Agriturismos in Italy: 2010
The Italian sun is particularly easy to enjoy when bathing in the hospitality of a rural farmhouse. What is your experience staying at Agriturismos in rural Italy? What is your favorite and why? Please include the REGION in the subject line.
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Cretailoe, just outsdie Pienza, is a slice of Tuscan heaven
My husband, 10-year old daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed immersing ourselves in the Tuscan countryside by staying at an Agriturismo just outside Pienza. Cretaiole provided a memorable and magical experience. Everything about the property was perfect - the expansive grounds for relaxing, walking, playing and massage in the olive garden(!) and the proximity to many wonderful towns and destinations (Mantalcino, Sienna, Firenze, etc). While we stayed in our own apartment, we felt a sense of community with the Moricciani family and the other travelers. We enjoyed visiting over morning coffee in the courtyard and sharing several of the Cretaiole arranged events (pasta making, followed by dinner is a must!). Our one bedroom apartment was comfortable, appointed with everything we needed and provided breathtaking views of the country side from all windows. But the real highlight of Cretaiole is Isabella. Her warmth, hospitality, terrific English and depth of knowledge of the region helped create a truly wonderful vacation. We look forward to returning one day!
San Francisco, CA USA Sat 01/01/2011
farmstay two hours south of Rome
Our family of five, three children (7, 9 and 11) and two adults, spent a fantastic 5 days at Italy Farm Stay. Stream, fields, fruit trees, animals, nearby castle and waterfall were just what we all needed. After staying in Italian cities this was the perfect stopping point to let the kids run, relax and spend some time with nature. Antonello, Maria and Gessepi made our stay here a highlight of our six week trip. Our room with attached bathroom was clean and comfortable. The waterfall hike was beautiful (we did arrange through Antonello for a ride to the trailhead). The horseback riding was also great - lovely horses. We recommend this to all, particularly to families and anyone who enjoys getting to know friendly, authentic people. Their website is www.italyfarmstay.com
Taos, NM USA Fri 12/24/2010
Casa Portagioia. Tuscany, Italy
My wife and I were very happy with the outstanding location and facilities of this wonderful bed and breakfast. Even more impressive was the friendly service and helpfulness of Terry and Marcello in helping us in any way possible. They recommended and made restaurant reservations, found us hard to find museum tickets, gave detailed driving instructions, and even gave me suggested jogging routes for a great run through the Tuscan countryside. By all standards, this is an excellent choice for a great Tuscan stay.
Andre and Irene
Austin, TX USA Sat 12/18/2010
La Falconara Agriturismo - True Tuscany
La Falconara in Montepulciano was amazing. My husband and I stayed there for a week in November 2010. Off season, and it was still breathtaking. Even when it rained or there was fog, the landscape was like a muted watercolor...absolutely beautiful.
The hosts, Alex and Ingrid were beyond warm and accomodating. They went out of their way to make sure they met and exeeded our expectations, welcomed us into their home like family, and provided so much assistance, tips, and suggestions for the time we spent in Tuscany. Montepulciano is a beautiful and fun town, definitely worth a visit, but we suggest staying for at least a few days to really soak up the culture. The food and wine in Montepulciano are reasonably priced, and better quality than we found anywhere else in Italy.
La Falconara's accomodations are true Tuscany, very comfortable, roomy, and no detail was forgotten. We would come back year after year if we could.
Buffalo, NY USA Sun 11/28/2010
Le Casine di Castello in Castelmuzio, Italy
A charming apartment in the hills of Tuscany, bordering the beautiful Val d'Orcia! It is part on the Agriturissmo Cretaiole, which was a wonderful place to visit! Isabella provided wonderful opportunities for group activities, excellent advice and maps for taking your own unguided trips throughout the Val d'Orcia, and she and her family and friends were welcoming, warm and a delight to stay with!
Willmar, MN USA Wed 11/24/2010
We loved Cretaiole. The family was warm and welcoming, the view fantastic and we had so many wonderful things to do. We highly recommend it!
Sault Ste. Marie, ON Canada Wed 11/24/2010
Val d' Orcia, Tuscany
We spent a week in early October at Agriturismo Cretaiole and had an incredible experience. We wanted to spend time with our two grown children and their spouses in an authentic Tuscan environment and Cretaiole not only lived up to our expectations, but exceeded them. It was the perfect place to have quiet family time together and at the same time, there were more opportunities for activities than we had time to take advantage of in one week. We stayed in the beautiful 3 bedroom apartment, which was roomy and tastefully decorated. We are grateful to Isabella for sharing her vast knowledge of the history of the area and traditions of her family. She made our stay easier by recommending wonderful places to eat, as well as making reservations for us. Although the local restaurants were fabulous, the highlights were the two dinners we had at Cretaiole with the other guests, and the delicious lunch following the grape harvest we were lucky enough to experience. Also, making our own lunch with fresh tomatoes, basil and arugula from the garden was a marvelous treat. Having Isabella teach us how to make pici and being treated to the delicious sausages Carlos grilled were another highlight of the trip. The very best was Luciano, who seemed genuinely pleased when we would join him for a late night glass of his homemade grappa! The Moricciani family's warm hospitality made the stay special and contributed to making our vacation a unique Tuscan experience our family will never forget.
Austin, TX USA Tue 11/23/2010
Casa Valloreci Trequanda Tusany we have been visiting Italy for more then 20 years. we visited different area's in several seasons. this summer we where in casa Valloreci and we really loved it. so well taken care of everyting, beautiful location, very very nice owners, nice and quiet but not far from where the action is Arezzo or San Quirico and the culture and the music. a beautiful pool for only two appartments plus the owners. very private. nice resturants in the near environment. perhaps the nicest spot we ever stayed in for years
Cretien and Conny Jung
Lelystad, Netherlands Sun 11/21/2010
My wife and I have been fortunate to travel throughout the world (with Rick Steves' books in hand!) but seldom have we come upon a place quite as magical as Agriturismo Cretaiole near Pienza. What makes this beautiful place so wonderful is the Morriciani family. There is no more beautiful site in the world than Cretaiole overlooking the Val d'Orcia and the beautiful village of Pienza. Isabella, Carlo and Luciano have made this farm the most special place we have ever visited...from the special events, the late-night grappa and vin santo from Luciano, and all the attention to details that make the visit of EVERY guest the highlight of their year. We could go on and on but suffice it to say that we plan on being at Cretaiole with the Morriciani family twice a year EVERY year from now on. Rick, you hit the bullseye with this one!!! Thank you and Salute!
Stephen and Cynthia Swedish
Brookfield, WI USA Thu 11/18/2010
I love your show, which I listen to over the Internet in the kitchen here in Ireland, beautifully amplified through my Bose speakers, all the way from KDFC. I listen to that station because I spent several years as a grad student at UC Berkeley. Even as a European, I get a kick out of your unique way of presenting interesting places in this part of the world, so I can go and experience some of them for myself.
I thought I'd share a very special experience that I had a couple of months ago in Tuscany. My daughter (a college student) and I spent a week in Rome and then drove up to the Val d'Orcia, about an hour south of Siena.
I'd been before, but I wanted to expose my daughter to the magic I'd discovered there. She was a bit sceptical about staying in the countryside, but went with the program.
I'd found a place online, quite by accident, called the Casina Valloreci (http://www.casinavalloreci.com/index.php/en/?lang=en&Itemid=1&option=com_content&/en/option=com_content&id=1&view=article), that's with a 'chi' at the end, as in 'cheese'.
This is an old, solid, stone farmhouse of the Tuscan type, with just two accommodations – one under the 'piano nobile' (the first floor where the family live), and the other a small but beautifully decorated bungalow in the yard beside it.
To say 'yard' in this location is way off the mark. This is a charming area with pergolas, outdoor seating, a fabulous pool, and a kind of covered area fully equipped for outdoor cooking and feasting.
Lovely as it is, and as genuinely warm, welcoming and amazingly helpful as the owners are, the Casina is not what it's all about. It's about the area.
The Val d'Orcia is an undulating, soft and gentle landscape the like of which I have never encountered elsewhere, even in Tuscany. Its vistas and perspectives seep into the soul. Every hilltop has a walled medieval village to crown it, and each one is a delight to explore. The valley has been so esteemed internationally that it has had a preservation order put on it by UNESCO, as a world heritage site. It is the real and actual landscape one sees in the distance through the open arched windows of all those Renaissance paintings of the Madonna and Child. It is a Renaissance-man-made ideal of what a landscape should look like, if it were a slice of Paradise.
Across the valley is the stunningly beautiful monastery they used in The English Patient. The full-on genuine earthy Italian, life-affirming Julia-Roberts experience in East, Pray, Love is there to be had in every nook and cranny of the place.
I hope you'll give it a try and tell America about it.
