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Sydney & Antoinette Higgins

Member since: 2006
Call Owner
Speaks: english, italian

Cottage Apartment in a restored Farmhouse with swimming pool

1 Review
Bedrooms 1
Property type farmhouse
Minimum Stay 7 nights

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Macerata Farmhouse Rental Photos and Description

Self-catering rentals in idyllic location with large garden and fantastic views

Dating partly from the seventeenth century, this romantic farmhouse with its white-stuccoed, thick stone walls is set in five-acres of grounds with lawns, fruit-trees, flower-beds and a small fish-pond. There is also a welcoming 12m x 6m swimming-pool with amenities including sun-loungers, a hot shower, fridge, a barbecue area and an inside toilet. From the house and grounds there are splendid views across a gentle valley to distant mountains and the medieval, hill-town of Camerino, the site of what is claimed to be the second oldest university in Western Europe. The English owners have lived here since 1989 and have lovingly restored the whole building including the two self-catering apartments. The largest has been available for holiday rentals since 2004: the studio apartment was finished in May, 2008. A guest remarked that it was wonderful to be somewhere free from all sounds of the modern world. Yet the house is close to shops, restaurants, great walks and famed tourist centres.

The Weather: The house is at the end of a private road and so it is a peaceful haven with no sounds of passing traffic and, as we are about 450m above sea level, the air is pure and healthy. Although there can be many sunny days, January to March is usually dry and chilly with a heavy snowfall in early January. (Bolognola, the nearest ski resort, is only a forty-minute drive away.) In April, May and early June, there can be rainy days but Spring is a fantastic season - fruit trees blossom, the sun frequently shines, wild flowers blanket the fields and verges, the birds sing and, at night, the fire-flies glow. From mid-June to early September, it is normally very hot, sunny and dry. Autumn, with its burnished and russet foliage, is a magical time. It does sometime rain and, as the days shorten, it becomes cooler. It is the ideal time for walking and exploring.

Our swimming pool is normally open from mid-May until early October. For the rest of the year, the pool is covered and not used.

Local Wines and Food: The best known regional white wine is Verdicchio, produced mainly in Matelica (10 kilometres away) and Castelli di Jesi. It varies from the cheap and cheerful to superb vintage wine. Local red wines, named after where the wine is made, are Rosso Conero and Rosso Piceno. A famous local, sweet, sparkling wine is Vernaccia di Serra Petrona. Produced in Camerino and other nearby towns is a superb aniseed spirit, called Mistrà, that is delightfully used to 'correct' a coffee.

Local foods include 'ciauscolo' (a spreadable salame), 'frappe' (a Carnival sweet made of fried strips of sugared dough) and 'torrone' (a nougat). Among local dishes are 'coniglio in prochetta' (rabbit stuffed with pork and wild fennel), 'polenta' (a solid pasta made from maize flour on top of which is meat or vegetables) and 'vincisgrassi' (a superior lasagna). Local cheeses include 'pecorino' (from sheep's milk) and 'ricotta' (from the remaining whey). Excellent honey and olive oil are also produced locally.

Eating In and Out: Within 3 kilometres of the apartment, there are two supermarkets selling a wide range of foods that includes local and regional specialities. Also close by, there are local specialist bakers, butchers, greengrocers and delicatessens. There is also a local market where it is possible to buy fresh fish. It is, therefore, very easy to buy locally almost any food required - apart from some essential Ingredients for Indian and Chinese food!

Close by, there are several unpretentious restaurants and pizzerias, serving good and inexpensive meals. At some of them, it is possible to eat outside in summer. Within a twenty-minute drive, there are about a dozen slightly more expensive restaurants that present very good food and an excellent range of Italian wines.

All guests are provided with a list of local restaurants and we are very happy, if required, to provide advice and make any required bookings. At weekends in summer and on feast days, it is normally essential to book in advance.

More Details
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Low Allergen Environment
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
  • pets considered
  • unsuitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Sydney & Antoinette Higgins (Owner)
Member since: 2006
Call Owner
Speaks: english, italian

About Sydney & Antoinette Higgins

Sydney and Anna Higgins moved permanently to their Italian house in 1990 and have lived there very happily ever since. They are now retired but for much of the last 19 years, they both taught at the University of Camerino where Sydney has been the Professor of English in the Law Faculty. Both are writers and between them they have had published over 50 books, including travel guides, books for children and biographies. In 1993, they founded the Camerino Players, a theatre group that has presented many productions in both English and Italian. The company still flourishes, most recently producing plays for young children. From 1996 to 1999, Sydney organised a very successful annual European Medieval Drama Confrence and Festival. In 2000, he received the award of Camerino Citizen of the Year.

