A beautifully restored villa in the quiet village of Trastulli bordering the Maiella National Park and in the heart of the Abruzzo countryside. Within walking distance of the hilltop town of Castel Frentano, which offers all the essentials for a self-catering stay. Small bars, simple restaurants, locally produced cheese, fresh bread, pizza and pastries from the local bakery, fresh fruit and vegetables, locally produced wine and the famous local speciality, bocconotti (chocolate fudge tarts). The villa combines old world charm with modern facilities. The vaulted kitchen with original brick floors and canopied fireplace is as welcoming in the winter as in the summer. In the winter months it offers an additional quiet place to snuggle with a good book in front of a roaring fire whilst the family settle in front of the tv or dvd in the sitting room. In the summer months the dining-kitchen is cool and offers easy access via the stable door onto the sheltered covered garden patio which also has furniture for outside dining. In addition there is a sunny patio accessed from the living/dining area and a large sunny rooftop terrace with dining facilities and sunbeds, accessed from the first floor bedroom or the first floor staircase, with views to the front across the valley to the hilltop town of Castel Frentano and to the rear across olive groves to the Maiella National Park and snow capped mountains. The dual access driveway provides ample parking for several cars. There is a garage for storage/utility only.The villa has three good sized bedrooms. The ground floor bedroom, with king-size bed, connects with the family bathroom and is ideal for those with impaired mobility. The first floor bedroom, with king-size bed, has its own balcony and access to the roof terrace and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The third bedroom, which nestles under beautifully restored beams, is accessed by a staircase off the second bedroom, and can offer either a superking-size bed or twin beds. A third single bed is available if required. This beautifully restored room is ideal for couples or small families. There is also a camp bed that can be used for a child and a camping cot for babies/toddlers under 2 years of age.In addition to the main bathroom there is a cloakroom with toilet and washbasin.The light and airy dining/sitting room is a wonderfully cool place in the summer but cosy and welcoming in the winter. Two sets of patio doors open onto the front paved patio and garden area. The dining table and chairs normally accommodate 6 persons but can be extended to seat 10-12. This is a fun place to relax with a book from the ample selection provided, watching italian television which is an experience in itself, or a dvd from a selection to suit every taste, or play one of the games available or plan the next day's activities from the range of guide books, maps and activity leaflets.This lovely villa has been restored to a very high standard and is ideal for couples or families with children. Although the property has original stone staircases, families with small children have not found this a problem. A portable child gate is available. The second floor windows are fitted with governors which when is use prevent the windows being opened fully. The large roof terrace has been used as a children's play area by some families. The ground floor bedroom connects to the bathroom and is ideal for those with impaired mobility.The villa offers plenty of outside space. Sample the delights of the local bakery for breakfast on the patio in the early morning sunshine; take a lazy lunch italian style under the shelter of the large roof terrace sun umbrella followed by a siesta in the shade of a tree; cultivate that tan stretched out on one of the roof terrace sunbeds; or sample that excellent local wine whilst watching the sun descend; light the candles and become star-gazers serenaded by crickets in the balmy air. Home from home with a difference!All bedding, linen, towels, beach towels, gas- fired central heating, electricity, water, logs for the open fire and cleaning service before arrival and following departure are included in the rental price. Fans are provided in all rooms. Hairdryer and assorted adaptors on site. A welcome pack which is sufficient to make the first simple meal, including wine, water, milk, tea, coffee, sugar and bread is provided. Other provisions include shower gel, handwash, laundry liquid, toilet rolls, kitchen rolls, kitchen foil, kitchen film, freezer bags and cleaning materials.Guest Comments:January 2012 - A short winter break. ' Arrived in warm sun, able to enjoy an outdoor lunch on the coast. The villa was beautifully maintained and very comfortable. Only an hour drive away through spectacular scenery was excellent skiing. Would certainly like to return to discover more of this area. Will recommend to others.' RS SuffolkNovember 2011 - Relaxing autumn break. ' Quiet and private, but easily accessible to interesting places and the real Italy. Excellently appointed home from home, we were there late in the year but still enjoyed breakfast in the sun on the terrace with its panoramic views, and in the cooler evenings sitting and chatting round the log fire. Lanciano is a charmingsmall city, we recommend a walk along the city walls at night and a drink on the main concourse. Get to see the Roman ruins at Juvanum in sight of the mountains if you can. We look forward to going back.' RK NorfolkAugust 2011 - Lovely house in great location. 'I stayed here with a friend last August and really liked the place. The house itself is lovely with a great roof terrace which is brilliant for sunbathing and eating on. The house is in a brilliant location too, right in the middle of the countryside but very close to local shops etc. Its also a pretty, short drive from the beach. We had brilliant weather too! The house was very clean, well-maintained and nicely decorated. I would recommend it for groups of friends or families. KS LondonAugust 2008 - Family Holiday. ' We all enjoyed our stay in your house very much. The kids had a lot of fun playing "pirates" on the terrace. The large terrace was their pirate boat. We really enjoyed all the wonderful rooms in your house. It's really a nice house and we were thinking of spending another holday there! Everyday we went to the beach, one day our eldest child (who celebrated his 5th birthday in Italy) learned swimming in the sea on his own!!! Most of the time we went to San Vito Chietino for swimming. We love the wonderful "trabocchi" and the little stones on the beach.' Family DE Germany
|Size||Sleeps up to 9, 3 bedrooms|
|Nearest beach||San Vito or Fossacesia 20 km|
|Will consider||House swap, Long term lets (over 1 month)|
|Nearest Amenities||800 m|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Pescara 40 km, Nearest railway: Lanciano 10 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
|Luxuries||Log fire, DVD player|
|General||Central heating, Air conditioning, TV, CD player|
|Standard||Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Clothes dryer, Dishwasher, Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||3 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms of which 1 Family bathrooms, Solarium or roof terrace|
|Furniture||Double beds (2), Single beds (4), Cots (1), Dining seats for 14, Lounge seats for 8|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided, High chair|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Private garden, BBQ|
|Access||Parking, Suitable for people with restricted mobility, Not suitable for wheelchair users|
"Why this central Italian Region isn't better known is hard to fathom, for it features the peninsula's finest mountains (protected by the Abruzzo Gran Sasso and Maiella National Parks), is easily accessible from Rome, has all the pretty pastoral countryside of Tuscany and Umbria (and more), and, best of all, retains more than a little of the traditional Italy of the 1950's - quaint country towns where everybody knows one another, old boys in their Sunday best shooting the breeze in the main square, widows in black (even, sometimes, traditional costume), shepherds with their flocks on the high pastures and much more." The Sunday Telegraph, 18 February, 2007.