Dublin,, Ireland Tue 11/16/2010
fattoria di mugnano agriturismo in tuscany
My wife and I enjoyed staying at the Fattoria di Mugnano in Tuscany. This place is strategically located, close to Pisa, Sienna, S. Gimignano and other places. So if you travel by car, make this place your home base. Fattoria di Mugnano is run by Mama and her daughters, Daniela and Monica (both speak English and Daniela speaks also German). All women, and Fattoria is run by them, were very helpful with our accommodation and explanations and recommendations about the area, Tuscany cuisine, etc. This Fattoria has great rooms and a restaurant where cook Elisabeth prepares the authentic Toscany dishes. Delizioso! At the restaurant they use their own olive oil and chianti, and locally grown products - vegetables, fruits, meats, cheeses... We had the best meals there on our three-week Italian vacation. Rooms are spacious, clean, well furnished, with great views of hills and valleys. Too bad we could not stay too long there. We may go there to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Viva Italia bellissima!
L. and V. L.
CA USA Mon 11/15/2010
My wife and I stayed nine days at a wonderful agriturismo; Casina Valloreci, near Petroio. It is a perfect little stone cottage near the house of Angelo Capponi, the owner. It was very comfortable, with kitchenette, full bath, and internet access. There is a swimming pool for warm weather use. Angelo was the ideal host, and was extremely helpful with advice about the area. The cottage is down a country road, surrounded by olive groves. Due to the central location, we were able to visit eleven Tuscan hill towns. This was our favorite place on a two month tour, and we highly recommend it!
Salem, OR USA Mon 11/15/2010
Correction to Prior Post
I would like to correct the web adress for our favorite place to staty in Tuscany Casina Valloreci. It is www.casinavalloreci.com
lake oswego, oregon USA Mon 11/15/2010
Agriturismos in Tuscany
A big thank you for your wonderful travel books. We used the Ireland one a couple years ago when we spent two weeks in that wonderful country. We particularly liked a B & B we used from the book that was outside of Dublin. It was so smart to take the train in. And then this past September, we used both your Rome book and the one for Tuscany when we spent 3 weeks in Italy, two wonderful ones in Tuscany.
We thought we were getting too old to drive around and were on the brink of booking a tour (which neither of us really wanted to do) when I read about an Agriturismo near Pienza in your Tuscany book. When I emailed the owner, she wrote back that she was booked for the two weeks we wanted to stay, but recommended Casina Valloreci. We would like to recommend this wonderful place to you and your readers. Their website is lovely, but the real thing is amazing! Our hosts, Angelo and Umberto were helpful, generous and so accommodating. We stayed in a small house that was furnished with everything we needed. The grounds had many areas to simply be and enjoy the surrounding beautiful, including a pristine pool that made me feel like I was in a movie. The Ca sina was centrally located so that we were able to take day trips to the surrounding hill towns[INVALID]Pienza, San Quirico D'Orcia, Montepu;ciano, Montecino, Bagno Vignioni and Volterra. We spent some time at the convent of Sant' Anna in Camprena and San Antimo monestery. We took the train from Rome to Sienna where we had a rental car reserved, spent the night there and then drove to the Casina which is between Petroio and Castel Munzio.
Casina Valloreci it great. We were able to bring back olive oil made from the olives grown on the farm.
Golden Valey, MN USA Mon 11/15/2010
Castelmuzio (Siena) - Tuscany - Val D'Orcia
Stay at one of Le Casine Di Castello's properties! You will be extremely happy here. Great locations for sight-seeing many surrounding towns. Very comfortable and clean. Isabella is very helpful and offers many activities for you! You will definitely want to visit again!
Sandy Brown Everett
Marietta, GA USA Fri 11/12/2010
My wife and I spent 9 nights at La Falconara in October and it was really romantic and cozy. We absolutely loved it and recommend it very highly for anyone who wants peace and quiet between day trips around Tuscany. Other postings below speak of Alex and Ingrid the hosts who are very special people who make your stay fantastic. La Falconara has impressive scenery from each side. The apartments are well equipped for cooking and relaxing. Though we particularly liked the charm of Montepulciano, it is an easy drive also to Siena, Cortona, Pienza, and other Tuscany or Umbria hill towns. You will NOT be dissapointed with your stay at La Falconara!!
San Antonio, Texas USA Mon 11/08/2010
My husband and I had a wonderful time at Casina Valloreci this past summer. The location was breathtaking, nestled amongst the olive groves with stunning views all around. Our host was amazing- kind, warm, and completely hospitable. Our facilities were perfect for our weeklong stay. It was in short driving distance to many must-see Tuscan towns and many delicious restaurants. We couldn't have asked for anything more!
Vancouver, BC Canada Mon 11/08/2010
We have just returned from San Gimignano for the fourth time within eleven years and have been especially to Poggiacolle for the third time within nine years.
These scarce numbers might tell it all to people who have already seen SG, but such a concentration would do wrong both to the place and Stefano's team. Every time I reach Poggiacolle's spacious parking I cannot help looking at the beautiful countryside which surrounds San Gimignano for a couple of minutes before I get into our apartment. I have to admit that I am one of those who love Italy for its history, language, cooking, music and car design.
But nethertheless, even if you think that you may have already seen most of the places that non-italian tourists could be interested in Stefano and Eddo do still know at least a handful of impressive sites that you certainly have not been to yet - like the relics of the former monastry of San Galgano that provided us unforgettable visual and - owing to an accomplished guitar player - also audible impressions when we got there on October 15th.
The well equipped kitchen of the" Rosa"apartment which we already knew from our first stay in 2001 encouraged us to try some genuine italian recipes - rather successfully as our daughter stated. The excellent olive oil the farm produces beside its delicious tuscan red and white wines proved to be helpful as well.
San Gimignano, Siena Italy Sat 11/06/2010
Agritourism Italy - Tuscany
We recently returned from a trip to Northern Italy and Tuscany and would highly recommend Casina Villoreci to fellow travellers in search of a few days of peace and quiet in southern Tuscany (two hours north of Fiumicino airport). Please see their website at www.casinavilloreci.com. Accomodations are limited to two couples. One is a small very well decorated one bedroom cottage and the other a one bedroom apartment in the main house. Both have kitchens and nice bathrooms. The grounds are yours while there [INVALID] swimming pool, wood fired BBQ and pizza oven. No other guests. It is situated close to Pienza and Montapulciano. Other neighboring hill towns are not touristy [INVALID] the quaint Italy we were looking for. We used the house as a base and went all over Tuscany to nearly all of the hill towns in Rick's Italy 2010 guide. It is a particularly good spot for two couples travelling together or for a romantic and peaceful stay for two. The owner Angelo is a wonderful host. He is a retired Alitalia employee who speaks english very well and has been pretty much everywhere on the planet. His permanent home is in Rome. This is an olive and grape farm so plenty of open spaces. Deal with him directly for the best weekly rates. By far our lowest cost and highest value accomodations in Italy!
Robert and Mignon Ervin
Lake Oswego, Oregon USA Sat 11/06/2010
IL Molinello, Asciano, Tuscany,Italy
We came here to IL Molinello for one week, but ended up extending our stay to 2 weeks because we really have enjoyed the peace and tranquility here. After 2.5 months traveling the sites of Europe, we needed a rest and we found it here. The staff here speaks English and they went out of their way to be helpful. We had an issue with our car and they made calls to help us sort it out. I can not say enough how helpful and kind the owners and staff are here. The apartments are very comfortable. We have not gone to a restaurant for 2 weeks because we enjoyed cooking in our kitchen here and eating on our patio under the stars. The farm is a lovely, lush paradise. Free internet was very helpful. They have bikes if you want to rent them. It is easy to get to Siena for a day trip or to Florence. Our children are 8 and 10 and they have enjoyed the playground and trampoline. This is a great place for families. I highly recommend this spot. http://www.molinello.com/
Heidi Douglass and Mark Dobson
Swansea, Mass. USA Thu 11/04/2010
Tuscan Agriturismo - LaFalconara - Montepulciano
This past summer we delighted in our stay at La Falconara. One would think that staying in Tuscany it would be hard to disappoint, and I think in a large part this is true, however we were surprised that our expectations were solidly exceeded by our time at La Falconara. It had a pool, it was located in the gorgeous Tuscan countryside (amidst olive trees, grape vines and beautiful flowers), it was within walking distance of Montepulciano, the building had wonderful old world charm ... yet that does not even begin to describe the magic of this place. The hosts, Alex and Ingrid, have a passion for the area as well as for their guests. The accommodations are outfitted with every cooking utensil you could imagine, we arrived to fresh flowers in the room and a fresh plate of apricots and some biscuits for the children. In the room were guides written by the host of things to do and see in the area. They were a generous and eager source of information which enhanced our stay beyond what we could have done with our travel books. There were great recommendations of places to eat and the hosts have lived in the area for awhile and have valuable connections with the locals in many of the neighboring towns. It has been months since our visit and yet La Falconara has remained a vivid and cherished memory of our time in Italy.
