Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 5540: Agriturismo Cretaiole, Apartment
apartments on a farm near Pienza, Tuscany South
April 2013, 7 days
We are a family of 4 with 2 children, ages 10 and 7. We travel throughout Europe frequently and I often feel that I am a stay-at-home-mom turned travel agent. Most of my planning revolves around finding the perfect, family friendly place to stay. Too often, we have been disappointed either about the dwelling or the service. With Cretaiole, we hit the jackpot! We do not have a single complaint about the apartment or the service. On the other hand, our praises seem limitless.
From the start, Isabella, was the most amazing virtual host. She is organized, quick to respond and is acutely aware of the needs of her guests. Upon confirming our reservation, she emailed a plethora of information. After reading the information, all my questions had been answered and so much of my vacanza Toscana planning seemed less daunting. Honestly, Isabella had me at hello. After my first interaction with Isabella, I was certain that Cretaiole was going to be a memorable experience.
Cretaiole truly felt like a home-away-from-home! It is expertly decorated and not a single comfort has been forgotten. From the moment we walked in, we were greeted by warmth, flowers and wine. There was more than enough room for a family of four. And, very important for us, the children were able to have a separate space. The apartment is outfitted with a full kitchen, stone fireplace, luxurious towels and linens, the family's wine and olive oil, a cell phone if you wish, and necessities stocked in the refrigerator and pantry. There is also a washing machine just outside of the apartments. Isabella has also prepared a travel binder that proved indispensable when traveling throughout the Val d'Orcia, finding restaurants and local activities.
Additionally, the veranda is a beautiful communal space with a lending library, CDs, a guitar, seating for chatting or internet use and holds the activities hosted buy the Moricciani family.
One is able to make day trips to Pisa, Siena, Florence and the like, but we chose to stay in and enjoy the charming hill-towns of the Val d'Orcia. Creatoile was the perfect base from which to make our short trips. We also enjoyed the activities offered by the family, such as the olive oil tasting, pici making, a tour of the family farm, etc... My sons, 10 and 7, will forever remember making and eating their own pici, running after the family''s dog, Luna, cuddling the kittens at the farm, bathing in the natural hot springs surrounded by stunning calcium deposits, and biking through the countryside.
I am not sure that the delicious food, or the breathtaking vistas, or quaint, old towns, can compare to the people we met during this trip. We fell in love with Isabella, Carlos, Carlotta, and of course, signore Luciano! We drove way feeling that we had left family behind that we just knew we'd have to visit again. We are sure to remember the beauty of the rolling hills, stone farmhouses and many peaceful walks, but our most treasured memories are of Carlotta's laugh, Isabella's sense of humor, conversations with Carlo in a unique mixture of Italian, Spanish and English (whatever we could cobble together!) and Luciano's late night knock for chatting over grappa and hen's eggs delivery.
We did not tour La Toscana, we experienced it! Mille Grazie familia Moricciani! For anyone considering Pienza, try Cretaiole and you will not be disappointed!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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