Are the apartments fully-equipped?
All Belle Vacanze apartments have been lovingly restored to meet the exacting standards of our guests and are equipped with:
~ central heating
~ bathrooms with shower, toilet & handbasin (some with bidet as well)
~ oven, stove and refrigerator
~ washing-machine & clothes-dryer
~ well-appointed kitchen with all usual cooking utensils, cutlery, crockery, pots and pans
~ satellite television with DVD player
~ English- and Italian-language books, maps and travel brochures
~ ceramic wall features & similar decoration
~ comprehensive Guests' Manuals
~ loads of attention to detail.


Are the tariffs quoted all-inclusive?
Yes, they are. They include everything, including cleaning, gas, electricity, water and anything else you can think of. Of course, if you want to pay more, feel free to do so.

Which is the best airport, closest to Montone and Cagli?
Coming from Australia, Rome's international airport, Aeroporto Leonardo da Vinci, at Fiumicino, about 25 kilometres west of the centre of Rome.
If you're coming to Montone from elsewhere in Europe and Ryanair, say, operates a flight, the closest and best airports for you are: (1) Perugia, (2) Ancona and (3) Ciampino, which is on the eastern side of Rome.
If you're going to Cagli the order of preference would be: (1) Ancona, (2) Perugia, (3) Ciampino.


Can I get public transport to the apartments?
To Cagli, yes - via a bus company called Bucci which operates the Roma-Rimini bus service. We provide more details on this matter in the Cagli section of the website. If you're coming from the north of Italy there's the train to fano followed by a regular bus service from Fano to Cagli.
Click here for more information.
To Montone, theoretically yes, but practically, no. The bus service is not exactly traveller-friendly. You're just going to have to get used to driving on the right side of the road.
Click here for more information.


How do I get to Montone and Cagli?
We send all our guests comprehensive one-page directions to our apartments in Cagli and Montone. The directions include photographs where necessary.


Will I need to hire a car?
You can get by without a car in Cagli. There are plenty of bus services if you want to venture further afield than Cagli itself.
In Montone you really do need a car unless you intend to veg out completely, staying close to town (which some guests actually do).

Which is better, car rental or lease?
For short periods - up to about 2½ weeks - car rental is more economic. If you pick up and return the car in France, the economics in favour of lease usually kick in at about three weeks (although Peugeot now insists on a minimum lease period of 30 days). If you pick up and return the leased car outside France the economics work in your favour at about six weeks.


Where should I pick up the rental car?
If you're staying in Montone, we suggest: (1) at Aeroporto Leonardo da Vinci, (2) Arezzo (on the Rome-Florence rail line) or (3) at the Hertz agency, about 50 metres from Perugia Railway Station.
If you'll be in Cagli, we suggest either Aeroporto Leonardo da Vinci or Cagli itself. If you go for the latter, your hosts, the Romanini family, will assist in the negotiations, if you like.


Where should I pick up the leased car?
If you're picking up the vehicle in Italy, you'll pick it up at Aeroporto Leonardo da Vinci. If you're picking it up in France, pretty well any large city will do.


What about parking?
Indeed, what about parking? In Montone, there are six safe, cost-free, parking areas immediately outside the town walls. As Montone is a small village the walk from parking area to apartment is easy unless you're lugging a Victorian wardrobe with you but as that's reasonably unlikely we won't worry ourselves about it now.
In Cagli, your hosts will arrange safe, cost-free, parking for you.


Do the locals speak English?
Some do, most don't. If you need assistance in Cagli or Montone, our agents speak very good English. We provide names and contact details with our final letter before you leave and in our Guests Manual, which you'll find on arrival at the apartment.


Are there any good restaurants in the town?
Both Montone and Cagli are groaning with good restaurants. After all, it is Italy!


What about general shopping?
In Cagli, you can do all of your shopping within a few hundred metres of the apartment.
In Montone, you can do a large part of your shopping within a hundred metres of the apartment. For big shopping expeditions such as the weekly trip down to Woolies, we suggest the Coop (la Cooperativa) at Umbertide, eight kilometres from Montone.


