Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 869: Gorgacce Rentals, Ca di Bracco
5bed/4bath house near Umbertide, Umbria
May15 - 30, 2004, 2 weeks
Ca di Bracco is located in the Niccone valley, about 1.5 km off the 416 running between Umbertide and Lake Trasimeno. It is a beautiful private location, halfway up the mountain with a commanding view across the valley. The owners, a 30ish year old british couple live in an attached tobacco drying tower with their two young daughters, a cat and a beautiful puppy of unclear heritage. Because of the property layout, the owners prescence is rarely felt but their availability is desirable and available when you have questions or problems.
You need a car in this area. There are several good restaurants within a 5 minute drive from the house and Umbertide, a moderate sized market town is 15 minutes away with a large coop market and shops for most all needs.
The house is a reconstructed ruin that was completed 5 years ago so everything is in good shape. The house is well supplied with all the conveniences that we felt anyone could reasonably need. Everything was done with care and to high standards.
The house has a large stone patio in the rear overlooking the pool area and the Niccone valley. When people see our pictures taken from the patio they always swoon. Patio also has a dining area and grill. This area is exclusively for the guests.
House is clean and comfortable. All furnishings are either newish or comfortable antique reproductions. The house is not fussy, but rather comfortable, with high standards.
Beds were relatively new and comfortable. 3 bedrooms have queen beds and 2 bedrooms have twin beds. Bathrooms are all tiled and all have shower or shower and tub. A couple of the showers are small but perfectly adequate. With 4 bathrooms, we felt this area to be more than adequately served.
Good kitchen. Large table in center of room for extra food prep space. Dishwasher and clotheswasher in kitchen. Fully equiped including microwave!Lots of pots, dishes etc. I think that when they built the house, they made a massive shopping trip to Ikea and purchased everything! Diningroom off kitchen has room for 8-10 people.
Problems or Bonuses
We received an email from the owners a week before our arrival telling me that it was her practice to leave a "welcome pack" of food basics that would keep you alive for the first Sunday since markets aren't open on Sunday and the rental goes Saturday to Saturday. She also volunteered to shop fully for us, if we would only forward her a specific list. There was no charge for this service other than the cost of the additional groceries.
Ownwers were also able to arrange a wine tasting for our group and the services of an excellent cook who grows all of the organic ingredients for the meal and brings and serves the meal up to the house.
While the owner and their children are very unobtrusive, the cat and dog do not differentiate. You are living in part of THEIR house. If you like animals, they are a nice addition. Not all of our group did.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We rented a different property from the same agency last year and liked the area but had some problems with the house that were the fault of the owners and not the agency. They represent primarily Brits (as are they) who have purchased homes in the area as holiday/retirement projects and I gather most if not all are relatively recent renovations done to high standards. I feel that their pricing is most competative. We paid around $1800 per week for the last 2 weeks in May. Rates are higher thereafter into the late Spring and Summer.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
No question, I would recommend this property to anyone except those looking for 5 star accomodations, not likely candidates for a Slow Travel house rental anyways!
Things to do in this area
Great base to visit mountain town favorites like Montone, Assisi, Gubbio and Cortona. Spend a day on lake Trasimeno where you can ferry out to an island that is like stepping back into history. Deruta is famous for their ceramics, and there are several cashmere outlets in the area. Our favorite restaurant was Nonna Gelsa in Niccone - a funny story that I will recount as a restaurant review.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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