Montorio Al Vomano VacationsFRBO Property 16808 Vacation Rental
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Montorio Al Vomano, Italy  (# 16808)
 House with terrace + spectacular mountain views
  VacationsFRBO Montorio Al Vomano Vacation Rentals Property ID 16808 Il Castello  

Major City: Spoleto
Distance: 5-10 km

Type:   House
Area: Rural

Bedrooms: 4
Sleeps: 8
Baths: 2
Size: 350 Sq M

Internet: No
Pets OK: No
Pool: Yes
Spa: No

Calendar: No
Exchange: No
For Sale: No
Credit Cards: No

 
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Main pedestrian street - Il Castello on right
   
 
 

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     Contact Owner/Manager 

 

Name: Norma Williams

Phone: (0039) (0)743 498 38; Laurie (0039) 349 739 3501 -

Languages: English

Personal Website: http://www.umbriaholidayrentals.com

VacationsFRBO Listing Since: 2007-10-18

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     Description 


Please note that the outdoor pool referred to is public, just a
couple of minutes away by car, fabulous and set in the most stunning
scenery. Here, there are also tennis courts, bars and picnic areas.

San Mamiliano is the perfect location to base oneself in order to see
the rest of Italy, it being located just left of the very centre of
Italy, between Terni and Spoleto, and just above Ferentillo. It takes
about 20 minutes to drive to the nearest train stations, either
Spoleto or Terni.

A car is essential since, while San Mamiliano is central to all the
Umbrian hot-spots and close to all the local amenities, (unlike so
many of these Umbrian hill-top villages that are without local
amenities, remote and from where it takes forever to get anywhere
whatsoever), and, there are good roads into San Mamiliano, the local
bus, historically, has never gone to the village - probably because,
until recently, there were no roads, only boulders marking mule
tracks up to the village !

San Mamiliano was originally a fortress/castle built by the Vatican
around the 10C to protect its boundary with Perugia. In the middle
ages, the Pope would stay in San Mamiliano on his way to Rome. Over
the years, San Mamiliano developed into a bustling and fairly large
community, housing some 300 people. Now, it houses only 5 of its
original families, the rest of the San Mamilianese having died or
moved into the towns and cities in search of work. Consequently, it
is too small to sustain a shop, a bar or an eaterie, though there are
plenty of the latter in the surrounding hills.

San Mamiliano has been part of a very exciting restoration project
because of its historic interest. In fact, during the restoration, 2
10C tiny, arched alley ways were discovered that lead from the middle
piazza to the upper piazza and the church. They had been buried for
many, many centuries and completely forgotten about !

But, not so, the famous painting inside our church. The Bishop of
Spoleto paid San Mamiliano a visit a few years ago. The red carpet
was laid, along with all the pomp and ceremony that befits a bishop.
However, the San Mamilianese were not so happy after the event
because it transpired that the reason for his visit was to try to
persuade the San Mamilianese to give him this picture for the Duomo
in Spoleto, which houses another 3 paintings by the same artist - his
argument being that this famous work of Art was being neglected in
San Mamiliano. Well, you can imagine the indignation on the part of
the villagers. It was here that this picture was painted and it is
here it will stay. You should pay for it to be restored and
maintained here in San Mamiliano, they argued to the Bishop. We are
still waiting for his response !

As a part of the restoration project, our house was substantially
restructured and modernised to architectural standards about 7 years
ago. Unfortunately, the house is too old to have retained its
original features on the inside, except for its 5 stone, arched
doorways. Instead of having the inside of the house cosmetically
restored to look old, we opted for a light, airy and modern ambience.
The outside of our house, however, along with all the other dwellings
in San Mamiliano that have undergone restoration, has retained all
its original features.

This incredibly child-friendly house is a converted tower on 3 floors
and is very spacious. And, because the tiny walled village is
pedestrian, it is entirely safe for children to play in the streets.

On the top floor of Il Castello is a largish terrace (could seat 12),
which has the most spectacular views across the mountains and the
valleys. This is where one can sun-bathe as it is totally private and
not overlooked. It is also a wonderful place to eat during the summer
months and, there is garden furniture to seat 8. Indeed, we’ve seated
20 on party occasions. On this floor there are also 2 double bedrooms
(1 has spectacular mountain views, the other has views overlooking
the village and the hills beyond) and 1 bathroom (including full-
sized bath, shower, loo and a washing machine).

On the second floor there are 2 large sitting/dining rooms, a 2nd
bathroom (shower room and loo) and a fully equipped kitchen with
microwave etc.

