The unique apartment is part of a 16th-century monastery with much earlier Medieval and Etruscan origins located in the historical centre of a thriving village near Rome and the Sabine Hills. The apartment backs onto the living rock and even contains its own caves. It has been fully restored with exposed chestnut beams and hand-fired terracotta tiles throughout, and is equipped to a high standard with central heating. The apartment is spacious and comprises an ensuite double bedroom, two twin-bedded rooms, a fully-equipped kitchen, a comfortable living room with three sofas, and a second living room complete with desk and typing chair plus a sofa bed and wardrobe to allow the room to be used as a fourth bedroom. The property is accessed via an entrance inside the pedestrianised monastery complex. Free parking is available about 3 minutes away. Nearest beach 45 mins. Rome 40 mins drive.
- House2152 sq. ft.
- Separate WCs0
- Min. Stay3 nights
Unique, 3-Bedoomed Historic House In Laid-back, Friendly Village Setting
- Response rate:
- Response time:
- within a few hours
- English, Spanish, Italian
- Calendar last updated:
- 28 Jul 2018
About Juliet Haydock
I am a freelance Italian-Spanish/English translator and live in Twickenham, but try to spend as much time as possible in my house in Capena, near Rome in Italy. I'm very lucky because my job does not tie me to any particular place.
Juliet Haydock purchased this House in 2005
Why Juliet Haydock chose Capena
I first went to Capena when teaching English in Rome in the early 1980s, captivated by its charm and friendliness. People still used donkeys and did all their washing at the communal washing place. Everyone made wine and you could not pass an open cantina door without being beckoned in to share a cool glass. Weekend visits evolved into permanent residence for about two years, when I enjoyed the yearly rhythm of village life and all the festivals - while still within easy reach of Rome for work. About 12 or so years ago, I went back to Capena with my two small boys. We were welcomed with open arms and within hours a trestle table had been spread in the piazza for an impromptu party. Later, a local builder friend found and restored my incredible house - and the rest is history.
What makes this House unique
The property is within easy reach of the motorways and Rome. It is situated in the old town centre, part of a structure that started life as an Etruscan burial mound and evolved through stages including a medieval stronghold and Renaissance monastery. My house was restored from the ruins of the monastery's old guest quarters four years ago, using more or less the materials from which it would have been originally built. It incorporates caves carved out from the soft tufa rock thousands of years ago and still showing the chisel marks of the original Etruscan residents. It faces west, with full-length windows overlooking a valley, toward the setting sun. There is no better place for an aperitivo!
Local Services & Businesses
Unusual and beautiful property
This is a very unusual yet beautiful property set into walls of an old monastery. There are caves inside which aids with cooling the air during the hot Italian summers. The house is very well equipped and very comfortable. It is finished to a high standard and is very clean. It is easy to get to Rome whilst staying in the house. We drove to a nearby town, Prima Porta and hopped on the train which was very efficient and incredibly cheap (80 cents each). A visit to Lake Martignano is a must. The warm clear waters of the lake make for excellent swimming, the hammocks between the trees are very comfortable and the restaurant is excellent. Capena itself it a lovely town to explore and walk around.
Thanks for the lovely review. I'm glad you had enjoyed your stay and especially that you discovered Lake Martignano. Best wishes, Juliet
Great time in Capena!
Such a great time in Capena! The old part of town is breathtaking, and you MUST get yourself slightly lost in the alleys and pathways to see it in all its glory. We only stayed 3 nights but wish it was 3 weeks! One of the best parts of the entire trip was our night at SalGrotta in the old town square as Fernando's special guests for the evening. He is the embodiment of any jolly-old rosey-cheeked man from any renaissance painting that just seems to enjoy life that much more than the rest of us. For €10, a full homemade, family style buffet and either a glass of wine or beer- how can you say no? Also ask to see the actual Himalayan sea salt cave! Due to a sprained ankle (watch your footing, the steps are VERY old!) We opted not to take public transportation so prices were a bit higher using private Taxis, but just ask Juliet for Mirko's info especially if you are a larger group, and the "MyTaxi" app works wonders as well! Juliet, even though she was many, many miles away back in the UK with family, was more than willing to answer any text I sent or question I had without hesitation and really wants her guests to have a great time. We will be back at some point for sure!!!! Thank you again Juliet, and keep the place looking amazing!!! -JG
Loved the apartment and the small village! Stefania and Pucci were very helpful! If you like the non tourist type vacation you will love this.
