Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4598: Gorgacce Rentals, Casa del Lupo
3bed/2.5bath house near Lisciano Niccone, Umbria
5/15/10-5/29/10, 2 weeks
The house is located about 5KM from the village of Lisciano Niccone and the adjoining town of Mercatale. The house is located in an area that includes a 12th century church and adjoining monastery, now used as three condo apartments. The house has total privacy while having the comfort and convenience of a few close-by neighbors. This is the sixth time we have rented property in the Niccone Valley and we have come to feel it is our home in Italy.
Between Lisciano and Mercatale, there are several small markets and two butcher shops where all meal provisions are available. Several restaurants are nearby and most all services necessary for a fine holiday. Within a 15-20 minute drive, you can reach larger stores, a winery, and all manner of restaurants from gourmet to family pizza shops.
This is a hilly area with the house up about 150 feet from the monastery. It has the look of the areas old farmhouses with wood shutters and stone facade. Upon closer examination, the house is not actually very old, but built as a reproduction, almost from the ground up. This is actually a big plus as all of the systems, etc. are newer and less subject to failure. The house, typical of houses in this hilly terrain is built on several levels. The Ground floor has a large living room with a wood stove and satellite TV. The dining room (ample for 6-8 people) and kitchen are up a couple of stairs from the living room. The kitchen is a good size and we cooked some great meals in it. On the third floor of the building, the owners have an apartment which they access from a side road that goes up to the left of the house with their entrance in the rear of the building. You probably would not know they were there unless you seek them out for advice(which they are happy to provide).
There are several nice outside seating areas on the property. Off the kitchen, there is a vine covered pergola with a table that seats six. On the side of the house, a covered seating area and a tree slab table and benches sit under the trees. The view from here is breathtaking over the valley floor below. Down some stairs from here is the pool area with another covered patio next to the pool deck - great on hot days. All of these areas are private to renters of the house.
This house is owned by the couple who run Gorgacce rentals. They also have a home in London but spend around 20 weeks a year in Italy. As such, they not only know what renters are looking for in a rental but they stay here themselves when the property is not rented. As such, all of the services, facilities etc. are to the standards that they set for themselves ... very complete and top drawer.
Beds were very comfortable and good sized rooms. All three of the bedrooms are upstairs with one en suite with shower and the second HUGE upstairs bath with large tub and separate shower, There is a half bath with washing machine on the ground floor.
Kitchen is quite good with lots of counter space and cupboards. Good cooking equipment and dishware etc. Kitchen includes a dishwasher, microwave, full oven with four-burners and a charcoal grill out side on the patio.
Problems or Bonuses
The house is easily accessible off a paved road which is a plus - no four-wheel drive needed! Also, I must make note of the services of caretaker Giovannino who arrives early each morning and quietly attends to the beautiful gardens and lawn surrounding the house and keeps the pool spotlessly clean. The church, attached to the former monastery chimes a song each evening at 8:00. A great way to view the sunset!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I have rented six different houses from this agency over the past seven years. They are English, respond promptly to email inquiries and accept credit cards for payment. All transactions are handled efficiently and every home we have rented from them have met or exceeded our expectations. We paid about $1,200 per week for the last two weeks in May. My research has found their prices to be below market for similar properties in the area.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We love this area (about 10 miles east of Cortona). This is a great house as well. If you desire five-star amenities, look at Parker. If you want a beautiful well appointed characteristic home with a nice pool and great views, you will not be disappointed renting here.
Things to do in this area
Day trips to Cortona, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Arrezo, Pienza, and Florence. Market days in Umbertide (have to get my porchetta fix). Favorite restaurants in the area include Fizz bar in Lisciano, Calagrana and our favorite for the sixth year in a row ... Nonna Gelsa in Niccone!!! Chiara keeps getting better and better with outstanding area specialties. I had squab one night and rabbit on another. Her antipasto is not to be missed!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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