Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 5174: San Cristoforo, La Pieve
1bed/1bath house near Cagli, Marche
September 2011, two weeks
The apartment was originally a chapel attached to a farmhouse in farm country near the town of Cagli. The views are enchanting, changing with the light throughout the day, and undisturbed by noise or other people. We took many walks along country roads from our house, through fields of sunflowers (in summer), vineyards, and other crops, with the breathtaking Sybilline Mountains just 15 minutes drive away. A small but lovely castle is perched on a mountainside within view as well.
One must drive for groceries -- but it is not far into the charming town of Cagli where there are several good restaurants and a sizable grocery store. The owners of San Cristoforo are themselves authors of tour guides to Le Marche region and can direct you not only to excellent restaurants, but also give advice on hill towns, museums, events, and other information hard to find in guide books. You can drive up into the mountains in just 15 minutes and to lovely beaches on the Adriatic in 45 minutes. The lower wooded areas of the mountains offer splendid hiking, but roads to the upper reaches take you to open fields grazed by sheep, cattle and horses. The views are spectacular.
The farmhouse has been beautifully restored, offering an extremely comfortable living room, kitchen with dining table, and door leading out to a private patio with dining table and views of rolling fields and mountains in the distance. The bedroom is the former vestry, with a bathroom with shower. (A second larger apartment in a separate building is also available and equally comfortable.)
It was originally built in the 17th century yet both apartments are furnished with careful attention to visitors who crave comfortable places to read (with adequate light), a lovely terrace from which to watch the sun set, and an opportunity to pick figs and grapes (in season). All the herbs you will ever need for cooking are just outside the door.
Each apartment has its own private sitting area with lounge chairs, a swing-settee, and dining table. There is no pool, but the Adriatic is only 45 minutes away.
The furniture was in excellent condition, and it was comfortable (two sofas, one for each of us). And the bed was good and comfortable.
Bathroom was good, with a strong shower and a terrific tiled floor reminiscent of Roman floors.
I was able to cook a fine lamb dinner for our hosts. Everything you could need (no microwave, but I don't use one much).
Problems or Bonuses
We love San Cristoforo so much, I am reluctant to share it with others, as I never want it to not be available when we want to go back. This was our second visit there, and now we feel so much at home that we cannot wait to return. The owners are eternally helpful, knowledgeable, and just fun to be with. We never ran out of questions, and they always had (or found) the answers.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Owners on site, and they are English.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would move there!
Things to do in this area
Beyond what has been mentioned, there are wonderful cities and hill towns within easy reach, including Urbino, Gubbio, and even Assisi. Nearby one should go to Ascoli Piceno and it is not too far up the coast to visit Ravenna. But, don't forget to take some days off and just hang around San Cristoforo. It is the definition of a vacation.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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