Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 1836: Owner, Casina di Rosa
1bed/1bath house in Civitella Marittima, Tuscany West
2005, one week
As we followed the excellent directions that our landlord, Gloria sent us, we read that after passing the sign for Paganico the village could be seen on the hill to our left. We looked up to see a stone village reflecting the sunlight. Though seeming too much to hope for, this was indeed our first view of Civitella. A small village (pop. 350), Civitella Marittima is between Grosseto and Siena. It is an ancient hill town that dates back to Etruscan times. The surrounding views, whether in the morning mist or the sunset, are incredibly beautiful.
Casina di Rosa is a small stone house that is a charming vacation home for a couple. We spent our 25th wedding aniversary there and fell in love with Tuscany and Civitella.
Everything in the village is accessible by foot. There are two small groceries in town where we bought food for our breakfasts and two dinners. There are also two bakeries where we bought bread and sweets. Although there is a butcher in town we didn't have an opportunity to shop there. There is a cafe, Da Dante, where the proprietor contacted our landlord for us when we arrived. Though we didn't stop for a drink at one of the outdoor tables we did have cappucino and cornetti one morning. The restaurant Locanda nel Cassero is a treat not to be missed. Once we tried it, we ate most of our meals there. The village also has a post office, bank with bancomat, walk-in clinic, a church and a few shops.
Casina di Rosa has been in the owner's family for generations. It is a small stone house all on one floor (although there are several steps to enter). There is a kitchen, bedroom, livingroom, bathroom and laundry. The house is well maintained and decorated in a traditional style. After leaving the noise and traffic of Rome we were grateful to enjoy the peace and quiet of this house.
There isn't a garden, but there are flowering plants outside the building. There are some garden chairs on the landing outside the front door but we didn't sit outside.
Everything in the house was clean and ready to use. The furniture was a blend of old and new, charming and very comfortable. The livingroom has two loveseats. A coffee table held an assortment of maps and travel guides of Tuscany. The night we arrived we put an opera CD in the CD player, poured some wine and felt much at home. (We knew there was a CD player so we brought our own music.)
The bedroom was small compared to American bedrooms but larger than many others where we stayed in Italy. It had a large bed (at least a queen-sized), a dresser with a large mirror, an armoire which closeted our clothes and contained extra pillows and blankets, and two night tables with lights convienient for reading in bed. Lovely touches were the very nice linens and the bouquet of fresh flowers. The bathroom was small but newly and nicely renovated. It was clean and easy to use. A hairdryer was also provided.
The kitchen has a gas stove, a small refrigerator (totally adequate for our needs), a fireplace and a dining table and chairs. The kitchen was completedly outfitted with pots, pans, nice dishes, silverware, etc. Happy to say everything was very clean and in good condition. Coffee, tea, sugar, and spices were provided. There is also a TV, coffee maker, electric kettle, and iron and ironing board. Beautiful lace curtains are on the kitchen window and throughout the house. (I am trying to find something similar back home now.)
Problems or Bonuses
The owner, Gloria, left a basket with pasta, sauce and wine which we enjoyed the evening we arrived. There is a washer and a clothesline (the Italian way to dry clothes, and I must admit clothes dryed outside in the sun and fresh air smell wonderful). Gloria also provided us with laundry supplies so that we didn't need to run out to a store before we did some laundry.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owner, Gloria was wonderful: professional, kind, friendly, accommodating, and helpful. I could go on but you still can't imagine how nice she is. She teaches at a University in Pisa and her English is excellent. Both she and her boyfriend, Marcel, treated us as honored guests and not as merely paying clients. They were only in town on the weekends as they are in Pisa the rest of the week, however they were available by cell phone (Gloria has one we rented for 10 Euros a week plus calls.) Also Gloria's family lives in the town and she assured us that if we need anything extra (such as an extra gas cannister for the stove) that we should contact her, and her family would bring it to the house. However we didn't need anything extra for the week we were there. She also left a detailed list of things to do and places to visit, including directions and phone numbers. The website was very informative and accurate. All of our emails were promptly answered.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would recommend Casina di Rosa to anyone that I love. I wish we could have stayed there longer and hope to return. If you are fortunate enough to go there make sure that you spend some time enjoying life in the village and the beauty of the surrounding area.
Things to do in this area
Civitella is centrally located and day trips are possible to Siena, Florence and other towns throughout Tuscany. Rome is only two hours away. Wine tours are available at the Castle Poggio alle Mura. Horseback riding at La Via Equestre Grossetana near Roccastrada and Podere Piatina in Monte Antico. Nearby is the Maremmma Natural Park for hiking. A free email site is available at the library in Roccastrada, a short drive away.
The restaurant, Locanda nel Cassero is located in the village. Everything they serve is freshly made on site. We long for the delicacy of their pastas. The duck and wild boar were fabulous. In fact, we ate our way through the menu (which is seasonally designed) and it was the best food we had in Italy!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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