Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2316: Brigolante Guest Apartments, La Stalleta
apartments on a farm near Assisi, Umbria
May 20-25, 2006, 1 week
Brigolante has been reviewed many times, and not much more can be added to sing the praises of staying at this wonderful agriturismo.
Brigolante is a short and beautiful drive into the hills of Mt. Subasio just east of Assisi. Rebecca's detailed directions from Rome listed every red light and turn in the road. We couldn't have gotten lost if we wanted to!
As we drove up to park, Rebecca was waiting to show us our home for the next six days. A welcome basket held fresh eggs, lettuce, jars of homemade jam and honey, and a bottle of their wonderful red wine. There were fresh flowers in the bedroom, and the homemade soap in the bathroom was made from olive oil and chocolate.
A car is a must, but everything you need is in or around Assisi.
After arriving and resting a few hours, we rushed out to buy some supplies. In Assisi we found a small but delightful alimentari closing for the day. We asked the owner if we could quickly purchase a couple items, and without hesitation he welcomed us in for our own personal shopping experience. After uncovering the shelves and putting one light on, he helped us find everything on our list, including some delicious cheeses, meats and olives.
We stayed in La Stalletta, the smallest of the three apartments on the property. It was a free standing building separated from the other apartments by a covered porch. The porch had a table with seating for six.
The entry door opened into the kitchen. There was a pocket door separating the kitchen from the bedroom, and the bathroom was in the back of the apartment off the bedroom.
We took walks around the property everyday. There's a small road that leads up into the hills above Brigolante where the views are spectacular. The poppy fields were in full bloom putting on stunning displays of color. All along the road are grape vines, olive trees, fig trees, and wheat fields. The two resident dogs would always accompany us, being both our guides and guardians.
There's a vegetable garden, but only lettuce was growing while we were there. We took advantage of the fresh herbs growing in pots. Beautiful flowers were everywhere, and a spectacular hydrangea was on the patio table.
The patio was immediately outside our front door. Though it was a shared area, we seemed to use it more than the other guests. We sat there every evening with a bottle of wine, watching and enjoying the workings of the farm. Another couple joined us on occasion and we would share a plate of cheese and olives.
One day Rebecca left a tray of six homemade digestivi for all of the guests to sample; flavors like lemon, fennel, walnut and blackberry. Wonderful!
We were amazed at the amount of birds in the area! Every evening we looked forward to hundreds of song birds flying into the trees around the farm to sing their little heads off until the sun went down. We're sure every descendent of the birds St. Francis preached to were roosting at Brigolante.
The apartment was immaculately clean. The bed was so comfortable that we slept in more often than we wanted to. The TV was in the bedroom with a comfy sofa chair nearby.
The large bedroom has a high, wood beam ceiling. There are two windows on either side of the room, one looking out the back of the property, the other facing the patio. This allowed a wonderful cool breeze to come through the apartment. A full-length mirror was on the bathroom door.
The bathroom also had a window. Large, fluffy towels were furnished and a hairdryer was available. The corner shower stall worked well for us, but a large person might have a problem.
The kitchen was an important feature for us as we hoped to take advantage of the fresh local ingredients. We were not disappointed. We cooked every night on the four burner, gas stovetop. Both my husband and I cook, and there was ample room for the two of us to be in the kitchen cooking at the same time. There are plenty of pots, pans and utensils. A window next to the entry door kept a breeze coming in. It also allowed us to hear Indigo's soft requests for a sample of our cooking (Indigo is one of the resident dogs).
The washing machine was in the kitchen, and an iron and ironing board were available. We did wash twice, hanging them to dry outside on the shared clothesline while we drove off for a few hours of touring nearby hilltowns. On both occasions it rained at Brigolante, and both times Rebecca's mother-in-law took our clothes off the line and left them under the covered porch.
Problems or Bonuses
Absolutely no problems, but many bonuses! The hospitality of the family is without bounds. From removing our wash, to replenishing our wine bottle, to resetting the TV after my husband fiddled with it (men must play). My husband locked us out one day (see men must play above), and again Rebecca's M-I-L came to our rescue. Bottom line: it felt like home. How often can you say that about a rental?
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked directly with Rebecca via email at the time she was dealing with the phone company (read Rebecca's View It's a Love - Hate Thing, January 5, 2006).
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Without a doubt, we highly recommend Brigolante, and we absolutely love and highly recommend La Stalletta. It may be smaller than the other two apartments, but it's not small. We also loved that it was an independent building with no apartment above or below.
Things to do in this area
Assisi, Montefalco, Trevi, Spoleto, Spello, Gubbio, Bevagna, Norcia.... A week is not enough time to see all the hilltowns of Umbria. We'll just have to go back!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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