My family and I(five people) stayed at this villa for one week. Villa is quaint- house is 600 years old and belonged to an Italian painter Pietro Berrettini. Main house has 3 bedrooms and 3 baths with attached garden apt having an additional bedroom and bath with kitchenette.
Location is good- a walk down the hill to the main Piazza where there are plenty of shops, restaurants, etc. (warning- walking back home is quite a workout!- wear comfortable shoes)
The house has a beautiful garden accessed via a terrace off the kitchen- great place to watch the sunset. There were turtles and lizards in the garden which my son really enjoyed- neighboring kittens visited daily as well.
Kitchen is small but adquate- I wasn't interested in cooking while on vacation anyway. There is a dishwasher. Villa also has clothes washer- but as is typical in Italy and much of Europe- no dryer- just a clothes rack and clothesline. It is very hot, sunny and dry in Cortona during the summer- so drying the clothes did not take long. No Air conditioning- but most of the villas do not have it. You really don't need it even in the heat of August- it is dry heat. During the day you close the outside shutters to block the sun- at night with the windows open and the fans on it is quite comfortable. The villas are made of very thick stone which helps to keep them cool during the day.
Would recommend stocking up on groceries at the Coop (larger supermarket in a town at the bottom of the hills) there are small shops ini Cortona- but they don't stock everything you would want for a weeks stay.
There is a beautiful swimming pool in Cortona that you can pay and use daily- has a bar and restaurant for lunch. Owners are very friendly and helped us with advice for things to do in and near Cortona.
Cortona also has a beautiful tennis club with two clay courts. Cost was 10 Euros for one hour- certainly cheaper than what we pay here at home in the states.
Day trips to Montepulciano, Siena are recommended. Florence was a bit farther than we realized when we set out for the day but still do-able in a day.
Streets are very narrow and hilly- if you are renting a car- be advised that if you rent one that is too big- you will have to park outside of the walls and walk to your residence. We had a small SUV that was fine. Road into Cortona at the top of the hill was really little m\ore that a wide one-way street. A bit harrowing when a car was comming the other way- needed to fold in the side mirrors etc- but you get used to it after a while. Parking brakes a must everywhere for parking on the hills!
Would recommend this Villa for families or even 2 or more couples goiing on vacation together. Must keep in mind that if you are flying in overnight from the states- the property is not available until 4-7pm for check-in. We arrived around 1pm into Cortona after driving from Rome Airport- it was a litte unpleasant to have to wait 3 hours for the villa to be available- but once we were in everything was fine.
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