For a secluded, quiet retreat
Pros: The house is extremely pretty from the outside, as the photographs show, the view from the kitchen window and back garden is fabulous, the garden furniture is very functional and Calvi is quiet, pretty and historic.
The kitchen is reasonably well equipped and fit for purpose, as was the dining area, with a lovely view from the window.
It's quiet, and would suit those wanting complete peace and stillness.
Cons: the one restaurant in Calvi was closed while we were there - I couldn't believe our bad luck! Other than that, there's one bar serving drinks and ice creams in the central piazza, and a small cafe there serving slices of unappetising, dry-looking pizza! There's little nightlife - no "passegiata", people-watching, etc. - pretty much no buzz at all. I was so disappointed.
There are no supermarkets in Calvi - the owner directed us to somewhere in a nearby village that was in fact derelict! The small Calvi grocery shops in the main piazza keep traditional Italian hours, and don't have everything that you need. You need to arrive with your provisions.
We stumbled across an open air swimming pool, where many locals went with their children - no info from owner.
Calvi is too far, along windy roads, for easy day trips to other towns, unless you're prepared to spend 90 minutes to two hours each way.
Directions provided to get to the house were DIRE - we spent hours trying to find the place - there are two arches, and the arch you need to get to is well off the main road. Get clear instructions, and a map from them, if you do go.
In terms of the house, the pool is small (you see possibly half of it in the photograph), and not heated so it was cold. I went in for a couple of minutes, max, at a time only.
The stairs inside the house are not suitable for toddlers (not a problem for us, but I wouldn't have wanted to encounter them when my children were younger) - steep, no hand-rails.
The double bed was really uncomfortable, as were the pillows. It gave me back ache.
The main shower room is cramped, and needs an overhaul. The shower didn't drain properly.
Because of the hedge in the garden, you can't see the view once you're on the sun loungers - a small point, but since the view is fabulous, and the biggest plus point for this property, it's is a shame.
Overall, the property is suitable for those wanting total seclusion and peace, arriving with a car and all their provisions!
Owner's Response: Thank you for your thoughts. Some of your suggestions have already been addressed for next year. The owner has replaced the mattress in the master and has up-graded all the pillows. Some of your comments, on the other hand, I find a bit surprising.
Directions;you were sent specific directions with map. Perhaps you did not print out and take them with you? You are the first guest out of many who has not found the house easily, and many have complimented us on their ease in following our directions.
I am not sure why you feel the owner should have mentioned a public pool when she offers a private one, and one which is, contrary to your statement a quite generous size for a small house.
Others have found Calvi charming and authentic. Yes, it is a real town where people live, not a resort or a tourist trap. Others have enjoyed this aspect and buying exceptionally fresh produce at the local small markets and shops. People do live here so you do not need to bring your own provisions. I suspect that town you found "derelict" was merely closed for lunch hours as is the Italian style. There are certainly more than a single restaurant in Calvi, just as there are many exceptional towns to visit between 20 minutes to hour, including beautiful Todi and the magnificent Orvieto with its famed Cathedral, Narni, a beautiful hill town, Bomarzo with , its famed Gardens, Capriarola, with is magnificent Villa, There is Lake Bolsena, and so much more. Most of these are written of in our Guest note which we sent you. I am terribly sorry that you missed the opportunity to take advantage of them. I addition you were only 70 minutes from Rome itself. Though it is certainly great for family town and hanging it all, it is also exceptionally well located to explore the real Italy.
Helpful votes: 2/2
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