Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4279: La Torriola, Apartment
apartments in a villa near Todi, Umbria
June/July 2009, 2 weeks
La Torriola is a property comprising five apartments for rent. It's in a quiet rural location on a hillside, with a wonderful view across the valley to the small town of Todi on the hilltop on the other side of the River Tiber. There is one neighboring property out of sight behind bushes. The local scenery is glorious.
You need a car - unless you're crazy about mountain biking. The nearest store - a large, well-stocked supermarket, is 10 minutes' drive away - as is the nearest source of excellent cappuccino in the mornings. A handful of good-to-excellent restaurants are within 15 minutes by car - some in Todi itself, which you can reach in 10-15 minutes. Good parking facilities with a funicular up to the town centre.
The buildings are modern. We've stayed there six times now in consecutive years and have never experienced problems with noise from other guests. The location itself is ultra-peaceful. You have to allow for noise from the gardener(s) who keep the place so tidy. There are five apartments in all, plus the owner's office and a large comfortable TV lounge in a separate building.
The gardens are well tended and the whole property is fenced off, although security is hardly a problem in this part of the country. There is a large olive grove within the grounds and a kitchen garden where guests can help themselves to anything from herbs to vegetables. The pool is beautiful and thoughtfully located, close to but out of sight of the apartments and surrounded by lavender and rosemary bushes and roses. You can enjoy the view across to Todi while you swim. The pool is shared by all the guests, but the place has never been fully booked in the six times we've been there, so finding time for a quiet swim is not a problem.
The furnishings (bedroom, panels, decor) are by an organic cabinet maker - in natural wood. In the small apartments (kitchen/dining room, bathroom(shower) and bedroom) there are four chairs around the table but no armchair. The small TV in the bedroom picks up Italian channels - great if you're learning the language. For international channels there's the TV lounge - see above. The place is very clean.
The bathroom has a shower, bidet and toilet. In some apartments the shower is in a walled cubicle, in others there's just a shower curtain. Fresh towels and bedlinen are provided regularly. The beds - this is important - are firm and comfortable - the best beds we've encountered on our travels. In some apartments you can enjoy the view of Todi from your bed through a panoramic window.
The kitchens are small, the level of equipment (we find) typical for Italian rentals. You can make simple meals with no problem but there is not a lavish supply of pans, crockery and cutlery. It's almost as if the Italians expect you to want to eat out, given the range of excellent restaurants within easy driving distance. We tend to make a snack for lunch and go out for dinner.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owner is perfectly charming and speaks excellent English. He's a lawyer by training and now semi-retired but has worked recently in regional development and is extremely well informed about the local area and indeed Umbria in general. We've become friends over the years and have learned to rely on his advice on everything from interesting walks to places to see and (above all) where to eat, including some very pleasant out-of-the-way restaurants offering tasty local specialties.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We've stayed at La Torriola for six successive years. We're in our fifties (with grown-up kids) and have traveled widely in Europe, so we're pretty critical and we love this place.
Things to do in this area
Todi is a remarkable place with perhaps the most spectacular medieval square in all of Umbria. The streets are steep so you need sensible shoes. The capital of Umbria is Perugia - 30 minutes away, the unforgettable Assisi is 10 minutes from Perugia. The wine-growing areas around the wonderful Montefalco (don't miss the magnificent frescoes in the museum!) are a must and easily reachable in 30 minutes. A day trip to Rome is easy enough - drive 30 minutes to Terni and take the train. Saves you the stress of driving (and parking) in Rome.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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