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The very detailed pictorial directions helped us find the property (up a steep rough drive) with no difficulty. It was everything I hoped., even better than in the photographs.Throughout our weeks stay I never stopped being amazed by the beautiful views (including some fabulous sunsets) The kitchen was very well equipped (including decent sharp knives, a first in my villa experience) and the showers excellent. The beds were large and very comfy. It was spotless on arrival, with milk and wine in the fridge. Perched on the hillside the views from the sparkling pool (with loads of loungers and seating) were wonderful, yet at the same time the villa felt very private. I can highly recommend the porcetta from the market in Stimigliano (we got to try some before buying) and the local Simply supermarket (only 5 mins away by car) is well stocked. Conad (10 mins) is much bigger with a fish counter. There aren’t that many non Italians around so don’t bank on English being spoken but everyone in shops and restaurants seemed really friendly (especially with my attempts at a few halting Italian phrases) The transport links to so many places were one of the reasons I chose this villa as it is easy to get onto the main autostrada (we’d already spent a week in Rome so didn’t try the train, but I would in future now I have a feel for the location). In the end we only went to Tivoli (the fabulous Villa D’Este with its fountains and gardens is surprisingly quiet). It was just so relaxing and comfortable at Villa Elephanti that we couldn’t tear ourselves away. There is no air conditioning although large fans are provided. My husband found this fine although maybe in high summer even these would not be sufficient for everyone. The owner was very helpful in the information he provided about facilities and the location of the many nearby restaurants (you definitely do need a car). He also responded very quickly to any queries we had both before and during our trip. Without a doubt one of the nicest villas I’ve stayed in - we had a fabulous time and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this property.
My family and I chose to rent this villa based on three key points - close proximity to an airport, peace and tranquillity and, most importantly, the size of the swimming pool. Not being a family who enjoy the buzz of busy, popular holiday resorts we were really looking forward to enjoying a couple of weeks away from 'normal' life and were delighted that this property delivered on all counts.
Yes - there were niggles but there always will be when you are away from your home environment and this seems to add to the overall holiday experience. There was no kettle, for example ( yes - we are British!) so water for cups of tea had to be heated in a saucepan. The upstairs shower had enough power and heat to cut through solid steel so constant, very careful, adjustment was needed and the traffic noise from the motorway in the valley did permeate the silence.
But these are small insignificancies. In the detailed information provided by the owner, Isabel, she mentions that the property is in need of updates etc but this was / still is a family home. As such you can forgive the fact that some of the appliances are getting a bit tired. Everything worked – that’s all you need!
The pool, at 13m in length, was superb! Our family’s un-written rule is that you have to do your age in lengths every day. Of course this does mean that the oldest member (me) has to swim the furthest but as I made the rule up I can't complain! I wasn't brave enough to dive off the diving board though...
There are enough chairs on the veranda to accommodate a small army and we spent most evenings sitting out drinking wine and enjoying the evening warmth. We were also treated to a number of brilliant lightning storms in the first week of our stay which was fabulous.
The property is well within one hours drive of the delightful towns of Narni and Terni which are well worth visiting and it only takes 40 minutes to get into Rome by train from Orte station, which has a huge, cheap, long-stay car park. It only cost us 10 Euros each for a return trip and saved hours of driving and trying to park in the city.
If you are looking for 5 star hotel style accommodation then this is not the place for you. If, however, you are looking for 5 star relaxation in a property that has everything you would need for a break away from 'the norm' then we would thoroughly recommend this property.