The house has breathtaking views from the terrace and balconies and is perfectly situated for access to all of Abruzzo's parks
About Mark Clark
Hi, my name is Mark, I'm 48 years old and I have lived in England all my life until I moved here to Abruzzo in April 2013. I have always loved to travel and love the outdoors, especially walking and trekking and this is what inspired me to buy a property and set it up as a holiday let and guest house. I am well educated and have a degree in Economics from York University but I have never really used this. I couldn't get a job when I graduated and so found myself working in kitchens most of my life. I started as a dish washer and worked my way up to Chef. I live in a separate suite at the property and so will be available to cook a BBQ once a week if required and pizza's one evening when I have finished building the wood-fired pizza oven outside the house. I look forward to meeting you
Mark Clark purchased this House in 2007
Why Mark Clark chose Roccacasale
I bought a house in Roccacasale in particular because two friends had already bought properties here and made connections with local builders and people necessary for the renovations. I bought this house in particular because I could see that it would be beautiful when restored but mostly because when I walked out onto the 2nd floor balcony and saw the view I went weak at the knees. I had to have it. I had been in Italy for 8 hours for the first time in my life and I agreed to buy it there and then. It took four and a half years of hard work to get the restoration finished and a little longer for the interior and the garden but now it is ready for guests. Roccacasale is perfect for me, it has the peace and tranquillity of a mountain village but is close to larger towns and transport links.
What makes this House unique
The most amazing thing about the property is the view. From the ground floor it is fantastic but from the second floor balconies you get the view that made me buy and this is breathtaking. You can see out above the house and trees and you can see the whole of the Peligna Valley to the right and left surrounded by mountains. 20km long and 10km wide it is a vast beautiful valley with pretty villages dotted along its length. Stunning. Then when you go up another floor to the terrace it gets even better. 360 degrees of mountain views with the village dropping away beneath you so steeply it is almost like being perched on a cliff. In addition to this the house is perfectly positioned for exploring the 3 national parks in the region, and the regional park. I can't wait to share it with people.
100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
Damage and incidentals
You will be responsible for any damage to the rental property caused by you or your party during your stay.
Max guests: 8
We had a great time in Abruzzo staying at this property. The property has ample space, is very quiet and a great price. It has great views of the valley and is near Sulmona and just an hour from the beaches in Pescara. There is plenty of space and plenty of beds. Having three bathrooms was great. Mark was very helpful and easy to communicate with leading up to the stay and during the stay. If you want to stay in a roomy place to experience a real Italian village this is it. You will not see any other tourists here. The sunrise and sunset on the balcony were beautiful.
Cleanliness Not Up to Par
Mark was super friendly and available to give us an initial tour of the property and to answer questions about activities, grocery store, etc. We love the little town and it's residents who all know Mark. The views from the property are breath-taking and day trips to adjacent areas convenient. The price to rent the property was outstanding.
Parking was available but not close. We drove a Jeep Compass, which made it difficult to navigate the narrow, curvy road - rent the smallest car possible for your group. We made the steep trek to the property with our luggage, not for the faint of heart.
The space could definitely use some organization and deep cleaning - the appliances and dishes needed to be washed before we would use them. The bathrooms were OK but needed some minor cleaning and repair. The beds are doubles, not queen or king,making it more comfortable for couples to sleep in two separate beds. The bedding was clean but not clean and crisp as we have experienced in other properties, making us feel a bit leery about the freshness.
The space is huge and would be great for a large group that may be in the area for a ski or hiking trip.
First of all, the nearest car park is less than a 2 minute walk away from the house, and, if you are able to drive, you can get to within less than 1 minutes walk away. People drive all the way up to the castle in large four-wheel drive vehicles to drop off equipment for events. I have driven up to the car park nearest to the house in a long wheel-base Mercedes van and passed other vehicles along the way. It is a mountain village, the roads are narrow in places, but it is not necessary to hire the smallest car possible to get up here. That's just nonsense. Plenty of people come up here in mini-buses-you just need to be able to drive to a reasonable standard. As for the walk to the house 'not being for the faint of heart' more utter nonsense. My 78 year old mother did it without a problem and, until recently, a 105 year old woman lived halfway between the car park and the house and regularly walked down to the piazza and back. Yes, it is uphill....but the first line of my advert says '..high in the medieval mountain village..' If you don't want to walk uphill for 2 minutes don't come to a mountain village!!! The fantastic, breath-taking views are the reward you get for a really short walk uphill.
Next, the sheets and towels are always cleaned the moment that other guests leave. Then the beds are made. Sure, maybe they had been on the beds for a week or so but they were still clean. I'm not taking them off and washing them again the day before someone arrives for an extremely CHEAP 2 NIGHT STAY. It works out at less than 8 euros per double bed per night in September. And yes, ALL 8 beds are doubles. EVEN the bunk beds are hand made doubles. Not queens or kings..but I never said they were..just ALL doubles. Not bad for less than 8 euros per night.