Magical. Unforgettable. Enriching. Human.
David and Lisa
Seattle, WA USA Thu 11/04/2010
We have just returned from a fantastic stay in Tuscany. We used our Rick Steves guidebook for every part of the trip and it was so very helpful. It gave us guidance at every level from finding a parking space in La Spezia to choosing a cafe in Montipulciano. The best though was the advice on agritusimos . Using Rick's guidance we found the most wonderful agrituisimo in Pienza. Staying at Cretailoe with Issabelle Moricciani and her family was like staying with long lost relatives. We were welomed into their lives and their fantastic Tuscan world. This was the trip of a lifetime.
Langley, BC Canada Tue 11/02/2010
One of the best places we have been too. Beautiful countryside, very relaxing. The host, Angelo, is a very nice man. He made us so very welcome.
Asia and Jeremy
Poland/UK Tue 11/02/2010
Agriturismo Le Caggiole, Montepulciano
This agriturismo consists of two ancient buildings lovingly rebuilt with modern amenities. It is not swank but quite well kept and comfortable. It is in an olive grove and has a vineyard just up the road. Pomegranate and fig trees are scattered around, also bee hives. Our apartment included a full kitchen, although we were only there 3 nights so didn't use it much. The host, Giacomo, was very nice and helpful, recommended some good places to visit off the beaten track. He has researched the history of the site and is clearly close to the land. It is only a couple of minutes drive into Montepulciano which is a great example of a Tuscan hill town.
Le Caggiole can house only 4 or 5 couples at a time so there was no crowd. Mama's breakfast cakes are made with fresh fruit and baked fresh each morning. They are spectacular! We were able to attend one of the Tuscan dinners that are offered irregularly. The food was very good, but authentic Tuscan food seems to revolve around meat, meat, and more meat so we were uncomfortably stuffed. Not knocking it, just too much. We loved the area and the place and would happily return.
Raleigh, NC USA Mon 11/01/2010
Italy Farm Stay, Sora, Italy, 2 hours from Rome and Naples
I came to this farm stay on a whim when a guy at my hostel in Naples told me about it. My friend and I had been searching for a place like this but had no idea how to find it so we were very thankful to have gotten to stay here right before we had to leave to go home to America. I wrote to the farm last minute and they wrote back quickly saying that they would squeeze us in, even with our exact room request. We were going to stay in Rome for our last 5 days but we ended up cancelling those days one by one the more we stayed at the farm. It is simply gorgeous here. The house is warm and nicely decorated and the farm is feet away from the back door. You can lay in a hammock, watch the sheep, pet the horse and donkey, or mosey through the vineyards, tomato vines, and olive trees. then if you venture a little further you can reach a castle, ruins and a waterfall on a hike. They have many activities to choose from, especially on a sunny day. We did a cooking class and horseback riding which were both great. Maria is wonderful to cook with, she is interested in where everyone came from, their families and their hobbies. We made pumpkin parapadelle from scratch and got to eat it later for dinner. The horseback riding was really exciting. you can choose to ride to a 1,000 year old church on the short ride or do that and go further to a view of the castle on a long ride. to get there you ride your horse right through the river and through beautiful and hilly trails under the mountains. I would suggest this to anyone who is travelling anywhere close. even if you come for just a day. It is a nice get away from Rome and Naples and you will get a more authentic Italian experience. We would have stayed here much longer if we had the time. You should definitely stay here if you get the chance.
Dayton, OH USA Mon 10/18/2010
My wife and I stayed at il Molinello following a bike tour this September. Two of the owners, Alessandro and Elisa, have embraced the history of the 13th century property, preserving the remains of the mill waterwheel, the beautiful woodwork in the rooms, and generous use of travertine a signature of the area. Both are very knowledgeable about the area, the local establishments that embrace the sustainable lifestyle and love sharing their property. Alessandro seems to bring unmatched passion to his varied pursuits and loves sharing his knowledge of the farm, olive oil and wine offerings (trained sommelier) in the brick arched ceiling enoteca. He prices his favorite wines in the enoteca extremely well for guests. When I first got there, we spent a good hour walking the property just appreciating the truffle trees, vegetable garden, chickens and the beautiful main home/former mill. Very relaxing, could stay on the property just soaking in the atmosphere for several days but it's also a convenient location. The local village sits on a hill viewed from the front yard, and with biking options and Sienna a short drive away there is plenty for the more active days. My wife & I would absolutely return.
Boston, MA USA Sat 10/16/2010
Agriturismo Cretaiole - Val de Orcia
I highly recommend Agriturismo Cretaiole. My girlfriends and I were there in September 2010, and I could not have been more pleased with the experience. I've already made my reservation for my next visit to Cretaiole! It's more than a vacation – it is comfortable immersion in to the Tuscan way of life: slow paced and always appreciative of the land, bounty and tradition of the region. The Moricciani family, headed by Luciano, cater to their guests' every need. If you want to live the Tuscan life and learn the language, the customs, the food, the vino – then Cretaiole is the right place. Luciano's daughter-in-law, Isabella, is a gracious host and speaks fluent English so you are never lost. Though you will learn some Italian fairly quickly! She plans a variety of activities throughout the week that are unique and not easily accessed by non-guests, so you feel truly special. A MUST do is the weekly Family Night, where Isa and all the guests make Pici pasta, her husband Carlo grills the meat, and Luciano pours the vino rosso. Another must do activity is the visit to the family farm just down the road and the nightly visits from Luciano when he shares his tasty vino, vin santo and grappa. At Cretaiole, guests get to know eachother as much as you wish. It's perfect for single travelers that might want to visit with others occasionally. Accommodations are super clean and comfortable, but not fancy. For us technology obsessed Americanos, there is wireless internet in the sun room. The grounds are simple, but breathtaking with views over the valley to Pienza and an impressive and large, "help yourself" garden. Years ago I stayed in a villa in Tuscany and the villa option just does not compare to a farmhouse stay. My advice: spend a week at Cretaiole and enjoy the Tuscan life. Try to bring it back with you to the states. Slow down and appreciate the simple things.
Austin, TX USA Sat 10/16/2010
My husband and I just came back from two weeks at Cretaiole in Pienza, Tuscany, Italy. It was a wonderful two weeks. The rooms are rustic farmhouse; we had a one-bedroom with kitchen and wood-burning fireplace. The views are beautiful from the property, so serene and peaceful. The best part about it for us was getting to feel like we were a part of their family. Isabella, Carlo, Luciano and Liliana Moricciani provide you with such warmth and a whole wealth of different activities and experiences to choose from. You can visit the family farm and smell their tanks of fresh, grassy olive oil, taste their homemade wines, meats and cheeses; have dinner at a monastery, visit Siena, go on a truffle hunt, take a ride in a hot air balloon, take part in the grape or olive harvests and learn to make the local pasta,Pici. Or you can do nothing at all, just relax and read in the sun! It's definitely a place for both families with kids, without kids and people traveling alone. I have put lots of details and pictures on my blog if you want more details. www.winesandrose.blogspot.com www.cretaiole.it
San Francisco, CA USA Fri 10/15/2010
Agriturismo Le Caggiole
It was the most beautiful holiday we have ever had - Tuscany is picturesque. Thanks to the warm hospitality at Agriturismo Le Caggiole, our holiday was awesome! The views from our room were amazing, breakfast was delicious, dinner was mouth-watering, the rooms were spacious and clean... indeed, it was a good value for money!
Malta Tue 10/05/2010
Alla Madonna del Piatto
My friends and I did the 1 day cooking class. Wonderful experience. Highly recommend it. The drive up the mountain takes a little time after meeting at a shop in town, but it was well worth the effort. http://www.incampagna.com/incampagnaENGL/Cooking_Classes.html
Memphis, TN USA Sat 10/02/2010
Creatoile in Tuscany
If you want a very special vacation consider staying at this Agriturismo or in one of the 2 village apartments owned by the family. We chose to stay in their smallest apartment, IlNido, in a tiny hill town of 200 people about 9 km from the farm but were included in all the farm activities. We loved the feeling of living in an Italian village but those staying on the farm felt their situation was best. Everyone is welcome to pick the wonderful fresh produce from the large farm garden-we did this 3 times and had a very healthy vacation! (I have celicac disease and cannot ingest wheat so we prepared some of our meals in the apartment. Our host, Isabella Morichinni made several accomodations for me so that I could be included in the wonderful Tuscan "feast" that is included for all who stay with her. She also directed me to the COOP and Pharmacia where some gluten-free pasta and other GF products were available) Nothing is too much trouble for Isabella[INVALID]-she wants everyone to love the farm and the Val de Orchia area as much as she does. All aspects of the visit were well planned due to Isabella's attention to detail. Many activities are included with the rental price[INVALID]-olive oil tasting, a visit to an Eutruscan site owned by the family, and extra choices like a 4 hour guided hike through the Tuscan hills, a 4 hour watercolor class, etc. are priced reasonably. The personal interest of Isabella, her husband, Carlos and his father, Luciano made this the most memorable of our 4 trips to Italy. Thank you, Isabella!
