Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 5037: Casa Spello, Augustus
1bed/1.5bath apartment in Spello, Umbria
June 22 - July 2, 2011, 10 nights
The Augustus unit of Casa Spello is one of four units in this nicely restored old stone building. The building is on the outside wall of the city facing the Valle Umbra. It is located right in the heart of Spello close to everything in town. Parking was a bit a chore, but once we got the hang of it, we adapted and it was not a problem.
All the units are clustered together in one building. This is did not present and privacy issues or problems.
Spello was by far our favorite town we visited, so we consider ourselves fortunate to have picked this town to stay in!
We walked everywhere in town. The apartment is close to everything you could possibly want: bar, gelato, bakery, butchers, shops and numerous restaurants in the old walled city. In the newer lower town there are banks, a supermarket and all the services one would expect in a town of about 5,000 people.
We loved the Augustus unit! It is a very large apartment with tons of charm. Exposed stone walls, lovely tile floors and hand painted walls added to the charm. It was remodeled with thought and care. The furnishings are top notch and very comfortable.
There is a half bath downstairs, which was very useful and a nice touch.
The kitchen and eating area is large and sort of became our "command central." It was where we did most of our socializing and planning.
The living room is furnished with modern furniture and comfortable leather sofas, but there is no doubt where you are as there is lots of Umbrian art, Deruta pottery, pretty area rugs, and other nice decorator touches. We did not spend a lot of time in this room, but in the cooler weather the fireplace would make it a great gathering place.
Upstairs is the very large bedroom and bathroom. The bed was comfortable and there was plenty of room to put our things. There is a cupboard for hanging clothes and a large dresser. The bathroom was the perfect size for two people getting ready at the same time! There are two sinks and plenty of room to store things. As with downstairs, the finishes are well done and very comfortable. The washing machine is upstairs too.
This unit shares a large garden/deck area in the back of the house like the other units, but it also has a porch area off the front door area that was a wonderful spot to sit in morning and in the evenings. We ate all of our dinners on the porch. There is a built in marble counter that three can easily eat around. We think this porch was a huge plus and a major reason to rent the unit again. We had lunch once on the deck in the garden area and that was nice too. No pool, but that would have been really nice as it was hot.
As stated above, everything was in great shape. No complaints.
As I mentioned above the bedroom was great. It did get a bit warm, but considering how hot it was while we were there, it was still comfortable.
The only complaint about the kitchen was that the only glassware were small juice-size glasses and smallish wine glasses. We don't drink wine. I thought it was odd that there weren't any 12 to 16 ounce glasses. The couple staying in the unit below us bought some large glassware earlier in their trip as they didn't have any either and gave us two. Problem solved for us and the next couple that stay there that want to drink more than eight ounces at a time.
Problems or Bonuses
A good surprise was how large and well furnished the unit is. It really did exceed my expectations.
Another good surprise was the mosquito screens on all the doors and windows of this unit. The owner gave instructions on how to use the shutters/windows/screens to keep the unit cool and mosquito free during the day. They were apparently having a bad mosquito problem just before we got there, but we had no problems with bugs inside or outside the apartment.
A minor disappointment is that while it is true that the building and our unit in particular have lovely distant views of Valle Umbra and take advantage of the amazing sunsets, the orientation and close proximity of Spello to the freeway, the train line and the suburban sprawl immediately below the house does take away from some of the charm of the immediate view. The distant view off into the Valley or the more pastoral view from the other side of the town is much more of what I was expecting. This one point would not keep us from staying here again though. We have rented enough places to know that no one place is perfect, and this one came very close.
One other quibble is that the air-conditioning unit in the bedroom didn't seem to work real well. This was not a problem as the room never got unbearably warm.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Dealing with the owner was fine. She was communicative, very friendly and forthcoming with information. When we had a problem regarding our arrival date, it was dealt with quickly and professionally. We paid $1640.00 for our ten night stay, which I consider a fair price and a very good value considering all the positive qualities of the unit.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes! Yes, we would stay here again.
Things to do in this area
Spello is the perfect launching off place for touring Umbria and proved to be our favorite town. From here, we went as far north as Gubbio, as far south as Orvieto and as far east as the Piano Grande and Castelluccio. We even drove to Faenza in Emilia Romagna one day to visit some potters whose work I collect. That was a long day, but very doable.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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