Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 3882: San Cristoforo, La Casetta
2bed/2bath house near Cagli, Marche
October, 2008, One week
La Casetta is a cottage a few kilometers outside the town of Cagli (PU). It is a self-contained structure on a lovely piece of property that also has the owner's house and a smaller rental property, La Pieve. The location is beautiful, miles of fields and mountains in an unimpeded view. Although the owner's house and La Pieve are very close by, the location is totally private because of the way the property is laid out.
The area, northern Le Marche, is one of great natural beauty and charming towns and villages. I loved it.
Staying at La Casetta definitely requires a car, as the owners point out in their descriptions. The nearest small market and caffè COULD be in walking distance, but we didn't try it as it's a few kilometers. There is a large supermarket in the new part of Cagli, and this is where we laid in our supplies.
There were many good restaurants close by, the one closest, Le Fontane, calls itself a pizzeria but is actually a pretty decent restaurant. There were other restaurants in Cagli, but we did not actually try any of them as we tended to eat our lunches out wherever we happened to be. If we did go out for dinner, it was to Le Fontane.
The building is, as the owners describe it, "a handsomely restored 18th century stone cottage set in outstanding countryside." As I noted above, it was very peaceful and quiet.
The entrance is into the large comfortable living room that includes a fireplace with wood supplied, but the weather was too warm to use it. Past the living room is a large and attractive eat in kitchen, with a side door to a pretty pergola.
A wide stairway from the living room leads up to the first floor (European) where there are two large comfortable bedrooms and two baths, one in the hall and one en suite.
The cottage has a private, shaded sitting area. This is reached either from the kitchen or from the front door. Off this area, discreetly out of our view and anyone else's, was our own private clothesline.
Everything was very, very clean.
The furniture was of nice quality and in very good shape. The living room had two sofas (each with sufficient light for reading) and a desk with a chair. There was a sturdy wooden bench at the entry way, with hooks above for hanging jackets, etc.
The eat in kitchen had a large wooden table that could probably seat six, with plenty of chairs.
The beds were amazingly comfortable and, like all the furnishings, they were quite attractive. The bathrooms looked new(ish), worked fine, and we had plenty of hot water for showers. Two bedrooms and two full bathrooms turned out to be a perfect arrangement for two friends travelling together.
The kitchen was a delight to work in. There is a four-burner gas range over an electric oven and broiler, with lots and lots of pots, pans and dishes. Cooking a full meal was easy in that kitchen, so easy that we actually did it! There was a full set of knives as well as coffee pots, baking pans, etc. There was plenty of counter space, and the large wooden table was conveniently located for serving.
The kitchen had its own water heater, and there was also a water filtration system.
Problems or Bonuses
Only good surprises awaited us. This place is at least as nice as the owners describe, with unexpected coziness.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owners, Peter and Richard, are longtime Le Marche residents but are originally from the British Isles, so English is no problem. They were easy to deal with in terms of booking, and as they live there full time, are generally on site. Peter showed us around when we got there (Richard was away on a trip) and was extremely helpful. As questions came up (how do you light that stove again?) they were around with answers.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would stay here again in a heartbeat, as would my friend Ellen (ellens of Slow Trav) and would recommend it to anybody. It's a really delightful home to come back to.
Peter and Richard are real experts on the Marche area (the Marche Voyager website and newsletter are theirs). So they gave us some really good tips for what was interesting in the surrounding towns, tips that enhanced our visit.
Oh, and there's excellent WiFi, an added bonus. No TV, but a very nice sound system.
Things to do in this area
We used the cottage mostly as a base to explore northern Le Marche. This is a beautiful area, with not too many tourists. We visited Urbino, Urbania, Pergola, San Leo ... too many places to mention here. I'll tell you about restaurants later.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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