Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1234: Owner, Casina di Rosa
1bed/1bath house in Civitella Marittima, Tuscany West
Nov 6 - 13, one week
Casina di Rosa is located in Civitella Marittima, a small hilltown in the southern-western Tuscan region, about 30 minutes south of Siena. Though close to neighbors, the house is extremely private. We occasionally heard a motor scooter or small car -- or the rustling of wind! The views around the village were spectacular. And though Casina di Rosa is only 100 years old, we learned that the village is nearly 900 years old, so it was fascinating to wonder about Civatella's history.
The house is small and quaint, located near the heart of the village. The local baker, the post office, a small market, a barber, a butcher, and a great local restaurant all within walking distance -- about 50 yards, really! We especially loved the local restaurant because the chef used to work at the Savoy in London, therefore we had some spectacular meals right past our doorstep, literally! If you want to cook at home, a larger supermarket is about 3-4 miles south of Civatella.
The house was built about 100 years ago by the great-grandparents of the owner. The current owners, Gloria and Marcel, have renovated the house and it is in excellent condition. We heard an occasional barking dog, car, or gust of wind! It's very peaceful.
There is a small patio at the front door, otherwise no garden or outdoor area. No pool. Once, my husband grilled outside on the patio, however.
Some fluffier pillows would have been a nice addition, otherwise the furniture was in excellent condition. The sofas, bed, wood pieces were all in top-knotch shape. Gloria provides some nice touches to make you feel at home, too, such as fresh flowers and chocolates!
The king-size bed suited my husband and I nicely! The mattress is very firm (everyone has different taste on firmness, so I can't really comment on that), and there were extra blankets provided, which we found ourselves utilizing since we were there during an unusually cold first of November.
The kitchen was very cozy. It has a fireplace, which we used on two occasions. There are plenty of dishes, pots/pans, utensils, etc. Gloria and Marcel even provide coffee, sugar, salt, and flour. We happened to arrive fairly late our first evening, so we were too tired to go out to dinner. But the owners provide a bag of local pasta and jar of sauce, plus olive oil from the family farm. Needless to say we cooked that food our first night and had a delicious, easy meal at our fingertips! I was grateful.
Problems or Bonuses
The best bonus is the local restaurant in Civatella! As I mentioned eariler, the chef used to work for the Savoy in London, so the food was fabulous. The location is central to so many marvelous spots throughout Tuscany, i.e., Siena is 30 minutes, Florence 1 hour, plus so many hilltowns such as Sorano, Pitigliano, Saturnia, Montalcino. The winery at Banfi is only 15 minutes away, etc. Great location.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Gloria speaks English, but Marcel is fluent since he's Canadian. Both were very helpful. If you have any problems or concerns, they are nearby with answers/suggestions.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would definitely recommend Casina di Rosa to my friends and family, absolutely. If my husband and I ever venture to Italy again, I'm certain we'd check to see if Casina di Rosa is available. I have so many fond, enchanting memories of Civatella Maritimme, plus our day trips throughout Tuscany -- I consider Casina di Rosa a little "home away from home". It holds a special place in our hearts.
Things to do in this area
Day trips: we loved the story of San Galgano, a lustful knight who lived around 1148 and whose fiancee was from Civatella. San Galgano, tired of war and his arrogant lifestyle, was visited by the Archangel Michael who told him to give up his selfish ways and become a hermit. In honor of denouncing war and social injustice, he thrust his sword into a fissure of stone located on the hilltop, Monte Siepi, near the town of Chiusdino. To his dismay, the sword stuck and has become a symbol of peace and Christianity for nearly 900 years. Today, there is shrine to San Galgano's gesture -- the sword still in the stone -- built on top of Monte Siepi. Just below stands the remains of an abbey constructed after San Galgano's death. The roof is missing, the flooring gone and replaced by dirt and grass, the windows are hollow. It's a haunting place. We were there off-season, near dusk, so we were practically alone listening to the cooing pigeons and rustling winds echo throughout the abandoned abbey. It was truly one of the most enchanting moments of my life! It's only about 30-45 minutes from Civatella, so worth a visit. Search your guidebooks or web under "San Galgano".
Also, we loved visiting the less touristy, medieval towns such as Sorano and Petigliano. They were AMAZING; as if they were carved from the stone of the mountain on which they sit. Enjoy!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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