Williamsburg, Virgin USA Thu 09/30/2010
Agriturismo in Umbria
My husband and I have just returned from our 13th trip to Italy and our 8th stay at agriturismo Le Casette. We truly love this place...they have several locations with accomodations and we have stayed in most of them by now. The Minghelli family extend such warmth and care. We prefer to have dinner with them in their restaurant each evening and the food is fresh and rich with the ingredients harvested on the farm. You are served appetizers, a first plate, second plate, vegetable, and dessert, then espresso and their own liquor, Viscilo, which is made with cherry leaves, is served. The owner, Daniela, often seats english speakers with Europeans who also speak English and we have formed many friendships over the years with table mates who now often meet us there again on vacation. The apartments are so clean and lovely, with everything needed to make your stay restful and fun. Daniela is installing fans in the apartments this winter to increase comfort during warm summer days and nights. Le Casette is just 10-15 minutes from Orvieto, and a number of other hill towns that are welcoming, medieval, and picturesque. We first learned of Agriturismo Le Casette from a Rick Steve's Italy book, that we never travel without. You need a car to get there (about 1 hour north of Rome on the Autostrada) and you can spend your days like we have, beside the pool at Le Casette, or visiting small hill towns and returning for a wonderful dinner in the evening and a chance to share jokes, philosophy, or family photos with dinner companions.
Rene and Bryan Federspiel
Freeland, Wash USA Mon 09/27/2010
We are concluding a 10-day visit to La Tavola Marche Ca'Camone in the hilly Marche region of Italy. It has been a delight and worth mentioning on the Graffiti Wall (firstname.lastname@example.org). In fact, worth mentioning in the guidebook, but that's up to Rick. Settled in a charming area within reach of Rick's hill towns (Urbino is particularly close), it has felt like a piece of heaven. Ashley and Jason, American expatriates who bought the property 3 years ago, run a cooking agriturismo and offer meals and classes that are to die for. Authentic Italian food (Jason is an accomplished cook and has accumulated a bundle of local recipes) and warm hospitality make it a worthy destination in our minds. Meals spent talking to fellow travelers has been particularly pleasant. Locals even come here for their special events: we shared dinner with a birthday party of 10 just a couple nights ago.
Deming, Wa USA Thu 09/23/2010
Villa Vignamaggio Chianti
We really enjoy Villa Vignamaggio. Stayed there 5 times over last 8 years. Beautiful landscaping and landscape. Where "Much Ado About Nothing" was filmed.Working winery which has some apartments to rent and also rooms/suites in a 600 year old palazzo. Between Greve and Panzano in heart of Chianti country, but easy to get to Florence.
Atlanta, Ga USA Tue 09/21/2010
Italy Farm Stay, Sora, Italy, 2 hours from Rome and Naples
Italy Farm Stay (italyfarmstay.com) offered me the fantastic opportunity to take an hour long horse ride at OK Corral, just a 10-15 minute drive from Sora, a town located 2 hours south of Rome and 2 hours north of Naples. The horses were so friendly that even a beginner like me found the experience enjoyable memorable! When we first arrived at the ranch, we were introduced to our leader, a real Italian cowboy! We received instruction on how to start, stop, and turn a horse, and then we were all given the opportunity to practice with a skilled instructor watching. After being helped up onto the saddled horses, we took off along a path through beautiful trees and across a river! We saw an old castle, an altar, and even a bit of modernity as we very briefly passed under a car road. The horses are very adept at following the lead horse; they start immediately when the lead horse walks, even in the middle of a mouthful of shrubbery, as they always take the opportunity to eat the greenery when you stop! Passing through the river is such fun atop a trusted horse; at first I was a little wary, but by the end, walking through the river was my favorite part. The route crosses the river about 4 times, so your feet may get a little wet. After completing the ride, the cowboy hosted us for some afternoon coffee and a Garth Brooks music video! I felt right at home, and I think even the Australians and English in my party enjoyed it as well! We also were able to see the many trophies and photographs of his son from his barrel-racing competitions. Our host never stopped smiling, and neither did we! Even if you have previously never ridden a horse, this is a wonderful option to include on your itinerary.
Downingtown, PA USA Mon 09/20/2010
Fattoria Tregole in Tuscany
We recently returned from a stay in the Tuscany region of Italy at Fattoria Tregole in Castellina in Chianti. Edith and her staff run a first rate operation with excellent friendly service, spotless rooms and the occasional evening dinner. Edith made a point to discuss the daily travel plans with each of her guests to make sure they had the best day possible and had excellent dinner suggestions for those nights dinner wasn't available for purchase at her B&B. I would highly recommend Fattoria Tregole to anyone who wants a nice central location between Florence and Siena.
Virginia Beach, VA USA Mon 09/20/2010
Agriturismo Le Caggiole
The finest holidays we spent in Giacomo's house in Montepulciano. Many thanks to him and his Mama Ornella. She makes the best cakes all over the world. Coming back to tuscany and Giacomo. Keep on going this way. When you want a private house, clean and fine, go to Agriturismo Le Caggiole!!!
Sonja & Peter
Innsbruck, A Austria Mon 09/20/2010
Tuscany / Val d'Orcia
Le Casine de Castello is a sister property to the beautiful agriturismo of Cretaiole, owned and run by the wonderful Moricciani family. We stayed in "El Nido" which is Italian for "The Nest". It is the bottom unit for this two unit apartment. There was plenty of space for two people and it is decorated with a charming and romantic mix of rustic antiques. The bathroom was big and had the best shower of all the places we had stayed at on our 33 day tour of Europe. Just bring your own toothbrush and toothpaste as everything else is provided. ( I will say here that I noticed there is no such thing as a washcloth anywhere in Europe... bring your own if you need one) The bedroom area was so nicely appointed with beautiful linens, plenty of pillows and extra cozy blankets if you needed them. The bed was a little firmer than I'm used to but was still very comfortable. The kitchen had everything you could need to fix a nice meal. (There is no oven but honestly, why would you want one... you're on vacation!) You can eat inside at a great antique farmhouse table or dine outdoors in the lovely private garden. Isabella Moricciani has put together a full list of activities for her guests that you can pick and choose from but DO NOT miss the "Picci Night" where you learn to make pasta and then everyone has a wonderful dinner together, with the fruits of your labor. Make plans, if you can, to partake in dinner at the Monastery too! The location is central to everything you might want to see and do in the Tuscan region and Isabella has prepared wonderful itineraries for day trips you might want to take. Do yourselves a huge favor and become a part of the Moricciani family for a week or more, you are guaranteed a wonderful stay!
Ramona, CA USA Fri 09/03/2010
La Falconara, Montepulciano - Tuscany
We are a family of two adults and one 8 year old child. For the two weeks in July 2010 that we spent here, we found La Falconara ;www.lafalconara.it; to be a home away from home and perfect base to explore Tuscany and parts of Umbria. The property lives up to the website impression. The hosts are a perfectly matched couple perfectly matched to the agriturismo business. Alex is a 21st century renaissance man, well educated and conversant on many subjects. Ingrid is the thoughtful, intelligent and gentle lady of the house. They are what make this agriturismo a diamond among the plentiful others. Nothing is too much trouble for them. Daytrip suggestions, ";insider tips,"; concert tickets, travel publications, restaurant reservations;important especially at dinner time in this area; – whether requested of them or simply offered by them, are all provided with a genuine desire that the guest have the best experience possible. The building is a converted stone farmhouse and as such is situated in the midst of vineyards and olive groves. There are three very clean, well fitted apartments;oven, stove, sink, small fridge, dishwasher, cutlery, table service, toaster, coffee maker, etc;. Many evenings, we chose to have a light meal at home on our private patio and drink in the magical scenery drenched in sunlight only possible in Tuscany. Our son was happy to explore the grounds, make friends with the felines, and swim in the refreshing pool. Try some of their own wines, olive oil and other homemade products. You will be changed and possibly spoiled to ever go back to what was known before. What else can we say......we already have two weeks reserved for next summer! I am happy to answer any questions through my personal e-mail account.
