We, our family of 6, rented a Villa in Cortona this June. Our friends recommend renting a house instead of an apartment, since we were staying 10 days, and it turned out to be so much more comfortable.
The kids had the pool to hang out while we were sight seeing, we were able to cook since we are 6 we really didn't want to spend money on dining out every day. And the house was great, the garden and pool are was beautiful and the owners where so nice and welcoming as if we were friends coming to visit. I think after all we spent just a little more than would have spent on an hotel for all of us but had so much more comfort, space and felt like home.
more space, room for the kids to play and swim, most of all I enjoyed the not cramped atmosphere.
A family run hotel, as most small enterprises in Italy seem to be, the Hotel Sabrina is a lovely little accommodation on Via Roma, just off the main piazza in Cortona.
The staff are incredibly friendly and go above and beyond. We were treated to an unexpected and very appreciated breakfast in our room after we slept through the breakfast service time. One of the owners, Paola, called up to our room, then proceeded to bring us a tray laden with pastries, cappucinos, yogurt and jams. How can you beat that!?
85 Euro a night covered us for double occupancy room with breakfast.
The rooms are quaint and reasonably sized. I would recommend a room that does not face onto Via Roma, as it can get quite loud. As for the back facing rooms, which we had for all but our first night, you cannot hear a sound!
Via Roma is a steep street... another thing to note. It's not so bad when you're walking down it to the hotel but climbing back at the end of the trip, with your luggage, is not most pleasant. But, then again, when is it ever fun to trek about with your luggage!?
Though the owner has changed, this was the most fantastic bed and breakfast hidden down Via Maffei in Cortona...
The rooms were spacious. We were the only guests at the time and had the virtual run of the place. We were given the room on the top floor, which had a bathroom across the hall, though not shared with other guests. The bathroom was very large with a big bathtub, which was a lovely treat as Cortona lends itself well to long walks throughout the day. The bathroom was also equipped with a washer and dryer, which we were permitted to use (this may have been a courtesy of the previous owner but worth asking about). The townhouse sat quite high and had unparalleled views of the Tuscan hillside.
The kitchen is a good size with a long banquet style table that lends well to large groups.
Apparently the new owner rents the property in its entirety to guests (four rooms).
Amazing views from the room's balcony! Large rooms and only a few blocks from the main piazza.
Liz's family live in Cortona so it was only natural that we stay with them (they do not take no for an answer like most Italians...lol). Their Villa is unbelievable. As we drove up to the property I couldn't believe that this was really it and that I was at the right gate. First off the flowers and trees are immaculately kept and so colorful. The house itself is huge with three floors of rooms. The grounds are vast with a large pool area with plenty of lounge chairs and a stunning view of the valley all the way to Umbria. The olive groves, fruit trees and gardens are beautiful and quite extensive. The property has its own chapel which is big enough for me to call a house. It has beautiful frescos and antique religious pieces inside. Inside the house is filled with beautiful furnishing and artwork. Melva is really an outstanding decorator. I was impressed by every room I entered from the rugs, wall colors, paintings, furniture and accents. Liz and I stayed in the "Dog room" on the first floor. Liz normally stays in the Venetian room upstairs (which is her favorite) but I really like the dog room. It's called the dog room because of the handpainted headboard and frescos that depict two dogs running through the Tuscan landscape. The room also has it's own private bathing suite and private entrance from the outside. It was wonderful to leave the terrace doors open and have fresh air at night. I couldn't imagine finding a hotel that would be as plush and as comfortable as staying here.
The pool was a favorite of ours. It was so peaceful to just sit on a lounge chair and read my book and not feel as if I had to do something. We dined al fresco and that always is a bonus expecially in the beautiful weather surrounded by such incredible surroundings.
The views from the house were outstanding. We had a great view of the town of Cortona, the hills and the valley.
Casa Portagioia, meaning “Door to Joy and Tranquillity”, is named appropriately. My girlfriend and I recently returned home after a wonderful 7-night stay at Casa Portagioia.
This was our first trip to Italy, and in addition to our desire to visit Florence and Rome, we wanted to experience the countryside, medieval towns and wineries of Tuscany. Casa Portagioia was the ideal place to setup our home base. It’s location is perfect for day trips to the famous wine towns of Montepulciano and Montalcino, the medieval towns of Siena, Cortona and many others, as well as the beautiful cities of Florence (about 1 hour) and Rome (about 2-1/2 hours).
When we arrived, Terry showed us to our comfortable room, decorated in Tuscan style and spotlessly clean. There were nuts, chocolates and a small decanter of Sherry on the dresser.
Not only were our hosts Terry and Marcello welcoming and gracious, they were extremely helpful in planning our daily itineraries. They offered a lot of ideas for day trips, booked reservations at restaurants, wineries and museums, and had a wide assortment of maps and travel books. Some of my favorite memories, however, will be the fantastic breakfasts prepared by Marcello before we headed out for our daily adventures.
Be sure to request his omelet with cherry tomatoes, spring onions and pecorino and enjoy it with freshly squeezed juice, delicious Italian coffee, bread and fruit assortments, and the view of the Tuscan hills, olive trees and flower gardens.
In between all those days of sightseeing, don’t forget to plan for a day to hike in the hills overlooking Casa Portagioia and then relax by the beautiful pool. Will we miss Terry and Marcello who we now consider our friends.
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