Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 5039: Owner, La Fattoria del Gelso
8bed/6bath house (including annex) in Cannara, Umbria
June 11- June 25, 2011, 2 weeks
Country villa, long cypress lined driveway, private, in the middle of fields of wheat and sunflowers, walking distance from the delightful town of Cannara in one direction and a gelataria in the other. A perfect, idyllic location for easy half day adventures to picturesque medieval (and older) towns like Spella, Bevagna, Bastardo, Bettona, Assisi, Perugia, Montefalco, Deruta, and many more.
Walking or bicycling to town was easy, less than one mile to grocery stores and shops specializing in local meats and vegetables. The town boasts an excellent pizzeria and a fantastic restaurant, Perbacco, that offers cooking lessons as well. One can walk to all these, but we usually drove with convenient parking in town (get used to tiny parking spaces, though).
Shaded by a 100 year old mulberry tree, the main house boasted a separate building with two bedrooms and a bath (perfect for daughter and husband with two children). The commercial kitchen, living room, and dining room had their own bathrooms and were accessible separately from the bedrooms upstairs and next door. We had the entire place to ourselves. I understand that the owners like to rent to only one family at a time.
The outside amenities were truly delightful. The pool was manicured daily, flower post everywhere, a swing under the mulberry tree that was always cool, outdoor chairs and table both covered and shades, chaise lounges by the pool, all completely private.
The house was immaculately clean, all furniture in good shape and comfortable. Plenty of chairs, a TV room (which we used very little), and a huge dining room table. WiFi was available and extensively used.
The beds seems to be twins pushed together, very comfortable and without a significant seam. Fans in all bedrooms, since there is no air conditioning (typical for this part of Italy), many windows with good cross ventilation.
The kitchen was amazing, as this building had recently been used as a restaurant. The stove and oven were gas, supplemented by a wood burning fireplace outside. The dishes, pots, pans, and other utensils were plentiful, accented by amazing hand- painted ceramics from Deruta. The dish washer doesn't dry but washes dishes in two minutes. Two refrigerators, one freezer, and a large work table mid kitchen.
Problems or Bonuses
Our biggest surprise was the quality and attentiveness of the support staff. Marco takes care of the property and pretty much all the needs of the guests, from tour and restaurant recommendations to translation to pizza cooking. He became a part of the family by the end of the trip! Wendy handles the behind-the scenes details, setting up tours as requested and being available for questions (e.g., "I'm lost, how do I find...?). They even made available local cell phones which were invaluable due the size of our group.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We found the property on VRBO, which was a good site to start and compare properties, hooking us immediately with the owner who handled all the preparations from there.
Marco and Wendy both spoke excellent English. The online information, if anything, underestimated the quality of the location and the excellence of the service locally.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We would definitely return to the Fattoria del Gelso if we had a large enough party (or if they would rent the smaller out building to just my wife and myself). There is so much to do in Umbria, two weeks barely scratched the surface.
Things to do in this area
Perbacco is a superb restaurant in Cannara. The Wald kitchen store in Cannara was a delightful surprise. In Montefalco and other towns, the Pardi linen stores offer genuine local goods with many very old patterns. Wineries are many, with some of our favorites the Fratelli Pardi (Montefalco)and DiFilippo (Cannara).
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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