There are no words to describe how wonderful our visit to Panicale, Umbria was.  From start to finish, everything was great.  Nedra was a huge help from start to finish, from locating the perfect apartment and helping us make the arrangements, to suggesting activities during our stay, and following up after our return home.  Her attention to detail in making our visit the perfect vacation was obvious.

Two friends and I shared a three bedroom apartment in Panicale, a small medieval village located in the hills of Umbria just south of Lago di Trasimeno.  Upon our arrival we were greeted by Nedra.  Who was very helpful and informative about the area and our stay. The apartment was absolutely charming!  Very clean and well equipped with anything and everything you might need to make your visit feel like home.  We spent our days touring the local region visiting spots suggested to us by Nedra.  We also met several village locals that were helpful with suggestions on where to go and what to see…and where to eat!

Not to say the food in Panicale wasn’t spectacular – it was!  We dined at all of the restaurants and bars.  The food was delicious, regional, seasonal and of course, fresh!  There are several grocery type places to shop for anything you might want to keep on hand in the apartment (including delicious local wine) however, we found ourselves dining out for every meal, including breakfast.

What a fantastic way to spend our vacation.  Thank you Nedra for helping us enjoy the perfect holiday in Umbria.  We look forward to our next visit!

Cara Visconti  Annapolis, MD USA


When I think of Italy, Casa Avalina and Piegaro are exactly what I envision! Cute and charming, historic and timeless are perfect descriptions of Piegaro, and the apartment, Casa Avalina is the perfect combination of Umbrian simplicity with enough modern conveniences to make you feel at home.My husband and I stayed here for 3 weeks and were happy to sit on the balcony in the evening, enjoying a glass of wine and the breathtaking view. If we wanted to socialize Bar Luna was a lively spot for a quick espresso or a full meal. We were lucky enough to visit during one of the town’s festas, so dinner one evening included pizza while watching the World Cup.The 2 bedrooms are both quite spacious, and I loved cooking in the kitchen – plenty of counter space and a good selection of cookware. Because there are windows on both sides of the house there is always a cooling breeze. Having a washing machine made things so much easier.If you’d like to experience the “real” Umbria – and I know that phrase gets overused – Casa Avalina will let you experience life in Umbria as it was meant to be – simple and comfortable. The neighbors are friendly without being intrusive, and it’s easy to see how everyday life continues in this charming village as it has for hundreds of years! Thanks for sharing it with us, Nedra!

Art and Barbara Skinner


Dear Nedra:

My husband and I just returned from our month’s stay in your recommended apartment at Via Marconi #6 in Perugia, Italy. Your assistance in helping us find this beautiful place in a most convenient location was so valuable. Your personal attention to every detail made us feel very comfortable with our decision. We found the apartment to be everything you said it would be along with a kind and personable landlord who we came to enjoy as well. We would recommend your company, Village Vacations In Italy, to anyone seeking to find the perfect accommodations in Italy.

Fondly, Armando and Barbara Persico, Lake Placid, New York USA


Casa Avalina is the perfect getaway! This spacious, 2 bedroom rental has marble floors, a small wood-burning fireplace in the kitchen and a balcony with a stunning view. Located in quaint and quirky Piegaro, Umbria, it’s less than a 2-hour drive from Rome and it’s very close to Citta della Pieve, Deruta, Tavernelle, Allerona, Lake Trasimeno and Castiglione del Lago….to name a few. Piegaro has markets to shop if you want to prepare dinner at home and it has several, very nice and reasonably priced restaurants if you prefer eating out. We had a wonderful time there and we will return!