Falkenstein, Germany Thu 08/19/2010
Isabella, Luciano, and family work hard to create a wonderfully memorable experience in their beloved Val d'Orcia region of Tuscany. We stayed in a small apartment in Castelmuzio, which provided the perfect amount of privacy and independence while also being quite close to activities and sights. Isabella creates a wealth of opportunities to engage with the people and their products during the weeklong stay (wine growers, artists, chefs) in addition to her good recommendations of local sights, restaurants, drives, and walks. And we really liked that we were always welcome to do as many or as few activities as we liked. Our favorites: Gregorian chant at an 1100-year old monastery, thermal hot springs, enjoying an outdoor community feast in the tiny and charming town of Montisi, learning to make pici with Isabella, Federico's wine tour and excellent lunch in Montalcino, and on and on. Really too many highlights to list. We felt completely at home, thoroughly welcomed, and delighted with our experience both relaxing and engaging with local people, sights, foods. In short, if you want the standout week of the year with lovely, warm people, breathtaking scenery, and every invitation to relax, unwind, and enjoy life, go see Isabella and co. at Cretaiole.
Portland, OR USA Tue 08/17/2010
A Gem in Pienza, Tuscany
we were so lucky to find a gem in Le Casine di Castello, a 2 bedroom apartment (there is also a 1 bedroom apartment in the same house) owned by the Moricciani family who also own Cretaiole near Pienza, Tuscany. The apartment is situated in the very small and delightfully charming village of Castelmuzio, close to Pienza and to Cretaiole, the family's main agritourismo where residents of the apartment can participate in an abundance of activities such as pasta making classes, wine tasting, olive oil tasting, etc. etc. We were given a very warm and genuine welcome by Isabella who gave us a personal tour of the apartment and information on the local area. The apartment is also close to a number of the hill towns in Tuscany, a comfortable day's drive to visit many of them. The apartment is completely equipped with coffee, tea, olive oil (from their own farm), it is charmingly decorated, spacious and has fantastic views. You will find the apartment through their main website, www.cretaiole.it
Ellen and Mike
Peachland, BC Canada Mon 08/16/2010
Great way to learn the local culture, see wine, olive oil cheese produced and best of all consume them. Cretiaole was special because of Isabella's passion and knowledge. From the simplest to the best(i.e. Brunello) she was there whith knowledge and help.
Dallas, TX USA Sun 08/15/2010
Agriturismo Savernano, Vaggio-Reggello 30 minutes south of Firenze
Agriturismo Savernano Loc. Savernano 50066 Vaggio - Regello www.agriturismosavernano.it E-mail: email@example.com
Just returned from two funfilled weeks in Italy. This was my husband's first visit there so I did extensive research before selecting five wonderful places to stay at over a two week period. Of course, Rick Steve's book is an excellent starting point and a wonderful reference to have on hand for so many facets of planning your vacation.
The research for the ideal Agriturismo took me the longest to explore as there are numerous locations all over Italy and most are small family owned businesses. We wanted to stay in the Tuscany region and have access to visiting the city of Firenze (Florence). We had a rental car and enjoyed touring the Tuscan countryside by car, yet we definitely wanted to follow Rick Steve's advice and NOT take a car into Firenze. You don't want to be near any large Italian cities driving your own vehicle!!
So after numerous hours of online searches, we found Agriturismo Savernano. Of the five places we visited on this trip, this one was the lowest cost per night,at 100 Euros which included a beautiful buffet breakfast on their lovely terrace. As we approached their grounds, you drive up and around a long winding road until you reach this gorgeous large home at the very top with expansive views in every direction! The covered parking is simple, they only have eight rooms, so the place almost feels like you are visiting family on their grand estate.
The grounds are immaculate, every detail is managed with such great care. The air is so fresh as we step out of the car and walk past the immense sparkling swimming pool overlooking the Tuscan countryside. We walk to the house where the owner David warmly greets us and leads us up a few steps to our room. The room has high ceilings,decent space, wooden furniture and a charming window covered with lace curtains gazing out to beautiful vistas right from our room. The bathroom is immaculate and also a good size (by European standards) with the upper part of the walls painted a relaxing aqua turquoise and a rainfall showerhead in the shower.
Dinner is served on their outdoor terrace and the ambiance is nothing short of spectacular. David offers us a bottle of his red Chianti wine, made right there on the premises for a generous 3 Euros a bottle. It was so excellent that we carried two bottles home with us back to California. We spent three nights there and dinner was 18-19 Euros a person. Again certainly great value for dining outdoors by candlelight. The experience was like no other.
The Agriturismo Savernano though feeling remote from everyday life, is conveniently located ten minutes by car from the Figline Valdarno train station stop. Parking is free and Firenze's Santa Maria Novella (S.M.N.) is about 25 minutes away, no change of trains. Once you are in Firenze,all the main sights are within walking distance.
The Agriturismo Savernano is so quiet and peaceful, you may not want to leave at all. Perfect for couples and families. I think that we were the only Amercians there, which also added to the foreign intrigue.
Joanne & Dennis
Indian Wells, CA USA Sat 08/14/2010
Cretaiole - Tuscany
Being in Tuscany, Cretaiole has the views, the location, and the total feel of the region. It is up to the visitor to then embrace the life and culture of Italy and the Tuscany region. This is really quite easy, once you get to know the Moricciani family, the proprietors of Cretaiole.
Never have I been to a place where the customer has been so thoroughly thought of and taken care of. If you are looking for a pool, spa, amusement park, shopping malls, golf, or other items one might normally look for in a vacation, Cretaiole is not for you. But, if you want to taste and feel what it is to be an Italian, to understand their way of life, embrace their culture, then their is no finer place than Cretaiole. It is as wonderful for adults of all ages as it is for kids with plenty of room for them to run and enjoy. The carefuly selected activities that Isabella Moricciani has so wonderfully brought to the visitor are a rare glimpse into the past, present and future of Italy, the Tuscany region, Pienza, the small town that has and is everything that is Italian, and Cretaiole. Many of these activities are only available through Cretaiole - all you need do is to mention Isabella or Cretaiole and a smile comes to the Italian face and you are made welcome and become a friend immediately.
To one and all, never fear for the Moricciani family is always near when you visit Cretaiole and the life and culture of Tuscany.
Williamsburg, VA USA Fri 08/13/2010
This bed and breakfast is located at the foot of the Abruzzi National Park, with all the benefits of the tranquility of the countryside. The buildings are rustic and beatiful, made out of stone which keeps things cool in the summer. Here you wake up to the sound of birds and a breath of fresh air. Breakfast is served on a beautiful terrace with a spectacular view of the mountains, and the jam they use is even homemade. Anna is always willing to help, and is always in the hosting spirit. She has chickens and ducks and often gives the guests their eggs for breakfast. The B&B is conveniently located between Naples and Rome and is easily accessible with public transport. Eventhough this B&B is rustic, the rooms, kitchen, and all other areas are kept incredibly clean. Plus, there is also a comunal kitchen, so that you can prepare your own food, and WiFi. I will definitely be back next time I want to relax in a beautiful, natural environment, away from the turist hubs. Check out their website Italycountrystay.com
San Francisco, CA USA Wed 08/04/2010
Italy Farmstay in Abruzzi National Park
Italy Farmstay is a welcoming agriturismo located in the mountains between Rome and Naples. It lends itself to a relaxing environment, many beautiful day hikes, and eating with long tables and good company, Italian-style. The family (Antonello, Linda, Maria, and Giuseppe)is extremely entertaining and accommodating. Though the setting is tranquil, there are plenty of country activities and diverse guests around the farm, ensuring that there's never a dull moment. It offers both a lot of action and the slower-paced life of Southern Italy. The farm is complete with animals, gardens, and fruit trees, to be explored by both families and solo travelers. I would highly recommend Italy Farmstay to anyone looking for an authentic rural Italian experience because, as Giuseppe would say, "la vita è troppo bella."
Sherrill, NY USA Mon 08/02/2010
We highly recommend Agriturismo Aiole for anyone looking for lovely accommodations in the beautiful Val Orcia section of Tuscany. The rooms were spotless and charmingly decorated. The bathrooms were also very clean and well-equipped--only issue was that the stall shower was on the small side. There is no air conditioning, but each room had a very powerful standing fan, and we slept like logs on the extremely comfortable beds. Paolo speaks English and was the perfect host! He couldn't have been more helpful (they even did a laundry for us) and gave us great tips on places to visit for our daily itineraries. Breakfast outdoors on the patio, surrounded by the incredible Tuscan landscape and looking out onto the pristine swimming pool, was delightful. We also arranged to have two delicious dinners at Aiole, and felt like members of the family as we sat at their dining room table. For a peaceful stay in the most beautiful countryside you could ever imagine, try Aiole!
New York, NY USA Mon 08/02/2010
After spending time in the hectic cities of Rome and Naples, it was so good to retreat to country life at Via Piana. The place is off the beaten path of most tourists. I was amazed by the fact that everyone (and I do mean everyone) has their own grape vines and olive trees – homemade wine and olive oil are two of the best perks of staying here. Many people also keep their own animals and grow fruits and vegetables. I was there in July and we had lettuce from the garden and fresh eggs almost every day. Other highlights were fresh figs, plums, and ricotta cheese.