One of the sitting/dining rooms (the Winter Room) includes a large,
rustic fireplace and leads straight onto the tiny pedestrian main
street through the main entrance to the apartment. The other
sitting/dining room (the Summer Room) includes a sofa-bed settee (one
of 2 matching sofas), a modern stereo system and a large Satellite TV
with SKY SAT DVD/VCR and many, many English speaking film/doc/news
channels plus pop and cartoon channels as well as many videos to
choose from to suit all tastes and for all age-groups. Also, there
are children’s games, a bouncy, blow-up dog, videos for children as
well as many books and CDs to suit all tastes. The Summer Room shares
the same spectacular views as the terrace, to be seen through 2
windows. Both of the sitting/dining rooms are elegantly furnished and
comfortably seat 8-10 people.

The entire house has all mod cons, including gas central heating. And,
all the rooms are lockable.

The ground floor of the house contains a very large double bedroom
with a very large double bed and is accessed by a smaller twin bed-
room on the same floor. The access is via stairs at the side of the
twin room and the entrance to the double bedroom is at the bottom of
the stairs so the intrusion is minimum. On the ground floor is a 2nd
washing machine.

There is a back entrance from the house into the patio/garden of
L’Arco - our smaller apartment next door. However, unless both these
properties are rented simultaneously by the same party, this back
door is permanently locked because the guests in the house have their
own entrance on the middle floor of the house, which is another
street ! This way, privacy is totally maintained by the guests in
each property.

L’Arco is a fabulous apartment next door, spacious and beautifully
decorated with a large separate, fully fitted kitchen and a
bath/shower room. It has SKY/SAT TV/DVD which shows all the English
speaking film/documentary and news channels etc. Like Il Castello,
there is in addition a wide range of books, CDs and videos to suit
all tastes.

Its bed/sitting room is large and naturally divides into
the sitting area with the TV and the sleeping area next to the
window, out of which you see the amazing panorama of the Appinine
mountain range and the valley below, in which nestles the small town
of Ferentillo. Indeed, all 3 windows in L’Arco (one in the bathroom
and the other in the kitchen) share the same astonishingly beautiful
views.

In the corridor is more storage space with fitted cupboards
and, passing through the 13C stone arch, you find yourself in the
kitchen and the entrance to the very pretty garden/terrace that looks
up through one of San Mamiliano’s most ancient arches.

L’Arco is bigger than it looks and, indeed, until recently, it was
our home since our house next door, Il Castello, was
much too big for just the 2 of us. Alas, because of the success of
our rental business in and around Spoleto, we had to move to Spoleto
to be nearer to the majority of our apartments.

While we love Spoleto, we miss San Mamiliano and the villagers, who
have become a part of our extended family. You will find the
villagers to be very friendly but not obtrusively so as they are all
quite shy of strangers. But, they will LOVE you if you just
say, “Ciao, com’e sta ? Amiamo San Mamiliano” (Hello, how are you ?
We love San Mamiliano).

Please note that while Il Castello and L’Arco are next door to each
other, their entrances are in different streets so you may never see
the guests in the other apartment, unless you specifically wish to !

The rental rate includes everything that you could possibly need or
want. We’re very keen that people feel comfortable and lack for
nothing. Guests always comment on the fact that there is unlimited
hot-water, for instance !

Anyway, let me tell you a little more about San Mamiliano, our 1st
home in Italy, as well as the surrounding area :

the arrival of supermarkets in the nearby towns and cities is a sure
sign that things are developing in Umbria. : a few years ago, we were
connected to mains water and gas. Before then, we were dependent on
an underground stream for water and wood for heat. However, in spite
of the availability of gas, wood remains the local Italian’s major
source of heat and since most local Italians still prefer to cook on
the fire, wood is essential for this purpose too. Until recently,
only one “proper” road led to our village. There were also two white
roads (roads made entirely of stones). Fortunately, a year ago, one
of these roads was rebuilt also as a “proper” road. As a result, we
have a far wider access by car to our neighbouring villages. Indeed,
our villagers remember the time before the roads, not so many years
ago, when they were forced to make their way on foot or horseback by
way of tracks marked out by boulders. There is still no public
transport to the village so a car is absolutely essential. Or a mule
or an Api - forms of transport some of our villagers still favour !

The few remaining San Mamilianese have retained their traditional way
of life as land-owning farmers producing wine, olive-oil, tomatoes
and various fruits for local shops and providing the local eateries
with fresh truffles. The land around San Mamiliano is “wooded” much
of the year and the huge logs are brought down the mountains by packs
of mules and delivered to all the neighbouring villages. All these
activities are to be evidenced throughout the year and make for
extremely picturesque viewing - however, if you were to offer to help
chop the wood, pick the olives or the grapes, be sure you mean it as
your offer will be enthusiastically seized upon ! As yet, we’ve
always preferred to watch ! And, the San Mamilianese are extremely
hospitable so don’t be surprised if you are invited to share a dish
of ciriole with them (a thick type of spaghetti made of flour and
water) or to join them for a glass of grappa, especially in the
morning when it will be added to your espresso !

