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The property is amazing, in the country (2 adorable small towns less than 5 km in either direction) on the other side of the mountains from Tuscany. Less traveled, less touristy, great quiet getaway in the real Italy. My wife insisted we were not in the right place, because it could not be a castle we are staying in! Her family originally came from Cagli, so a very wonderful experience for her. Several times she ordered a drink or dish that was supposed to be local, and then broke into tears when she tasted... just like the special food and drink she had growing up!
Rooms are filled with antiques, and the gardens are amazing it feels like your are staying in a castle. It is really 4 apartments in a very large house, that was remodeled to look like a castle over a hundred years ago. Excellent for 2 couples (as we were) or a small family in one apartment a larger family can rent out up to four apartments looking for a little space for each group. Lovely gravel courtyard in front with tables and chairs for group gatherings. You could also move tables and chairs up into the gardens for big meals out doors. They are talking about building a pool, so hope it is done the next time we go back (for sure!).
Maybe the kitchen, not many supplies and small but very standard for European homes, so this is more just to prepare you! If you want American stay in a big hotel in Florence.
Location and access to many places in central Italy. Fano and Perugia are very close, and it is a day trip if you want to struggle with the crowds in Tuscany. There is a Monastery nearby that is very old, Hermitage of Fonte Avellana. The fort in Cagli is supposed to have sculptures it was not open the few times we checked, but we were off season. I am sure if we had spent a little time in the square, we would have found the person with the key! We did see a couple museums in nearby towns in Google Maps, but did not make it.
Nearby Events or Locales:
Smirra was once a town itself, and is right outside your gate. It is really a 'suburb' of Cagli 5km to the south and the address is actually Cagli. The home of Truffles in Italy is 5km North in Acqualagna. Cagli and Aqualagna have excellent restaurants and groceries at a store called Conad in Cagli also a Eurospin a little higher end and a little harder to find.
Tips or Restaurants:
The Bar Turismo Snc Di Magnoni Romolo Falconi Iride in Cagli and the Osteria Del Parco Di Samuele Ferri in Aqalagna are both a must and the bars and gelato shops in the square of Cagli were all very good! Both are only open noon-3pm or after 7pm (and no-one shows up until 8...). Try any place that looks interesting they are small towns with few tourists they would not survive if they had bad service or quality. We asked for the owner to hire us a chef to teach us how to cook Italian and we made home-made pasta so much fun and enough pasta for 3 meals! The Conad grocery store is on your right, just before you get to into old town Cagli, not open very late so check the hours.
No improvements. You must really use a GPS to get around in small towns in Italy, but the Villa was VERY easy to find, right on the main road, just look for the the top of a castle from the square in Smirra! Call the manager before you get there so she can meet you. The back gate (actually a huge wooden door) is just off the main square and always locked, but the manager is a block away, and you will only use it when you check in. The main entrance (which opens to a long tree lined drive in a huge garden!) is down the road a ways and on a remote control, which they have several of once you check in.
Check In Out:
Make sure you call one of the managers as you get near Smirra, or from the back gate since she lives up the street. We did not call but luckily knocked on the right door! We were there off-season and the owners drove up from Rome, so we had a nice tour and history of the property. The owners spoke English very well, managers not as much (as in all of the area, so brush up on your travelers Italian), but we always figured out what we needed and were very eager to please, then left us to ourselves. You can call their cell or the phone in the villa with button marked 'reception'.
Well maintained. Excellent condition.
The region of Le Marche is beautiful The property is well kept.
Village is very small, although other nearby villages in both directions (5 min. drive) were very nice.
Day trips to nearby villages were great. Excellent selection of restaurants. Scenery outstanding.
Nearby Events or Locales:
I walked around Smirra, but it's VERY SMALL. Caglia was wonderful
Check In Out:
Donatella was the local contact person and she was EXCELLENT. Was there whenever we needed her.