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Review 943: Home in Italy, Felo

www.homeinitaly.com

Recommended
Review by mk from CA

5 bed/4bath villa near Todi, Umbria


When

May 2004, 1 week

Location

In the countryside approximately 10 km from Todi, about a 15 minute drive to the funicular at the Orvieto gate; lovely views of the surrounding countryside with views of Todi in the distance from the master bedroom and the property outside; private but not isolated, other houses nearby but we could not see them; convenient to the E45 for day trips to other towns (our exit was Montecastello/Fratta Todina).

Nearby Amenities

Car is essential; nearest grocery store and small, casual eateries (pizzerias primarily) were in Ponterio, 10 minutes drive; people were extremely helpful e.g.,the checker left her post at the cash register to help me find the right coffee one day; store had a deli section with meats, cheeses, and some prepared foods that worked well for occasional lunches and light suppers at the house.

The House/Apartment

The rental was comprised of a stone farmhouse of indeterminate age and a guesthouse. The main house had three bedrooms and two baths upstairs and a third small bath downstairs. We were a family of four travelling with two family friends who shared the guest house which had two bedrooms, a bath with tub and shower, and a small living and kitchen area. The TV in the main house got CNN international.

Garden

The area outside was lovely (I am trying not to overdo this word, but it sums up the overall feel of the property). We were there in the latter half of May following on what we understood had been an unusually chilly, rainy spring. The weather the week we were there was sunny, crisp in the mornings, warmer as the day went on. Too chilly for the pool which looked inviting. After all that rain, the hillsides were every shade of green, and we passed a glorious field of red poppies each day on our way to the main highway. There was hay baled on the little hillside in back of the house while we were there.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

The overall feel of the house was one of comfort, and it passed my threshold for character and charm. The furnishings were comfortable but not fancy. There was sufficient seating in the living areas downstairs in the main house for our group of six. The downstairs had an open floor plan which worked well. The house was clean and maid service was included for three hours twice weekly.

Bedrooms/Bathrooms

The beds were comfortable and had good down comforters. The master bedroom was particularly nice with a corner fireplace. This bedroom and one of the secondary bedrooms had views of Todi in the distance. The master bath was en-suite; the second bath upstairs was off the small hall between the other two bedrooms. The third bath was downstairs and was small and basic. I had expected that the master bath would have the capacity for a standing shower, but it did not. The showers in the main house drained oh so slowly which I indicated in my comments to Home in Italy -- hopefully, they'll attend to this. Our friends said there was no problem with the shower in the guest house. One plus was that the main house and guest house apparently had separate water heaters.

Kitchen

Our most serious cooking was scrambled eggs and truffles for breakfast and the kitchen was perfectly adequate at this level. Anything more ambitious would probably have begun to strain its capacity. There were Italian and American coffee makers. There was an adequate supply of dishes, and, of course, there was more of everything in the guest house.

Problems or Bonuses

If anything, the pictures on the website did not do justice to the beauty of the surrounding countryside.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

What we saw was what we got -- the pictures of the house on Home in Italy's website matched with reality. The staff at Home in Italy were professional and responsive. I had many questions, and they were answered quickly and thoroughly. The onsite person spoke English and was very responsible. When my friends woke up the first morning after getting in late the previous evening, there was no water supply to the guest house. After a call to our English-speaking contact person, someone arrived in 5 minutes to fix the problem.

I liked the fact that the rate ($2800 for the week of 5/15) was fixed, set in US dollars, and included all expenses except heating. There was no charge for local phone calls; long distance calls were, I believe, blocked.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

Yes, I would recommend this property to others and would certainly rent again from Home in Italy. I saw a couple of their properties on other websites at higher prices.

Things to do in this area

We spent most of our time exploring the hill towns in the area, Todi, Montecastello di Vibio, Orvieto, Perugia, Assisi, Spello, and Montefalco, and tiny Montemolino whose turnoff was on our way to the main road.

Restaurants: Orvieto: l'Asino d'Oro, one of our very best lunches, menu included wild boar in a sauce with chocolate, pine nuts, and raisins Spello: Il Pinturicchio, excellent pastas for lunch Todi: La Mulinella and Umbria--these were our dinner spots in Todi and were generally good but not memorable; the Umbria, with its great view, would still be a good bet for lunch; Antiqua Hosteria de la Valle--very good, we had our first lunch here

Stores: Domus in Todi, exquisite linens Baiocco in Spello, ceramics

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

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