Do the apartments have a swimming pool?
If we catered exclusively for the British holiday market they would have pools but as almost all our guests are Australians who have adequate swimming-pool arrangements at home they don't. Actually, there's a far simpler reason for not having a swimming pool: all our apartments are slap-bang in the middle of medieval towns and, for some reason, medieval persons preferred to feud rather than swim in public.


What will the weather be like when I'm there?

In Montone

In Cagli


Do you provide guests with directions to Cagli and Montone?
Yes, we certainly do. What's more, in the case of guests travelling to any of our apartments in Montone we also provide the keys. The keys save you the hassle of fannying about, looking for the right cafe and asking for a man called Luigi, then having to give him the agreed password to verify that you are who you are and that you're entitled to have the keys and the apartment. We realise that you're nearly 17,000 kilometres from home and could do without the hassle; so we make it as easy as we can for you. If you're travelling to Cagli, the Romanini family will be there, waiting for you, when you arrive.



Do you know any true stories?
Yes, as it happens, I do ....
Back in 1956 - the year of the Melbourne Olympics, at a time when uncles were called Clarrie - my uncle Wilfred Jones experienced an experience he had never previously experienced.
He wasn't yet married in those days. So, he was still allowed to work in a pub in the inner city of Sydney during the day and frequent prostitutes, on whom he spent his money, during the night.
The pub stood opposite a building site nearing completion and which until relatively recently had been a row of beautiful
terrace houses, owned by a developer with close links to the Premier and Planning Minister.
One day, when Wilf was about an hour into his shift, a duck strolled into the hotel, sat himself on a bar stool and ordered a middie of Tooheys New and a Sargents Pie.
As Wilf had never come across a pie-eating, beer-drinking, straight-talking
duck, he was a bit taken aback. So, he went off to get the comestibles without question. By the time he got back with beer and pie in hand, the said duck had opened his workbag and was now engrossed, studying that august journal of record of the day, 'Truth'.
The duck came back at the same time the next day and every work-day for the next couple of weeks, ordering beer and pie and already engrossed in the 'Truth' by the time Wilf returned with the said items. One day, however, Wilf summoned the courage to ask the duck's story, and as it turned out, the duck was a worker over at the previously-mentioned building site, "earning pretty good, but not brilliant money".
A couple of evenings later, giving himself and his pocket a rest from the ladies of the night, Wilf was at home, alone, watching the Olympics on the tellie, when an advertisement sparked his interest. The ad told him that the circus was coming to town in Sydney.
Now, as a general rule, Wilf wasn't as smart as his brother Clarrie but he did occasionally spot an opportunity and at least try to profit by it. He went to his workbag and dragged out the day's copy of the Tell-ya-Crap. After a couple of minutes he found another ad for the circus, this one providing contact details of the bloke who owned the show.
Next morning at work, Wilf rang the bloke who owned the show and asked him whether he'd be interested in including in the circus performance an act by a duck who could speak, read, drink beer and eat pies. The bloke at the other end was pretty sceptical at first but, after being reminded that it was 11.15 am not pm, he realised that the bloke on the other end of the line wasn't necessarily drunk.
To cut a short story even shorter, Wilf finally persuaded the b.w.o.t.s. that he had a literate, talking, eating, drinking duck and they arranged very favourable financial terms subect, of course, to production by Wilf of the duck.
The duck turned up within the hour and sat at his favourite stool. By now he and Wilf were on vaguely speaking terms and, when Wilf returned after fetching the necessaries, he chanced his arm and asked the duck whether he'd be interested in earning more money.
Naturally, the duck was at least theoretically interested in earning more money - "depends on what type of work and how hard it is".
Wilf assured him it was good work and not at all hard. The duck was interested and asked "okay, so what sort of work is it?".
Wilf replied that, if he wanted the job, he'd be working in a circus.
This produced a quizzical look on his new friend's face.
"You mean a circus ... where they have all that canvas, that centre pole thing and all those ropes to hold the canvas down?"
"Yeah, that's right", Wilf assured him.
"I don't get it", said the duck. "Why in God's name would they be looking for a fucking plasterer?"

Stephen Jones, Belle Vacanze: (02) 6687 1211 or Click here to send us an email