Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1814: Castello di Lamole, Apartment
apartments on an estate in Lamole, near Greve, Tuscany Chianti
May 2005, one week
Castello de Lamole is in the Tuscan countryside surrounded by vinyards and olive groves. It was a lovely sight from the first. Close by is the small village of Lamole where we could buy bus tickets to Greve and beyond. The church at Lamole rang its bell at certain times which gave us a sense of peace. It was lovely to awaken to the fresh country air and hear the songs of the birds. We heard cuckoo birds for the very first time.
I was there with a group of eight women friends who wanted to enjoy the Tuscan countryside, and we were able to do just that. We were provided with two apartments which housed four in each, with two bedrooms and one bath. When I walked into one of the apartments, the feeling was incredibly welcoming and I knew I had to stay in that one, as we were given our choice. We had a patio, which adjoined another apartment, but was also very private. We were able to cook in the apartment, and it held all eight of us for dinner comfortably. We also ate in the restaurant Aia de Canti, where we tasted such delicacies as fried squash blossoms, wonderful pecarino cheese, and the wine of the Castello. The hosts, the Marasco family, made sure we had everything we could possibly desire in our apartments as well ... cheese, wine, bread, and their special honey.
We were able to relax, enjoy the pool, read, paint, and travel to small villages fairly close by. The Marasco family aided us in securing a van to take us all on day trips to Siena and Monterrigione, Assisi, etc. We all enjoyed the Castello di Lamole so much, and the only negative was that we couldn't stay longer!
The closest grocery store is in the small village of Lamole, where we could buy some items, but their supply was somewhat limited. We were able to buy bus tickets to Greve, which was far enough that we had to plan on their scheduled stops. But, there is a lovely grocery in Greve, where we shopped for food for our meals in the apartment. We also were able to eat in Greve, and there is a delightful restaurant in Lamole, as well as in the Castello di Lamole.
The Castello was quite old - built in the 11th or 12th century, I believe. It was in excellent shape, being converted into apartments when it was originally a fortress which was to protect the area. Our apartment had two bedrooms with two single beds in each. There were dressers for storage of clothing for each person, and it was furnished with antique furniture, which I love. I am aware of about six apartments available; there may be more that I didn't see. But, we felt we had privacy, and it was quite peaceful.
There is a nice sitting area outside most of the apartments. We had a large patio area where we could all gather to enjoy the sun, and the lovely views. It was shared with another apartment, but those clients were not inclined to use it. The pool is lovely, and some of our group swam even though it was cooler than usual in the month of May.
The furniture was in good shape, even though it was antique, and there was plenty of chairs for all eight of us to gather in our particular apartment for meals at a wonderful farm-style table. The apartment was clean, and there were enough dishes for us all as well.
The beds were comfortable, and the bedrooms nice. We shared a bathroom, but it worked out just fine.
We had a small galley-style kitchen, and it was fun to cook our meals there. We had full meals for breakfast and dinner, and enjoyed setting a pretty table.
Problems or Bonuses
The Castello di Lamole had their own wine, olive oil, and honey, which they provided for us whenever we wanted it. Of course, it was added onto our bill, but it was so nice to just have it taken to the apartment when asked for. They provided anything we could have wanted ... even fresh rosemary for the picking off their bushes.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked with the Castello di Lamole directly through the internet, and there were onsite people who spoke English fairly well. The reality of the place exceeded our expectations. The price was split between the eight of us, so the whole week was very inexpensive for the value of the experience.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I have dreams of going again to Castello di Lamole with my husband, now that I have seen it myself and wish to share it with him. I have also recommended it to several of my friends that they stay there. The experience was wonderful, and I feel the Marasco family go out of their way to make the stay as pleasant as it possibly can be.
Things to do in this area
We were able to book a van to see the area since we didn't rent a car for the eight of us. It was great because the drivers spoke English, one better than the other, but they both were so pleasant and helpful, and told about the sights we were seeing. We drove to Siena to tour, as well as Cortona, and Assisi, where we were taken to the original Refuge St. Francis founded. We found the Italian people to be warm, hospitable, gracious, and since we tried to speak their language (the word "tried" being important), they took time to help us with words and directions and laughed with us a lot. The varying restaurants we tried were all good - from the small sidewalk cafe in Greve to the elegant Restaurante Lamole.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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