The REAL Italy in a hilltop village

The REAL Italy in a hilltop village


Sep 2007

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2 Bedrooms
Sleeps 4
1 Bathrooms

About our home

If you want nightclubs, 5-star hotels and non stop entertainment on your doorstep, best if you stop reading now! But if you want authentic Italy and it's gentle pace, then read on! Santa Domenica Talao is an historic hilltop town hundreds of years old. Our house is here! In the summer, its' thick, white-washed walls and dark green shutters keep you cool; in winter the open-fire and double glazing keep you warm! The two bedrooms are furnished eclectically, marble floors throughout. If one of you snores, you can always take the large comfortable pullout divan upstairs! Although children are welcome, there are stairs, which could be perilous for little ones.
If you like to cook using local produce, then the kitchen provides you with ample pots and pans and baking utensils. A nice roomy fridge/freezer holds plenty! And, now an espresso coffee machine.
Walls throughout are adorned with original paintings of the little town. The comfortable living area opens out through french doors to the sunny terrace...the perfect place for alfresco lunches under the sun umbrella gazing at the sea view, listening to the hillside goat-bells.... or wine and cheese as the sun goes down and the twinkling lights of Scalea come out to play.
There is always available parking out under the trees, only 30 metres away. Please note we cannot exchange cars. As non-residents of Italy, we can buy a HOUSE but not a CAR! Please note we do not have internet to the house, but the cafes in 'town' a few minutes away give you free wifi while you enjoy a coffee.


Rosemary's reviews

As a host (8)

More about us

  1. My husband, Paul and I, Rosie, live in Australia, in a little weatherboard house in the mountain rainforests of Queensland. Although 74 and 75 we have a hectic lifestyle. With house renovating and still working part-time, it is a welcome break to spend some time each year in our 'second home', the little house in the stunning mountains of Calabria.
    We have grown-up children and now, six grandchildren. We have traveled lots, as Paul comes from England, though 40 years have subdued the accent! So most years, we try to fly back to see the English family with as many side trips to Europe as we can manage. 2008 and 2014 saw us on the island of Salina, where our daughter was married!, 2009 Sardinia, France and Corsica... Sicily, Greece, Slovenia, Crete and Croatia.... In 2015, we had our first exchanges, in Paris and Sondrio, Italy, and then Albano Laziale, Roma ... perfect experiences and marvellous hosts. October, 2016, a wonderful exchange in Paris, and another Tuscan exchange was excellent, June, 2017. Then a marvelous exchange with Rick and Jan in Sydney, Australia, 1000 km's from our home in Queensland. Then to France, Sorede in 2018... great, interesting area so close to Spain.
    Living so far away, non-simultaneous exchanges are definitely the preferred way to go for us!

  2. Although in our 70's we still don't really know what our career path should be! Between us, we've been an Art teacher, Second-hand shop owner, Coffee-shop proprietors, caterers, Book-coverers, House renovators; library assistant; hardware and computer sales persons; seller of hotels; maintenance person...... :-)

  3. We much prefer to live like a local....and immerse ourselves in the way-of-life of the community where we stay.

Swap availability

Open to offers
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Where is it?


If you yearn for a bland international 5 star hotel which could be found in any capital city of the world, then stop reading now! But if you want a genuine, authentic experience of REAL Italy, then read on! A little hilltop village only 8 k's from the sea, with sweeping views of the ocean,and protected by the rugged, majestic mountains of the Pollino National Park behind. With only 1300 people, the village is small enough to be warmly welcoming to visitors but large enough to have grocery shops, hairdressers, doctor, pharmacy, baker, butchers, hardware, shoe and florist shops and restaurant and bars within easy walking distances. The piazza, with its marble paving is encrusted with lots of older menfolk changing the world, (or playing cards!). Up a few rustic steps past the riot of coloured flowers spilling from the Florist's, we find the church, filled with light. Its superb restoration was gifted by the town priest who won the lottery and donated all the winnings for its restoration! Wander the twisting narrow lanes to go back in time, and follow the Stations of the Cross up to the evocative cemetery, with its' whispering pines. It's not far to the sea at Scalea to swim or any of the beaches along the coast, or go East and drive into the stunning Pollino and Sila National Parks to go whitewater rafting, horseriding, walking. If you'd like a spectacular winter drive, you could have a day's skiing, about 2 hours away. Karting?...on Sundays, 5 minutes. A miniature footy pitch close by. A winding mountain drive leads you to the Romito caves with their Neolithic engravings and skeletons! Beautiful, historical, unique towns abound.... Maiera, Diamante, Belvedere, Orsomarso, too many to list.
Our neighbours are wonderful, there if you need them, but never intrusive. And the townsfolk are very welcoming to visitors.... we don't get many!!

Buzzy restaurants
Bellavista, many on the coast and at Scalea
Cool bars
Sitting in the piazza with wine or coffee, watching the village unfold!
Cozy cafés
Bellavista Restaurant and Cafe; Bar Chiazza; Mama Roma
Retail therapy
locally in the village; big supermarkets, Scalea Mon. market.
Bit of culture
Village is 400 yrs old, Centro Storico interesting; local museum is interesting... just bang on the door and usually someone will open!
Walks in the park
everywhere! can walk around the whole town in about 50 minutes, or in the Pollino National Park
Spot of exercise
Lungomare (all along the beach boardwalks). Plenty exercise through the village with it's many steps!!
Day tripping
Too numerous to mention! Maps and Info in the house

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