it highly.
We would reiterate, however, how very special the owners, Jens and Maria Grazia are. Both so very warm, gracious and the epitomy of the charming host and hostess. Certainly above and beyond what you'd expect from your landlord but this is Italy and we find this ingratiating attitude almost every where we go!
We spent more time with Jens, who speaks fluent English, than we did with Maria Grazia as she was away for most of our stay. But talk about above and beyond, Jens went out of his way to be helpful and accomodating, from calling around to find a restaurant open late (our flight into Pisa was late, we drove through a downpour and took several wrong turns before arriving in Todi), to driving us around the area to familiarize us with car parks, the local Co-op, all the while pointing out great restaurants along the way, and later introducing us to Immobiliari and a banker. We enjoyed a delightful dinner and great conversation with him one evening and were sorry that Maria Grazia could not join us.
Arriving late, jet lagged and hungry, not knowing yet just how easy it was to use our cell phone (we were trying to add too many 0's and 1's you just dial the number like you live there) we were unsuccessful in reaching Jens. We drove around the city for a while before we had the sense to ask a teenager! He had no problem dialing the number and getting us through to Jens! He redirected us to the Piazza del Popolo and met us there.
So this is our advice on how to get to the Apartment Alba without getting lost! As you approach Todi from any direction, circle the old city until you find the Via della Circonvallavione which skirts the west side of the city until you come to the beautiful domed church, Santa Maria della Consolazione. Turn in front of the church onto Viale della Consolazione and wind your way uphill through a parklike area until you find yourself entering the old town on Via Ciuffelli. Proceed through town, you'll pass the Church of San Fortunato on your right, and turn left onto Via Mazzini. Straight ahead is the Piazza del Popolo and the Duomo. Veer to your right around the barriers, cross the piazza and turn into the little street just to the left of the Duomo. Park if you can find a spot (you can't park here for very long if you're not a local) and then turn down the first tiny little street to your left. The Apartment Alba is straight ahead at the bottom of the slight hill, just about 30 or 40 odd feet from the corner.
When you've unloaded your things, we suggest leaving the way you came into the city and make your way to one of the car parks outside the city. There is a free car park very near the Santa Maria della Consolazione church but it is a pretty good jaunt back into the city and it's all uphill. At the church, we took a right and drove around to the car park at the base of the escalator. As you enter the park, you get a time stamped token for which you must pay before leaving the lot. Best we can recall, the charge was around five euro a day, perhaps more. The escalator takes you right up the hill to the point where you entered the city by car. To your left as you exit the escalator car is a belvedere with a breathtaking view of the valley below. From here it is just a short 10-15 minute stroll back to the apartment. Along the way, there are several great places to eat; our favorite, Pane e Vino, is a short stroll up and on your right. They're the kind souls who stayed open late for us that first night, when we had one of our most memorable meals, zuppa di ceci, an antipasti platter, bread and a liter of the house red; could have been that we were ravenous, exhausted and grateful to have arrived, but no, nothing else could have tasted so good!
Enjoy your stay at the Apartment Alba, stroll the quaint streets and vicolos of charming Todi and please tell Jens and Maria Grazia we said hello!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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