Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1767: Owner, Casina di Rosa
1bed/1bath house in Civitella Marittima, Tuscany West
June 2005, 1 week
Casina di Rosa is in a small hilltop village called Civitella Marittima. The house is in the village but it is independent and in a very nice location. It is close to other buildings because it is in the centre of the village, but it is not attached to them. It is really nice.
As for the area, Civitella Marittima is located 2km from the highway which runs between Grosseto and Siena. It is very easy to find from Florence airport. The village is actually halfway between the two cities, so the house makes for a very convenient base in order to visit two very different areas of Southern Tuscany: the Maremma and the area around Siena. We filled our two weeks very easily, and we could have stayed longer and not have been left without things to see and do.
We drove to the coast, to the beautiful hilltop town of Pitigliano, to Saturnia Spas (very relaxing!), to the Maremma National Park (excellent for hiking) and we drove to Vetulonia, a tiny village on a high hill with Etruscan remains and very friendly people.
We went to the Val d'Orcia: Montalcino is an amazing town! Pienza and Montepulciano are also amazing and we actually really liked San Quirico and Buonconvento too. We drove on the winding roads in this area three times and we always came back home in the evening with delicious wine, olive oil and food that we would enjoy at the Casina.
This was the third time we were in Tuscany, and finally we managed to see the Gregorian Chants at Sant'Antimo Abbey. Amazing. We drove to San Gimignano, to Volterra (beautiful but a bit far). We went to Siena a couple of times, to Florence once by bus (very convenient), to Massa Marittima (very neat) and we drove through Chianti and stopped to see some castles.
We did much more: the list would be too long!!
The house is in the village: you can walk everywhere. You can buy everything in the village, but if you need a supermarket, you have to drive to the nearest village, Paganico, 8km down the road towards Grosseto. The village has an excellent restaurant: La Locanda nel Cassero. It is actually the best restaurant we have tried in Tuscany. Highly recommended. It's a 2 minute walk from the house. The village has everything you need: groceries, bakeries, an amazing flowershop, a ceramic shop, butcher's shop, bars, post office, ATM, etc.
The house is an old stonehouse. Gloria and Marcel, the very nice, friendly and helpful owners, told us it was built by Gloria's greatgrandparents at the end of the 19th century. This makes the house over 100 years old. It is very well kept and equipped. You can tell they really care about the property and their guests' comfort.
We were amazed of the silence ... so quiet and peaceful! The only noise was produced by some ladies in the streets and at their windows chatting, some cars (very few actually) and some renovation works going on at the end of the road. Oh, and the birds!
The Casina is the only apartment in the building. There is a garage underneath, which however, does not belong to the house, and but is not frequently used by its onwers.
As for the layout, the house is made up of five rooms. There is a kitchen (extremely well equipped, with many electrical appliances, and essential products such as spices, coffee and tea, sugar, matches, baking paper, plug adaptors, Gloria's father's excellent olive oil, etc), a double bedroom with a spacious wardrobe, a new bathroom with a nice size shower and (very important!!!) hairdryer and toilet paper, a cozy sitting room with cd player and many guidebooks, maps and brochures for us to borrow.
We also loved the little touches, such as chocolates, fresh flowers, candles, a letter with all the information we might need, including contact numbers for wineries, restaurants, bike rentals, museums, etc.
The house also has a tiny little closet with a washing machine, and cleaning supplies were provided.
There is no garden or terrace. There is a little porch outside the front door, where we could sit and eat outside and enjoy the sun in the morning. It is not a large space but it is confortable and "really Italian": everybody says "Buongiorno!" passing by! We loved it! The owners provided chairs and a table for the porch. And we also had a little barbecue which we however never used. Had we wanted to BBQ, we could easily have, as they also left us some coal.
The furniture is in very good shape. Some of the pieces were actually originally built by Gloria's grandfather. The house is sparkling clean, including the plates and glasses. We are a bit picky and we always check these things. They had clearly been polished.
Very comfortable, towels and sheets provided. The pressure in the shower was not American style, but it was good enough.
The best equipped kitchen we have ever encountered in vacation rentals. Lots of useful things and it is really helpful to find basic kitchen supplies like salt and sugar in the house, so that you don't have to run out to the supermarket and leave behind half a box! Moreover, the owners also left us a welcome basket or starter kit, with pasta, sauce and wine. We really appreciated it. The bottle of cold water in the fridge was also a thoughtful touch.
Problems or Bonuses
We had no problems. Casina di Rosa was just perfect for us. It is small but cosy and very clean, which is the most important thing for us. There wasn't anything we couldn't find in the house. They even have an alarm clock and bedside lights which are not very common. You will need a car, so it is not a good location if you plan on traveling by public transportation. The location is also the best value of the house, though.
It gives access to an amazing number of sights, with just a short drive. The owners are a plus too: they were very helpful from the beginning, including the first contact via email. It was Gloria who recommended the Slow Travel website as a valuable source of information in the planning stage of our trip. We would no doubt recommend Casina di Rosa and we hope to be able to return in a couple of years.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
As I have already said they are very nice and friendly. Marcel is Canadian and a native speaker of English. Gloria speaks very good English too. They have an excellent website and the information provided corresponds 100% to what we found. The house is excellent value for the money we paid (380 euros per week with no extras).
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes. We would definitely recommend this rental to other people, and we will certainly recommend it to our friends. We also hope to go back sometimes in the future!
Things to do in this area
The website has a huge amount of suggestions. And Gloria provides more ideas on what to do. Siena and surroundings, Valdorcia, Maremma, beach, Petriolo hot springs, and much more. We didn't have time to go to Monte Amiata, but we heard good things about it.
Go to La Locanda nel Cassero: it is an excellent restaurant!!!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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