Guest Commends 1997 – 1999


“We have just returned from Italy and wanted you to know how much we loved being on top of the world at Calboccia. What a beautiful spot!…..As I am sure you know — how many times have you heard this — Sestilio was wonderful. He’s responsive, friendly and eager to help….We met some very nice people staying at Calboccia while we were there —an added bonus to be sure. Also, we became friendly with Giancarlo at the restaurant Locanda del Capitano in Montone. Meals there (2) were the best we had in Umbria and his knowledge of wines and food is outstanding…We look forward to getting together with you and sharing our photos and stories.”
L. & B. W

Picnic on the Terrace “I just wanted to send you a quick message now that my wife and I are back from Italy. Your Calboccia was everything we expected, and more. Although the weather was a bit wet, the house was perfect, especially the grand fireplace, and the cooking lessons with Dada turned out to be the highlight of our trip to Umbria. She and Claudio really are wonderful people as you said. My wife is already talking about a return trip with our 10-year old daughter. Dada said she would put her to work in the garden if she got bored. Thank you for sharing your home with us, it was an experience that we will treasure for a long time to come. Thanks again.”
M. M.

“Being in Calboccia was like a wonderful dream. I will NEVER forget being there and having the best 3 weeks ever. I was pleasantly surprised to see I did not need TV in my life. I don’t know if Sestilio told you that my mother & I encountered a cow on the road one day but it is one of the funniest stories that we love to pass around. The surroundings, the drive up the hill that we came to love so much, the house; just everything was perfect. I really must thank you for letting people like us, that you don’t even know, share in all the beauty and wonder that is Calboccia…I hope that one day I can return and spend more time there. Thanks SO much…..”

“Greetings from Singapore! Hope you and your daughters had a good time in Italy, as I’m sure you would. Just wanted to let you know that Ronald and I really enjoyed ourselves in your house. Since coming back, we’ve been talking about going back there again sometime in the near future. When the stress of urban living here gets to me, I think of the sunflowers and gracious people like yourselves that we’ve met in Italy, and the stress seems to be insignificant and melts away. We’re so much looking forward to going back to Italy (and eating the delicious porchetta) and to the Essiccatoio and hopefully catch you and your daughters there as well. Once again, thanks for giving us the opportunity to stay in such a beautiful place. Cheers.”
F & R.H

Essiccatoio”Thank you so much for sharing your home with us; it was an amazing and wonderful time. Everyday when we came back from our days’ exploration, it was like coming home. Some days we realized that we really didn’t need to go anywhere. We would sit on the front patio and tell each other what a breathtaking vista it was. Also, thank you for the bottle of ‘Mionetto, Prosecco Legatura’. It was well enjoyed while we sat and watched the sunset. Your generosity made our honeymoon something never to forget. Thank you.”
F. & J. I.

“We had the vacation of a lifetime in Calboccia and will never ever forget it!! I have some pictures of it along with some of the drive up the hill if you would like I could e-mail them to you. Thanks so much to Sestilio for everything. He was wonderful to us & we thank him so much for all his help. It was very nice to know we had him to fall back on if we needed anything! Thanks again,…”

“We are home after being gone a month….after we left Umbertide we spent a week in Positano and found that to be so beautiful in an entirely different way. In a way, I wish we had gone there first so we could have enjoyed your beautiful spot at the end of our journey! Your place is just wonderful!! I will always have such happy memories of sitting out on the lawn, drinking our wine and eating our cheese and watching the sun go down!!! And such peace!!! Of course you know Sestilio is an absolute jewel of a fellow!! In fact he is one of the kindest, sweetest men I have ever met! He helped us understand taking the train into Florence (a snap), arranged two meals for us and generally answered all our questions ….and so patiently!! I hope he is able to come to our part of the world one day…. he tells us he is afraid of flying so will have to get over that first! We had two meals at La Chuisa and they were indeed spectacular!! Dada is some gal!!! We loved being there in their wonderfully warm environment. We also went to Mimmi’s which was a great experience! And, we went to a different hill town everyday!! Hard work!! But great fun… So now we must settle in to our routine. We feel so fortunate to have found your home and we hope to be back there one day. Have a great time when you are there with the girls! I wish I could spend time with you and tell you some of our funny adventures….maybe we will meet in California one time when we are visiting our daughter. Thanks again…”
M & E. D

“In addition to bringing back another set of wonderful memories from our second visit to Calboccia, I also managed to bring back the keys to the Essiccatoio….I am not usually so disorganized, but it was a glorious morning the day we left and I was outside admiring the wildflowers instead of inside attending to business. Springtime in Italy is wonderful!”

