Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 5002: Tenuta Santa Cristina, Villa Laurentia and Villa Mary
4bed/4bath villas near Magliano Sabina, Lazio
April 15-April 30 2011, 2 weeks
The two villas, Villa Laurentia and Villa Mary, are located just a few miles from The charming town of Magliano Sabina. Each villa was totally separate and private, and beautifully located overlooking the family vineyards. The whole area is rural, with vineyards and olive trees everywhere.
A car is necessary to get anywhere, but that is what we wanted. We were 18 people ranging in age from 7 to 82. We had two nine passenger vans and a car for five passengers. There are local restaurants with typical regional food within a mile or two, ranging from a simple trattoria to a surprisingly elegant restaurant. Three grocery stores and a supermarket are within four miles along a charming country road leading into town.
Santa Cristina is a working vineyard. There are four villas: two are adjoining each other, but were already rented for the period we wanted. The two villas we had were separate from each other, but close enough to walk to yet with plenty of privacy. The villas are not old, but very large, spacious and well furnished. All villas were very peaceful and quiet with beautiful views in every direction.
Each villa had a lovely grapevine-covered terrace and a pool. Unfortunately, it was too early in the season for swimming, so the pools were not open, but we did not miss swimming at all. There is also ping pong and a soccer field.
The accommodations were lovely, with plenty of seating and very clean. Daniela gave us a very well organized book, with lots of information on the appliances in the villa, local restaurants and shops, and much useful information for exploring the area.
The bedrooms were large and comfortable. Villa Laurentia had four bedrooms and four large bathrooms. Villa Mary had four bedrooms and three bathrooms.
Both kitchens were large enough and well equipped. We used both often and even had Easter Sunday dinner at Villa Mary out on the terrace. There were plenty of dishes and platters and pots. However, there were not enough knives and they were cheap and very dull. The cutting boards at Villa Mary were very worn and should be replaced.
Problems or Bonuses
The website stated that Magliano Sabina is not touristy. This is absolutely true. The whole area is relatively unspoiled and people were friendly and helpful, although no one spoke English, as would be common in the tourist areas of Italy. A good Italian-English dictionary or phrasebook would be handy.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I communicated with the owner by email to make all the arrangements. Laurentia was very helpful and all went smoothly. The on site person, Daniela, was very helpful, but she speaks no English. Fortunately, I speak just enough Italian to get along, so we managed very well. The reality of Tenuta Santa Cristina exceeded the promise of the website. We have been renting in various places throughout Italy for 15 years, and Santa Cristina is one of the best vacation values we have thus far experienced. Given the beauty of the Sabine hills and the quality of the villas, the rates were very reasonable, even with the poor exchange rate for the American dollar. We had eight bedrooms in two beautiful villas for two weeks. The breakdown came to $850 per room for the whole two weeks at the exchange rate at the time.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I heartily recommend this place. It is convenient for day tripping to the hill towns, Assisi, Orvieto, Bagnoregio, etc. The train from Orte to Roma Termini is close, frequent, and reasonably priced. The location is superb, the villas lovely. Overall, an excellent value for the money.
Things to do in this area
With such a range of ages and abilities in our family party, there were enough things to do to satisfy everyone. The grandchildren loved the train rides and the visits to Rome and the hill towns. The grownups enjoyed the shopping and the food. We two grandparents enjoyed the peace and quiet when everyone was off day tripping.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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