Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2338: Castello di Lamole, Apartment
apartments on an estate in Lamole, near Greve, Tuscany Chianti
June 2006, Three days
Castello di Lamole is an ancient renovated "rustic peasant" castle in the heart of lush Chianti with sweeping vistas of the mountains and vineyards that Italy is so well known for. It is a ten minute walk from the village of Lamole, with a good local bistro overlooking the mountains, and a quaint church. It is a short five minute drive to Greve in Chianti, a larger town, equally charming.
We really enjoyed exploring the area, which is halfway between Florence to the north and Siena to the south. Lamole is not situated next to a major highway, so it is off the beaten path of traffic and tourists. There is minimal English spoken there, but that did not matter because the owner's family and staff were so friendly and hospitable. We felt that we were seeing part of Italy that had not changed for hundreds of years.
We walked to the bistro for a wonderful lunch but needed to drive to Greve for groceries. Since Castello di Lamole serves breakfast and dinner (both were fabulous). We never really bought groceries for our stay there. Other days were were touring the countryside and stopped for lunch.
The building is ancient, with spacious rooms including kitchen, living room, porch (with flowers everywhere). While the structure was ancient, the beds were of good quality and comfortable and the furniture in the living room also very nice (rustic, but nice). The old castle had several structures with approximately twenty suites that could be rented for any length of stay, which was great. We couldn't stay more than three nights as we were traveling north to Lake Como; most villas in Tuscany rent for a week at a time so we were fortunate to find this spot.
The outside terraces were awesome. While it was just outside our door, it could be shared by anyone who chose to spend time there; however, we always had it to ourselves. There is a nice new pool down the hill past all of the blue hydrangeas and jasmine. The pool has a nice deck around it and was very clean. While it is an above ground pool, you really don't notice this because it is built into the steep hill and you only see it from the top.
Yes to all of these questions. The furniture was in good shape and comfortable. The apartment was clean. Plenty of room for everyone everywhere. Great view from our bedroom of the vineyard.
Everything was extremely nice in the living and bedroom areas, very well done but not over the top. The suite had one bathroom that was cozy and had a charming window overlooking a magnificent view. The shower was tight but most showers in Italy leave something to be desired; it was acceptable but not great.
We never cooked there but we bought some of the wine from their vineyard and kept it chilled in the refrigerator along with bottled water. There were plenty of pots, pans and utensils if we had been there long enough to buy groceries and cook.
Problems or Bonuses
We were pleasantly surprised about Tuscany in general. It seems that you cannot go wrong, wherever you choose to travel. The flowers seemed to bloom effortlessly everywhere, in Chianti more than the southern area the terrain is very green and lush. Vineyards were everywhere and over five feet tall as harvest was only a few months away. After dinner in the Castello di Lamole restaurant, the owner, Ricardo, brought out his guitar and sang some wonderful, lively Italian ballads for the guests. It was totally unexpected and contributed a lot to the charm. Some locals came and joined in on the fun. There was nothing contrived about the inn - the website is a true presentation of the castle and the suites, but the pictures do not do it justice. It is incredibly beautiful in person.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We have already recommendation Castello di Lamole to our good friends and they are headed there now. The only reason someone may not want to stay there is the somewhat remote location off the main highways. If you hate to drive and are in a hurry, save this spot for another time. We had GPS on our car and took day trips to see our friends in Cortona (we were lucky enough to meet Ed and Frances Mayes, author of "Under the Tuscan Sun" and visit their beautiful villa Bramasole). We also went to Civita, Orvieta, Siena, and Florence.
Things to do in this area
The Castello di Lamole restaurant had a simple but fabulous menu with local Tuscan dishes prepared in an authentic manner. Very good wine including their own vineyard selections. Since this is in the middle of the Chianti countryside, most of the shops are in other villages and towns. Our favorite was Civita, with the long footbridge over the ravine.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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