Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 69: Gorgacce Rentals, Giardino
1bed/1bath apartment in Spello, Umbria
October 2000, 1 week
Spello is a wonderful town to stay in. It is well situated - you can easily get to all the Umbrian towns (Perugia, Assisi, Bevagna, Montefalco, Spoleto, Deruta, Todi, etc.). There are a few caffes, a few good restaurants, several good grocery stores, and at least two excellent enotecas in the town. The church contains some of our favorite Pinturichio frescoes.
We rented the Spello apartment through Gorgacce Rentals, but it is also available through Vacanza Bella. It doesn't matter who you book with, because when you arrive in Spello you deal with a local agency called "In Urbe". This agency is run by Walter Zurlo and his wife MariePaula. Walter speaks English, MariePaula speaks very little. Either they or their families own most of the apartments they rent. They have a group of "mini-apartments" in one building and a few other larger apartments.
Gorgacce Rentals had booked us into Zaffiro, a 1 bedroom apartment. When Walter took us to the apartment, my first thought was "why is there a couch in the kitchen?", then I realized how small the apartment was. It was basically one room with a kitchen corner, a couch and a small table and chairs. The bedroom was behind a sliding partition. The bathroom was small with a shower only. I remember it as being dark, with only two small windows. My feeling is that these seven "mini-apartments" are too small for a comfortable vacation (Smeraldo, Zaffiro, Perla, Topazio, Rubino, and probably Corallo and Turchese - all named for precious stones, I think). However, they are inexpensive and if you don't plan to spend much time in them, would probably be fine. The one we saw was nicely furnished, in very good shape, and very clean.
Because the apartment was small, we immediately asked Walter if he had anything larger and he moved us to the apartment Giardino. It was about twice the size of the first apartment we saw and was lovely. I measured Giardino and it is just under 500 square feet, so the other apartment was probably around 300 square feet.
Giardino is an apartment on the top floor of a two-floor house. The owners live on the main floor (they are the retired parents of MariePaula). The house is on a pedestrian lane off the main street. You go up about 75 steps from the main street (these are not steep steps, more like a gentle uphill walk until you get to the house) and then about 25 regular steps up to the top level. The advantage is that it is in a very quiet location with wonderful views over Spello and to the countryside. The disadvantage is hauling your luggage up, but Walter helped us and we left some things in the car, so it wasn't that bad. The apartment is light and spacious feeling, with one large room with a kitchen corner at one end, dining table in the middle and a couch and chair at the other end. There is a small TV. When we stayed there, the apartment has just been renovated (I think it had been damaged in the 1997 earthquake, as were many buildings in Spello), and the phone was not hooked up, but I think there is usually a phone with this apartment. There is a separate bedroom with a queen sized bed and a very nice bathroom with a bathtub and hand shower. The apartment is in very good shape, the kitchen is well equipped and the furniture is in good shape and is very comfortable. There are windows with views on three sides of the apartment.
Several apartments are for rent from this same local agency in Spello. You can also book through: Vacanza Bella or In Urbe (owners and local agents).
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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