Bob Bonesso

Gary Burdick


We’re back from our wonderful visit to Umbria and want to thank you for having such an engaging website and leading us to Casa Castello!  The house was so much more comfortable and attractive than we hoped it would be.  The village and views were wonderful.  We tracked down Angelino and Peppa’s on your recommendation and had a wonderful meal surrounded by Italian families.  Angelino couldn’t have been friendlier.  Of course we also enjoyed La Locanda.  Umbria off-season was uncrowded and beautiful and having a base at Casa Costello allowed to explore the region leisurely.  We recommend the restaurant BE HAPPY in Marsciano.  The chef and staff were fun and the food was very creative (and reasonable).  We always wondered what it would be like to settle into an area instead of hopping from hotel to hotel during a vacation.  Now we know this is the way to go for us.  I only regret not knowing enough Italian to get beyond the mere basics with all the friendly people we met. We’re very pleased with the attention you and Janine paid to our stay.  Thank you.

 Sincerely,       Marilyn and Alfred Cali


Nedra,

Can’t thank you enough for the fabulous Italy trip. Because of your knowledge of all the intimate, non touristy places and the relationships you have built with the locals, I felt more like a resident Italian than a tourist. Right down to the right car to rent so managing the streets was a breeze, you covered all the bases. The little town we stayed in was right out of a fairytale. Even the residents could not have been more welcoming. I LOVED dinner with the locals in their favorite haunts. The whole trip was so much better than it could possibly have been anywhere else because of your first hand knowledge and expertise. Can’t wait to do it again. . . and again. I have already recommended you to many friends who want to make the trip. Thanks, again.

 Toni Hooper       Atlanta, Georgia


Dearest Nedra,

The best way for me to describe our vacation to Umbria is “WOW”. Unbelievable! We had the most amazing time and honestly all thanks to you.  You made a home for us at Casa Castello and what a home it was!  I literally teared up when I entered the house.  So beautiful! I have never felt so comfortable on a vacation in my life.  It was my husband and my 25th wedding anniversary and certainly one we will never forget.  We loved waking up to the sound of the birds singing and then sitting on the veranda with a fresh brewed cup of coffee from the little french coffee press. The view was breathtaking.  Later in the afternoon we enjoyed a drive through the gorgeous country side orwe walked, enjoying the beautiful wildflowers of Umbria.  Instead of eating out every night like most vacations, we choose to visit the local butcher and market and prepare our meals at home.  Not that there aren’t a million wonderful restaurants in Italy.  But for us, there’s nothinglike fresh homemade pasta and certainly nothing beats the view and ambiance of the evening overlooking the rolling hills of Umbria at Casa Castello.  A stroll around the village after dinner is a must.  Nothing compares to the beauty.  You have to experience it for yourself.

You suggested and we are so grateful.  You enrolled us in a cooking class at Antonelli Winery a very old winery not too far from Casa Castello.  Too much fun!  I never in my life imagined my husband cooking but don’t you know he made the best pasta.  Thank you so much for taking the time to make all the arrangements for us.  We probably would not have taken the class had it not been for you and I can’t thank you enough. You loaded us up with information and suggested all sorts of things to do and see and we pretty much accomplished all that was on your list and we are so grateful.  I returned home with lots of beautiful pottery and of course olive oil.   You are amazing!  I really thought you were arranging our villa rental but you have gone above and beyond what I could have ever expected. It’s obvious you enjoy what you do and you care because it shows.

I don’t even know how to thank you?  From suggesting what rental car agency to rent from to assisting us with an Italian telephone, you have been amazing.  The villa is off the charts!  I highly and do mean highly recommend Casa Castello in the little village of Rotecastello to everyone!

CAN’T WAIT TO GO BACK!

Thanks again Nedra and God Bless you!

Linda and Allen Deems

White Hall, Maryland


Dear Nedra,

I want to thank you so much for providing my stay in Italy to be a very interesting experience.Your company has given me an insight into the rich cultrual, historical, religious and culinary experiences in the Umbria area of Italy.

The house in Roticastello which is known as a Borgo in Italy was so clean, neat and comfortable. Sitting out on the balcony in the morning with such a spectacular view of the countryside and having my coffee was lovely.

The several small villages around the area …San Venanzo and Marciano provided excellent shopping for food or any other things I might have needed.

