Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 5488: Agriturismo Cretaiole, La Casa del Contadino
apartments on a farm near Pienza, Tuscany South
September 15, 2012, 1 week
Cretaiole is a family run farmhouse located in the countryside near Pienza. The location is excellent, and is quite private, and yet not far from the village of Pienza, as well as many of the other fabulous towns and sites of the Val d'Orcia.
A vehicle is pretty much a necessity in this area if you want to really get a feel for it. Grocery stores were located in Pienza and San Quirico, and they were just a short drive away. There were restaurants scattered here and there in the countryside, and many great places to eat in the above mentioned villages. It is possible to walk into Pienza, though it is more time consuming and would be more appropriate for a small market trip.
Cretaiole is very historical, well-restored and in wonderful shape. Our apartment, La Casa del Contadino, is located on the upper floor, and it contains three good-sized bedrooms. There are two baths, and one of them is located inside of the middle bedroom. There is a large living area, with great fireplace, table that accommodates a large group, comfortable seating, and a well-equipped kitchen area. Our group of six was very comfortable. The farmhouse contains several apartments, and can handle up to 24 or 25 guests. Our total group of 11, occupied four of them. The house was very peaceful and quiet.
The home sits on a beautiful piece of Tuscan countryside, and the panorama is absolutely stunning! It is unfortunate we were so busy absorbing all the area has to offer, and we didn't spend a great deal of time enjoying the immediate surroundings. Cretaiole is situated in a lovely setting ... very private and peaceful. There is no pool, but who needs one?
The apartments I visited were all well-decorated, and the furnishings were in great shape. Everything was spotless, and we were quite comfortable. Our extended group visited us, in La Casa del Contadino, a number of times, and there was room for all of us to gather together.
The bedrooms had lots of character, and were very comfortable. The two baths worked out well for the six of us, and both were clean and bright.
The kitchen was quite nice, and though we didn't cook large meals there, we certainly could have. There was plenty of everything, and all of it was of good quality.
Problems or Bonuses
This was my second visit to Cretaiole ... so the surprise occurred on my first visit. I discovered the place was so wonderful, I brought my husband and nine of our college friends with me the second time!
Agency and Representatives (and price)
On both visits, I made my reservations via Isa Moricciani. She is the daughter-in-law in the family, and she is a pleasure to work with. She is a passionate, creative and organized person, and it shows in every aspect of the experience. She speaks very fluent English, and even assisted me with my blossoming Italian, on occasion ... as did her father-in-law (Luciano) and husband (Carlo). I think the place is accurately priced, based on the quality of the accommodation, as well as the numerous benefits guests receive.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
This was my second visit to Cretaiole, and that really says it all. On my last visit, I stayed in the larger apartment in Castelmuzio. It was equally as wonderful as Cretaiole. I am not the kind of person who repeats where I stay ... I enjoy trying something new and different each time I travel. The Moricciani family has an amazing thing going here, and each one of them adds something special to the experience. I have stayed in a number of similar places, and never have I experienced anything quite like it. Isa, and the gang, have included a number of wonderful experiences with the rental cost (pasta making/dinner night, olive oil tasting, Romitorio visit, etc.), in addition to fully detailed books, maps, etc., that Isa has prepared to guide you through the area. As an added bonus, Isa is always available to make suggestions, process reservations, and assist you in any possible way you can imagine. I have nothing negative to say. Fabulous experience times two!
Things to do in this area
We did amazingly well with a group of 11. Our first dinner was at an agriturismo just down the road ... small capacity and wonderful meal. We had dinners in Pienza, San Quirico, and Montalcino, as well as some of those suggested by the family. Some in the group were disappointed in the fish night. We experienced two winery visits, one traditional and the other more contemporary. We shopped, went to the hot springs, to San Antimo abbey, Siena, Montepulciano, San Quirico and many other fabulous places. We loved the pizza place just outside of the gate into Pienza.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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