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After 5 days in Rome we spent 3 days in Umbria with Capoccia Carola. We've been to Umbria several times before and this was the best spot so far. Apartment was immaculate, everything worked fine, beautiful location and convenient to all the places and things we wanted to do. We were at the end of October so didn't take advantage of the outdoor pool and other facilities. This would be a great place if you had children but we found it perfect for us 3 adults. Coffee, wine and an informal restaurant with surprisingly good food were all within a 500 meter walk although not visible from the privacy of the apartment itself. Loved it and highly recommend.
Villa Marianna is in a beautiful, peaceful location in the mountains near Spoleto. It is quite remote, so a car is vital - and the nearest town and restaurants are a considerable drive - but if it is peace and quiet you are searching for, then this is the ideal retreat.
Our apartment was really well equipped and there was nothing we required for cooking etc that was not provided. At one point our shower flooded, but a plumber was organised straight away and the problem was solved easily. There is no air conditioning, which did concern me a little, however, the stone construction and location against the mountain ensured that our apartment was never too hot but stayed lovely and cool, even when the temperature in the sun reached the mid 30s. Lovely!
The pool is a good size and there are a few sun loungers and a little play area for children, which our one year old loved. However, as the pool was unheated, it was unbearably cold, even in July, and there was a lot of dog poo in the play area. We were happy to ignore the sheep and dog poo on the paths etc, as this is a working farm with sheep grazing, but it would be good if they were kept away from this play area if possible.
I communicated with Norma whilst planning the holiday, and she was helpful and always happy to answer our questions. Whilst away, Laurie (a lovely chap!) dealt with all our queries and organised the activities for us. We went truffle hunting and my parents went on the olive oil experience. These were both fantastic - such unique experiences with absolutely delicious food, and a rare opportunity to see behind the scenes with people so passionate about what they do. Although it was quite a physically demanding walk through the woods, we even took our one year old truffle hunting and were accommodated well.
Overall, we had a delightful stay in Umbria and would highly recommend staying at one of Norma and Laurie's properties. In fact, my parents are already looking at returning, perhaps in the Autumn!