“Thank you for the pleasure and privilege of staying at Calboccia for two weeks. There are no words of thanks that can do justice to our delight with the house and view and Sestilio, nor adequate words for the myriad sights and joys we experienced mostly in Umbria, a few in Tuscany. We look forward to another stay–next week wouldn’t be too soon! After Calboccia, Tom and I drove back to Switzerland–a three and a half hour wait at St. Gotthards, a real nightmare. Fortunately, we were so relaxed from our stay at your beautiful home, our tempers didn’t even fray; we just enjoyed the scenery and were lucky enough not to have to stop and go in even a short tunnel. Please add Tom and Gayle, and Alisa and Chris, to your list of happy campers. Sestilio is a treasure beyond description, and Calboccia a dream to look forward to again some day. Thanks so very much, Jan–and get busy on that Under the Umbrian Sun story! Doesn’t everyone who stays want to know the whole story?!”

“By now you are probably used to people telling you how wonderful Calboccia is. We loved it! It was really special. I was not prepared for how great Sestilio is! All four of us completely fell in love with Sestilio. He is a gem. You are so fortunate to have found each other. We also loved La Chiusa. We went there on Sunday and again on Friday before we left because we enjoyed ourselves so much. I have already recommended Calboccia and La Chiusa to my friends. Everything was pure delight! And it was all so easy. ”
J. P.

“Nothing prepared us for Italy in general and Calboccia in particular — not the guidebooks we devoured, nor the wonderful articles you sent us, nor the letters from previous guests. Brenda and I fell hopelessly in love with Tuscany and Umbria and especially your magnificent home on the mountain. Our week in paradise was the highlight of our trip to Italy, and we want to thank you for sharing Calboccia with us. We also want to thank you for introducing us to Sestilio Polimanti. He’s a prince of a fellow, and I can see why you’re eager to count him among your friends. We’re already looking forward to our next trip. Grazie per il dolce far niente.”
H. H.

“We have just returned from our wonderful trip to Italy and Calboccia. We want to say thanks so much. The house is wonderful, Sestillio is wonderful, it was all wonderful! Again, we can’t thank you enough, and by the way, the instructions, helpful hints, information you provided were all perfect, not the least of which was the advice to buy a phone card and stamp the train tickets before boarding. If you want, I have the name of a hotel 10 min from Malpensa, and the convent we stayed in Venice for $40.00 a night per person. Under separate cover I am sending something Jenny made for you. Warm regards,….”

“We just want to let you know that we had a wonderful two weeks at Calboccia. Your house was wonderful…. it was great. We would recommend Calboccia to anyone.”
B. and G. M.


“My sister, Brenda, I’m sure told you how much we enjoyed our visit to ‘Calboccia.’ What a beautiful place! The nice champagne that awaited us helped us to celebrate our 50th/60th while sitting on the terrace, overlooking the gorgeous valley. I hope we can get back one day. All the best to you and your family.”
J. & B. M.

“Dee and I are at ….summing up the year and the most cherished memories are our time time at your piccola casa (the Essiccatoio) on the Umbrian hillside. A place of quiet beauty and contentment punctuated by the call of the cuckoo, morning and evening. You are so fortunate to have your special haven. It’s obvious a lot of thought and work – and patience – were necessary to achieve what you have. I hope that you and the many friends who share it with you will continue to experience the spirit of ‘Calboccia.” Gratefully/ever….”
M. B.

“Carol and boys and I had a great time at Calboccia. You have created a very special place there. It was great to be in Italy and away from the tourists. The two weeks was most relaxing, and we enjoyed all our side trips to the hill towns. Sestilio was great. The last night we ate at La Chiusa. I took several panoramic pictures of the house and area and will send you some for your use. I will be marketing the house for you, so expect some inquiries. We look forward to a return visit. I’ve been savoring the experience. Thanks for making such a great place available. Take care,..”
J.S., MD

“Wanted to let you know we had a WONDERFUL time at Calboccia. Thank you for all your patience and suggestions. It will always hold a special place in our hearts, not only because it’s so beautiful, but also because Janice and I got engaged the last night we were there. Everything was fantastic, and not only will we come back, but have a little dream started about retiring to an Umbrian farmhouse some day. Best to you, ..”