Sydney & Antoinette Higgins purchased this farmhouse in 1990

Why Sydney & Antoinette Higgins chose Macerata

We had visited these beautiful and unspoilt rural area of Italy several times when we decided to look for a house we could use for holidays. Eventually, we found this house and because it and the surroundings were so exceptionally beautiful and tranquil we decided, after owning it for a few months, to move here permanently. It is a decision we have never regretted. Although the house is on its own at the end of a long road, we are only ten minutes drive from the centre of the beautiful walled medieval hill town of Camerino with its ancient university, cathedral and one of the mose beautiful theatres in Italy. A short distance away are spectacular mountain walks orand drives, other fascinating sities including Macerata, Tolentino and Urbino. And the sea is only a thirty-minutes drive away.

What makes this farmhouse unique

The previous owner, a local from Camerino, told us that he wished to sell the house only to someone who, like him, would understand that it is a little slice of paradise. It is!

Guestbook comments from the owner

We enjoyed every minute in this beautiful place, surrounded by the music pf nature. Happiness in all the living creatures. Even Benson, the dog, is laughing! We carry this golden memory with us and wish to come back soon.

Thank you Anna and Sydney for sharing this magical place with us.
Jul 2012
  • 1 of 11


1 traveler review

Cottage Apartment in a restored Farmhouse with swimming pool
average rating of 5.0 based on 12 reviews
67245 Lambsheim

Ruhe und Erholung pur!

  • 5 of 5

Wir möchten Anna und Sydney für ihre Gastfreundschaft danken! Sie waren sehr zuvorkommend und hilfsbereit :-) (auch spät abends ist mit ihrer Hilfe zu rechnen) nochmal vielen Dank für die Abhohlung im Pappafo! Die Ferienwohnung ist sehr sauber, ausreichend möbiliert und im ländlichen Stil gehalten. Es sind auch Fliegengitter an den Fenstern angebracht. Der Garten ist zur vollen Mitbenutzung und recht großzügig und natürlich gehalten. Es gibt unter anderem viele schöne Eidechsen zu beobachten. Die Ruhe, die man dort bekommt muss man selbst erlebt haben, es ist unbeschreiblich. Super war der große gepflegte Pool, vor allem für unseren 9jährigen Sohn. Wer die Ruhe und Erhohlung sucht ist hier richtig, Tourismus ist noch nicht mal in der nahegelegenen wunderschönen alten Stadt Camerino zu finden. Dafür italienisches Leben pur! Es gibt einige wenige Restaurants, eins auch gleich unten am Ende der Straße. Supermärkte sind in Camerino zu finden, welches man in ca. 5 Min. mit dem Auto erreicht. Auch landschaftlich und kulturell kann man hier einiges finden. Hilfreich ist es wenn man italienisch spricht, denn mit englisch kommt man leider auch nicht sehr weit. Die Landschaft ist herrlich und der Blick vom Pool aus auf die Landschaft und Camerino wird nie langweilig. Anna und Sydney waren im Hintergrund immer präsent, aber nie zu viel! Außer den beiden gibt es noch 3 Hühner, 3 Katzen und unser Liebling Benson, ein wunderschöner großer gemütlicher Hund.

Einziger Wertmutstropfen ist der Weg zu diesem schönen alten Landhaus. Der ist leider schwer befahrbar und man darf kein tiefergelegtes Auto haben. Ohne Koordinaten aus dem Navi wäre es wahrscheinlich kaum zu finden. Der Weg besteht aus Rollsplitt (unbefestigt) und geht recht steil auf und ab und ist kurvig. Aber auch wir haben es mit unserem voll beladenen Audi geschafft oben anzukommen.

