Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 2742: Castello di Lamole, L'Affacio
apartments on an estate in Lamole, near Greve, Tuscany Chianti
April, 2007, 5 Nights
Castello di Lamole is a 14th century castle set high on the side of a beautiful hill in the heart of Chianti, Tuscany. It's views are of the Lamole valley and scattered vineyards that dot the region. The other side looks up across their vineyard and olive groves to the church in Lamole on the top of the hill.
It is in a rural area along one of the white roads of Tuscany. It is just about a ten minute drive to Greve in Chianti. The drive up to it is steep, dotted with olive groves, and lined with tall old Italian cypress trees. We could have driven up and down that road for the whole trip and been happy.
There were a few other houses, but mostly it was vineyard after vineyard dotted with olive trees, rosemary bushes, gardens. The castle itself was quiet and secluded.
The apartment we stayed in was L'Affacio. It was a large apartment with a dining room, kitchenette, living room, bedroom, and bathroom. It was very comfortable and had a wonderful balcony with a pergola and the best view of the valley. The wild flowers were blooming everywhere and they left several vases of them around our room.
The owners kept to themselves and were very gracious and helpful when we needed them. Most of all, we enjoyed watching as the staff (that lived on the property) went about their daily life in the vineyard and in the gardens of the property. The property has a very nice extensive flower and herb garden that you can walk through or sit and watch the sunset with a nice bottle of wine. They also sell wine, honey, and olive oil from the estate. There is a pool with a deck that looked as if it would be very relaxing. However, it was not yet open for the season.
Castello di Lamole has a restaurant called Aia dei Canti. We ate dinner there on our first night stay. You need reservations. The food was Tuscan food with traditional flair. We sat a terrace with an old pergola above us. Our meal was very good and fresh. While we enjoyed a bottle of wine we were serenaded by the owner of the property. Riccardo is a well known Italian folk singer and we were delighted to have him sing to us. The restaurant serves a nice Italian breakfast. The hostess was very polite and friendly and makes wonderful cappucinos. However, we had breakfast in our apartment most mornings. You could walk to the top of the hill. It was Lamole. There was a church, a very good restaurant, and a few other buildings. Greve in Chianti was the closest town. It was about a 10 minute drive. It has a grocery store, restaurants, shopping, etc.
The castle has been renovated by the owners. It was in great shape and meticulously renovated to look as if it were the same as when it was built. It is all stone and feels like you are stepping back in the 14th century.
Our apartment, L'Affacio, has a private sitting area in the apartment, but also has the balcony that is private. When you enter the castle heading towards the apartment, there is a common sitting area with a large fire place and sofa. It was very comfortable for us and it was shared by one other apartment. The entrance to the apartment was off of that room through two glass doors that closed the apartment off from the common area.
The outside gardens had many places to sit and enjoy the outside. Each one seemed to be secluded and tucked back into the vines, flowers, and rose bushes.
The furniture was in the old farm house style, but was comfortable. The queen size bed was very comfortable. Our apartment was so quiet we could have slept all day if we left the shutters closed. Since we were there in April, there was no need for heat or A/C. We slept with the windows open every night and enjoyed the country air.
The kitchen was small, but perfectly efficient. It had a small refrigerator and stove. We did not cook, but there were cooking pots, pans, plates, etc. all supplied.
Problems or Bonuses
The nice surprise for us was that there was a little cat that befriended us while we were there. She slept with us two of the nights. She lives at the castle and I am sure was supposed to be an outside cat. We really enjoyed her company.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked directly with the owners of Castello di Lamole through e-mail. They responded to our e-mails very quickly. It was exactly what we wanted and were so happy that it was so comfortable and charming. We originally booked it for three days and when we got there we stayed two more nights we enjoyed it so much. We stayed at the end of April an paid €120/night.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would definitely recommend this rental and my best friend and we plan to stay with them again when we go back to Tuscany. I would recommend that when booking you go ahead and make dinner reservations at the restaurant so that when you arrive, you do not have to go back out right away. This is also so that you can spend time walking through the gardens and letting yourself be immersed in the beauty that is so Tuscany.
Things to do in this area
We really enjoyed driving along the white roads in Chianti. These are the very small roads on the maps that are not highways. We enjoyed several restaurants in the region. The restaurant Lamole at the top of the hill was one of our favorites. I recommend getting there to watch the sunset.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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