I loved being literally at the foot of the Apennine Mountains which sweep up to the sky all around. Besides the amazing views from the house, I took in the sights on several different hikes. There’s a moderate hike to an old abandoned castle, a more adventurous hike to a waterfall, and an amazing overnight hike to the top of a nearby mountain. For a more leisurely experience, I also went horseback riding.
At Via Piana, I enjoyed these unique surroundings from a spacious and comfortable room. Breakfast was so good – thanks to the farm-fresh eggs, a bit more substantial than a typical Italian breakfast. Later in the day I was able to use the up-to-date kitchen to prepare meals as I wished. And I definitely appreciated the free wireless! If you want to see what life is like in rural Italy, this is the place to do it.
Annapolis, MD USA Sat 07/31/2010
Le Casine di Castello, Castelmuzio, Tuscany
This was our second stay with the Moricciani family at their wonderful accommodations in the heart of the beautiful Val D'Orcia. We stayed in their studio apartment in Castelmuzio, a charming small village a ten minute drive from Pienza. The apartment was perfect with a lovely patio area for an al fresco meal, beautiful decor throughout, well stocked kitchen and spacious bath. The village had a supermarket and an excellent restaurant, Locanda di Castelmuzio, both with the friendliest owners. We were invited to participate in all the activities at Agriturismo Cretaiole. Isabella and Carlo Moricciani are outstanding hosts committed to creating a "Tuscan experience"for all their guests. We dined on local specialties, learned about wine, pecorino cheese and olive oil from the experts, dined at a local monastery and made the unique pici pasta together for our group dinner at Cretaiole. Isabella's tour book about all the area hill towns is an invaluable guide to seeing the "real Tuscany" off the typical tourist trail and dining in local restaurants. If we are travelling to Tuscany again, we will stay with Isabella and family and recommend both Agritourismo Cretaiole and Le Casine di Castello to anyone visiting this spectacular area.
Ballston Lake, NY USA Tue 07/27/2010
La Frallarenza near Orvieto in southern Umbria is a real gem. There are only two apartments, so it's a very intimate experience; the owners are incredibly sweet people and the place has all you might want -- well-appointed apartments, a warm swimming pool, cooking classes and peace and quiet. We had a blast staying here and exploring the amazing surroundings. The five days we stayed were nowhere near long enough.
San Francisco, CA USA Wed 07/21/2010
Enjoyed our stay near Assisi
Alla Madonna del Piatto firstname.lastname@example.org This is a wonderful place to stay in Umbria..quiet and beautiful Loved our host and hostess.. they made our stay a terrific experience! Email Letizia at above address and she will send you all the info or direct you to the website Nearby Assisi and Perugia
San Mateo, CA USA Tue 07/20/2010
Orvieto, Bar Belvedere and Info Point.
Orvieto, Bar Belvedere and Info Point.
run by Rob a Brit expat, really helpfull on things to see in the area, live music on friday nites, disco on saturdays. THE MOST AWESOME VIEW OF ORVIETO...
liverpool, UK Fri 07/09/2010
Great Experience in San Gimignano!
We want to tell everybody about our experience in Tuscany. Following friend's report we decided to book a farmhouse in San Gimignano and found Podere la Marronaia. What a wonderful plce and delicious hosts! The farm produces wines and extra virgin olive oil too all following the organic methods, that's a plus for us. The landscape, the location, the flats and the atmosphere were perfect. So, following what our friend did with us, we suggest you a stay at Podere la Marronaia or a visit to their cellar. www.marronaia.com Hanna Burton, CA, Usa
La, ca USA Mon 07/05/2010
Podere la Marronaia - San Gimignano
Podere la Marronaia in San Gimignano was the perfect location for our holidays in San Gimignano. The Podere owned by Silvia and Luigi with their children Corrado and Pietro, is a real paradise on hearth. Just 2,5 kms far from the center of San Gimignano, but immersed in the green landscape of vineyards. The building is very old dated 1200 around, but carefully restored few years ago and divided into very nice flats. The colours, the furnitures and the smell of the woods are all in perfect harmony with the location. The large garden with pool offered us good chances to relax, read, sleep and enjoy a glass of wine looking at the old towers in town. Silvia and Luigi told us they had a dream about this house and property: thanks Silvia and Luigi for sharing the result of all your efforts and your dream with us! Wish we can be back one day. J&L,LA
la, USA Sun 07/04/2010
Eating near Italy Farm Stay Between Rome and Naples
My husband and I stayed at the Italy Farm Stay in April. It was lovely and comfortable and a refreshing break from our travels. Since we had a car and wanted to explore, Farm Stay owner Antonello recommended we have a meal at nearby Grotto della Locanda in Campoli Appennino. There, at a tiny family owned restaurant, we were welcomed generously and given an incredible lunch. It was a food highlight for our trip to Italy.
Seattle, WA USA Sun 07/04/2010
Stefano's famous last words as we charged into the office wondering how to get WIFI. We had some work to do and some research to do related to our visit in Tuscany. Poggiacolle was like a sedative. After a week we were just enjoying the amazing views around us and our big daily outing was to get a gelato! During our 10 day visit we were in three different room arrangements, apartment, studio and room. All were equally nice and clean and spacious!!! The only recommendations I would say was that the white sheets were preferable but it looks like the move to do change to that is underway. The two bedroom apartment could have used a little sitting area as the evenings were cool and we needed to sit inside and only wooden chairs and an uncomfortable sofa was available. The pool was the best and when temperatures rose the infinity pool and its surroundings were so enjoyable. Also the pool was not used by others until later in the day if at all. Kitchens were well equiped so making dinner and eating and drinking Poggiacolle's complimentary red and white wine and dipping bread in their complimentary olive oil out on the lawn was a special treat. We were glad we were near San Gigminano as it provided a nice destination for evening walks and all our day trips were an easy driving distance. Marcella provided a typical Italian breakfast in a lovely dining area. As Americans we tend to eat eggs and fruit and plain yogurt but that is not an Italian breakfast. Stefano provided us with great suggestions for restaurants and destinations that were not in the guide book which was lovely after seeing so many Rick Steeves look a likes in the popular destinations. WE had a wonderful week and would make a reservation there again because of all the positives mentioned above.
ME USA Thu 07/01/2010
Agriturismo Cretaiole -Val d'Orcia
Isabella and her family share an intimate and authentic cultural experience of life in the Val d'Orcia region. It is as beautiful and sweet as I had imagined. Better even. A 7 day stay allows for time to get to know the other guests, and to experience a wide range of cultural activities that Isabella will arrange for you. The apartments are spacious, well appointed and very comfortable. And the views are spectacular. This is a very special place - I will definitely go back.
Julie Nelson Meers
Kansas City, MO USA Tue 06/22/2010
Abruzzo national forest
I stayed at the Italy Farm Stay on the edge of the Abruzzo national forest. It was only a two hour bus ride from Rome, but I felt like I was truly in the Italian countryside. It was beautiful. They have a lot of different activites that guests can do but my favorite was the overnight hike. There is a looming mountain that you can see from the farm and we made our way up to the very top and instead of a summit, there was an expansive valley. Needless to say, the view from here was absolutely amazing (I had to make a stop every ten minutes just to stare at it). The valley at the top looked to be one of the most remote places I had ever been. I felt like we were the only ones on the planet until I saw all of the cows and horses that farmers had brought up there to graze for the summer. It was kind of eerie to feel the cool breeze and see the sun slide behind the limestone cliffs and gentle tinkering of the cow bells. We made our way to the hut we would sleep in that night. It was a quaint stone hut left over from the days when shepards used dominate the valley. Its the only one left and has been preserves for use by hikers. There was also a cheese making shepard, not far from our hut, who spends his summer months in the valley, tending to his sheep and goats. We were welcomed to his little place and given a breif tour of the cheese making supplies and the many goats and sheep. Dinner that night was delicious rabbit (raised on the farm of course) grilled over the campfire, garden grown vegetables and homemade bread and wine. Awesome! The next morning we took a different path down through the forest and were able to see even more breath taking views. I really enjoyed this excursion because it was in such a remote and beautiful place like I had never been before. It was so interesting to visit the shepard and witness such a different lifestyle. It was as though we had gone back to a simpler time where people were really connected to the land and their work was hard and thier life less comfortable, but there was a certain appreciation for nature's beauty. I would recommend this farm and this hike to anyone who wants to experience the pleasures of a pure and simple lifestyle.