Around San Mamiliano, in the woods and olive groves, there is a
diversity of wild-life: foxes, black squirrels, wild boar, porcupine
etc. and many different species of birds, including nightingales.
Occasionally, especially at night or of an early misty morning, these
animals can be spotted on the roads leading to the village.

This area is to be most appreciated by those who love tranquillity,
walking in woods and mountains and enjoying the spectacular scenery
which looks across at the Apennines and over the surrounding valleys
but who do not wish to be isolated. It is off the main tourist
routes, relatively undiscovered and, therefore, it is unusual to see
other visitors in the immediate surroundings. Yet, we have easy
access to all the main attractions…..Assisi, Perugia and Rome (about
60-90 mins by car), places like Sploleto, Todi and Piediluco being
relatively close by.

Local shops and many trattorias are all within minutes to half an
hour down the mountain. Eating out in the summer months is highly
recommended. It would be difficult to pay more than 15 euros for a 3
course meal with as much wine as you can drink in the local eateries.
Eating al fresco on a warm evening with the sun setting behind
mountains silhouetted against a pink-streaked, azure blue sky takes
some beating. Then there is the Piediluco lake which was famously
painted by that great impressionist, Turner. Here, also, there are
many bars and restaurants.

Our local and very beautiful pool, (5 mins by car), is set in the
mountains and is first class with a bar and all the usual amenities,
and includes tennis courts. The entry fee is about 5 euros. There are
many other pools and tennis courts in the area. Indeed, for the
serious swimmer, there is an Olympic sized pool next to Piediluco
lake. On the lake itself, there are all the usual boating facilities
(though speed-boats are not allowed) and sun-bathing areas. Riding
stables are close by - and, day-long pony treks can be arranged
across the mountains at special rates. At nearby Marmore Falls, the
largest in Europe, there is white-water rafting. And, rock-climbing
and hang-gliding are on offer in the hills.

So, both L’Arco and Il Castello, in this fairy-tale, hill-top, walled
village of San Mamiliano, nestling just below the snow-line and often
above the clouds, with the sweep of deep valleys rising to mountain
peaks, silhouetted against brilliant blue skies, are perfect for
those who wish to experience tranquillity and savour the atmosphere
of a bygone era in a relatively unspoilt and beautiful part of the
world, without feeling isolated.



 

     Amenities 


We supply all bedding, linen, crockery, as much hot water as you
like, central heating - when required, wood - when required, sun-
loungers - when requested, washing and ironing facilities, a hair-
dryer, large Sat TV as well as a generous Welcome Pack....tea,
coffee, bread, butter, milk, all the condiments, fruit, wine, pasta,
olive oil....the works. And, if we've forgotten anything, we'd get it
for you immediately.

The local shops that include butchers, chemists, florists, grocery
stores, newsagents etc are all just a few miles down the hill. And, a
little further away, about 5 minutes drive, are 2 supermarkets.

Restaurants and bars pepper the area - you have a wide selection from
local contadini restaurants and pizzarias to up-market flash places -
all excellent and great value = absolutely nothing to break the bank !

There is a fabulous pool (that also includes a 2nd pool for toddlers)
and tennis courts set in the mountains just down the hill in
Ferentillo. This beautiful complex, complete with picnic areas and 2
bars was built by the mayor for his own use since he lived next door
and didn't have a pool or tennis court. Naturally, no expense was
spared.

About 10 miles away is the lake, Piediluco, famously painted by
Turner, the impressionist. On the side of this very pictureque lake
is an Olympic pool for those who wish to stretch themselves somewhat.

Naturally, there are churches and sacred places all around since this
this is the area where St Francis of Assisi spent much of his time
when he fell out with the Catholic church.



 

     Attractions 


Local cultural activities abound. Amongst the most prestigious is the
International Spoleto Festival which attracts world-famous musicians,
dancers and celebrity guests (3 wks June/July). In fact, Prince
Charles was reported in our local press to have bought a villa nearby
having claimed that Spoleto was one of his favourite places in the
world. It takes about 20 minutes to drive to Spoleto.

Less famous, but extremely spectacular, nonetheless, is the festival
devoted to St. Valentine which takes place in his actual “resting”
place of Terni (I wk Feb) and involves a vast diversity of musical
events, carnivals, fancy dress and wine-tastings. It takes about 25
minutes to drive to Terni.

