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Review 3023: Casa della Sesta Presa, Livenza


Review by Anna from Italy

apartments on a farm near Caorle, Veneto

Happy daughter and happy pets at the Sesta Presa, photo by Anna da Schio


August 11 / 18 2007, one week


We arrived at the “Agriturismo, Casa della Sesta Presa”, near Caorle (60 km from Venice) in the late afternoon of August 11th. (We, means my daughter, myself and our two dogs, Pablo and Webby).

An “Agriturismo” usually indicates a farmhouse restored into rooms and/or apartments: this one was recommended by friends as comfortable and newly restored. It is all that and a lot more.

The “Casa della Sesta Presa” stands in the middle of wide fields, about three minutes north of Caorle, with the highway to the east and the river Livenza to the west.

The fields are so large that the noise from the highway never reaches the house.

We are welcomed by the owner, Sabina, whose family has been prominent at Caorle for many generations.

A Swiss family is having drinks and playing cards in the big shady porch, while a young Labrador of high lineage starts a friendly game with our two, very plebeian, bits-of all-breeds.

Sabina shows us into a large sitting-room, on the ground floor, well furnished and cool, where all the guests can consult the library full of beautiful books about Caorle and all the surrounding area.

We then go upstairs to our apartment, the “Livenza”. As Sabina shows us around, it’s one pleasant surprise after the other. I was expecting the smallish rooms one finds in Italian farmhouses, but we find two large bedrooms, each with its en suite bathroom. I expected it to be hot, as it is on the top floor, but we discover that the house is fully air-conditioned, and anyway, opening the windows, front and back, we get a lovely breeze sweeping through the apartment, and so we never use the air-conditioner. I feared mosquitoes, but Sabina has an anti-mosquito device in each room and we are not stung once.

We also have a sitting-room with a comfortable sofa and TV set, for our lazy moments, and an extremely modern and well equipped kitchen/dining room.

Everything is spotlessly clean. The floors are done in terracotta tiles, the walls are whitewashed, the furniture is lacquered wood in cheerful colors: in my bedroom it is light blue, in my daughter’s bedroom it’s hazel, with printed cotton bedspreads and curtains to match.

With a sigh of contentment we settle down to a week of total relaxation. Caorle is only a few minutes away and there are two supermarkets on the way there, handy for groceries.

Caorle has a delightful medieval “old town” on the sea front. Originally it was an island surrounded by the sea and by the marshes generated by the delta of the Livenza. Along the centuries the Livenza has been disciplined into canals and the marshes drained. But the heart of Caorle is still a fishermen’s village with charming houses in bright colors, and a majestic Romanesque cathedral.

We spend our first evening roaming the streets. It is difficult to choose a restaurant for dinner, there are so many and we don’t yet know which are the best. In the end we choose the “Antica Petronia” and strike lucky: an excellent “frittura mista” for me and a very tender beef steak for Elisabetta.

Next morning we start on a pattern that lasts all the week. I get up in the very early morning to give the dogs their first run. Walking along the river, on the dewy grass with the sun just above the horizon and no humans about, is wonderful. No humans, but lots of birds: swans, ducks, herons and egrets in the river, magpies and lots of swallows all around me, and others of which I don’t know the names. Not to mention a hare that scuttles almost from under my feet. Webby sprints after it like a true bloodhound but her short legs and fat tummy are so ridiculous that I am helpless with laughter; I think the hare is laughing too as it stops just a second and looks back before disappearing behind a wall!

The bushes are heavy with ripe blackberries and by the time I get back my hands and face are stained and dirty like a naughty schoolboy’s.

Before going in, I go to the back garden and pick a few juicy tomatoes (grown with no chemicals whatsoever) for our breakfast.

In the Sesta Presa electricity is partly provided by solar energy and coffee is ready in moments. Its aroma brings forth a sleepy Elisabetta and we can start planning our day.

Swimming and sun-bathing are always at the top of our list: the beach is beautiful and extends for miles. Sabina thoughtfully provides her guests with a pass which entitles us to two sunbeds and a beach umbrella, with no extra cost.

In the afternoons there is sailing and riding. Elisabetta cannot survive long without a horse and luckily there is a riding-school just a mile or so along the highway. The instructors take visitors for long walks (and galloping) across the fields, and give special rates to the guests of the Sesta Presa.

We see other guests setting forth with tennis rackets and golf clubs so we understand there must be plying grounds nearby for the lovers of these sports.

In the evenings there is always the historical centre of Caorle waiting for us for strolling, shopping, drinks, ice-cream, excellent fish. The kind Mayor of Caorle provides scales where people can check, in real time, the effect of the good food on one’s figure: we shut our eyes tight and ignore them as we head for home. At the Sesta Presa Pablo and Webby greet us joyfully, ready for their last run under the stars.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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