Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 4996: Bonclerici House, Apartment
apartments in Cagli, Marche
May 2011, 6 nights
This apartment was located in the little town of Cagli, in the Le Marche region. Cagli is a charming small town with many beautiful churches and an amazing small teatro. It was well located for day trips to well know spots like Gubbio and Urbino, and some less well known spots such as Piobbico, Frontone, Aqualagna, as well as some beautiful natural areas such as the Furlo Gorge and the surrounding higher mountains. Its also a quick trip to the Adriatic coast. We stayed six nights. Next time we'll stay longer because there was more to do in six days than we did. (We like to start the day slowly!) Summer brings lots of festivals in the region.
Very close walking access in the old town to restaurants, good cafes in the main square, some outstanding alimentari and wine shops, fruit, vegetable, meat, bread and pastry, (as well as general grocery) and excellent gelato. The location of the apartment on one of the outer streets of the old town was perfect. Quiet with a beautiful overlook to the mountains, yet an easy walk to anything you might need.
The apartment we rented was "Square," the street level unit in a portion of the palazzo that has been converted to apartments. It is two bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, a sitting room and a kitchen. One bedroom and the sitting room overlooked the garden and the surrounding mountains, and the other bedroom faced the street. All were pretty quiet. It is a historical building, with original construction dating back at least three centuries. There is a smaller and lovely one bedroom unit downstairs that opened directly onto the garden. The owners showed us two other apartments that they had just finished renovating in another family owned property down the street, both of which looked great.
There was a very nice garden area shared by the two apartments with a wisteria covered arbor and lots of nice fruit and nut trees. The downstairs apartment had its own small terrace. The garden area of the apartment adjoins the garden area for the owners' house, making a pretty substantial and special green space in the historical center of town.
The apartment was very clean, and well furnished with everything we needed, and the furniture was beautiful and functional. Lots of antique pieces. It was cozy and elegant without being fussy. Nice combo of overhead lighting and table and floor lamps. Laundry facilities are in the main house, but the owners took care of the laundry.
The beds were comfy, and the bedrooms were pretty roomy, with lots of drawer and wardrobe space to unpack into. Both bathrooms had modern fixtures that worked well. The half-bath had a window for some natural lighting, which we found we liked better for makeup and shaving.
The kitchen had modern appliances, a small refrigerator, and was roomy and well equipped for anything we needed when we felt like cooking, which we did several times. It had a large dining table in it. The kitchen had a fireplace in it that was not in use. (Don't know if its ever used, but it's pretty).
Problems or Bonuses
This was our first trip to this region, and there is little information about it compared to more traveled and touristed regions. The owners had assembled a nice book of information and couldn't have been more helpful in making suggestions on how to access the charms of this lovely area of Italy.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Simone, is the primary representative that we worked with of the owners. He speaks great English and we spoke on the phone when I was making inquiries. He convinced me to stay longer than a few days, not because he was doing a hard sell, but because he knew that Cagli and this region have more gems to explore than a couple of days would do justice. He was right!
Simone and his family were very warm - the best way that I can describe it is that we felt like guests not customers. His father, Romano, even took my husband to his barber for a haircut. We were all sad to part ways when the time came, but we feel like we have made friends, not just memories.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would stay here again in a heartbeat. Great apartment, great location in the town, and for exploring. The real treat, though, was the owner's family. If you are looking for more privacy, I'm sure they would not intrude, but for us, their interest and warmth made the difference between a great and an exceptional experience.
Parking was not a problem for us, but don't try to take a big car into Cagli!
Things to do in this area
Don't miss: the collection of beautifully preserved costumes in the Brancaleone Palazzo in Piobbico, the hearth roasted meats at Taverna La Rocca in Frontone, the Furlo Gorge (good restaurant there too), the drive over the mountains to Urbino, and more.
Cagli has several good restaurants, but we went twice in our six days to La Gioconda on via Brancutti. It is fine dining with an emphasis on local products, and had a great wine selection of Marchigiana wine. They introduced us to a great Rosso Conero from Fattoria La Terraza. This restaurant in itself is a reason to make Cagli a destination.
The gelateria near the teatro has excellent house-made gelato. The pasticcerria and alimentari in the arcade behind the Commune's building just to the east side of the main piazza were wonderful. Great wine selection in the cafe/enoteca on Via Porta Vittoria between the piazza and the teatro.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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