Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 275: Owner, Casa Sora Chiara
3bed/3.5bath house in Montone, Umbria
October, 2001, 3 weeks
Casa Sora Chiara is right in Montone, a lovely hill town in Umbria. The town is a perfect location for an Italian holiday - totally off the beaten track but about 5 minutes to a major expressway, about 30-40 minutes to Perugia, Assisi, Deruta and many other wonderful destinations.
Everything is in walking distance - in fact, no cars are allowed within the town walls. Parking is just down a flight of steps (a long flight of steps, I might add) and grocery store, pharmacy, bank, post office, restaurants, etc. are just a short walk from the front door. Major shopping is in the next town (Umbertide), about 10 minutes away.
Casa Sora Chiara is an old, old building that has been totally updated within the past two years. There are beautiful murals painted on the walls, everything is bright and fresh and it has all the necessary conveniences of good stove, lots of dishes and glasses, washer and dryer, lots of big-sized towels, comfortable beds, etc. And cheap access to email through AOL.
There is a small porch in front with a little table and chairs. Although there is no garden with the house (something I missed), Montone has a wonderful park area at the top of the hill with lots of benches and amazing views.
The house has been fully furnished within the past two years and all furniture is in good shape. The big table in the kitchen has seats for 8 or more and there is a sofa and a few chairs in the living room by the TV. It seats only 3 or 4 comfortably. There is an extra sitting/reading room one flight up.
Everything was very clean and maid service is available during the stay. There is an extra charge for cleanaing at the end.
All beds were very comfortable - not saggy, comfortable pillows and lots of blankets. A full bathroom is on each of the three floors. All bathrooms are very modern with good fixtures, lots of lights and all are spacious. The washer and dryer is in the downstairs bathroom.
Fabulous kitchen! Lots of excellent quality cookware, plenty of dishes and glasses. It had everything we needed for our 3-week stay. We did a lot of cooking and because the kitchen is open to the dining table and living room, it was a real communal affair.
Problems or Bonuses
Everything from the phones to the appliances, including the TV and VCR worked as we expected. There were relatively few English-speaking TV channels so this was somewhat limiting. The house itself, as well as the town of Montone, were far better than we expected.
The only lack I felt was that there was no direct place for sitting outside. I looked enviously out the bathroom window at the neighboring backyard garden and would have loved to be able to sit out there in a chair.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked the house directly with Margie and had no problems whatsoever. Anna, the on-site manager, is a delightful young woman who speaks English beautifully. She readily answered all our questions and, in fact, helped us get medical help when one of our party was injured.
The brochure has some beautiful pictures but I think the reality of the place was even better. It is extremely spacious and decorated beautifully.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
ABsolutely. Montone itself is a delightful town in a beautiful part of Italy. It served as a perfect base for our daily excursions to neighboring towns and cities. It was especially nice because it didn't have a touristy flavor and we really felt we experienced Italy from an insider perspective. I took many, many walks by myself through the surrounding fields, olive groves, vineyards, etc. and felt very safe at all times.
Casa Sora Chiara provided every amenity that we wanted and was an excedingly comfortable base. We hated to leave.
Things to do in this area
Not tons of stuff to do in Montone itself except for walking (not a bad pastime in and of itself...).
There were a few restaurants in town but nothing great. Our main meal was in the middle of the day in neighboring towns (Orvieto, Perugia, Citta di Castello, Assisi, Gubbio, etc.), usually in an outdoor cafe overlooking the surrounding countryside. Wine, pasta, grilled vegetables and pizza - doesn't get much better than that. At night we usually had a light meal at home.
Citta di Castello has two fascinating museums: Collection Burri (an art museum with interesting works of one artist) and a museum which shows traditional life in Umbria.
Montone has a museum or two but nothing that is too special.
Our favorite meal was at a nearby "agriturista", an agricultural inn named La Chiusa.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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