Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Review 5616: Agriturismo Cretaiole, Apartment
apartments on a farm near Pienza, Tuscany South
June 2013, one week
Home away from home.
My husband and I visited Cretaiole for the first time two years ago when we were traveling through Europe for 50 nights while celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary. We saw many wonderful and memorable places but none of them felt like a home away from home, until we arrived in Cretaiole. We felt so welcomed and nurtured by the owners that when we decided to travel with my mother through Europe for her 60th birthday, Cretaiole was the only destination we wanted to return to for a second time. Having been there twice, I have no doubt in my mind that we will return again and again.
Here are some of the reasons that Cretaiole is the only place we will ever stay when visiting Tuscany. The most impressive feature of staying at Cretaiole, is how sincere the owners are about making you a part of their family for the week. We truly feel a bond with them and it seems to us that they keep their hearts open to each guest who comes to visit them. They welcomed my mother on this trip like she was an old friend and she felt immediately comfortable, even though it was her first time traveling abroad.
Luciano has spent hours sitting with us, helping us to improve our Italian language skills and our understanding of the culture. His patience makes it possible for even a novice to learn new words and ways. We marvel at his ability to work on the farm all day and still have the energy to invite us each evening for a sip of grappa and the good company of the other guests in the common room. We miss the twinkle in his eye and the warmth of his smile from the moment we depart the property.
Carlo’s good sense of humor and relaxed attitude makes it a delight to interact with him. We have delighted in his culinary skills when he prepares the barbecue at the Pici dinner and enjoyed learning about olive oil from a true expert. We greatly appreciated his wine making skills and enjoyed many bottles during our visit.
Isa’s energy and enthusiasm are unmatched. She has industriously created an itinerary of exciting activities with some staples to look forward to and is always updating and adding new possibilities for your trip. Whether you want to nap in the hammock and gaze out at the view, go wine tasting, see quaint villages, simmer in the hot springs, or sample local gourmet cuisine; there is something for everybody at Cretaiole.
This year we were delighted to meet Carlotta, who helped the family with some of the tours and events. Yet another wonderful addition to the Cretaiole team, Carlotta was immediately warm and affectionate. She offered a culture class which was a unique opportunity to hear the honest opinion of a local about Italian traditions and society.
Aside from the personal touch that each member of the family adds to this encounter, there is the irreplaceable experience of living for a week in an impeccably restored authentic farm house perched on a hill surrounded by the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside. While the beauty of the surrounding land remains a constant, nature always offers pleasant surprises. During this trip we discovered some sort of Italian lightning bug which glowed beautifully in the evenings, we spotted a fox in the small forest only 3km down the path, and we got to witness the miracle of birth, as one of the farm house cats produced four adorable kittens. Yet in the midst of all that nature, the interior of the farm house is immaculately clean and delightfully decorated with antique furnishing, while somehow providing every modern convenience.
I could go on extolling the virtues of Cretaiole and the Moricciani family for pages but instead I will conclude by saying each beautiful photo fails to convey the true beauty of the place and each shining review falls short of capturing what a phenomenal experience is provided when you choose to visit Cretaiole.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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