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Review 3321: Gira! Italian Vacation Rentals, Villa San Giulio (#2299)


Review by Alison B from Australia

2bed/2bath house near Orta San Giulio, Lombardy


July 2007, 1 week


We rented Villa San Giulio on Lake Orta for a week last July. The house has a large garden, with lawns running right down to the lake. Although the back faced a relatively busy road, a large wall and the big stone house meant it was completely peaceful in the garden. The view up and down the lake, including of Orta S Giulio, was magical, both during the day and at night. We swam in the lake every day from the bottom of the garden, and messed around in boats. We ate our meals under the pergola downstairs.

Nearby Amenities

It was a short drive to Orta San Giulio for coffee, restaurants and many gelati. As tenants, we had access to a parking station in the town which solved any potential parking problems. We drove further to a large supermarket in Omegna which had everything we needed, and we went to small shops in Orta S Giulio as well.

The House/Apartment

The house was old but in good shape - I think it had been an old inn. The bathrooms and kitchen had been renovated but the old feel of the house had been maintained in other rooms (e.g., heavy wooden furniture, thick walls). Most of the rooms were upstairs with a sensational view, but there was a large additional room under the house, which was very cool in summer, and led out onto the pergola. There was some noise in one bedroom from the road behind the house, but it was not a problem for us.

You can view the property directly: Villa San Giulio.


The garden was wonderful, with a long lawn and a large tree leading right down to the lake. It was entirely private. Most of it was fenced off from the lake, which made it safe for our young child. There was no pool.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

The furniture was in good shape and comfortable - with some very attractive heavy old pieces. It was clean.


We were perfectly satisfied with the bedrooms and bathrooms. When we had a minor problem with a running tap, the caretaker brought in a plumber straight away to fix it.


The kitchen was clean and fully equipped and we cooked a number of family meals there.

Problems or Bonuses

The view and the access to the water were even better than expected.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

The agency was terrific. I booked quite late and Gira! went out of their way to find me a place that was vacant at the time we were free. Their level of service was well beyond what you would expect from an Internet agency.

The on site person spoke English - but was very patient with our Italian! She was very pleasant and informative, and quickly fixed our only (minor) problem.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

I would stay at Villa S Giulio any time I could manage to get there!

This was the second time I used Gira! (we had another great rental with them at Pallanza in August 2006), and I have continued to recommend Gira! to friends and colleagues, some of whom have also used them very happily.

Things to do in this area

Swimming; cafes in Orta S Giulio; mini-golf for the children in Orta S Guilio; trips to Lago Maggiore for boating, restaurants, ferry trips to the islands, cable car rides, visits to gardens - - -I could go on.

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

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