|Minimum Stay||2 nights|
French doors lead into your private living room with a flagstone floor, barrel vaulted ceiling and large windows looking across the garden to the mountains beyond. There are comfortable sofas, a dining table and a well equipped kitchenette with fridge, sink, hob, oven/microwave, kettle and toaster. The living room also has a TV, DVD, ipod dock and CD player, DVDs, CDs, books and games. A stone staircase leads to two bedrooms and a bathroom. Both bedrooms have lovely mountain views, window seats, terracotta floors and barrel vaulted ceilings. One room has a double bed, and the other can be configured with either a double bed or two single beds. There is also a travel cot and a bed guard for young children. The bathroom has a full sized bath for relaxing after a walk in the mountains, with a rainfall shower over the bath, and a large skylight.
Every room has central heating for chilly days, and window screens to allow cool breezes through the house on hot days while keeping out any bugs! Pictures on the walls depict photographs of life in the village in times gone by.
The owners live in the other half of the house - lower and ground floor - and if in residence will be delighted to offer help/advice if sought.
Outside is a private gravelled parking area providing shade for your car. The large gardens include areas of lawn, small walled gardens planted with lavender and roses, a pond, hammocks, a rockery and two shaded terraces, one for dining and one for relaxing with a drink and a book and admiring the gorgeous views.
We (Dick and Laura) both spent many years, from the 1990s onwards, working for walking-holiday companies - particularly in Italy. In 2002 we took a break and spent 6 months walking the whole length of Italy, from the toe of the boot in Calabria to the border with France at Ventimiglia. Of all the amazing places and landscapes we encountered, we were most attracted to the Majella. In 2004 we bought 31 Decontra - a shell with rudimentary wiring and no plumbing - and worked alongside local builders and craftsmen to renovate the cottage and preserve its original features.
Laura Whinney & Dick Bayne purchased this cottage in 2004
I hope some of the photos will speak for themselves.
We love Decontra for the sense of space and peace it offers. The landscape (sorry to bang on about it) really is extraordinary - walking, or just sitting and looking, is endlessly rewarding. The village is still a very real little Italian community - a tiny bit reserved at first, but then wonderfully friendly and welcoming. Caramanico and the surrounding area offer everything that the more famous regions of Italy do, but without the masses of other visitors.
The house and garden invite one to just stop..... There is always something that catches the eye - great flagstones on the sitting room floor, watching the early morning sun hitting the mountain tops without needing to lift one's head off the pillow, and in the garden - the smell of lavender and wild mint, a lizard basking on an old stone wall, the burble of the village fontana, and the amazing views of Monte Amaro, Monte Morrone and the Orfento Gorge.
What an utterly glorious and delightful place! Everything was wonderful & we're sorry to leave - the house, the views, the garden, the walks, the incredible wildflowers and abundant butterflies...
What a wonderful place! We really enjoyed our week here, we found Caramanico to be a great town for daily trips, great pool. Enjoyed doing some of the walks. All in all a fantastic and relaxing holiday...
A fabulous week walking, swimming & eating & chilling in beautiful house and garden..
The two weeks we have spent here will be unforgettable. Decontra has cast a magic spell...
The house and garden, so beautifully restored and kept, delighted us...
A beautiful well appointed cottage in a tranquil location made for a very relaxing holiday. Each morning we woke up to lovely views across the valleys - sometimes with clouds and mist, sometimes beautifully sunny skies. A great place for walks in the hills and fields - close to interesting towns and villages. The nearby restaurant is a treat fresh local produce & friendly service.
Laura and Dick have compiled a comprehensive folder of all the things you can do nearby and further afield, with detailed instructions to ensure you don't get lost along the way.
We loved the friendly cat - 'Hector' the black & white (no, we didn't let her inside -Laura!)
Chantelle & Bernard
The property is absolutely immaculate, beautifully restored, with really well chosen features, combing the best of old world charm with a great modern bathroom and fresh design. The most stylish house we have rented. The hosts Dick and Laura are charming and very helpful and the property and area guide was the best of any property we have rented. The garden is a delight, with several private seating areas, pond with resident frogs, owls and even an eagle spotted. Some great walks nearby without needing to drive.. The only thing I would request would be to replace the drinks cooler with a small second fridge.
The area is great, the views absolutely amazing, our favourite property so far after 35 years of renting holiday cottages!