There are many other big festas, too, ranging from the slightly less
prestigious, but still spectacular, festival at Todi (the unofficial
rival to Spoleto), the specialist Flower festival at San Gemini, the
Water festival at Piediluco (all close by), not to mention on your
door-step, Ferentillo's historic Pageant, involving 400 volunteers
and showing life in Ferentillo over the last 1000 years…..as well as
the hundreds of more modest, commune sponsored festas where you can
dance, eat and drink all night and it will cost you virtually
nothing. And, for those of you who are musical, there are always
concerts, master classes etc on in Terni, Spoleto and the smaller
places such as Bevagnia and Montefalco…..all this information can be
got from local tourist offices once you’re here.

Nearby is the plain of Rieti. In this area are to be found the
original worship places, in tiny monasteries dotted around, of St
Francis who lived in this area, when he first left his privileged
existence in Rome to spread a less conventional Roman Catholicism in
the rural areas of Umbria, before settling in Asissi. Some of
his “churches” are to be found outdoors, a simple assembly of wooden
benches and an alter beneath the trees.

The exact location of San Mamiliano is the middle of Italy - just
slightly to the left ie our nearest ocean is the Adreatic. We're in
the Appenines.

By car and driving normally, it takes 25 mins to Spoleto, 90 mins to
Rome, 45 mins to Asissi, 70 mins to Perugia, 2 hrs 30 mins to
Florence (depending on traffic), 3 hrs 30 mins to Naples (also
depending on traffic), the Amalfi coast and Pompei. Castellucia, the
famous Gran Piano (with fantastic natural flower displays across this
gigantic plain around about Easter) is just over 1 hour away.

On the way to Castellucia is Norcia, which is worth a visit and where
most of our white truffle is to be found (our area is abundant with
black truffle all the year round - consequently, it's cheap to dine
out on truffle, one of my favourite dishes, at around 10 euros for a
bowl of ciriole al tartufo !).

However, all around us, ie within a 30 min drive, are an abundance of
small towns eg Todi and Spello which are all equally beautiful and
fascinating. Benigni (the Oscar winning film-maker of Life is
Beautiful and Piccochio) stays nearby in Coliscipoli while working on
the film studios in which both these films were produced. And, of
course, it is the countryside all round here that features in both
these films.

This is also the St Francis area and there are numerous monasteries
round about, where he has stayed, within a 30 min radius - although
you'd have to research as to where they are since I've only visited 2
or 3 on foot via mountain roads and I was led there by friends but,
while I could only tell you how to get to 1 of them in Greccio, I
know that others are reachable by car. Actually, there is a map at
Greccio which shows how to get to 5 or 6 others by car or on foot. In
all of the numerous churches, to be found in every tiny hill-top
village as well as every town and city, there are frescos, most of
which have been restored.

Our own church in San Mamiliano houses one of the 4 most important
paintings in Umbria, which the Bishop of Spoleto is currently trying
to "pinch" but, alas, it is being neglected (which is his argument
for taking it to join the others in the Spoleto duomo) and the
frescos have remained unrestored - I suppose, it was decided to put
the money into doing up the village instead. Most of the other
villages with beautifully restored churches have been left to just
totally crumble.

Many of the places further than 1 hour by car can be quicker to get
to by train and it can be a lot less hassly eg taking a car into Rome
or Naples would not be everyone's first preference and our local
train station provides an excellent and regular service to almost
everywhere you'd wish to go. Places like Asissi, however, are not
that far and never really get that busy so that's a place where it's
best to take the car.




 

     Rates 



RATES PER WEEK: IL CASTELLO - OCT | 670 euros NOV - APRIL | 650 euros MAY - OCT | 670 euros Notes on prices To include up to 8 adults. L'ARCO - OCT | 390 euros NOV - APRIL | 350 euros MAY - OCT| 390 euros Notes on prices To include up to 2 adults + 1 child. Enquire about discounted rates for bookings longer than a week - the bigger the booking, the greater the discount. Also, I offer a 10% discount off the full rates for a simultaneous booking of Il Castello and L'Arco. The weekly rate includes all utilties ie towels, linen (beach towels, if requested), unlimited central heating when required etc plus a Welcome Pack : wine, bread, butter, milk, tea, coffee, sugar, all the condiments, fruit, pasta, olive oil etc...enough for our guests not to have to worry about food shopping before settling in ! Changeover day Any day arrival/departure. Please arrive between 2 - 4 pm. If you are going to be earlier or later, please ring Laurie - in order to make specific arrangements to meet up. Don't leave a message - we don't know how to retrieve them. If you don't get through, keep trying - the signal can fade temporarily in the mountains.



 

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