Saint Pau, Mn USA Fri 06/18/2010
Truffle hunting and a wine tour at the Italian Farm Stay
I recently stayed at the farm with a group from my University and we had a great time. Two fun activities we did were truffle hunting and a wine tour. The truffle hunting was great, the dogs were so cute! We found a few truffles and made a delicious bruschetta. For the wine tour, we went to a nearby organic vineyard, learned how wine was made, tasted their different wines, and were able to buy some bottles. The vineyard was so beautiful and the wine delicious! The website: www.italyfarmstay.com
SC USA Tue 06/15/2010
Perfection at Agriturismo La Cretaiole in Tuscan Wine Country
Isabelle Moricciani, the dynamic and stunning owner of Agriturismo La Cretaiole is the perfect hostess for a week of relaxation and low key events in the center of Italy's Tuscan wine country. La Cretaiole is high on the Tuscan Hills four miles from the medieval town of Pienza. This stunning renovated Agriturismo looks out over endless rolling hills and valleys and the suites are large and beautifully appointed. We dined at a nearby Monastery, visited hidden gems high in the hills, private gardens in a nearby valley, walked through private Catacombs and spent days visiting the wine centers of Montalcino, Montepulciano and vineyards in between. We were drawn to the cultural events in nearby Pienza and beyond and dined at some wonderful hidden gems in the Tuscan country side. One night, we stayed in and picked our vegetables from the Agriturismo La Cretaiole and mixed them with the pasta we made on the premises. Delicious homemade olive oil, bars of their homemade mauve olive soap and Lucciano’s famous grappa filled our suitcases. Carlo, Isabella's husband, shared his considerable knowledge and expertise with an evening of olive oil tasting. We appreciated the time he spent with us as he is a member of Siena's official olive oil council responsible for certifying the olive oils across the province. This is a beautiful home and location. My college daughter en route to Rome for her junior year in classics also loved every minute of her time here. Time at La Cretaiole is time very well spent.
new york, ny USA Wed 06/02/2010
Agriturismo Cretaiole is a magical place and it exceeded all expectations. Stay for a week and take advantage of all the events they offer. Isa is a remarkable host and her husband Carlo and father-in-law Luciano make you feel so welcome. We were sad to leave-it was totally fun!! Plan your trip in Tuscany around availability there-you won't be sorry!
Benicia, Ca USA Mon 05/24/2010
We had a wonderful stay at La Tavola Marche. This agriturismo is owned by an adorable couple who love what they do and it showed!
The room was quite spacious and immaculately cleaned. We had a great view of the beautiful green rolling hills. So peaceful!
A meal with Jason is a must! We had the best Artichoke Risotto ever. We loved how everything was local or from there very own garden.
Ashley was very helpful with directions in navigating the area. We took several different day trips from the medieval hillside town of Gubio to shop filled beach town of Fano on the Adriatic.
We definitely will make it back there in our future travels.
Seattle, WA USA Sun 05/23/2010
I recently went to Isola d'Elba in Italy.
I highly recommend Tra Cielo e Mare.
I can't wait to go back. If you really want to get away from it all, this is the place to go!
San Diego, CA USA Fri 05/21/2010
My wife and I recently stayed at Le Casine di Castello in Castelmuzio, Italy. This accommodation is linked to the agriturismo Cretaiole, which is located very near Pienza. Cretaiole is owned and managed by the Famiglia Moricchiani who live in Pienza. Isabella Moricchiani is the chief contact, hostess, itinerary planner, pasta-making and olive-oil tasting instructor, and all-around tour guide. We were provided with everything we needed to have a true Tuscan experience. We would recommend Isabella and Cretaiole/Le Casine di Castello to anyone desiring a self-structured stay in a picturesque setting.
Baton Rouge, LA USA Sun 05/16/2010
B & B on working farm Sicily
Casale Rocca Fiorita www.casaleroccafiorita.it is between Kilometer mark 287 and 288 on SS115 near Vittoria in Sicily. My husband and I found it late one evening on the way to Syracusa. You turn right by the La Picozza Ristorante, also a nice place. The Casale is in a beautiful old farm building. Paola and Raffaelle are so kind and welcoming. Paola is a fine cook. Homemade bread with the breakfast. Their collection of folk art and farm implements is fascinating. The decor is better than House Beautiful. The garden is lovely. Makes a great base for seeing Ragusa, Noto, etc.
Seattle, WA USA Thu 05/13/2010
We highly recommend Agriturismo Cretaiole. While staying in nearby Castlemuzio we enjoyed the many activites that Isabella Moricciani and her family offered - pasta making, olive oil tasting, tour of their farm, hike in the local countryside, etc...
Amherst, MA USA Wed 05/05/2010
We stayed in an apartment in an old villa in Montalbino. A very small village in Tuscany. It was wonderful!!! It was clean, beautiful surroundings, and TWO wonderful restaurants within walking distance.We were 4 women traveling and had a delightful trip. The site is Poggio Sant'Andrea-Sale. It is within driving distance of anything in Tuscany. We rented through Rentvillas.com and it was very inexpensive. If you want to experience the true Tuscan way, stay here!!!!!
Chatham, NY USA Wed 04/28/2010
Six of us (4 adults and 2 children, 11 and 13) stayed in Le Casine di Catello in a small town near Pienze. The apartment was lovely, with many charming touches and extraordinary views of the Tuscan hills. In addition to the lovely accommodations what made our time spectacular was the warmth and graciousness of Isabella and the Moricciani Family who also own the agritourism Cretaiole. We were included in many of the wonderful offerings of the agritourism including visiting the working farm, learning about how wine and olive oil are made, tastings, making pasta, dinners, walks, etc. This is a special place and opportunity.
Amherst, MA USA Mon 04/26/2010
Our one week stay at Cretaiole followed a busy week in Rome. As the Grandma, travelling with my 10-year old grandson and his parents, it was the perfect finale to an amazing trip to Italy. Highlights included the Romitorio (ancient Italy - awesome), Isabella's Pici-making class (and feast), an olive oil testing and an Easter Monday feast. Isabella, Carlo and Luciano were the quintessential hosts, always eager to answer questions, and always available. Between our hosts and the incredible views in Tuscany (not to mention the food and wine), I'd highly recommend this as an ideal stop on an Italian holiday.
Seattle, WA USA Tue 04/13/2010
Italy Farm Stay
I spent four days at Italy Farm Stay near Abruzzi National Park. After six weeks of jam packed backpacking it gave me the breathing space I needed. I spread my time between hiking, reading, relaxing, and learning how to make goat cheese! The family is really friendly and the food is super good. I'd highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a unique experience, likes to hike, and is fairly independent as there is lots of downtime to just explore on your own.
DC, USA Wed 04/07/2010
Italy Farm Stay in Lazio
My one agriturismo experience was at Italy Farm Stay in Pescosolido (right between Rome and Naples, about 2 hours inland from each place). The house was right next to the Abruzzi mountains, so I always started my day with a spectacular view. There was a small farmhouse with animals, all of whom were quite friendly; I rode Stella, the small farm horse, to the other farm about 15 minutes away. There were paths you can take to different parts of the farm, as well as into the main town of Sora. There were other things to do as well, like walking to a castle, wine tasting, and just exploring the town (there is a HUGE market on Thursdays). The family is friendly and very accomodating...not to mention Maria's food is fabulous! It's not everyday that you get to eat dinner with a real Italian family...and when there were other guests, I got to hear some great stories and learn a little bit of German and Dutch! There really isn't too much of a language barrier with the family (I got to practice my Italian, which was great). Weather-wise, it was surprisingly warm! Almost everyday was incredibly sunny and warm...which meant that I took lots of naps in the hammock! However, I'd advise to bring warm socks and a sweatshirt, as it gets a little chilly when the sun goes down. Overall, I'd say I had a wonderful, relaxing, and unique experience. I miss the friendly dogs, the diversity of people I met, and Maria's freshly baked bread! I would highly recommend this place (www.italyfarmstay.com).
Pleasantville, NY USA Sun 04/04/2010
La Tavola Marche, a few kilos outside Piobbico in the Marche, is a fabulous place to stay. Run by a young American couple and very charming. Jason, the husband, is a grest chef and will teach you and feed you great meals from the region. Ashley, the wife, is a fun and amazing host with all kind of tips and places to see and things to do. Google them and check it out for yourself.
Ausyin, TX USA Sun 03/28/2010
If you're pondering where to stay, I urge you to look at the comments that have been made by travelers hosted by the wonderfully hospitable Moricciani family at http://www.cretaiole.it. You will enjoy Tuscany wherever you may stay, but if you want to feel as though you've been welcomed home by long known friends, consider staying with the Moricciani's. The location is a perfect launching place from travels to any direction and the quietness of the nights will only be disturbed by the soft sounds of clucking wild pheasants. Isabella has created some general travel itineraries that will give you a framework to enjoy small details of the region that would otherwise be missed. Your only regret will be that you can't stay longer.