Great property. Fantastic for walking and relaxing. Dick and Laura were perfect hosts. The house was gorgeous and had everything we needed, with local information and including chilled wine on arrival. Gardens were great and well kept. We and our boys loved it and are planning on going back next year.
Dick and Laura had prepared very clear instructions about how to find your way around the district, the best food shops, and many suggestions for touring and walking. We only had time for 3 walks but each one was wonderfull. The area is amazingly beautiful and the local food and wine is very good. Next time we plan to stay much longer!
The house is situated in a small mountain village with the most amazing views! The house is owned by Laura and Dick, who have made a fantastic job with the house and garden. The style is tradiotionally italian, but everything is modern and high standard. The garden is big and it has several places for sun or shadow.
Since the location is quite remote, it was kind of hard to find the way, especially since the GPS seemed to favour really small and bad roads. When we finally reached our destination, we had not have the time to shop for grocery. Just to give an exemple of the hosts hospitality, they offered us breakfast for the coming morning!
You should go to Decontra if tour looking for:
- A calm and quite environment
- Beautiful mountain views
- Mountain walks (Dick and Laura are experts)
- A genuine italian enviroment
- Traditional italian food (att lot of meat). Very good value!
- Vineyard visits (not the most prestigious region in Italy, but good value and very friendly wine makers)
Since Decontra is really small, there is no supermycket there. There is an excellent restaurant, Il Cervo and an "agritourismo" next door. Down the mountain in Caramanico Terme, you find more restaurants and shops. The beach is about 1 h away.
We highly recomend Decontra 31!
The cottage has been restored to a high and stylish standard by the owners who were also living on site.This is an ideal property for walkers and for exploring the mountains. The owners were most helpful but never intrusive.
Not really suitable for dedicated self caterers as the kitchen area which formed part of the lounge was very small. The fridge was a small "hotel mini bar" size. However there are several local restaurants including one in the village.
Getting There and Around:
Car hire is essential for a stay in Decontra as it is a rural area not served by public transport.
Decontra is an hour's drive from Pescara airport, which has regular flights from London Stansted. Alternatively, a variety of daily flights leave the UK for Rome's Ciampino and Fiumicino airports, respectively 2½ and 3 hour's drive from Decontra. The drive from Rome is by motorway through beautiful mountain scenery.
Decontra is in a magnificent position on the lip of the mighty Orfento Gorge, with south-facing views of the mountains of Amaro and Morrone. The house is at the heart of the village - an end of terrace cottage in an elevated position with gardens on three sides and beautiful views. There are some wonderful walks to discover from the door, whether you wish to explore a gorge, discover an ancient rock hermitage, gaze from a mountaintop or simply enjoy leisurely picnics surrounded by magnificent views.
The village of Decontra has only been connected to the outside world since the 1970’s – until then it had no electricity, and no road. Today, some of the 70 or so inhabitants still work the surrounding fields or graze their flocks of sheep and goats on the mountainside. Many houses are empty – some owned by families who have emigrated as far as Canada and Australia. Other villagers have moved closer to the valley but return at weekends to visit family and spend the summer in their “real” home. There is an excellent and popular restaurant - Il Cervo, and the village is visited by mobile suppliers bringing fresh bread, fruit and vegetables, and cured meats and cheeses.
The spa town of Caramanico Terme is a 10 min drive from Decontra and has a pretty historic centre, shops, banks, bars, restaurants, churches, spas and a public outdoor pool! There is also a Visitors Centre which has a small museum and an otter-breeding centre, and can issue you with a permit to walk in the Orfento Gorge (highly recommended). They also hire out mountain bikes.
Within 30 minutes drive of the cottage, are pretty villages, a Botanic Garden and fascinating ancient hermitages built into the cliff-sides of the great gorges. An hour’s drive away, the lovely town of Sulmona has medieval buildings, street cafes, churches and museums (market days Wed & Sat) and is the home of sugared almonds or confetti, while Chieti has an impressive National Archeological Museum.
The popular sandy beaches of Abruzzo's well-developed Adriatic coast are an hour's drive from Decontra.
|Fees||No additional mandatory fees|
|Refundable damage deposit||$250|
Damage deposit is paid with your final payment and is held by HolidayRentPayment. It is automatically refunded to you 14 days after the end of your stay if no damage has occurred.