And regarding the cleanliness, I will say that it's always cleaned for about 5 hours or so before every group of guests arrive. The bathrooms were spotless and there is no sign of any repairs that they claimed to do. And I worked for over 20 years in kitchens, during that time not once did a kitchen I worked in fail a health inspection. Neither would this one. It's a big kitchen. There are over a hundred items of crockery, it's possible something slipped by me and my cleaners but it is not possible that ALL crockery and appliances needed cleaning before use. No one else in 5 years has needed to. It was due a deep clean, it was at the end of the summer season. It has since been done. Guests with OCD is my guess :-)
The house was well renovated with care to uphold some original character, and can accommodate comfortably 6 people or more. It is set steeply up the vast hills at about 1200 feet. It is necessary to park and walk a short steep paved road to the accommodation. The owner operator is friendly and helpful and lives in the lower level of the building. He prepared a great meal featuring some local foods apon our request at arrival. The kitchen serves as a generous dining room with good kinves, cutting boards and a fine oven. Roccacasale is a quiet village. It is well located to explore the many incredible larger towns nearby. The scenery of Abruzzo is amazing and the views from the house and roof terrace are wonderful.
A fabulous property in a lovely village.
A beautiful house and a great host. Stunning views from the terrace. Great food, great wine, great company. Very much looking forward to returning.
We booked Mark’s house for a 16 day vacation from the States late June to mid- July. We are a family of 5, with three children ages 6, 3.5 and 2.5. My review is much longer, but I'm limited in space so I'll keep it brief.
The place has no AC, and no screens.. So you either sweat or risk getting eaten alive by bugs at night.
The bottom bedroom is subterranean and extremely humid, basically unusable.
The worst part of this trip was getting eaten alive by bed bugs starting after day 2.. In all, my wife, myself, and my 2 year old daughter were eaten alive.. I'm talking dozens and dozens of bites that itch for weeks on end. My wife and I were up all nights applying anti-itch cream to be able to stop itching long enough to sleep. I had to leave after 9 nights as we couldn't take it anymore. Mark agreed to refund part of my stay and I haven't seen any refund yet. If you work for your money, value sleep, and don't enjoy being eaten alive by bugs, stay clear of this place. This place ruined my vacation, don't let it ruin yours.
You can be on the beach in Pescara in 40 minutes from leaving the house. There are miles of pristine sandy beaches lined with numerous seafood restaurants, bars and pizzerias, there are playgrounds for the children, volleyball, recliners and umbrellas as far as the eye can see. There are others to the north and south that are quieter but they also have less facilities
The nearest airport to Roccacasale is Pescara and is about a 30 minute drive from the village. Alternatively Rome Ciampino Airport is a 1 hour 30 minute drive and Fiumicino is about 20 minutes longer...dependant on traffic. I have a minibus that can carry 8 passengers and airport pick-ups are available if required, and from stations in Sulmona(free) and Pratola(free). Car hire or use of a car is recommended for getting around Abruzzo if you want to be able to explore it's treasures properly.
Pescara is 60km away, L'Aquila about 57km, Sulmona 9km, Thermal Spa at Popoli 9km, the must see fortress atop a 1500m mountain is 40 km away. The Lake at Scanno is about 30km away, at 1100m it is a little cooler for swimming and there are bars and restaurants. The caves at Stiffe are about 45km away and well worth a visit, another good place to escape the heat of the afternoon
In the village there are three bars, only one is open late. There are two shops where you can buy anything you need, fresh vegetables, milk, cheese, salami, wine, or just outside the village about 2km from the house there is a supermarket. It is a tough walk back with your shopping but I can provide a lift once or twice a week. There is also a fresh fruit and veg van that comes to the village on Saturday mornings and a market in one village in the valley every day of the week except Sunday. There is a good restaurant in the village or the bar that is open late also serves food in the evening. Alternatively there are places to eat in all the nearby villages and many that are worth a visit in Sulmona. The nearest banks are in Pratola Peligna or Sulmona but bring Euro with you or use a card in the machines, you cannot change money here unless you have a bank account.
You can get almost anything else you need from Sulmona, 9km away and it is also a beautiful historic town, home to the poet Ovid, it has a medieval aqua-duct running through its main piazza which offers dramatic views of the surrounding mountains. Well worth a visit. There is an aqua-park at Corfinio (4km), guided walks are available including full moon walks, fishing, horse riding, rafting, Jeep tours and the region is perfect for cyclists, on the roads and mountain-biking along the endless trails and four wheel drive tracks. My personal love is walking in the mountains and in Abruzzo you can walk for days along beautiful mountain trails and hardly see another soul. There is a trail that leaves the village two minutes from the house and goes up the Montagna del Morrone, A stunning 2000m peak. There are refugios in Abruzzo which provide meals(not all) and sometimes entertainment and I can organize guides or maps and transport to and from trails as required. Abruzzo is a walkers paradise, get away from the crowds and explore each of its equally beautiful Parks.