Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 346: Classic Vacation Rental, Casa Cielo
sleeps 6-10, house near Cortona, Tuscany East
11/23/01 thru 11/30/01, 1 week
The house is located in the country on a big hill. You travel up a gravel mountain road for over a mile to get there. It is very private and you don't have any immediate neighbors. It is near a small village and about 20 minutes from the nearest city called Umbertide. The views are absolutely beautiful from the house. If you see a picture of the view, you will think it's fake, but it's the real thing.
You have to drive to get to the nearest village called Mercatale. It has a grocery store, bakery, internet cafe, etc. It takes about 10 minutes to get there. Not bad at all.
The house was made of old stone and was in very good shape. Not a real "looker" on the outside but once you get inside, it is fantastic! It basically looks like the other houses on the mountain. Very Italian. The decor is great and very comfortable with a big fireplace in the den. The beds all have down comforters with hand-made mohair pastel colored blankets that came from a great store in Umbertide. Big nice table for big dinner parties or whatever. The floors were big old tiles. One room is upstairs with a great view. Loved this house!
There is a pool and a small porch outside the house. But, it was very cold when I went so we did not use anything outside but lots of firewood. It looks like the pool would be wonderful in the summer with spectacular views.
The furniture was in great shape! Very comfortable and plenty of chairs around. The house was clean. We used the fireplace every day and night b/c it was very cold when we were there. Everything worked just fine and the beds were comfortabele as well. We also had hot showers, thank goodness. A lot of places don't have that from what I've learned.
Beds were very comfortable. The bedrooms were wonderful. I was with a group of 6 girls, some being interior designers and we all Loved the decor. It was simple and crisp with hints of color which looked great with the tile floors and exposed wood beams. We had 2 bathrooms which was plenty. They were very big and clean and nice.
The kitchen is a gourmet kitchen. It is nice and spacious and conducive for dinner parties. Everything you need is there. Good pots and pans. Lots of counter (tiles) space. We cooked the first night and had a great time. Could cook every meal there if you wanted to. Homemade olive oil from the region was there for our use as well.
Problems or Bonuses
Can't remember any surprises that we had. We were greeted by the person taking care of the house and she gave us a bottle of wine. She also took us to the grocery store and helped us a ton! We would have been lost without her b/c she speaks Italian fluently and she had many good suggestions for us. She was a big help.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Treated wonderfully by Carina at Classic Vacation Rental. She had to put up with a lot from me b/c I can be very picky. She was very quick to respond to any questions I had. She does speak English. The place was exactly what I had imagined and even better. Carina had sent me a lot of pictures before the trip so I knew what to expect. All of my friends thought I was a hero for finding the house we rented but it was Carina who found it for me. In fact I have recommended to several people to contact Carina for their trips to Italy or France.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, I would stay here again in a second. I would recommend it to anyone. And the price was fantastic. If I go back in the summer, then I would be interested in renting a place up the mountain. But I would pay more money. It just depends on how many people are in the group, what the budget is and what sort of things you will be doing. Casa Cielo is a great house for living in all week or for having it as a home base for day trips, etc. Great house!
Things to do in this area
There is an organic restaurant down from the mountain. It was very good. Wine in carafes and great art on the walls and great food and service. (Can't remember the name-I think it's Chilusi??). And there was a great restaurant right before you get to Umbertide. Small family run restaurant. Great food and service. It was a very cozy place. Can't remember the name of that either.
We took day trips almost every day. The house is in a location not too far from many little towns. There's also a bar in Mercatale (closest village to our house) and it has internet access. We emailed to our family and friends from the bar. It was great. And the bakery in town is very good as well.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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