Six of us booked this villa for 10 nights on the strength of the wonderful reviews, the great images of the place and the fact that it was heavily booked up. The owners were good communicators and we arrived full of expectations on a Saturday afternoon.
Unfortunately the owners had been called away as a relative was very ill and we never met them. This, I am sure, had a bearing on what followed.
We were met by a lovely Italian lady (I think her name was Emma) who showed us around. We were enchanted by the lovely view from the terrace and were extremely satisfied with the look of the bedrooms, the kitchen, dining room and lounge.
We arrived in the middle of a heat wave and were very keen to view the pool shared with the neighbours. The pool was across the road and up several steps (not on our property as we had wrongly envisaged) . We arrived to find a crowd of people ensconced around the pool. Our lady was a bit embarrassed but told us that we could have use of the pool on the Sunday and the whole of the next week as the people over the road would be away. My wife and I are not great pool people but this did not go down well with the other two couples. To cut a long story short, the following day and the Monday there was once more a crowd of people enjoying the pool. They appeared to arrive from elsewhere by car (there were about four cars in the off street parking) and were unfriendly when we pitched up. I might add that they stayed well into the evening. So, we were , once again, unable to make use of the pool during the almost unbearable heat wave that lasted the entire time of our stay. By this time we were MOST unhappy. We were able to contact Charlie who promised to do something about the state of affairs. However, the same thing happened on the following Saturday and Sunday.
While no one can arrange the weather, even the (magnificent) evenings were very hot indeed. The bedrooms upstairs are all equipped with standing fans and mosquito guards but there is no through draft, (the wall between our abode and the owner's section appears to preclude the free circulation of air) despite us all leaving our bedroom doors open. The result was that it was stifling and we never had a good night's sleep during the entire stay.
Mosquitoes!!!! They attacked us day and night, inside and out, despite all kinds of potions and lotions, citronella candles of various shapes and sizes (one of which exploded!!) and this also made our stay less than comfortable.
Another disappointment was the fact that the advertised washing machine was nonexistent. One certainly needs to do some washing during a 10 day stay. We managed the old fashioned way. (There was a notice about E5 a load, so we surmised that the washing machine was in the owner's section next door).
The above sound like Jeremiah's lamentations but were VERY relevant to our stay and spoiled our stay somewhat.
On the positive side:
We spent 10 days driving hundreds of kilometers through THE most magnificent scenery and visiting so many beautiful towns,villages and abbeys.
The farmhouse is well situated.
The farmhouse itself is large and generally well appointed.
The view IS wonderful
We ate out at fantastic restaurants within a 10 to 20 minute drive.
Our stay could have been so much more enjoyable
- had the weather been a bit cooler (no one to blame).
- had we had daily access to the pool - and,even better, had it been on our property
- if our bedrooms were better ventilated/air condtioned
-if we had not been absolutely inundated by mosquitoes
and,maybe, if our hosts had been there.
I trust that I have been as fair as I possibly can.