“We’ve been home for a month but we are still feeling a glow from our time at Calboccia. We thought you’d like to have some copies of the photos from our terrace ‘dinner party.’ We enjoyed Sestilio and Charlotte so much. You are lucky to have found such good friends and caretakers. The (family from the other unit) joined us for dinner – the sunset that evening was spectacular….Our dinner at La Chiusa was so wonderful that we returned again the last evening of our stay at Calboccia. If we had the trip to do over we wouldn’t change a thing-Plenty of sightseeing blended with many relaxing hours soaking up the sun, scenery, and sunsets at Calboccia…You did a terrific restoration job on both buildings-we’re so glad we found you. Wishing you a great summer, Fondly,..”
– J. and C. L.

“We all want to tell you how much we enjoyed staying at Calboccia. Its location is so serene, overlooking the hills, olive groves, the castle of your friends, and the mountains. We had good weather for the most part and were able to enjoy dining on the terrace and enjoying the incredible view…..Sestilio was so informative and helpful. He knows so much about the area and we really put him to the test with all our questions. He is so eloquent. We really enjoyed our time spent with him…..Our children (22 and 26) were with us and had a wonderful time. The upstairs unit was perfect for our family…Everyone is ready to go back. We plan to go back and stay even longer next time. Calboccia is wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Sincerely,…”
J. and B. D.

“We just loved our visit to your beautiful Italian home – such happy memories. Thank you for sharing it with us. Merry Christmas,…”
J. and A. W.

“If at Christmas we count our blessings, then Ernie, J.P., and Mariana and I must continue to be grateful to you for giving us 2 magical weeks at Calboccia. I am very happy my kids are mindful of this. Merry Christmas and a happy New Years 1999, …”

“I have a wonderful place for you! It is called “Calboccia”. It is a 600 year old farm house located in Umbria near the Tuscan Border, near a town called Umbertide. It is 2 1/2 hours NE of Rome, 1 1/2 hours SE of Florence & Siena and 30 minutes north of Assisi, Perugia and Deruta. 30 minutes west of Gubbio and 45 minutes south of Arezzo. A perfect location. It is also 30 minutes east of Cortona (home of “Under the Tuscan Sun”)…The house is owned by a family in the San Francisco Bay area. The house is absolutely wonderful, we rented it last summer for 2 weeks and almost cried when we had to leave. The main house is on 2 levels, you can rent it in half or whole (both have their own full kitchens). There is another house a few yards away that is really cute, the old smokehouse that has 2 levels and its own kitchen. The house is up on the top of a hill, and the driveway is over 10 minutes long! The views of the valley and mountains are breathtaking…. As I told another person, the views from ‘Calboccia’ only God could create, in fact, I am now sure that God, He or She, is definitely Italian!!!…The houses together would sleep 10-12 very nicely…..The houses come beautifully furnished with washers, dishwashers, telephones, full kitchens, etc. The family here has a wonderful Italian man, who is a HS English teacher managing the property and he is the best to fill in on the local sights to see and to miss!”
posted by A.G. on AOL Travel Chat Room

“We hope you and your family are enjoying the holidays. We have many fond memories of our stay at Calboccia. We were very fortunate to have met you. Merry Christmas, …”
B, E, A, and N W.

“Ernie and I sang praises of your hospitality and the beauties of Calboccia…One result is the attached!”

“Many thanks for a great time at Calboccia – sitting on the terrace during the evenings was magical!”
A. T.

“We had a wonderful time at Calboccia and hope to be able to spend more time there again. You have a real gem there!.–Best regards,…”
W. S.

