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Review 316: Italia Reservations, Casa Giardino at Montemigiano

www.italiareservations.com

Recommended
Review by Deborah from MO who is a SlowTrav Contributor

3bed/2bath house near Umbertide, Umbria


When

Fall 2002, have seen, not stayed in. Is in the same borgo as our vacation house

Location

Casa Giardino is a free standing house in our little vacation borgo of Montemigiano. It is located a couple of KMs west of the little town of Nicconi which in turn is located about 8 Kms outside of Umbertide.

Montemigiano is a true borgo and very private. It is at the top of a VERY steep and winding one-lane road. There are no businesses and no stores. We have a swimming pool and tennis courts. And our little chapel, dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua, has never been deconsecrated. It is wonderful to be in residence when the area villages come to our chapel to celebrate the "Blessing of the Animals" (see Dan Hostetler's listing on his web site). Additionally, for some reason that I have yet to figure out, brides from the area villages come to our little chapel to have their picture taken in front of the statue of the Madonna for good luck.

The groundskeeper and housekeeper (Pilo and Pepe) are a couple who own the farm that is about halfway up the hill to the borgo. They are wonderful Umbrian country folks.

Nearby Amenities

You must have a car for this location. The closest business is a little bar and a small market in Nicconi about 2 kms away. The "big" town with lots of services is Umbertide about 10 KM away.

Be advised that Umbertide is a great town, but really an industrial town. It was almost completely destroyed by Allied bombing in WWII and as a result the buildings are boring 1950s & 1960s. Don't expect charming or historically significant. But, still, Umbertide is a great place to shop in for the very reason that it isn't on tourist's radar.

The House/Apartment

Borgo di Montemigiano is a wonderful secluded little 13th century hill town that was abandoned for many decades. It was purchased by an international partnership and restored. Seven houses were salvaged and partnerships were sold in each house. Most of the houses do not allow rental, but Casa Giardino is an exception. It is free standing, two-story house.

The thing I need to point out here is that all of the houses in Borgo di Montemigiano are beautifully restored and decorated with the amenities Americans expect. Great care has been taken to preserve the exteriors, and available materials were used to restore the interiors, but if you are looking for all the quirks of a typical farmhouse, keep looking because Montemigiano is dependable and comfortable. If you are looking for atmosphere, relaxation, quiet, and convenience, then you will like Montemigiano.

Garden

One of the wonderful things about Borgo di Montemigiano is the thought and effort that the partnership put into the grounds. We have a beautiful little piazza that looks out over the Nicconi Valley, a small vinyard, a few olive trees, a wonderful wooded hiking area below the old fortification wall. We have a nice but discreetly placed swimming pool and a tennis court.

When you arrive, you are welcome to drive your car up to the front door of your house to unload your luggage, but cars aren't allowed to remain there. There is a parking area at the entrance to the Borgo to keep cars off the piazza.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

As I said before, Casa Giardino is one of the houses in the borgo where our vacation house is. We have never stayed there, but we have visited with various vacationers there. It is very nice, very comfortable. And the photographs on the web site are not misrepresentations of the quality.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

I can recommend Borgo di Montemigiano. I can recommend the area for convenience to Northern/Central Umbria and Eastern Tuscany.

Things to do in this area

Great location for visiting many of the favorite hill towns of Umbria and Tuscany. My regular haunts in Umbria are Gubbio, Assisi, Deruta, Perugia, Todi, Terni, Narni, Spoleto, Panicale, Paciano, Orvieto, Foligno. And in Tuscany -- Cortona, Arezzo, S. Casciano dei Bagno.

Florence, Siena, and Rome are each only a couple hours drive away.

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

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