Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1380: Owner, Casina di Rosa
1bed/1bath house in Civitella Marittima, Tuscany West
April 2005, one week
La Casina di Rosa is located in the village of Civitella Marittima. This is a very old hill town. The house is in close proximity to other similar dwellings, but was perhaps the quietest and most relaxing place we've stayed in a long time. Part of the charm of village life is the complete cultural immersion. We enjoyed hearing the neighbors going about their daily rounds. It was especially fun to see the young children out walking with their nonni! Civitella appears to have a rich family tradition. We, too, enjoyed taking long walks around the village. We enjoyed the total relaxation of this trip. The slow pace of Civitella helped us to put our stressful, rushed lives in the Northeastern US in perspective!
It is very difficult to drive in the village, as the roads are quite narrow. There was no need to drive, as everything is within walking distance. We spent a lot of time eating at the wonderful osteria/inn, La Locanda nel Cassero. The owner and chef, Alessandro, is an amazing cook and speaks English quite well.
We also shopped for groceries at the Alimentari (grocery store), which featured a wonderful selection of marinated salads, cheeses, etc., and anything else you need. There is a large supermarket in Paganico, but we skipped that. Supermarkets are too much like home! The macelleria (butcher shop) was wonderful, and we enjoyed a few great meals from there. There is also a warm and fragrant panaficio, which kept us in bread and pizza.
If you speak no Italian, bring your phrase book. The shopkeepers are very helpful and a little sign langage and few key phrases go a long way. I have some elementary Italian skill, and it was enough. The wonderful thing about traveling in italy is that if you try to speak the language, the people are very appreciative. Always, the folks we met in Civitella were warm and kind.
The Casina was quiet, squeaky clean, and very private. It is equipped with everything you need to make wonderful meals. The old stone building retains the cold, so if you go in the cooler months, you will be using a gas heater and perhaps the fireplace, if wood is available. Bring plenty of sweaters! We used both and managed to warm the place up. It was actually quite cosy and romantic and we spent a lot of time just resting, talking, eating, and reading. It was truly one of the most relaxing holidays we've had in years.
We sat on the steps to watch the passers-by and take the sun. The morning and early afternoon sun are very strong from the front entrance.
All of the furnishings were sqeaky clean, comfy, and homey. We mostly stayed in the kitchen and bedroom, but the sitting room was comfortable and has a boom box. Bring music to listen to! We wish we had!
The bed was comfortable, with fabulous real cotton sheets and a great duvet. There are extra blankets and pillows. The bathroom has a stall shower with a wonderful hot water supply.
The kitchen is fully equipped and we cooked some memorable, delicious meals.
Problems or Bonuses
A bonus is the cell phone that the owner has available for guests. You pay only for the time you use.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owner, Gloria Capelli, speaks fluent English and gave us a warm reception. I felt like I was meeting a new cousin. All things considered, Casina di Rosa is excellent value for the money. It is not a luxury accommodation, and is priced very fairly. Civitella is a great location for daytrips to Siena, the Maremma seacoast, and other points of interest. You can choose to do as much or as little as you like, as there are many beautiful drives, great food, and many attractions.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would recommend the Casina to anyone who is looking for a clean, cosy place, and who loves the cultural immersion of a small village. It was an affordable, relaxing vacation. If we were to return, it would be during the warmer season, but that is no reflection on the accommodation itself. We just happened to hit a particularly chilly spring week.
Things to do in this area
As I said above, there are many things to do. La Locanda nel Cassero is a great restaurant - really gourmet. For more family style food, we really loved Taverna di Campagna, in nearby Monte Antico. There is also a wonderful ceramic shop in Civitella.
This was a great vacation and we returned home truly refreshed.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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