Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cetona...a dream come true

For those who haven't seen the photos of our rental house in Cetona on facebook...here are a few shots of where Mom and I are staying this week and next:

We drove from Assisi to Cetona, mostly using the GPS, with a couple of glitches.  The only one that was problematic was that the GPS tried to direct me onto Piazza Garibaldi, which is a ZTL (limited traffic zone), and obviously I was not in the mood for a traffic violation ticket, so turned around, dug out my netbook and pulled up the map our host had emailed to me a few days ago.  Lovin the netbook, so handy when travelling!!  I parked in the lot at the bottom of the hill and we walked up the steep street...

...to find Alessandra just coming down the street to meet us.  The is the door to our house, which is actually a restored 14th century tower, one of the towers in the medieval wall around the historic centre of Cetona.
 If you walk a few steps up past the door and turn around, this is the view.  Taking the left fork will bring you to the back door of the house, on the third floor.  The bottom door in the above photos enters into the first floor.  Yes, yes we really are staying in a three story medieval tower in a hilltop town in southern Tuscany...does it get anymore fairytale-ish than this?  I think not!
 View from in front of the tower...if I had panned the camera to the left a bit more, you might be able to make out Citta della Pieve perched on a hill in the distance.  (Citta della Pieve is a nearby town in Umbria.  Cetona is near the corner where the regions of Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio meet.)
Walk in the entrance and be entranced by this sight.  Dining table to the left, living area (the orange chairs are in front of a fireplace, although obviously we have no need of a fire since it is around 30c here!)  At the end of the photo is a plexiglass door that blocks off the unfinished part of the tower (more about that in another post.)   Before the living area, on the right is the kitchen, shown in the next photo.

The kitchen is well stocked with essentials, such as olive oil, balsamic, coffee, spices, dishes...really everything we need to make our own meals, once we pick up the main ingredients.

Up the stairs is the door to the terrace (with a pocket in the wall that Francesco has made into a jacuzzi, so one can relax in the jacuzzi and also soak in the gorgeous view.)  Then comes the second floor, which will be Mom's quarters, and then the top floor is all mine!

The jacuzzi room....

Mom`s bedroom, with full ensuite bathroom.

My seating area...

My bedroom area.  I also have a tiny terrace off the seating area, and the washing machine is up here, plus my own separate entrance, should I need to escape out the back door! lol

Francesco and Alessandra, who are SO friendly, welcoming and helpful.  They took us for an orientation tour to see what shops are available.  And offered to take us to wine farm, for wine tasting and lunch, if we want.  They have provided sightseeing suggestions.  And also introduced us to around (i.e to the owner of Il Merlo restaurant, and the owner of the wine/cheese shop) because relationships very important in Italy, says Alessandra.  Important for the owners to know who we are, and who we know.  Francesco restored this house himself, by the way.  He is from Rome but came and fell in love with Cetona. Alessandra is from Rimini, and has studied a year in Barcelona, which city seems to have stolen her heart!  Francesco also has an APE (one of the tiny 3 wheel trucks)...when they asked if I wanted to take it for a test drive, I said YES!!!  I am hoping they were not joking, it would be so cool to drive one of those!  As if everything else wasn`t enough...they also too us for a sampling at wine/cheese store (I will share the name when I remember it), where we had basically an unlimited tasting of the "farm wine" (which we can get for for 2.50 euro if we bring back the empty flask each time, or 4 euro if need a bottle), fresh, aged, and crudo cheeses, bread w olive oil, lightly sauteed garlic cloves, spiced meat and a taste of a 2006 sangenovese.  Naturally we went back in the morning and bought some of these goodies!

Then they bid us good-night, showed us where they live, gave us numbers and said call if we need anything.  And then Mom and I went for a stroll around the town.  We were not hungry after all the taste testing so had no need of supper!  This is the fountain in Piazza Garibaldi.  The piazza, as expected, is the hub of the town, and all the shops can be found on it.  I am pretty sure I have died and gone to heaven...


Trekcapri said...

Hi Anne, wow your rental house looks really cool. So unique looking in the inside. Sounds like Cetona is a beautiful town to base in. Congrats on managing the driving.

Thanks so much for sharing.

Jacci said...

HI there, Jodie Tunnicliffe pointed me in the direction of your blog. I was in Cetona in May last year and fell in love. No other way to put it. So i am returning in two weeks time for 3 weeks in Cetona. I am so looking forward to showing my daughter around. I just love the quietness of the town, the people were so friendly as well. I will def. be going past the wine shop to buy some of the wine you spoke of as well. I am hoping to be able to pass the time with some of the people in town and have been taking Italian classes this year. Once again, thank you so much for sharing your Cetona experience. Jacci Rudling. Cape Town.

Anne said...

Hi Jacci, thank you for your lovely note. I'm so glad you (and Jodie!) have enjoyed my ramblings, and it's always nice to 'meet' a fellow Cetona lover! I confess I'm a bit envious that you will be spending 3 weeks there, and so soon! :) And how wonderful that you are going with your daughter. My mother and I really cherish our travel times together, and Cetona was definitely one of our very favourite places.

Have a glass of wine for me while you're there! :)
Ciao, Anne

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