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Review 56: Cottages to Castles, Casa Porcareccia


Review by Cheryl Alexander from CA who is a SlowTrav Contributor

3bed/1bath house near Citta di Castello, Umbria


1998, 1 week


House in the country with 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom in Umbria, near Citta di Castello

About a year and a half ago (1998), 3 friends and I rented a lovely farmhouse in Umbria, in the town of Citta di Castello, not far from Perugia. We got it through The Parker Company, an agency I have used several times, each time with success. They are most accommodating with generous amounts of information, such as, travel distances, special requests, local events and attractions. And every promise was kept. Cars we rented through them were always available and even upgraded without asking.

The farmhouse was absolutely perfect for us. It was called Casa Porcareccia, and was owned by a wonderful Italian couple who also owned the local antique store and factory. They were waiting for us at the shop in town, as promised, to take us out to the house, which was a few miles out of town, and then up a small dirt road, 1 1/2 miles. So, a car is needed to get to town. They spoke no English, and our Italian is pitiful, but their college age daughter spoke good English, and we followed them out to the property. It was 3 miles out of town overlooking a very large farming valley. We had a 360 view that was out of a movie! There was a lawn and plastic table and chairs for sitting outside. No neighbors, although there are some abandoned houses like the one we rented, all along the road. The property also had a vineyard and olive orchard; they made their own wine and oils and we were priveleged to partake in some of them.

The 3 bedrooms were very large, and the walls so thick we all had perfect privacy. And the beds were all quite comfortable. The living room and dining room shared space. And the kitchen was large enough to accommodate 3 cooks easily. Antiques, of course were the furnishings, with a wonderful old hard wood dining table that seated 8. There was only one bathroom, no tub, but good sized, and fairly modern, though the shower was not a real stall, and water tended to travel around the floor. The heat worked well, as it was chilly at night, and of course there was a fireplace, too. Everything was clean, and neat, and the kitchen had all the utensils needed for meals.

Citta de Castello itself was lacking in character, and had only 1 cafe, and 2 restaurants. We fell in love with the restaurant the farmhouse owners recommended, and ate many meals there. It was way off the beaten track, and you could only get there by car, as it was up the side of a hill.

All in all, it was a perfect experience. The hosts were so sweet, they even took us on a tour of their antique factory, which was very interesting. I loved Umbria as much as any other region I have visited in Italy. We found some wonderful Etruscan sites, and had a good time exploring places like Gubbio and Perugia. Oh, and the price for a week was only $750, in shoulder season. More than a bargain.

Pauline asks some questions: Could you walk to the town? >>No, from the rental, which was high up on a hill, the drive to town was about 5 miles. Actually, if you were ambitious you probably could walk.<<

The house sounds great - was the livingroom furniture comfortable? >>Yes, the furniture in the living room was comfortable.<<

Why did you not use the Parker Co. for your next trip? >>I didn't use the Parker Co. because I like trying new ways of doing things, and I thought it might be fun to go directly to the source. And it did turn out nicely, as I have become friends with the family, and will return there next March.<<

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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