Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2615: Tuscany Now, Scuderie del Falco
4bed/4bath house near Castelvetrano, Sicily
Fall 2006, one week
This house is in south-western Sicily. If we'd done a bit more homework beforehand we probably would have opted for a property in the east, because that's where most of the famous sights are, but in the end I was very glad that we hadn't. There was plenty to see within an hour or so of our villa, plus empty beaches, and it all felt very unstressful.
The closest attraction were the enormous ruins at Selinunte, which were spectacular. Judging by the vast parking lots - all of them empty in early October - the place must be overrun during the high season, but we had it virtually to ourselves. It was basically an hour up the autostrada to Palermo (fabulous), Monreale (beautiful), Erice (the views...) or Trapani (salt works with windmills). I'm ashamed to say that we didn't go to Agrigento...
Nice walking but nothing to walk to, per se. The closest town - uninspiring - was Castelvetrano, about 10 minutes away and had everything we needed.
This is a new, beautifully-constructed building with masses of character, and it's immaculately maintained. The front door leads into a very dramatic gallery-shaped living room that looked amazing but meant the chairs/couches were sort of lined up instead of forming a circle. Which didn't actually matter because we were outside most of the time, or sitting around the dining room table. Overall a gorgeous place.
The garden is truly lovely, as is the pool.
Everything was spotless, the furniture all looked new and the antiques were in perfect shape.
The bedrooms were a few steps up from the living room and were all very nicely furnished with decorative beds and painted in interesting colours. All had en suite bathrooms. There is apparently air-conditioning but we didn't use it.
The kitchen was fine, not terribly inspiring but very clean and reasonably well equipped.
Problems or Bonuses
Sicily was a big surprise: I loved it! It was wonderful to meet the villa owner who wasn't at all what I imagined a Sicilian to be: he was very energetic and efficient, clean-shaven and well-dressed in a preppy style (not to mention very good looking). The property manager, Falco, and his family were great too.
I think we chose the best season, mid-October. It was still warm enough to swim but there were NO tourists anywhere.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
As I wrote under my rental in Umbria, I really liked these people. I used this agency because a friend had had a good experience with them, and because they sounded relatively small so might actually know the properties they were renting. The paperwork was complicated because I had to fax it in instead of emailing it but that was the only problem.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, I liked the house and loved Sicily.
Things to do in this area
My favourite things are all listed above. I have to say that the absolute highlight were the mummies in Palermo in the Cripta dei Cappuccini, so bizarre. We didn't really find any good restaurants for dinner in the area, although we loved the beach restaurant in Selinunte for lunch (can't remember the name) and we ate very well in Palermo.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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