Situated in the heart of Abruzzo, Castel Frentano, 10 minutes' walk from the villa, is just such a place where the small community celebrates religious festivals with wine, fire works, local bands, throughout the year. The town itself offers an assortment of bars, shops selling local produce and a few restaurants. For wine lovers the regional wines are a must.
This is a relatively unknown part of Italy, untouched by serious tourism. To the east the area is fringed by some of the best blue flag beaches, offering safe bathing in beautifully clear azure seas. To the west tower the Appenine Mountains, snow capped in the winter and spring and providing excellent skiing at the Roccaraso Ski Resort, which hosted the Audi FIS World Cup event in 2012, and the family resort of Passo Lanciano.
The area offers stunning scenery, historic towns and cities, Roman ruins, medieval pageants, colourful festivals, unspoilt beaches, catering for families and seasoned travellers alike.
In Spring the landscape is breathtaking - orchards of blossom sparkle in the the spring sunshine with a backdrop of snow covered mountains. At Easter it is possible to ski in the morning and swim in the adriatic in the afternoon. In the summer months of July and August temperatures compete with Greece and Turkey, whilst the autumn compares favourably with hot english summers. Winter months can be mixed with sunshine and snow.
The picturesque hilltop town of Castel Frentano nestles in unspoilt countryside, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, and is close to the sophisticated medieval city of Lanciano, famous for the 'Eucaristico Miracolo' (Eucharistic Miracle)of the 8th Century AD. Just 10 minutes' drive away, the medieval processions and pageants at Easter and during the September festival are a must, in particular the flag throwing competitons.
The area is close to the magnificent Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo, recently named in the top 5 National Parks in Europe by the Lonely Planet. Whilst on the doorstep, spend days walking and exploring in the Maiella National Park and escape the madding crowd. Visit the 'Grotta del Cavallone', a remarkable cave located near Lama del Peligni. Experience gorge walking at Fara San Martino or the Bolognano region. Don't miss the spectacular annual midnight firework display following the 'Il Visitatore' medieval themed pageant, which takes place late August with the Fara San Martino gorge as a backdrop.
The Adriatic coastline abounds with 'blue flag' sandy beaches. Safe swimming can be found at the charming resorts of San Vito, Le Morge and most of the 65km of coastline. San Vito, with its traditional wooden fishing platforms and excellent sea food restaurants, is just 15 minutes' drive away on the unique 'trabocchi' coastline. Skiing is available at the International Ski Resort of Roccaraso (one hours' drive), or more modest pistes can be found at Passo Lanciano (45 minutes' drive).
The Roman site of Juvanum and the Alpini Monument on the edge of Torricella Peligna offer two very different tastes of the history of this region. Both located on a plateau 1,000 metres above sea level between the Sangro and Aventino valleys. The first dating from 2nd century BC when occupied by the Samnite population and the second from 1947.
The area is steeped in military history, not only in Castel Frentano itself with memorials dedicated to the allies in the latter half of the Second World War but also commemorating the Battle of the Val di Sangro. The English Cemetery is a very beautiful and emotive site to visit. Further afield, one can take a day trip to Monte Cassino, the Abbey established in AD 529 located between Naples and Rome. During World War II it was believed to be a German stronghold and was destroyed by allied bombing. It has now been restored to its original splendour and is well worth a visit, as is the Polish Cemetery on the slopes below the abbey.
Take a day trip to Rome by bus or train from Lanciano - a great but exhausting day out as there is so much to see and do! Or closer to home visit the ancient city of Vasto - shop or site see morning or early evening; linger over lunch Italian style in one of the excellent fish restaurants in Vasto Marina; snooze under a beach umbrella on the beautiful expansive sandy beach and maybe later play volley ball or swim.
In the immediate vacinity, excellent local wine is available on the doorstep and at other cantenas. Castel Frentano is also famous for 'bocconotti', locally made chocolate fudge tarts.