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George's spacious and elegant home in Belmonte Calabro has the most amazing views of the mountains, sea and stars. Everything was perfect from the start. Marissa greeted us with the keys and a tour of the home. She then introduced us to the owner of the restaurant downstairs and took us around the town. (We highly suggest Francesco's restaurant with amazing food, especially the antipasti.) Marissa is very helpful and available! George is very responsive should there be any issues.
Belmonte is an enchanting town that is filled with kind people -- offering umbrellas or rides when we were caught in the rain unprepared. Everyone we met was welcoming. We had several wonderful pasta and meat dinners at the Bar Dello Sport. An amazing town full of very special people.
Each day we walked down the path to the sea for a swim. It is a shorter route then the road and takes about 15 minutes. A great workout as it is steep. (We understand there is also a bus option or driving is easy with much parking at the beach.) '
The town also has a grocery store, pharmacy, bakery, coffee bars, etc. They are all very close.
We loved our stay in George's home and hope to return again soon. It is truly a magical space within an enchanting hill town.
We stayed as two families and were stunned by the beauty of the area directly around the villa and further afield in Calabria. The villa itself is very comfortable with three en-suite double bedrooms and a small annex (which is nice but not to the standard of the main property) but the star of the show is the pool area and gardens which is where we spent the majority of our time. The pool is very large with a jacuzzi area and waterfall feature and plenty of loungers and chairs. The bar area was a little disappointing and could do with a tidy in order to be of real value but it really didn't matter to us at all.
The gardens are full of flowers, fruit trees (we enjoyed fresh figs, peaches, blackberries etc while we were there) and within the property boundary there are grape vines and olive trees. It is all maintained beautifully and brought a smile to our faces every time we walked out in the morning.
We ventured out a few times and would recommend a trip to Sicily, Tropea, Scilla and the local village and beaches. We found nice restaurants all over the area and would recommend Casa Rural (just down the hill) for a lovely evening experience as well as a meal. I would just add that a car is essential as the property is up the side of a hill and the walk back up is not easy.
The only thing I would mention is that it isn't clear on the description that Raf and his family have an apartment area downstairs which they stay in occasionally. This didn't actually cause us any issue as they were only there for a couple of days and were lovely, friendly and helpful but it may change the dynamic of your holiday if you were not aware of this fact,
We had a wonderful two weeks and would highly recommend both the villa and the area in general.
Thank-you Raf and family