Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3154: Owner, Casa Sora Chiara
3bed/3.5bath house in Montone, Umbria
9/07, 1 week
Casa Sora Chiara lies within the walled medieval town of Montone. The setting is reminiscent of fairytales. The town is perched on top of a hill, overlooking the fields and pastures below, and filled with stone buildings dating back to the 14th century. The free standing house is located near a gate in the wall which encircles the town, with parking available a short walk down the hill. We watched gorgeous sunsets every evening from either the wall of the town, or from the windows on the two top floors of the house. We found the town to be very quiet and peaceful. Activities of daily life seemed to be the focus for the residents, though we found them to be very welcoming to us and the few other tourists we met there.
Few cars are allowed within the walls of the town. A small grocery store, a bar/coffee shop, a pizzeria, and three restaurants are located within the town (our favorite for the setting, the food and hospitality was Erba Luna restaurant). Anything within the town walls may be reached with a short, but often steep walk. A larger town, Umbertide, is a 15 minute drive away. A larger grocery store, a train station, Internet access, and a weekly market are located there. Access to the main highway is also very close by, making it quite convenient for day trips to other towns.
I just can't say enough wonderful things about this house. It was renovated by the owner with special attention given to maintaining the spirit of the historic setting. Spread over the three floors there was plenty of room for six people. Everything worked well including the heat which we used during a couple of cooler nights. The neighboring houses were all occupied by local residents and the area was very quiet.
On the front porch, there is a table with room for two or three chairs - perfect for watching the neighborhood.
The furniture is comfortable. There were plenty of seats for the five of us. In the living room, there are two wooden chairs, a couch and a wooden bench. The kitchen, dining area and living area all occupy the same large room. The dining table comfortably seats eight.
The house was extremely clean and well maintained. The washer and dryer(yes even a dryer - unusual to find in houses we've seen in Italy) were simple to use, and just as promised in the classified ad, sufficient hot water was never a problem.
In the master bedroom, we found the mattress to be just firm enough, and bed linens plentiful. After a few weeks of sleeping on saggy beds in Italy, we slept very soundly!
The master bath has a large tub with shower. Occupants of the two bedrooms on the third floor share a shower, with an additional half bath available to them. The third bathroom with shower is located on the ground floor in the laundry room. All of the bathrooms were spotless.
We cooked in several times and found the kitchen to have all of the cooking and serving-ware we needed and more. The appliances were clean, and up to date. A fireplace with interesting characters painted on it was a favorite with everyone in our group.
Problems or Bonuses
Even the beautiful pictures online can't do this place justice. We had high expectations when we arrived, and were still surprised by the beautiful, but very comfortable house as well as the magical little town.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owner, with whom we dealt directly for the rental, is American. We emailed and spoke over the phone. She gave us clear, helpful information regarding the house, the town and surrounding attractions. The local representative Anna speaks English perfectly. She showed us not only what we needed to know about the house, she also told us about the town, and even introduced us to some of the residents. Well worth the asking price.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
During our month in Italy, we stayed in one apartment and two houses, which were all very comfortable, beautiful and convenient. This one has some very special quality which made it our absolute favorite. We would recommend the house to anyone and will be looking for an opportunity to return.
Things to do in this area
Erba Luna Restaurant is located within the actual wall the encircles the town. Both the decor with tall, arched brick ceilings, and the interesting menu were spectacular. The team of Claudio, Martina, Jeff and Jude has created spectacular ambiance with even better food.
We enjoyed seeing Todi, Cortona, and especially Assisi where we were fortunate to have Rita Marie as our guide. Many other towns in Umbria and southern Tuscany are easily accessible within an hour by car.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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