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Review 57: Bolsena, Bolsena


Review by Cheryl Alexander from CA who is a SlowTrav Contributor

apartment on farm near Orvieto, Lazio


March 2000, 1 week


Another visit, March 2000, was a similar experience, because the hosts were such sweethearts (see review 22 for details of her previous vacation rental). This time I took a chance and rented a cottage over the internet, from a private party. This trip I took alone, and just needed a small house. It was one bedroom, a wonderful, modern bathroom, and a greatroom that served as full kitchen, dining area and sitting room, with woodstove. The German couple that rented the cottage to me turned out to be olive farmers, who had migrated to the little town of Bagnioregio almost 20 years earlier. This town is just about 12 km sw of Orvieto, and is thoroughly charming. It is an historical hilltown, with quite a history, and is located in a very central part of Italy. It sits at the corner where Umbria, Lazio and Tuscany meet, so you can take day trips to many of Italy's best cities.

The house cost me $400 for the week, in low season, but isn't much more at other times. The bedroom has 2 twins and the couch in the great room can be used for a bed. There is also a duplicate apartment below the one I stayed in. Again, it sat on a hill overlooking beautiful farm valleys and behind it, up a mountain, stood the historic site of the original town, now almost totally abandoned (only 3 people still live there), and reachable by a foot bridge only. (The town that replaced the original, is still over 1000 years old.)

The town was about a 5 minute drive, or a hearty walk, close to an hour. But once in town, it had everything you needed. A couple of cafes, and only 2 restaurants, but great shops for farm fresh produce and another for meat. The people were very friendly, and my hosts could not have been nicer. They even invited me over for a glass of wine. The kitchen was well-stocked, and they brought me some of their honey, and a bottle of their wine. It has only a small, under-counter frig, but full stove and sink and a hutch with all the right utensils.

This is not an historical building, per se, but the owner built it himself, using the foundation that had been a barn previously. It's a beautiful little place, in the style of the farms of the area. It has a great outdoor sitting area, with picnic table/benches and BBQ. Beds were very comfy, and windows everywhere.

Very isolated, but I could see the other farm houses on neighboring hillsides all around. And every morning the cows and sheep greeted me on the hillside below. I intend to go back next year, as I feel like I have made friends with Kalle and Uta, the owners. 

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

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