Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4638: Monteluce Country House, Asmara
Rooms and apartments near Noto, Sicily
April 2010, 5 nights
Note from SlowTrav: This property closed in 2013.
Monteluce is in the country near Noto. It is on a quiet road, near an old restored Roman farm open to the public. The area is farming country and the owner of Monteluce grows on her land citrus and olives. It is on the summit of a hill on the edge of the Vendicari Nature Reserve and is made up of several different buildings within view of each other but with privacy afforded. At the time of our visit, we were some of the only guests and it was very quiet. The location is centrally located for hiking (which we did lots of - up to Pantilica and in the Vendicari) and for visiting Ragusa, Antica Noto and Syracusa. This is a beautiful area, calm and peaceful but definitely in the country.
You must drive to get groceries or to restaurants, but there are a couple of good supermercatos within five miles or so. I am sure there are good restaurants in Noto but we cooked most of our meals in our apartment.
Most of the buildings on this property are new, except for the owner's house which has been renovated and added on to. We rented the Cottage Asmara. Many of the rooms accommodate only two. However, there is a villa with two doubles and a twin-bedded room and a cottage which sleeps four. There are several different accommodations. None are far apart, but each has a separate private terraced area. We were not there at a busy time so it's hard to know when occupancy is at a max, how much privacy can be ensured. When we were there, it was very quiet and extremely private as no one was in either the other half of our cottage or in any of the ones nearby (perhaps 25-50 yards away). We had a living room with fireplace and kitchen area and bath downstairs and a bedroom in a loft above.
Very pleasant private sitting area with table and chairs just outside the entry, covered with bamboo over the arbor, lovely cactus plants, a tiled outdoor sink where washing could be done, a clothes line and small garden area. It would have been too cool to swim when we there but I didn't see a pool.
The owner is a decorator and the suites (ours was half of a building) are simply but very tastefully decorated, with white slip-covered furniture, tile floors, gauzy curtains. Comfortable furniture in the seating area, which was actually over furnished since it was just my husband and I and there was a couch and two arm chairs. The eating area, meanwhile, was actually compromised - little bitty table and chairs. Everything spotlessly clean.
Bedroom is cantilevered over the living room and the floor shook when we walked on it, but the room was light and airy, with linen like curtains giving some privacy to the room below. The bed was comfortable. The bath (like the kitchen) was tiny. Shower, toilet, and a sink. Our one difficulty is no shower curtain and the shower tends to spray around the room.
The kitchen was usable but very, very compact. There were minimal pots and pans, small coffee pot. No oven, no microwave, just a cook-top and apartment sized refrigerator. My one complaint about this rental was the kitchen facility since we eat many of our meals in. The kitchen area was a counter-top of perhaps six feet (with sink, refrigerator and cook-top, upper cabinets, and pot storage under the cook-top) all on that one wall. This made food preparation difficult, but we managed. We so liked everything else about the place that we made the best of it. For long-term rental and fancy food preparation, it would not be workable.
Problems or Bonuses
The owner, Imelda, is very friendly and helpful. She does serve breakfast to guests upon request and we ate with her one day and had a fine meal of chocolate bread, her own freshly squeezed juice, other bread and jam and omelets, coffee of course. She made us a gift of a bottle of her olive oil, which is very fine. She is easy to deal with and was ready to offer suggestions re: driving and directions.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Imelda does speak quite good English. We paid €800 for five nights in April.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would stay there again in a minute and I would definitely recommend it to friends. The place has good atmosphere and is well located for touring around southeast Sicily. My one caveat is the kitchen area, but I would probably get around that by bringing in more deli-type meals instead of trying to cook. Excellent place to stay.
Things to do in this area
Hiking, touring towns and countryside, Villa Romana del Tellaro only a kilometer away. Near beaches and the coast.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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