The house met all our expectations - it is 2 minutes from the centre of Cortona but in a very quiet street and has the added bonus of outside seating with wonderful views. It is well equipped and comfortable- Ester and Giovanni could not have been more helpful despite our delayed arrival so the welcome pack was very much appreciated. We would definitely recommend to friends and family .
We stayed for one week in Ester's beautiful house in Cortona and cannot say enough about how enchanting, comfortable, quaint, friendly, and delightful our stay was. I traveled with my 12 year old son on a "mommy-son" holiday to Italy and this week was the highlight of a 2 week adventure. Alle Pietre - as other reviewers note - is a beautiful home ideally situated on a quiet street by the wall of Cortona's main historic center. It is well suited for 2 couples with a master bedroom on the top floor and another sleeping room on the bottom floor, with a living room/kitchen floor in between. For 2 people, it is also perfect. The master is charming, a very comfortable king bed, lovely bathroom. Views are wonderful out the back over the valley. A close walk to the main part of Cortona and perfectly peaceful in the night no matter what activities are happening in Piazza Signorelli (we were there during the medieval tournament). All in all, we cannot recommend this lovely jewel of a holiday rental enough....and we are planning to return for a longer stay in the next summer or two! Ester was wonderful to work with in every way. This is a real gem.
Cortona is a lovely and picturesque town perched up on a hill. The Tuscan way, as it were. Alle Pietre is a gem of a house on three levels which could easily accomodate two couples. The house is as cozy as it is old, but perfectly well kept. Although at the edge of the town, you only need five minutes to get to the centre by foot. History is everywhere around, starting with the Museum of Etruscan Art (don't take photos of the "lampadario") and ending with the Cirifalco Fortress which gives you unique views of Lake Trasimeno and the border between Umbria and Tuscany. There is a wide choice of bars and restaurants in Cortona, out of which our favourite was Il Tempero. If you're lucky you can also witness one or two local festivals in the evening, especially over weekends.
If the house is wonderful, so are the owners. Ester and Giovanni are warm and considerate hosts, ready to meet every requirement with a smile and to make useful suggestions. We were privileged to have met them and to have lived in their house for a heavenly week. If you have a car, you can visit a variety of towns and cities: Siena and Arezzo, Firenze and Montepulciano, Orvieto and Assisi, Spello and Gubbio. Should you feel the need for a really nice surprise, give a chance to small but fantastic Pienza. Many have called it "la citta ideale del Rinascimento" and you will see why.
Many thanks, Esther and Giovanni, and expect us back some time.
Irina and Radu, Bucharest, Romania
Ester and her husband Giovanni welcomed us to their fabulous property in Cortona and gave us a brief tour of the house and its amenities. A lovely fruit bowl was left for us to enjoy. Fabulous location close to the centre, but in a quiet street. We especially enjoyed our lunches at the little table and chairs provided which are right against the old wall, which overlooks the valley below. Easy to visit surrounding countryside with our hire car, but mostly we preferred to relax and enjoy Cortona. The house is beautifully and thoughtfully furnished, and is very comfortable. We stayed for a week and hope to return some day soon !