Short but so sweet our stay in Caserma Carina! Set in an idyllic location in the heart of Le Marche, surrounded by rolling hills, fields of sunflowers and vineyards, Caserma Carina is a haven of tranquillity - the ideal place to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, relax by the pool or simply chill with a bottle of local wine (readily available from Dean’s well stocked and well chilled mini-bar!).
With the sun shining, from sunrise to sunset, throughout our stay, the pool was extremely enticing (thanks in particular to Dean for keeping it so clean), but the region of Le Marche has a lot more to offer and there are plenty of interesting places to explore, many within a short distance of Caserma Carina: Mogliano, a small hilltop town just minutes away, with an excellent gelateria and several bars/restaurants, Loro Piceno, l’Abbadia di Fiastra, Treia, Tolentino with its two main and very impressive churches (San Nicolà and San Catervo), the Adriatic coast line - on this visit we had a seafood lunch by the sea in Porto San Giorgio and then went on to Porto Sant’Epidio with its beach lined with pine trees, Recanati and Loreto to name but a few.
Also worth a mention and not too far away from Caserma Carina in Umbria is the town of Assisi, and Monte Cucco which we also visited whilst in Italy – a perfect spot up in the mountains for hang gliding or simply having a picnic whilst enjoying the scenery and views. We particularly appreciated the fresh mountain air although it was so windy in one spot we nearly took off ourselves!
Six days was far too short to do this beautiful and still largely undiscovered region of Italy justice - another good reason to return to Caserma Carina in the not too distant future ;-)
Our apartment La Lavanda was spacious and stylishly furnished, and offered spectacular views of the countryside beyond. Our hosts, Dean and Lesley, were always willing to stop for a chat or provide information on the local area, making their guests feel as comfortable and as welcome as possible.
Being a big lover of Italy (not least its pasta – I particularly enjoyed the pasta in the restaurant Mangiafuoco in Petriolo – ask Dean or Lesley to give you directions!) and having already connections with this region of Italy, I wouldn’t hesitate to return to Caserma Carina or to recommend this country house to my family and friends for future holidays. Thanks again to Dean and Lesley and in bocca al lupo as the Italians say!
Bren, Strasbourg, France
We arrived after a very long train journey from London, with 2 small tired children and felt welcome and relaxed from the minute we arrived. Dean and Leslie were most welcoming then and throughout our stay. They could not have been more helpful, endlessly patient in answering (the same) questions again and again about places to go or how to get there. Our apartment was bigger than anticipated (Tulip), as the website photos don't do it justice. The pool was beautiful. The garden immaculate. Dean and Leslie do not stop working to make sure your holiday is as relaxing as possible. As self-catering places go, this one comes with great service!
Having read the reviews on trip advisor, We felt Caserma Carina sounded too good to be true……….and we all know the adage about things too good to be true. Well, we decided to trust trip advisor and book. So glad we did, this place is excellent!! It is located in Marche on the edge of the beautiful ancient village, Mogliano. The accommodation at Caserma Carina is superb; we chose the fully air-conditioned third floor apartment which has wonderful views across to the Sibillini mountains and was very well equipped, even down to providing an iPod docking station! All you may have read about Lesley and Dean is true, they are wonderful hosts. They organised Wine tasting, and fun Pizza making evening and their advice on where to visit was first class. The gardens at Caserma Carina were immaculate, lush green grass, perfect hedging, wonderful flowers surrounding a large pool. This together with the views made Caserma Carina an ideal place to relax under the sun. We spent many evenings eating on the gardens “hidden” terrace marveling the wonderful views. You’ll never run short of a drink at Caserma Carina, Dean keeps an excellent selection of wines, beers and soft drinks in a small outhouse all stored at a perfect temperature for immediate drinking!! Help yourself and tick the honesty sheet in your apartment – settle up at the end of holiday – The Wines were from the local vine yard – but cheaper!!
There are many other reasons than Caserma Carina to visit Marche, we witnessed many colourful evenings in local village – it was the 1744 festival. Mogliano is located in central Marche, is ideal for exploring the numerous ancient villages and wonderful coast line. It was a real treat, one we hope to repeat very soon.
Caserma Carina is an amazing find - if there was a category for "self catered +", this place would be in it. You have the privacy of your own apartment, in a beautiful old building surrounded by countryside, but with the option of delicious food brought to your door, there's an extensive DVD and book library, and Dean is like a concierge - always on hand to provide you with ideas for outings and give you the low down on local restaurants - even what the best dishes are!
It is a really fantastic place to stay with little ones - we spent 3 weeks there with our 8 month old, who learned to crawl in the garden and fell in love with Marley - the owners' very well behaved cocker spaniel (I don't normally like dogs, but he is lovely and used to young children).
We were in the ground floor apartment (Girasole) which has two good sized bedrooms and plenty of space. Dean and Lesley (the owners) were great at understanding the needs of a young family - they provided a cot, bedding, baby towels, toys, play mats, baby bath (there is no bath in the apartment), plastic cups and bowls, a high chair, a paddling pool, and also offered us a steriliser and food blender. The kitchen is well equipped - definitely the best we've had in a self-catered place in Italy (no oven - but everthing else you could want, including a dishwasher!), and there are bbqs you can borrow - great for cooking the fish you can buy from the fish van than comes round each Wednesday.
The pool now has railings around (it doesn't in the pictures on the website) and there is a lovely lawn - so it's a great, safe environment for babies and toddlers. There are very comfortable sunloungers and parasols as well as a few well placed trees - so lots of shade for little ones (as well as plenty of sunny spots for sunbathing).
The owners have a local friend who can babysit, and the same lady can provide fantastic home cooked meals to your apartment. There's also a great local pizza take out place if you don't want to eat out with your little one every night.
For anyone reading this who doesn't want to spend their holiday with little ones... don't worry, the garden is big enough, and very well thought out - with sunloungers and eating areas well positioned for privacy and to ensure guests aren't on top of eachother. There is a particularly nice hidden away terrace for romantic eating away from everyone else.
Dean and Lesley work tirelessly to maintain the place - I've never seen a swimming pool cleaned so frequently!
For anyone wondering about the region - it's great. Similar countryside to Tuscany (perhaps not all of it quite as beautiful), but there is the added bonus of white sandy beaches, with amazing seafood restaurants and also the mountains - and in particular an amazing fresh water lake with turqouise water full of trout and its own little beach. There aren't as many UK tourists as Tuscany, but despite that there are loads of local restaurants which all serve amazing food - we didn't go wrong once in 3 weeks of eating out. A lot of the restaurants don't have menus, so it's a good idea to brush up on basic Italian food vocab - there's a print out of key words in the apartment.
There is nothing I would have changed about Caserma Carina!
I've read the previous reviews on Tripadvisor, and they are spot on. This is a 5 star place. Lesley and Dean have created a really comfortable and beautiful place to stay. This is an off-the-beaten track part of Italy - yet you are only 30 mins from the beach, and 30 mins from the hills! All those little things that make the stay easy - from kitchen bits and bobs (so you don't have to buy them) to the help and support they give you in finding the best places in the local area, make it easy to experience Le Marche. And, if you just spent your week round the pool, the views of the Monte Sibilini are sensational. All in all, they work hard to give you everything you need to find a true break and experience La Dolce Vita!