Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 310: Umbria Rentals, Apartment III
2-bedroom apartment in Panicale, Umbria
June 15-22, 2002, one week
Apartment III is located on a quiet narrow street in the small town of Panicale. It is connected to a long row of apartment type homes, each quite individual in design. The area was refreshingly peaceful; the only sounds were the birds in the morning and a few workmen in the street for a day or two.
The small walled-town is quiet and perfect for relaxation.
Within a 2-3 minute walk are two salumerie offering everything we needed, from large selections of fresh fruit and vegetables, wine, cheese and olive oil. A 2-3 minute walk in the other direction, outside the town walls, was a third salumeria and a wonderful forno, selling fantastic freshly made bread and a few sweets.
We tried two of the restaurants within walking distance. Both were wonderful--it is tossup as to which we would say was better. There is a third restaurant in town, but we never got to it.
The building was constructed in the 17th century, recently restored and was in great condition. The apartment consists of two main floors with a stairway leading up to the first floor. On that level are the living room, dining room and kitchen. Upstairs are the two bedrooms and one bathroom. There is an attic, but we never ventured up there.
There is only a small balcony off the living room. It is barely large enough for two bridge chairs. The view from the living room window and upstairs from the master bedroom window was gorgeous.
All the furniture is very good condition, with everything being comfortable. The living room and dining area were large enough for the three of us to relax and not be in each other's way. The large dining room table was a good size for our meals and spreading out our assorted cameras, postcards, etc. The apartment was clean.
The master bedroom was a good size, with a comfortable "matrimoniale" bed. In the other room were two twin beds, also comfortable. The bathroom was adequate. The shower was large, with the usual style of no tub and a minute separation between the shower area and the rest of the bathroom--so unless we were very careful with the shower curtain, the floor got washed often. There was no bidet and no shelf for toiletries while bathing. But, the plumbing worked great!
The kitchen is lovely. It was recently remodeled and has a double sink, small refrigerator and a separate antique table for food preparation. The new stove worked well, once we found out how to use it. It seemed to cook slowly; I don't know if that is typical of Italian stoves or just in this apartment.
There were an adequate number of pots, pans and utensils. The owner had left us a full bottle of their own olive oil along with condiments and a few bottles of water. There were plenty of dishes and silverware for our needs.
Also in the kitchen is a small, brand new washing machine.
Problems or Bonuses
The town of Panicale is wonderful. The people were friendly and the cappucino at Gallo's Bar is great. The owner of the apartment was not in town when we arrived, but she left detailed information for us and the cleaning lady was waiting for us with everything we needed.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The site is run by Francesco, the owner's son. He was great throughout the entire process. Everything was handled with ease and in a trusting manner. We were able to send a deposit to Gun Cesarini (the owner) using a personal check in US funds and then paid the remainder with a personal check when we arrived. There were no hidden costs and no "cleaning costs" at the end.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would recommend this to anyone looking for a relaxing, quiet time. It was everything we had hoped. I'm not sure we would stay in Panicale again, but that is only because we would want to try a different part of Umbria the next time.
Things to do in this area
The two restaurants that we tried--Il Boldrino and Il Masolino ( I think that is the name) were both superb. The staff was gracious and made us feel extremely welcome. The food in both places was excellent--we highly recommend both restaurants.
Major cities are all within easy driving distance--Perugia, Chiusi, along with the charming villages along Lake Trasimeno.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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