Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 479: Internet Villas, Casale Luminara
3bed/3.5bath house near Parma, Emilia-Romagna
April 26 - May 2, 2002, 7 days
The villa was a restored and enlarged farmhouse in the country. One drove up a lovely road to the house with wildflowers along the way and a forest as a backdrop. Luminara was secluded and yet close enough to shopping and the town of Fidenza for a bit of Italian culture. It was a quiet setting with just the sound of birds to wake you up in the morning and the clopping of horse's hooves in the valley below as neighbors traveled by.
Although a car was necessary, so much was close at hand. Excellent food shopping, restaurants and points of interest were just minutes away. Even the freeway was close enough to get one to the cities of Parma, Modena or Bologna in a short time.
Not only was Luminara in perfect condition despite its age, the warm and welcoming feeling one felt just walking in the front door was one my husband and I relive frequently. Every room had character and the charm of the furnishings made us feel we would love to stay forever!
The kitchen with old beams and fireplace were what we began each day with and ended each evening. It was a wonderful combination of tradition and the amentities of the modern. A cook's dream! Also on the property were stables so elegant that they just cried out for two lovely stallions. We often took the walk up to that spot to look back at perfect Luminara from a different perspective.
The land and grounds were expansive. Not only was there a beautiful view of the surrounding landscape from the high hillside upon which Luminara perches, there was a sitting area with a barbecue for the enjoyment its outdoor pleasures. Plantings all around the property were the frosting on the cake.
Luminara was furnished with a combination of antiques and comfortable furniture. There were candles everywhere for romance and a warm, glowing ambience. There were many rooms around the house to choose from to have a quiet moment or for entertaining others. It was difficult to decide where to be -- every spot became a favorite.
Bedrooms and bathrooms were everywhere. We took the spacious "guest" room as ours. It had a beamed ceiling and windows looking out onto the vast landscape or the woods on the other side. The bathroom in the guest suite was large and had every amenity.
Every level had a bathrooms so wherever one sat there was the convenience of a bathroom nearby. Everything was in peak condition and graciously appointed.
As a caterer I wanted the experience of cooking in Italy. Luminara's kitchen was large and comfortable with everything I needed to "play" at being an Italian cook. The large woodburning fireplace was a centerpiece in the kitchen that added to the fun. Despite being a section of the oldest paret of the house, it had the combination of tradition and amenities that allowed us to enjoy our cozy time in the kitchen.
Problems or Bonuses
Bonuses: the hosts arranged for a personalized tour and demonstration of the making of the famed Parmigiano Reggiano.
We found this area so close to everything that excursions were made very simple. If we had stayed another week we would have branched out even more.
The hosts were just that -- hosts. They showed us around, had books with all of the information one might need, restaurant reviews and tips, maps and any items necessary for a full and enjoyable experience.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We actually just placed our e-mail on the site and were contacted by the owners. All arrangements were made from that connection.
Note from SlowTrav: As of January 2007, Internet Villas no longer represents properties. They are transferring listings; you may view properties at Villa Escapes.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I have raved about this place so much to my friends. I do hope others stay there as it was a vacation that was sheer perfection. We can't wait to go back!!!
Things to do in this area
There is so much to do. The restaurants were excellent, although I rarely even looked at the names. Sorry. There is a beautiful golf course in Salso Maggiorre with a darling town nearby with thermal baths. There is sightseeing in Parma, Modena and Bologna. This is a great region for eating. Even the supermarket nearby in Fidenza was filled with a huge array of products and foods.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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