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Review 99: Brigolante Guest Apartments, Il Focolare


Review by Barbara (and Art) from KY who is a SlowTrav Contributor

apartments on a farm near Assisi, Umbria


Spring 2001


Brigolante has it all ... beautiful setting, peaceful location, spacious rooms, gracious, helpful hosts ... all these things AND BIG FLUFFY AMERICAN TOWELS!!!! What more could you possible want? Reasonable prices? Farm fresh eggs and anything in the garden you want to pick fresh? A cozy fire with plenty of firewood available? An Italian mother-in-law who sends over a bowl of FRESHLY MADE pasta? Well, Brigolante has all that too! Even though this is the first rental we have ever done in Italy, I think Brigolante will be the stick I measure all other apartments against.

Our apartment, "Il Focolare" is a one bedroom apartment on the ground floor. It's even handicap-accessible! Once you enter the spacious foyer, just to the left is the huge bathroom with a whirlpool tub, and of course a bidet. And then there are those huge, fluffy, genuine American bath towels! Those waffled dishtowel things are awful! To the right of the foyer, the large room holds the kitchen across the back of the room, and a sofa bed opposite the waist-high fireplace. You can even grill in the fireplace!

The kitchen was very well equipped - pots, pans, utensils, glassware, plenty of firewood, never a problem. One day I ran out of salt because I dumped the whole saltshaker into the pot of water to cook my pasta. Rebecca just brought me another box straight away! There are also plenty of extra bath towels. 

There was not a private outdoor eating area, but rather a communal one for all three apartments to share. It was a lovely patio area located between the two ground floor apartments.

The bedroom has a beautiful iron bed, with a queen-sized mattress, and a large armoire with an iron and ironing board hidden inside. There's a washing machine in the kitchen and a clothesline out back.

Our landlord, Rebecca, who is an American married to an Italian, was always there when we needed to ask a question, or two, or three. She helped us out with everything from "Where to eat in Trevi" to "How can we find out about the train schedule to Naples?" She was always there, but never in our way. We felt as if we were the only people there, even though there are two other apartments, in-laws, and various aunts and uncles living on Brigolante.

The views are beautiful - lush green hillsides. This is a working farm located in Mount Subasio National Park. The grounds are just as you would expect a working farm located in a park to look. Of course it was very early spring, but I think it is safe to say that this is not the garden tour estate - just beautiful rolling hills, plenty of walking paths, and Rebecca will even loan you bikes to ride. Apparently there are a lot of hiking trails in this park. We were asked to restrict our walking while we were there due to the concern for foot and mouth disease. Although Rebecca said there was little danger from Americans or Australians, they get a fair amount of their business from Brits and Europeans, so to be fair, they made a blanket rule for everyone. It was not a problem, and things have probably eased off a bit by now. These restrictions only apply to the farm, not the entire Park.

The nearest town is Assisi. There is a wonderful grocery store just as you are coming into Assisi.

My main piece of advice regarding Brigolante would be to take Rebecca up on her offer to meet you at a local restaurant just down the road from Brigolante. Her directions are wonderfully detailed, but the first time can be a little surprising! We look forward to returning to Brigolante one day and do not hesitate to recommend it highly. We really loved this place, and Rebecca!

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

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