We’re just back from another blissful week here. Hadn’t been for a couple of years and the welcome’s so warm, the beauty so familiar, the apartment so comfortable that it’s a home from home. Or it would be if your home were set in some of the most glorious rolling countryside with rural views to die for and furnished with a pool that gives even the most ardent swimmer a really stretching swim! This is a place to relax completely, to drink in the silence, to potter out to tiny exquisite medieval little towns/villages and to enjoy easy-living while exploring the charms of Le Marche.
And then of course – as so, so many (maybe even all!) people writing here have said – there are Bob and Ian, the hosts-with-the-mosts. Always around to help, lend a hand, take interest, offer advice and look after you in a laid-back and relaxed way – they get the balance of attentiveness and laissez-faire just perfectly right. It seems like a natural gift, but I’m sure it takes very intelligent work and planning to appear so entirely at ease and yet so absolutely thoughtful, but you can never see the join!
In these times when many of us may feel a bit queasy about the foreign travel aspect of holidays, they’ve worked really hard to find ways to ensure the negative effects of this are offset as much as possible. So, for example, they make sure you have bags-for-life for your shopping, eco-friendly cleaning products are provided free and glass bottles and demi-johns are yours for refilling at the fabulous local vineyard. We love the way Bob & Ian choose to work with other ethical businesses that give back to the community like ‘Who gives a crap’ toilet paper company and ‘Jerry’ (whose gorgeous metal bottle is a gift waiting for you when you arrive, we’ve carried ours home and are using it all the time – the best kind of holiday souvenir!) Both these companies give much of their profits to help build water facilities in developing countries. If you’re going to work with other companies, why not choose those that also do good? – it’s just brilliant! And then there are really unusual aspects like a recharging point for electric/hybrid cars (still not that easy to locate in Italy) and hints on carbon-offsetting your flights via a link on their website.
There’s also a really imaginative scheme called ‘Treedom’. If you’re eating at local restaurants (and we always like to try a few we haven’t been to before, local food’s so good – and so reasonable compared with so many more-visited areas of Italy) you have a card that you give to the restaurant to get 10% taken off your bill. You then hand this discount on to Bob and Ian at the end of your stay, and they use it to fund the planting of trees – another bit of carbon-offset. We think that’s just so clever, another way of contributing to greener travel that’s pain-and-effort-free. But again this approach is so relaxed – it always feels positive and productive, never pious or judgemental. As so much else at Casal Dei Fichi, it’s just perfect.
So there’s all of this - along with picking your own figs, lettuces, grapes and tomatoes - whatever’s in season in the garden, eggs from their own hens and being provided with a bottle of their own olive oil in the kitchen. All of this makes for the most generous, ethically Green place we’ve ever stayed.
Oh and then there are three of the sweetest and gentlest dogs for company. As always, we only ever come away promising ourselves we’ll be back before too long – and when we arrive again, it’s just blissful. It never, ever disappoints - they’ve created a dream of a place.
We had a wonderful short week here in early September - The place provides the perfect environment to truly relax at your own pace - peaceful gardens by the pool or low key pizza part with the other guests should you wish.
Accommodation setup was great - allowing us the option to cook in the comfort of our own space when we were not out and about sampling the food in the local towns and coastal villages.
Ian and Bob were fantastic throughout our stay - recommendations for places to eat and assistance with booking wherever required. We could not have asked for better hosts.
Look forward to having the chance to stay once again in the future.
Rose & John
Very nice accommodations. Large living and sleeping areas and well equipped kitchen. Set in a beautiful location with good restaurants, wineries, and interesting places to explore. Bob and Ian are gracious hosts and show great pride in their facility. This is a great place that appeals to many interests whether it be a relaxing stay by the pool or day trips exploring this less traveled but highly rewarding area of Italy.
If you're looking for somewhere to escape the crowds Casal Dei Fichi is the place for you! Very, very peaceful, well equiped apartments and the most beautiful views. You do need a car even if only to get essentials but the car will also give you access to many interesting places to visit, lots of good walking, places to eat and there are many accessible beaches fairly nearby. Bob and Ian are two of the nicest people we've met. They are so welcoming, helpful and nothing is too much trouble. They grow vegetables you can pick and eat, eggs are available from the resident chickens and if you're into wine there are empty bottles available for you to get filled at the local vineyard! What more could you ask for!
Much as we love to stay at new places it was great to know we were going back to Casal Dei Fichi again this year. Although it was only our second trip it felt like we'd been there many times before. The wonderful views were of course unchanged, as were our fabulous hosts Bob & Ian, who are great company and incredibly helpful. We will of course be coming back for thirds very soon.
A truly fabulous place to have a holiday, in the completely unspoilt Le Marche. Casal dei Fichi gets 5☆- it's enjoyed by young and old alike.
As teenagers are brutally honest, Im sharing our 14 year old son's review on our family holiday: I really enjoyed it, Ian and Bob are lovely people, they really take care of everyone, do outings with their guests to interesting places which you wouldn't normally think of going to. They recommended exceptional restaurants, and beautiful unspoilt beaches and lakes. They are the best hosts, kind and thoughtful, have lovely pets, allotment that you are invited to help yourself to, as well as organising the almost legendary Pizza night, a great way of
introducing all the guests. The pool is amazing and has the best views of the countryside. Ian and Bob run Casal in a very ecological way. I would definitely recommend and go again.
We had a fanstatic week at Casal dei Fichi. Bob and Ian are great hosts. The view from the pool is stunning. The apartment is well equipped. Thanks again!