Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1816: Castello di Lamole, Apartment
apartments on an estate in Lamole, near Greve, Tuscany Chianti
May - June 2005, 6 nights
There were 8 women who traveled on this trip and we stayed at Castello di Lamole which is a castle. The community nearby is Lamole and the nearest town is Greve. The site exceeded all my expectations - everywhere I looked it was like a photograph. There was a window in our bedroom which opened out to a vineyard and every morning we heard the coo coo birds.
There were 4 women who stayed in my apartment and we had a huge dining/sitting area and a lovely, quaint kitchen. We prepared our meals after a trip to Greve to shop at the market. The hospitality of the Marasaco family was beyond that of any I've ever experienced. It was truly like a family and we were so sad to leave because it felt like we were leaving our family. Riccardo sang to us at a couple of meals, Virginia and Jacapo were there to assist and visit with. The staff, Stephano and Marrissa, were helpful beyond words.
There was a spring just down the hill where we would walk and sit drinking the water. Local people would come by and fill their jugs so we got to interact with them some. We stayed at the Castle a week and took day trips to surrounding areas. Jacapo had arranged for drivers and we discovered that was definitely a good option for us.
There was a place get some supplies within walking distance up the hill from Castello called Lamole. This is where we purcahsed bus tickets, etc. and got some supplies. We also happened to be there when a children's recital was being performed in the lovely church. We took the bus to Greve and shopped in the open market. As mentioned earlier, Jacapo found drivers for us and we took day trips to surrounding areas. The drivers were fun to be with and provided lots of information about Italy in general, Tuscany and Chianti specifically.
The structures used to be a castle - I think there was a date in my apartment (which was the largest and had a veranda) that said 1610. Some of the floors were stone - the walls were stone - the ceilings were log timbers. Four of us stayed in my apartment and the other four had apartments that connected (two to an apartment). We prepared meals and ate in my apartment because we had a huge farm table.
I don't really know how many apartment were in the castle: I know that there were several. There was a swimming pool down the hill from our veranda. Everywhere we looked we saw rolling hills and vineyards. The facility was well kept and quaint.
There was a pool - there were both areas that were private and shared. Any of the places where we sat or walked was again like looking at a photograph. The stay was calming and restful.
The furniture was designed to fit in with the age of the castle so it looked old but it was sturdy and comfortable. As mentioned earlier, we had a farm table and could seat at least 8 which is what we did for our meals. We ate 3 meals in the Castello restaurant and they were very delicious.
There were two bedrooms in my apartment and we loved that there was a little window between the walls that would open up and we could pass things back and forth. We had fun with that. There were twin type beds and they were very comfortable. The floor in my bedroom was made of rock like the walls. Just lovey.
The kitchen while small was useable and there were plenty of pots, pans and dishes. If we needed anything all we had to do was say something to the staff and/or family and it was there. It was definitely good for cooking full meals.
Problems or Bonuses
Surprises: Nothing bad, but everyday there was something wonderful. For example, the coo coo birds (I had no idea the sound was so beautiful) - Riccardo's singing to us, Jacapo's friendliness and helpfulness, Virginia's accepting us as though we were family - I could go on and on. The wine and olive oil was superb - I guess the only bad thing is we had to leave.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We did not go through an agency. I discovered the castle on the website and began corresponding with Jacapo. The person who greeted us was Marrissa and she was wonderful. They all spoke English. I cannot remember exactly how much we paid but I think it was about $2,600 for the 8 of us to stay for the 6 nights. We were traveling from Thursday to Thursday which is not the normal times for bookings -- normally they prefer Saturday to Saturday, but the family worked with us on this.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Without hesitation I would go back to Castello di Lamole. In fact I would live there if I could. Everything exceeded my expectations.
Things to do in this area
We ate at the restaurnate in Lamole our last night there and it was marvelous - we were treated very well. The restaurant at the Castle was very good too. Stephano was the chef and we liked him very much. Otherwise we prepared our own meals. Greve is only a short distance away and the market was fun. One driver took us to Assisi and back to Cortona and other places. The other driver took us to Siena and the surrounding areas. I was just happy to be at the castle and relax. I stayed there sometimes when the others went out so I could paint, read and explore - and simply take in the sights, sounds and smells of the place.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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