Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2708: Agriturismo Cretaiole, L'Oliviera
apartments on a farm near Pienza, Tuscany South
April 14-21, 2007, one week
Many people have already written about Cretaiole and all of the information about the accommodations is easily accessible on their website, but I just wanted to add my endorsement of this wonderful place in Tuscany. If you want to see amazing scenery of rolling hills and farmhouses like in the movies and books on Tuscany, if you want to experience living in a 500 year old farmhouse, if you want to learn about the local culture and if you want to interact with local Italians who really want to talk with you about life in Tuscany, look no further. This is the place for you!!
We have just come back from our first trip to Italy and the highlight of our trip, as it has been for so many people, was our one week stay in the one bedroom L'Oliviera apartment at Cretaiole. You really do need at least one week to really get a taste of what life is like in Tuscany. Isabella, who is fluent in English, explains all of the activities you can choose from, including wine-tasting, pici-making and all of the other things listed on their website. If you do end up staying at Cretaiole, I strongly recommend that you join these activities. Some are free and are included with the accommodation fee, but even the ones that you must pay for are very reasonably priced considering what you gain from the experience.
For me, the best part of traveling is meeting people and Cretaiole gave us the chance to meet such wonderful people - the people in the other apartments, the Italians we met through the organized activities, and especially the owner's family - Isabella, her husband Carlo, Carlo's parents (Luciano and Liliana) and their son, Nicolo. They are so warm and welcoming and so passionate about sharing their culture with others. My Italian is really bad, but they were so patient and supportive whenever I tried to use it.
With all of the positive press they are getting, it looks like they are becoming more and more well known and I think it will be very difficult to book a week at Cretaiole in the near future unless you book a year or more in advance. So my advice is to make a reservation soon if you are considering a trip to Tuscany. We will definitely be returning to Cretaiole!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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