The cooking class you scheduled for me ” Umbria Cooks 4U” was such a blast. I could not believe what amazing food I learned to make and how wonderful all the food tasted. Looking forward to impress my family and friends with these delicious dishes.

The quaint small town of Spello we visited   was so unique because as we were walking through the town each of the narrow streets have many huge hanging baskets filled with the most colorful flowers.Because the streets are so narrow in size, the flower baskets are almost touching each other giving off an array of colors down each street.

One of the weekend nights Nedra took me to a medieval town for a festival with music and great food. This particular night the foods that where features were cinghiale ( wild boar) and tartufi (truffles). I had the cinghiale which was prepared in a wonderful tomato sauce and it was so delicious. The pasta with tartufi looked wonderful also.

Our trip to historic Deruta which has shop after shop of exquisite Italian pottery was so exciting. As I love Italian pottery, I purchased several wonderful pieces. Oneof the shops I visted ” Antica Fornace Deruta” dates back to the 213bc. Here the owner Giovanni Baiano has made a most unique wall of broken pieces of antique pottery in front of his shop.

Also one of my favorite trips was to Castello Montevibiano for a tour of their vineyards and olive groves. Then to a wine and olive oil tasting.Nedra and I had the pleasure of meeting the son of the owner Lorenzo Pasola Bologna who graciously gave us a history of this region and why the wine from this area is so excellent.

One side trip we took was to a small church called ” Madonna deo Bagno”. This church has plaques covering wall to wall dating back from the 16 Century to current times.Each one of the small plaques was commissioned by family members for healing and special prayer purposes.

I am looking forward to returning and continue exploring this area and all the other properties Village Vacations has to offer and would recomend this excellent and professional company to anyone looking for a true Italian experience.

Penny Lovett


An Experience of a Lifetime, A Gratelful Testimony to Village Vacations In Italy

We all have a bit of wanderlust in us.  For years I dreamed of travels to far off lands, but raising a family and building a thriving career were the focus of much of my life.   Unitl last year………when the dream became a reality andI planned my trip to Italy.

I did a lot of research and knew that I did not want the “traditional” travel expereince.  While group tours provided a wide range ofcities to visit, the intineraries pace seemed hectic and too predictable. The idea of traveling in a “herd,” following a guide with a blue flag, seemed, frankly, unappealing.

Then I discovered Village Vacations In Italy.  The owner, Nedra Bottieri, an acquaintance from years ago, offered a very appealing alternative to my adventure.  The idea of renting a house, and living and traveling from a central point sounded exciting and adventurous. The unexpected perk was that it was actually more cost effective than traveling by touring.

I chose a house in the hillside town of Rotecastello, Umbria.  This little borgo, near the town of San Venanzo, had a central proximity to the areas I wanted to visit and the remoteness and opportunity to actually live an Italian lifestyle.  The 90 minute drive from the Orvieto train station to Rotecastello was scenic and awesome!  It was only to be surpassed by the sight of arriving to this ancient little historic borgo and Casa Castello., my new Italian home. The house was charming and spotless! This lovely, 2 bedroom home with fireplace, beautiful veranda, and country kitchen had all the necessary amenities.  But nothing could surpass the spectacular views from my bedroom window and spacious veranda!

Since I was traveling alone, I chose to have Nedra as my personal travel guide while staying in Umbria. We took day trips to Orvieto, Perugia, Assisi, Deruta, Pienza, Siena, Montepulciano, Montichiello, and Cortona.  All of these cities were within driving distance and day trips filled with traditional historic visits and unexpected delightful discoveries.  We even hired a driver for the day when visiting wine country so that we could enjoy envibing!  We visited a vineyard, took cooking classes in Assisi, and even made friends along the way who invited us into their homes for wonderful dinners and a taste of La Dolce Vita Italian Style.  I even took an extra week and trained to Florence, Cinque Terre, Verona and Venice!

If you want an experience of a lifettime, I highly suggest Village Vacations In Italy as a travel source that won’t disappoint!

 Ciao,

Diana O’Malley,
Fort Lauderdale, Florida