Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4377: Estate di San Martino, Apartment
apartments on a farm near Todi, Umbria
September 2009, one week
We loved the location of Estate di San Martino, in a small, quiet village with a rural feel, but just off some major highways and close to everything you need. It was fun to walk around the village and along the "landscape circuit" paths up to small hill towns. The area was very peaceful and quiet, yet convenient to everything. The grounds around the house were spacious and nicely landscaped. This was a terrific central location for touring Umbria. Todi was minutes away and towns like Orvieto, Assisi, Perugia, Deruta, Spello, Bevagna, Montefalco, etc. were all less than an hour's drive.
The village of Pian di San Martino itself only has one small shop and a post office, but within 1-2 kilometers there is a good grocery store, wonderful cheese/gourmet shop, large wine co-op, produce market, laundromat, banks, restaurants,etc. Also, Todi was only 2 km away, and it was a fun drive up a very steep road then around the hill to a large parking area where you could take a funicular up to the "centro storico."
The house was a restored stone farmhouse with lots of character and charm -- very comfortable and well-equipped and in good condition. There were two apartments -- a larger one on the ground floor and the smaller one (1bed/1bath) upstairs, where we stayed. No one was renting the downstairs apartment during our stay. The house was very peaceful and quiet ... only occasional noise from a nearby ball field and a few neighborhood dogs ... signs of life but nothing annoying.
Estate di San Martino has very attractive grounds with a large lawn in the front and a terrace with table and chairs. There are shade trees, gardens, roses, fruit trees, and two pomegranates at the entrance to the property. Along the side of the house is a 100+ year old grapevine with delicious grapes. There is another shared outside area with table and chairs, partially enclosed, and with a bread oven and a small laundry room off the terrace. The entrance to our apartment was in the back and upstairs. We had a small balcony (private) by the entrance with a table and two chairs -- a great place to have a glass of wine. There is also a large lawn and more gardens in the backyard.
The apartment was comfortable, nicely furnished and somewhat rustic in keeping with the style of the home. Furniture was generally in good shape, and there were enough chairs. Lighting was very dim in the kitchen and living room, but okay elsewhere. (We seem to have this complaint most places in Italy). The house was clean and attractive.
The bedroom was simple but nice, had a very comfortable bed, and large windows with cool breezes at night that made it very pleasant for sleeping. The bathroom was well-equipped with modern plumbing, good water pressure and plenty of hot water.
The kitchen was a little funky but workable and certainly adequate for two people. It was a large room with a big farmhouse dining table, but the actual work area for making meals was small, and there was very little cabinet space. We had plenty of pots and pans, utensils and dishes for our purposes, but it would be challenging to cook dinner for a crowd there. Better lighting would be a plus.
Problems or Bonuses
No real surprises. We loved the area, and were glad we had chosen to stay there instead of getting an apartment in Todi. We especially enjoyed exploring the surrounding countryside -- beautiful scenery, charming medieval hill towns and vineyards and olive groves everywhere.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked directly with the owner who was very responsive and helpful and spoke and wrote excellent English. The published information about the property was definitely a fair description -- we found it to be even better than advertised and felt it was an excellent value.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I highly recommend this vacation rental to others and would definitely stay there again. It's perfect for two people and a great, central location for exploring Umbria. I think it would be too tight for four adults, but one person (child or adult) who is willing and able to climb the steep steps up to the loft could sleep up there. If you want night-life, this location is not for you ... go to Rome!
Things to do in this area
We spent our days exploring many small towns in the area and hiking parts of the Circuiti del Paesaggio (landscape circuits) of the Tiber River Valley. Some of our favorite towns were Montecastello di Vibio, Montemolino, Bevagna, Montefalco, Titignano, etc. The owner provided a notebook of info and suggested places to visit that was very useful. We liked Cavour restaurant in Todi and Fattoria di Vibio near Doglio but often ate our meals in at night.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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