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We stayed as a family of 5 in August 2018. Villa Elena exceeded our expectations. The living areas are large but cosy and comfortable, the kitchen and dining area very well equipped. The bedrooms all have comfortable beds and pillows and plenty of storage. The whole house and pool was very clean. The terrace and balcony have lovely views over the hills and the pool area also has a fantastic view and is very private. The pool area was a great hit with all the family and the conveniently located downstairs laundry and shower area meant that all wet clothes and children could be taken care of before going back into the house! The surrounding area of Paliano is very pretty and the journey to towns such as Tivoli very easy. On the advice of the owner, John, we took the train to Rome from Colleferro which was very easy for us despite our complete inability to speak Italian! The sites of Pompeii and Vesuvius are also easy to get to from Villa Elena. The location and villa was a perfect base for us to reach the places we wanted to visit and we had such a lovely house to come back to and a big pool to cool off in, after those hot days of sightseeing!!
We arrived late on a saturday evening and were met by Pierpaulo and Sylvia who were extremely pleasant and showed us around the house.
The house is about 60 years old and was built by Pierpaulo's parents. Some aspects have been more recently upgraded such as the downstairs bathroom and one of the upstairs bathrooms. The kitchen is a mix of old and new units. The house was extremely clean throughout. The best bit of the house was the pool which was terrific and we all loved it, especially the kids. Also just outside the gates is a small but totally wonderful and very good value pizza restaurant. There is very easy access to Rome from a train station about 10 mins drive away. The town has a small supermarket (carrefour express) and there is a larger Co-op about 10 mins away by car. You would need a car.
There were a couple of things that would have made the stay better. The house does need some upgrading and a lot of the old family bits and pieces and old magazines are still on display and from a guest point of view it would be nice if they weren't there. One of the upstairs bathrooms is clearly old designer and very orla kiely-esque in pattern. Quite a few of the plug sockets dont work.
Also the house could really really do with air conditioning. Especially as a lot of the house is wooden inside (flooring etc) so absorbs the heat during the day making it very hot at night. Having said that it was our fault for not checking that they had air con before booking.
All in all we enjoyed our stay but some upgrading of the property is required.