Space, convenience, and style
Live in an ancient monastery with three and four foot walls, lots of room for three couples, and convenient to both Rome and the towns of south Umbria and Lazio. Three bedrooms, two full baths, large fully equipped kitchen, two living areas, and utility area with both washer and dryer. Nothing missing and lots of 'style.'
Thanks for the great review and for being so appreciative. Look forward to welcoming you back, and bring a few friends next time :)
Spacious, quiet, very unique
Juliet has a wonderful rental apartment north of Rome. It is far away from touristic areas and you can experience Italy without the tacky tourist shops.
The apartment is very spacious, carved right into the Rock in places. It is clean and fully equipped with everything needed for living including a washer and dryer.
She provides extensive directions so one can visit near by shops and restaurants in the area, or travel further to attractions within an hours car ride. One can even take the bus / train to Rome for only 8 euros.
If you are adventurous and want to go deep into Italian culture, and if you want to stay in a very unique, clean apartment, this place will not disappoint you.
Thanks Mark, make sure you come for longer next time!
Incredible Italian Retreat
What an amazing property! we had a fantastic time in Capena. The photographs do not reveal how wonderful the place is. Set into a 16th Century Monastery, many of the medieval features have been maintained, with foliage laden steps and archways leading to the front door. The house was spotless, all the equipment you could ask for. 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 2 sitting areas. All the rooms had magnificent views looking out over the valley. The walls are 2 metres thick making it nice and cool in the summer. An added bonus was the original caves in the property, making it the most unique place we have ever stayed in.
Juliet (the owner) and Stefania (the caretaker) were incredibly helpful and very friendly.
Capena itself is a wonderful place, friendly locals and great restaurants (particularly BIG ALI Pizza house!) It's a great place to visit Rome. We found it easiest to drive to the nearest station and get the train in, only 6 euros for an all day ticket you can use on any form of transport. The place is an oasis of charm and history you will never forget, whisk yourself away and enjoy, you'll love it!!
Thanks so much for a lovely review Alan, we hope to see you all again one day
The nearest beaches, e.g. Fregene, are 45 mins away by car
More picturesque beaches, e.g. Sperlonga are about 1 1/2 hours away. The islands of Ponza and Elba are well worth a visit. The best and nearest place to cool off in summer is in a lake. Bracciano/Martignano are 40 mins by car. Lake Bolsena is a about one hour by car. Lake Trasimeno and Perugia are about 2 hours away.
Fiumicino airport about an hour away by car. Ciampino aieport 45 minutes away.
Car hire is recommended but not essential.
Rome: 40 mins by car/local transport. Capena is only 10 minutes from the main motorway network by car - north to Florence and south to Naples. The nearest station with frequent trains into Rome is 10 mins by car.
Essential shops/services in village and a bustling market on Saturdays. Good, reasonably-priced restaurants. Large supermarkets 10 minutes drive away. 2 large pool complexes set in extensive, peaceful, leafy grounds both 15 minutes drive away, perfectly for hot summer days. Other ideas include a trip to the lakes, a soak in one of the local hot spas or a visit to places of interest in the Sabine Hills or northern Lazia.
Additional pricing information
Booking Notes: 25% non-refundable deposit required to secure booking, with the balance payable 60 days prior to arrival. Leave by 10 am and arrive after 4pm unless otherwise arranged