Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2897: Villa Selvatico, Magnolie
3bed/3bath, Padua, Veneto
June 2, One Week
We stayed in the apartment Magnolie at Villa Selvatico. If you are interested in the Veneto and not simply Venice, it was a great location. The building is a huge 15th century Villa which were typically summer places for the Venetian merchants to escape the Venetian summers. (Perhaps too many tourists and pigeons even in the 15th century?)
The grounds are beautiful with canals and landscaping in abundance. There are four rentals on the property. One in a separate orangery, one in the attached "barb" and two in the villa. The family also lives in the villa although you rarely see or hear them.
A canal path affords a nice trail that leads to several villages. There were bicycles for use so you could walk or ride to town which had some shops (grocery, pharmacy, bakery) and a couple of places for coffee and pastries. A supermarket is about six miles.
The building was historical and it was unfortunate that it was not until late the last evening that I met and spoke with on of the the owners. Her grandfather owned a Palladian villa in Vicenza and sold it to buy this place with more land prior to WWII. Her father is a retired physician and he and his wife live on the property also. Francesca, the daughter, is a structural engineer on the faculty at the University in Padua and she specializes in masonry construction of historic buildings. I wish I had more time to speak with her. She was fascinating and she gave me a quick tour of the place.
Beautiful grounds with a new pool and lots of outdoor furniture. The pool and the grounds are shared with other guests but you never feel "crowded."
The furniture in the living area was acceptable. Not particularly comfortable but not terrible. The apartment, grounds, public areas were all clean and in good order.
The bedrooms and bathrooms were very nice. Spacious and well equipped. The bathrooms were excellent.
The kitchen was usable. Fairly basic but we found nearly everything we needed. Nothing at all disqualifying, but not as completely fitted as some properties we have visited.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The reality of the place did match web site representations. I won't mention the agency that we initially contacted, as they are a sponsor on this site, but I will tell you that they quoted the week at $2,828. The direct quote from the owner was $1,985. I would highly recommend that people do their homework and contact villa owners directly. The e-mail communication was excellent and we had no difficulties dealing directly with the owning family.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, absolutely. Especially if you would like an affordable base that is not in Venice. A 20 minute train to Venice is about a 15 minute drive from the house. We only went in once, but it would be very easy and inexpensive to commute. There are excellent restaurants and shopping and gelaterias in Padua that are staffed by folks that don't seem quite so tourist-weary as Venice, not to mention prices that are about 30% less.
Things to do in this area
There are many beautiful areas that folks miss when coming to this area of Italy. Padua was only 15 minutes and we visited Verona, Vicenza, and Bassano di Grappa. Had I known or if we had more time, I would have gone further north. Bassano di Grappa was a wonderful town for dinner and is in the foothills of the Dolomites (I think). Very picturesque.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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