Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2132: Agriturismo Il Tesoro, Lo Zaffiro
apartments in converted farmhouse near Acquapendente, Lazio
May 11-17, 2006, 6 nights
Agristurismo Il Tesoro is located in a rural area of northern Lazio, about 5km from Acquapendente and about 20 km west of Orvieto. Lake Bolsena is just to the south. It is situated in an area of rolling fields with views of Torre Alfino and Monte Amiata across the fields. The area was very secludeded, peaceful and quiet.
Acquapendente is about a 5-minute drive and it is a fair-sized town with restaurants, shops, a Coop, and a historic center. Torre Alfina is about the same distance in the opposite direction. It is a smaller village with a few restaurants and several shops. Orvieto, with many restaurants, shops, etc. is about 20 minutes by car.
The apartment building dates from the 1930's and contains four apartments - two upstairs and two on ground level. Our unit, Lo Zaffiro (1bed/1bath), was upstairs and had a bedroom with a double bed, a bathroom with a shower stall, a kitchen and sitting area. The sitting area had a sofa and TV, the kitchen had a table large enough for two and possibly for four. The kitchen had a sink, stovetop, small refrigerator, microwave, and an American-style coffemaker. We didn't do much cooking, but the kitchenware and placesettings all seemed adequate. There was an outdoor BBQ/pizza oven which we did not use, as well as a swimming pool (looked nice, but it was a little chilly for swimming). They have recently added another building in which they have receptions, a nice large window, enclosed room with a separate library room attached. The library had all sorts of travel books in various languages and a computer with an Internet point (nominal hourly charge for guest use, although she didn't charge us just to check home e-mail). Everything was very clean and neat. Everything worked properly. Plenty of hot water for the shower. Adequate lighting. We had the windows opened during the day and didn't experience any problems with insects.
The area around the guest building was landscaped with flowers and there was an outdoor table and chairs set up in a separate area for each apartment's use. There was a gazebo and lounge chairs by the pool. Our upstairs apartment shared a covered brick balcony area with the other upstairs apartment. There was also a hot tub, which seemed to be brand new.
The rooms were clean and the bathroom was very new and sparkling-looking (seemed to be recently updated). There was a double window in the bedroom and also in the kitchen. The sofa in the sitting area was fine for two. There were four chairs at the kitchen table. There was a wardrobe and a couple of chairs in the bedroom.
The double bed was firm and very comfortable. There were extra blankets available in a wardrobe in the bedroom and you could hang your clothes in this as well. The bathroom was large enough and the fixtures all seemed almost brand new. The shower stall was a little on the small side, but was certainly adequate. The towels also seemed very new - very clean, white and crisp.
We did not use the kitchen except for breakfast, but the microwave and American-style coffemaker came in handy. Pots/pans/dishes all were adequate. Plenty of room to cook in the kitchen.
Problems or Bonuses
The first night it seemed pretty chilly in the room. We may have been the first guests in this upstairs room this spring. But then I am cold-natured, and it was damp and rainy outside the night we arrived. After the second night it did seem to warm up.
The first morning we were there the owner's mother came by with a freshly-baked loaf cake, still warm from the oven - delicious! There was a small basket in the room on our arrival with several small jars of homemade jams and some toasted bread crisps. The fridge had some milk and butter for our use.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I narrowed our search down to about six agriturismos and sent them each an e-mail to check availability. My husband was impressed with Rita from Il Tesoro because within about an hour she had called both my home and work phones and left a message saying she was sorry not to be able to speak to me but they had rooms available and she would love for us to come! Her English is very good and we exchanged several e-mails prior to our visit in which she was very helpful with tips and area info.
Once we arrived she helped us get train schedules printed and showed us the library where she kept English language guide books of the area. A few evenings when we returned from our day's driving she would be outside and she always asked if we needed anything.
One evening we came back and the family was cooking chickens on the BBQ and we were invited to join them later for their meal (we were too tired though and we declined, but it sounded nice!)
We paid 400 euro for six nights. We stayed May 11-17 and she reduced the price slightly because we booked before the end of February (the special was on the internet site). She did not charge extra for a final cleaning or for our short time on the Internet point.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We would certainly stay here again if we wanted to stay in this area. This was our first trip to Italy and we didn't stay at the farm very much; we took the train to Rome and drove to Florence and also drove to many little hilltowns during the week. It is convenient to the train station at Orvieto, which is on the main Florence/Rome train line. From Orvieto to Rome was just one hour by train. A car is a necessity though as there is no village within walking distance. The farm is about two hours drive from FCO airport in Rome. If you want peace and quiet then this is a great spot!
We had the impression that this agriturismo has more European guests than American visitors; the guest book seemed to be mostly European names. A couple in one of the downstairs apartments was from Norway and they were staying for a month. They said they come to this agriturismo at least once every year to relax.
Things to do in this area
Orvieto is a beautiful city just 20 minutes away. The rock-top villages of Pitigliano and Sorano are close by, as is Civita di Bagnoregio. We found a favorite gelateria in nearby Torre Alfino - it seemed to be the most popular place for everyone in the village. There were also two nice restaurants in Torre Alfino (about 6 km from Il Tesoro) - Torre Mare and Nuovo Castello.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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