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Review 3586: Casa Rondini, Apartment

www.casarondini.com

Recommended
Review by Cheryl McClure from TX

Apartments in a converted farm house near Montegabbione, Umbria


Sunset at Casa Rondin, photo by Cheryl McClure

When

May 14, 2008 - June 11, 2008, almost a month

Location

This wonderful agriturisimo is located between Fabro and Montegabbione. The owners are there on the property and run an organic farm with olives, grapes, organic vegetables and have a wonderful flower garden. This place is heaven.

There are two apartments upstairs (2 bedrooms with 1 bath) with wonderful views of the surrounding countryside from the two terraces and they overlook Montegabbione and Monetleone di Orvieto. The two downstairs apartments also have two bedrooms, 1 bath with two terraces, but are handicap accessible although not as bright and sunny as the upstairs apartments. There is a large swimming pool available for the right time of year.

This is the perfect location for people wanting to stay for a time and really take time to go to all the nearby hill towns and make this their base.

The hosts have several nights for optional dining ... learning to make pasta, cooking with saffron, making pizza, or sampling the seafood available. Franco was a chef in London before making his home here. Bozena was a professional photographer. They are super great as hosts for a wonderful vacation in Umbria.

Nearby Amenities

The apartments have great facilities for cooking/dining or you can drive to area restaurants. Wine, home grown vegetables, olive oil, jams, eggs and an assortment of other organics are available for purchase right there on the property. We had a lovely assortment of these items (complimentary) there to greet us for our first day at Casa Rondini. You can also go out to pick seasonal vegetables free while you are there. We had cherries, artichokes, leeks, garlic, onions, etc while we were there.

The House/Apartment

The buildings are like new construction, while observing the traditions of Italy/Umbria. The linens were great, also the kitchen had everything necessary to cook good meals when you wanted. The fireplace with wood right there available if it's chilly while you are there. We were provided fresh linens weekly. There is also a washing machine available for your use.

Garden

There was a very large pool available if the season is right. There are two terraces in each of the four apartments. French doors open out of each of the two bedrooms and one set of French doors opens out on the other side, with another set out of the kitchen. You will have nice breezes and ventilation throughout the whole apartment. On the bedroom terrace, there are loungers for sunning if you like, on the kitchen/living area terrace, there is a table for dining. I think this is the set-up for all apartments. Upstairs there is a wooden movable divider so you have privacy or it can be moved if both apartments are rented to friends/family and want to share.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

Everything is very comfortable, clean and in great shape. There is plenty of seating for people to be invited for dinner or just lounging around.

Bedrooms/Bathrooms

The beds are very comfortable. One bedroom had a full Italian bed (it seemed like queen size here in the USA to me). The other has two twins that are set to be made up together or separated as you wish. The sofa can also be made into a bed but I didn't open it so I have no knowledge of its comfort. All the linens are very nice and new ones provided weekly.

The one bathroom was more than adequate for two or three people. If you have more people sharing that would depend on the people and how much time/space they need. It was well equipped for the two of us.

Kitchen

There were plenty of pots, pans, and dishes. Good quality and a Mako pot for espresso, etc. It was small but more than adequate for our cooking, which we did fairly often. We really enjoyed the fresh produce from the garden provided.

The meals we shared occasionally (optional) with the hosts and some of the other guests were really wonderful and a good bargain considering the cost now to vacation in Italy.

Problems or Bonuses

The bonus was to get to know our hosts. They are wonderful people and a joy to be around. There was really nothing bad to report at all. We were disappointed not to have wireless Internet all the time but that was out of the hosts control since the Internet company had problems off and on. Later, maybe all this will be resolved as there are more towers for Internet in the area.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

I cannot remember how I found this place since I did a lot of research. I corresponded directly with the owners. They do speak English well. The reality of this place is much better than we could have expected. Sometimes pictures are misleading; this was NOT the case with Casa Rondini. I HIGHLY recommend anyone visiting Umbria to think about renting an apartment at Casa Rondini.

The price per week for May 2008 was 570 and for June 2008 was 620 per week. Since we were there overlapping the seasons and renting for four weeks, we received a discounted price of the May price. This may or may not be the case for other rentals in the future.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

I absolutely would come back to stay here again and recommend it to friends and family ... and have done so already.

Things to do in this area

It's not a long drive to any number of good restaurants or towns with great shopping. In fact, we took the train from Fabro to Florence and spent one night to shop and look around. We also took the train to Rome one day and returned that night. It's a wonderful base to drive or to just take the train from the nearby Fabro train station. We were busy every day looking around the whole area.

I have a blog (I'm a visual artist) that you can go to and look from mid May 2008 ... through June 11, 2008 (keep clicking new entries, and then switch to June) to see what all we did while we were there. It's hard to remember so this will take you almost day by day to our adventures. . My artist friend, Carolyn, also had a blog for that time frame. She is a college art teacher and so her blog reflects much more of the history of art around the area we visited than mine. Have fun reading them both.

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

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