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Review 76: La Navicella, Apartment


Review by Bill & Alice from PA

apartments on farm near Cortona, Umbria


September 2000, 3 weeks


In September, 2000 we spent 3 weeks in an apartment in La Navicella, a renovated farmhouse near the Tuscan-Umbrian border, just a few miles south of Cortona -- outside the town of Tuoro sul Trasimeno (2 miles away). The house sits in the middle of olive groves overlooking Lake Trasimeno. It has four apartments, one occupied by the owner. Each apartment is in top condition with a fully equipped kitchen and a private terrace on which to sit overlooking the lake and the Tuscan hills on the horizon. The furniture was comfortable and in very good shape. The kitchen was well equipped and had enough glass and chinaware to feed 6 people. The apartments are a good size: ours was about 640 square feet (Pauline’s minimum size for a comfortable stay is 500 square feet). A washing machine in the building is shared by the apartments and there is a private swimming pool on the grounds.

The owner, Elizabeth Lenstra-van Wijngaarden, and her assistant, Alesandra Cauli, speak fluent English. They also manage 70+ other villas, houses, and apartments in the area and can arrange a stay at any one of them. But the owner is in residence at La Navicella which makes "contacting the manager" easy.

The location is very convenient to the Umbrian hill towns, such as Perugia, Assisi, and Spello as well as Tuscan towns such as Montepulciano, Cortona, and Siena.

Two additional benefits: 1) the owner provides you with 10% discount cards which you can use in many of the neighboring restaurants and 2) if you rent "off season" you get "three weeks for the price of two." Rates are very modest. Mrs. Lenstra is a Dutch woman who directs her rentals to the Dutch and Belgian markets.

Mrs. Lenstra can be reached through email. She also has a web site but it is in Dutch. She has many brochures describing her listings and will send them to you to help you make your selection. We met Mrs. Lenstra a year earlier when we were all visiting Sicily. We consider ourselves very lucky to have struck up a conversation with her. We have stayed in vacation rentals before, in England and in France, but this was our first vacation rental in Italy.

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

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