We stayed for one week in Ester's beautiful house in Cortona and cannot say enough about how enchanting, comfortable, quaint, friendly, and delightful our stay was. I traveled with my 12 year old son on a "mommy-son" holiday to Italy and this week was the highlight of a 2 week adventure. Alle Pietre - as other reviewers note - is a beautiful home ideally situated on a quiet street by the wall of Cortona's main historic center. It is well suited for 2 couples with a master bedroom on the top floor and another sleeping room on the bottom floor, with a living room/kitchen floor in between. For 2 people, it is also perfect. The master is charming, a very comfortable king bed, lovely bathroom. Views are wonderful out the back over the valley. A close walk to the main part of Cortona and perfectly peaceful in the night no matter what activities are happening in Piazza Signorelli (we were there during the medieval tournament). All in all, we cannot recommend this lovely jewel of a holiday rental enough....and we are planning to return for a longer stay in the next summer or two! Ester was wonderful to work with in every way. This is a real gem.
Cortona is a lovely and picturesque town perched up on a hill. The Tuscan way, as it were. Alle Pietre is a gem of a house on three levels which could easily accomodate two couples. The house is as cozy as it is old, but perfectly well kept. Although at the edge of the town, you only need five minutes to get to the centre by foot. History is everywhere around, starting with the Museum of Etruscan Art (don't take photos of the "lampadario") and ending with the Cirifalco Fortress which gives you unique views of Lake Trasimeno and the border between Umbria and Tuscany. There is a wide choice of bars and restaurants in Cortona, out of which our favourite was Il Tempero. If you're lucky you can also witness one or two local festivals in the evening, especially over weekends.
If the house is wonderful, so are the owners. Ester and Giovanni are warm and considerate hosts, ready to meet every requirement with a smile and to make useful suggestions. We were privileged to have met them and to have lived in their house for a heavenly week. If you have a car, you can visit a variety of towns and cities: Siena and Arezzo, Firenze and Montepulciano, Orvieto and Assisi, Spello and Gubbio. Should you feel the need for a really nice surprise, give a chance to small but fantastic Pienza. Many have called it "la citta ideale del Rinascimento" and you will see why.
Many thanks, Esther and Giovanni, and expect us back some time.
Irina and Radu, Bucharest, Romania
Ester and her husband Giovanni welcomed us to their fabulous property in Cortona and gave us a brief tour of the house and its amenities. A lovely fruit bowl was left for us to enjoy. Fabulous location close to the centre, but in a quiet street. We especially enjoyed our lunches at the little table and chairs provided which are right against the old wall, which overlooks the valley below. Easy to visit surrounding countryside with our hire car, but mostly we preferred to relax and enjoy Cortona. The house is beautifully and thoughtfully furnished, and is very comfortable. We stayed for a week and hope to return some day soon !
My husband and I spent 4 days in Cortona at the end of December through the New Year. Alle Pietre was a lovely place to stay. The apartment is charming and Ester has done a great job of adding all the extras to make for an enjoyable stay . . . from the breakfast for our first morning - to the Presecco for New Years Eve - to the chocolates on the bed.
We have been to Cortona before - but the experience of “living as a local” was wonderful !
We hope to go back again soon.
Ester had arranged for the taxi to pick us up at Camucia Station and deliver us to her front door. Ester was waiting for us at her front door with a warm, welcoming smile and soon we were taking a tour of her lovely house. The house was immaculate, warm, and beautifully decorated. On the kitchen table, a well stocked bowl of mouthwatering fruit awaited us along with croissants, milk and juice to ensure we were off to a good start. The kitchen is well supplied if you wish to challenge yourself to making an Italian dinner at home. Of course the highlight was the table and chairs in the back overlooking the valley below. We spent many a morning with our coffee and the evening with a glass of wine sharing special moments and sunsets wondering if we were in heaven looking down on the beautiful earth below. The house is located in a quiet setting ensuring a peaceful sleep and only minutes away from the town center and markets, should you wish for the company of others, or just to watch the Cortonese in their evening stroll while you enjoy your glass of prosecco. The merchants are friendly and go the extra distance to make you feel welcome . Our only regret was when it was time to leave Alle Pietre. Esther arranged for the taxi to pick us up and deliver us safely to the train station. We leave with only fond memories and a special thank you to Ester for creating such a welcoming and comfortable place to stay. By the way, if you are lucky enough to befriend the neighbor's tabby striped cat, say hi to Paulina!
Had a fabulous stay in Italy. our stay in Cortona was even better when we saw alle Pietre. It's a wonderfully charming little cottage with stunning views. The accommodation was spotlessly clean and a short 5 min walk from the main square in Cortona with its restaurants museums and shops. If you arrive by hire car there is free parking a 5 min walk away. Worth noting that the beautiful city of Florence is an 80min train ride away and alle Pietre is well placed to explore the local area. We would definitely recommend the cottage to others. thank y
Out for a wonderful stay.