Danke Andrea, Ralf und Mika im August 2009

  • Submitted: Aug 27, 2009
  • Stayed: Aug 2009
  • Source: Fewo Direkt, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
75 Kilometres
Falconara, Ancona
Nearest Barpub
2 Kilometres
Bar Europa, Canapena
Nearest Ferry
111 Kilometres
Nearest Golf
81 Kilometres
Golf Club Conero Sirolo
Nearest Train
4 Kilometres
Nearest Motorway
6 Kilometres
Camerino La Sfercia
Nearest Restaurant
1 Kilometres
Pappafò. Camerino
Nearest Ski
32 Kilometres
Nearest Beach
69 Kilometres
Civitanova Marche
Car: necessary

Despite recent publicity, the Marche is still one of the least visited tourist areas in Italy. Our farmhouse is situated in open countryside within sight of Camerino. This walled, medieval city has a population of less than 5,000. Yet it has its own Archbishop and is the home of a university that claims to be the second oldest in Europe. It is difficult, when sitting at a table outside the bar in the main piazza or when strolling along the narrow streets, not to feel you have wandered into an elaborate film-set. This is an ideal base for exploring this fascinating area. Within easy reach, you can be walking in the Sibylline National Park, having a picnic beside a large mountain lake, sunbathing on an Adriatic beach, visiting the cultural centres of Urbino and Assisi, or finding an unexpected art treasure in a village church. Of course, if you prefer, you can laze, drinking a glass of the excellent local wine, in the silence of our extensive garden or beside our swimming pool.

Ski: About a 45-minute drive away, you can ski in the spectacular scenery of the Sibylline Mountains. The nearest small village is Bolognola, or 'Little Bologna' so named by the four rich families who, in medieval times, fled from Bologna. A few kilometres away, at a height of 1070 meters, is Punterra where there are seven ski lifts taking you up to 1845 meters and the pists that have a run of 5 kilometres. The place is unsophisticated but never overcrowded and with no queues for the ski lifts. It is also unusually cheap! The ski season is normally from mid-December to the end of March.


Rates & Availability

Camerino Farmhouse Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Jun 25 2016 - Aug 26 2016
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
Aug 27 2016 - Nov 25 2016
Changeover Day: Saturday
7 night minimum stay
My Standard Rate
7 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Fees No additional mandatory fees
Refundable damage deposit $56

* A 50% deposit is required to confirm a booking. The remainder must be paid on arrival..
* Payment covers utilities and the use of the swimming pool (from May to September). Towels and bed linen are changed weekly. From December to March, an additional charge of €25.00 a week is made for heating.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
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Macerata Farmhouse Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • farmhouse (semi-detached)
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 75 m²
Location Type:
  • Mountain
  • Rural
  • Away From It All
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Garage ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Parking ...
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided ...
  • Tumble Dryer ...
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet ...
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower , bidet
  • The bathroom is spacious and contains a toilet, bidet, marble surround washbasin and a large shower enclosure. A constant supply of hot water is assured as the apartment has its own water heater.
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 3
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 king , 1 twin/ single , 1 baby crib
  • This has a large antique bed with painted metal bedstead and very comfortable mattress. There is a large wardrobe, chest of drawers, two bedside cabinets and an electric ceiling fan. On the walls are paintings and framed engravings, The two windows provide magnificent views across the gentle-sloping valley to the walled medieval hill-town of Camerino. A small room alongside the bedroom can be used as a study with a bookcase lined with many paperback novels, guide-books and videos. There is also a single bed. This room leads out onto the wisteria-covered balcony. This roofed balcony has a small table and three chairs and is ideal for al fresco breakfasts. Here guests can relax, in the shade, overlooking the garden with its large lawn, flower-beds and fruit trees..
  • Books ...
  • Books for Adults
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player ...
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • VCR
  • Video Library ...
  • Balcony
  • Beach Towels
  • Child's Swing
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Terrace
  • 4 garden chairs
  • 4 beach chairs
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Low Allergen Environment
  • children welcome ...
  • non smoking only ...
  • pets considered ...
  • unsuitable for elderly or infirm
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Private Pool ...
  • autumn foliage
  • caves
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • live theater
  • museums
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • water parks
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • outlet shopping
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • swimming
  • tennis
In addition to the upstairs balcony, there is a small table and four chairs immediately opposite the entrance to the apartment. There is a separate seating area under a gazebo in the garden, complete with dining table and four wooden chairs plus a charcoal barbecue. The well maintained garden has lawned areas, flower beds, shrubs and a vegetable patch. There is also a child’s double swing. Guests are invited to pick fruit from the trees. There are also grapes (some above the apartment's front door) and a small herb garden reserved for guests. * The shared utility room is next door to the Cottage and has an automatic washer/dryer, clothes airer, iron and ironing board and vacuum cleaner. * Guests must vacate the apartment before 10.30 a.m. to allow for cleaning and changing of bed linen etc. Departing guests may, however, stay around the swimming pool until 3 p.m. Incoming guests may arrive when they wish but the apartment will not be available until 2 p.m.

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