“Your daughter sounded delightfully sweet Sunday when I called. Your home was a fantastic, wonderful, relaxing retreat. Thank you so much for sharing. Keep well, …”

“Your place in Umbria was indeed wonderful, all aspects of it. We had marvelous dinners before the fireplace and even roasted a chicken on the hearth. My brother, Jim, who is a food writer, particularly enjoyed the great diversity of the region. My interest is Italian art and it came as quite a revelation to understand how Umbria was the beginning of it all. We hope to return. Best regards,…”


“As the first guests at the Essiccatoio, ‘ciao’ to all our lucky followers! This is a beautiful place in a beautiful land. We drove around the countryside a lot, visiting every hill town we came upon – all were beautiful and each unique…Our favorite experiences – Il Molino Restaurant in Spello- the best meal we have ever had, including pasta with wild asparagus and wild green salad with tiny dandelions and fennel, and local white wine, an aperitivo called ‘Rosolio,” that tasted like rose perfume; all the wine and water we drank – the wine at the alimentari in Niccone is just fine, brought an empty water bottle to be filled from the five gallon jug or the green hose – and the water from the well is delicious, and all the bread, and all the cheese…The pizza at Zanzibar in Umbertide is the best pizza we have ever had…I re-read ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ by my friend Frances Mayes, in the library of the Essiccatoio — it’s the perfect reading for this place, expressing so fully and lusciously what I’m describing here as ‘wow, great, wonderful’ – she has all the words for all that is special about being here ..Thanks! This was a wonderful experience. I think the Italians invented heaven because it was the only conceivable place to go that could be better than Italy! ”

“Thank you for a most relaxing and satisfying time – we only wish we had two more weeks ahead of us! Coming from the stimuli of Florence and Chianti, we drove into your quiet valley wondering what we would do here. After a thoroughly restorative 14 hour sleep, we found out. We were thoroughly entertained by unassuming hill towns, glorious sunsets, joyous larks and firefly light-shows. We walked, we sat, we got re-acquainted with the deep quiet spaces in ourselves and each other. We can’t thank you enough for giving us all we came for an more!”
J.K. and I.L.

“A sincere thanks for our time at Calboccia last summer…we all had a wonderful time, despite the cool weather.. I love Italy and especially the Umbertide area (now that I have discovered it)…..Hopefully we will get the opportunity to return and rekindle the joy we all felt. Sincerely, …”
C. and J. E.

“Just a quick note of thanks for our stay at Calboccia last spring. Shortly after our return we were engaged. Our reception had several things from Italy included. My personal favorite was a framed snapshot of Calboccia, on our mantle. The place is full of magic! Thank you, …”
A. and J. K

“Just a short note to tell you how much we enjoyed our stay at Calboccia. What a perfect spot, situated on the hillside, overlooking the pastoral valley. It didn’t take us long to get into the rhythm of Italian life there – the “slowed down” afternoons, wonderful food, and long twilight evenings. We felt very comfortable in your home and much appreciated Sestilio’s kindness. Hopefully, we’ll be able to return again someday. Until then we’ll continue to recall all the good memories of Calboccia and Umbria. Thanks. Regards, …”

“Thank you so much for our stay at Calboccia October 11-18. We had a great time – the house, the scenery, all the hill towns-were all so beautiful. It will definitely be a memorable vacation. Sestilio was very nice and very helpful. Best wishes to him and his family. Thanks from all of us,…”
K. and J. M.

“It’s been over a month since we returned from our stay at your wonderful place, Calboccia. The initial euphoria from our visit to Italy has waned some, but the warm memories are here with us still and will remain forever. Thank you for letting us share at your hearth in such a charming place. Being able to return to Calboccia at the end of a day of touring was always such a comfort. When we tired of the role of ‘tourist,’ it was so satisfying to unwind ‘at home’ at Calboccia. When re-telling about our vacation in Italy to our friends, our life at Calboccia is always at the top of our list. Sestilio was very helpful and informative. Your system for contacts, and your own personal attention to communication is appreciated and makes your guests feel at ease. So, thank you again. We know why you have so many handwritten testimonials. You can add us to your list of happy appreciative guests. Sincerely, …”
R. and L. H.

“I just wanted to say how very much we enjoyed staying at Calboccia in August. It was a delightful time in which we took time off from the merry-go-round of our daily life of owning and operating our own B and B in Provence, sitting on top of the hill, enjoying the quiet and the beauty of the landscape. We very much appreciated the simplicity with which you had restored and arranged both the farmhouse and the barn. We can understand how attached you and your girls must be to the place. Your friends at La Chiusa gave us a most friendly welcome and were most helpful. With kind regards,…”
S. and J. K.

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