Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 605: Casale Torre del Sasso, Apartment
apartments on a farm near Cagli, Marche
1999, 1 week
Torre del Sasso is a 5 minute drive from the town of Cagli on the SS3 between Gubbio and the Adriatic. Cagli is very peaceful and we were the only English speaking visitors in the town that week. In fact we were minor celebrities in Cagli. At the local market, old women felt free to take an inferior bottle of olive oil out of our shopping cart and replace it with something better. If we asked for directions, we were taken by arm and shown to where we wanted to go.
Cagli's old town is beautiful and sleepy. You have a lot of places to buy crafts, a few churches to see, and several bars and a lovely wine bar. Nearby is Acqualagna, a town whose industry is truffles. It is home to a spectacular truffle festival at the end of October and into early November. There is a wonderful meat shop in Acqualagna that makes all its own salumi and their prosciutto di cinghiale was wonderful.
Also in the area of Acqualagna is Gola del Furlo, a beautiful gorge with incredible sights.
Nearby are Urbino, Urbania, San Leo, Carpegna, Grotte dei Frassi and Pergola all worth visiting. Great hiking in the area, too.
There were several superb bars in town, a 5 minute drive but too far to walk. There was a wonderful pastry shop called, if I remember correctly, Il Pino. Several restaurants in town, but we ate mostly in Acqualagna and Gola del Furlo about 10 minutes away.
Torre del Sasso is an old house, 15th century, in quite good shape. Lots of hot water and a huge kitchen. Huge and spacious grounds (it has its own soccer field and a path down to the river). There are 4 apartments in the building. There are two in the main house, Le Volte on the ground floor and then a larger apartment, nicer as well, on the 1st floor. Two large families could take both places and have privacy yet be together. There is a small out building with 2 2 bed apartments that seemed much plainer but we really didn't look. Lots of flowers, trees and a beautiful view of town. You can hear the noise of the highway but it is muffled and not a problem (although we were there in October and did not have our windows open).
Huge gardens and grounds. There was a pool, closed for the season, and an outdoor wood burning oven. Lots of tables and chairs outside. You could entertain a small army of folk there.
The furniture was a little shabby but quite servicable. The sofas mainly had coverings on them, not original upholstery. There were so many rooms to chose from for us to sit in. There were 3 rooms with sofas (convertibles for sleeping), a bedroom and the kitchen.
Pretty comfortable beds, fairly firm. I recall only one bathroom and it was off the kitchen, but it worked just fine.
Great kitchen. Huge, well equipped, big sink. Large table in there and a dining room as well. Oven. The kitchen let out onto a covered patio with a table and there was another table out by the outdoor wood burning oven. We made a lot of really good meals there with no problems. The food shopping in Cagli was fine with 2 markets to chose from and Acqualagna was a food lover's dream as we were there in Truffle fair season.
Problems or Bonuses
The truffle fair was a surprise. It is the last Sunday in October, November 1st, and the next weekend. The wine bar in Cagli was wonderful!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Mario is the husband of the owner. He was charming but he spoke little English and not a lot of Italian it seems. His French was good and my wife and I got on well with him. He took us to a Truffle factory (they make truffle oils, butters, etc.) and helped us get information about going to the fair. His restaruant recommendations ranged from good to fair.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Absolutely, this is a wonderful place to go. It is perfect as a base for lazy drives to go see lots of stuff. I will go back someday. We liked our stay so much that this will be one of the areas we look at when considering buying a house in Cagli.
Things to do in this area
In Furlo, there are Il Furlo, a little stuffy but good with a nice wine list, and La Ginnestre (at the hotel of the same name). La Ginnestra serves truffle menus in season which were wonderful and a bargain considrering the huge amount of truffle we had fresly shaved on our food. The wine list was superb.
We recommend seeing the Bronze d'Orati (the gilded bronzes) in Pergola. These were gilded bronze statures from the early days of the empire of Rome. They are on exhuibit in Pergola and there is a nice picture gallery attached. San Leo is picture perfect hill town with a great 9th century church. Urbino is beautiful and tranquil with good food at wine bars. Grotte dei Frasassi are incredible caves where you take guided tours. We did not lack for things to do.
You could day trip to Ravenna as we did or you could go to Ravenna on your way to Venice. If you do that, stay the night in Ravenna to break up a long drive.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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