Hardy, AR USA Sat 03/27/2010
La Falconara, Farmhouse near Montepulciano, Tuscany Dates Visited: Jan 28-Feb 5, 2010.
Let me begin by telling you about the apartment itself. The apartment is located in a restored farmhouse, a total of 3 apartments. The location is unbeatable 5 minute drive into Montepulciano. From here we visited Pienza, San Quirico, Arezzo, Perugia, Orvieto, Cortona, Monticchiello, Assisi, Montalcino and Siena. The apartment was typical Tuscan style, very cozy, beautiful antique furnishings, very comfortable with a beautiful view. The kitchen was well equipped and we cooked most of our meals there. The bathroom was large and well equipped with plenty of hot water. The bedroom was large with lots of storage and a king size bed that was quite comfortable.
Now let me tell you about our experience at La Falconara. When I first contacted Alex the owner by email I knew immediately this was the place for us. His warm and friendly nature through our emails made me decide to book this apartment. Alex offered to meet us at the weekly farmer’s market the morning we arrived in order to make it easier for us to find the apartment. As soon as we met we hit it off immediately. He walked us around the market and introduced us to some vendors where we made our first grocery purchases to get us started. We then went for a cappuccino together where he gave us a brief overview of La Falconara and himself. Alex is fluent in English, as he lived in the U.S. at one time. Already by this time we were developing a friendship. Alex opened up his home to us, in the evenings we would get together in our apartment or even in his own home to discuss our daily adventures and he always offered us lots of helpful information and great ideas for places to visit and things to do. My husband and Alex would get involved in long conversations about wine making, which Alex was very knowledgeable about as he was a wine maker at one time. He also took us on a tour of the winery he once owned. Which brings me to the fabulous wines available at La Falconara. We purchased some wine from Alex and took it with us when we moved on to visit my husband’s family in another part of Itlay, it was certainly loved by all. Alex provided us with lots of books, brochures, maps etc. of the area and was always willing to share his knowledge of not only the area but of so many subjects. I must not forget to mention Alex’s wife Ingrid who is a wonderful women and who’s company we enjoyed as well. Alex went out of his way to help us with our cell phone which we had problems with when we arrived, both Alex and Ingrid let us use their home phone to call home at no charge to us. One time my husband mentioned to Alex he was looking for goat milk, the next thing we knew there was a bottle of goat milk sitting outside our apartment door.
Our holiday experience at La Falconara started out as being a touring vacation but ended up being one more of friendship, good wine, good conversation, and definitely great memories of a two wonderful people with big hearts. Going to Tuscancy has always been a dream of mine, Alex, Ingrid and our experience at La Falconara surpassed my dream. We will definitely return to La Falconara some day and would highly recommend it to everyone.
Niagara Falls, Canada Thu 03/11/2010
I was looking to plan a two week stay in Umbria in order to explore small hilltowns. My main interest was to find a more "central" location to stay at the entire two weeks so we would be able to feel more like we were living in Italy, at least for a brief time. After reading all the wonderful postings on this site regarding Agriturismo Frallarenza, I determined this would be the perfect place to feel like home away from home. There is no way to describe how fortunate we were to have chosen Agriturismo Frallarenza for our two week vacation! Francesco and Serena are the most amazing hosts; helpful not only via email prior to our trip, but wonderfully welcoming once we arrived in Ficulle (area outside of Orvieto where the agriturismo is located). The cottage was clean and inviting, with all kinds of unique and beautiful touches, like hand-made pottery dishes by Serena. The beds were comfortable, with hypo-allergenic pillows (a big plus for me due to allergies to feathers). The rooms were large and airy, with more hand-made touches. Francesco provided us with several recommendations for great small hilltown areas, which turned out to be some of our favorite destinations (Sorano, Sovano, Pitigliano area for one). Serena provided us with some of the most mouth-watering home-cooked food. There just is no negative to staying here, and I will absolutely be returning. I can't imagine staying anywhere else in central Italy, since travel, to me, is more than just sight-seeing. If you have the opportunity to feel like you're part of the community, even for a short time, the trip takes on a whole new level of enjoyment. You absolutely could not go wrong staying with Francesco and Serena at Agriturismo Frallarenza!
Dallas, TX USA Fri 03/05/2010
Agriturismos - Poggio Salvi, Tuscany
We're planning a trip to Italy in September 2010. We would appreciate hearing about your experience if you have stayed at the Agriturismos - Poggio Salvi (near Siena). Thank you!
Victoria, BC Canada Sun 02/21/2010
L'Erba Persa Agriturismo in Levanto
L'Erba Persa Agriturismo in Levanto www.erbapersa.it
We loved our first stay of 4-5 nights so much that we returned later in our trip for another few days. Great old house. Wonderful family - Claudio and Grazia and their kids are great. Very hospitable whether it is picking you up from the train station which is just ten minutes walk away or making sure you end up at a hidden restaurant (amazing food) that naturally serves some of L'Erba Persa's organic grown vegetables! Delicious breakfast every morning. Easy to walk down into Levanto and explore the Cinque Terre area. Farm and grounds are extensive. I even was able to help pick olives during harvest. Don't know if everyone gets to do that. If you are a plant and animal lover this is a place for you. (If allergic to cats - perhaps not.) If you just need rest and peaceful views and vistas, a close stroll to the beach, the real coastal town life without all the tourists, again this is the place to stay and visit for a while. The real deal. Highly recommended.
Duncan and Andrea Wilson
Seattle, WA USA Sat 01/30/2010
We stayed at a great agroturismo near the town of Barberino di Mugello, about 25 minutes north of Florence. The location is a bit remote, and for us it was hard to find, but certainly worth it. It is a "castle" and we had a lovely room that had two different views into the Tuscan hillsides. There is a restaurant as well, with a fixed menu each night of "real Tuscan" food. There is a lovely outdoor pool, that unfortuntely we didn't make use of because of the weather. We thoroughly enjoyed our 2 nights here.
Regina, SK Canada Tue 01/26/2010
Farm in the Abruzzi National Park
I stayed at Italy Farmstay for two weeks. Located between Rome and Naples, the surroundings are truly striking and not at all what I expected. You are surrounded on all sides by impressive snow-topped peaks and stone farmhouses dotting the countryside. Because this area is not on the usual tourist cycle, it offers you a unique, albeit intense, chance to submerse yourself in the lives of everyday Italians. The people that I met were all very friendly and willing to work with me, despite my slow and probably incorrect use of their language. People offered me rides, free cheese and wine, smiles, and general kindness. While I was there, I got to explore abandoned houses in the mountains, taste homemade gnocchi, pizza, pasta, bread, olive oil, wine, and eat fresh persimmons right from the tree. Local eateries cater to locals so you can see what life is like here. The farm itself is an actual working farm, not a glitzy resort or an upscale B&B. Giuseppe, Antonello's father, continually taught me (in Italian of course) that life is like a beautiful song, an idea that one should really embrace when coming here in order to enjoy it to the fullest. Staying here is not just a place to sleep, it is an experience. they have a website that is really easy to remember: italyfarmstay.com.
Los Angeles, CA USA Sat 01/23/2010
Agriturismos in Italy
La Fornella...www.lafornella.com is a great farm house and quick train ride into Florence. The owner, Cassandra, is american and quite helpful with directions and where to go and see. The picutres you see on the website are EXACTLY was you see when you get there! We ate three times at the local restaurant in the little village of Pelago. Many wineries and olive oil tours just up the street. Don't miss this place!!
Renton, WA USA Sun 01/17/2010
Italy Farm Stay Between Rome and Naples
I stayed at the Italy Farm Stay and I had a fantastic time! The farm is very close to Rome and Naples(only two hours from both) with very good public transportation in between! The farm is located just outside of the town, Sora. Where you can be picked up or drive very easily. At the farm the family is very helpful and friendly. They also speak very good english which is helpful for us english speakers. While you stay you can really soak in the beauty of a true Italian farm. Guisepe, Antenello's father, is very kind and will show how the farm runs and functions. He will also help you with your italian. At the farm they make wine, olive oil, and grow many of the vegetables that you can eat. You can also go and watch cheese be made by the local sheperd. (really fun and tasty!) All in all this is a very connected farm with many great experiences for all. I leave it with high regards.
For more information you can read the website at italyfarmstay.com.
Iowa Cityy, IA USA Wed 01/13/2010
Poggiacolle, San Gimignano
We stayed at Poggiacolle Agriturismo in San Gimignano, Tuscany in September 2009. The host Stefano was superb, from the moment we booked, for directions when we got lost, allowing us to use the farm facilities, providing tips for the local area and making our stay so memorable. The farmhouse has spectacular views of San Gimignano, the pool a bonus on a hot day, and rooms were clean and comfortable. Breakfast was a little bit disappointing however I would not let that be a deterrent to staying here. There's excellent facilities for cooking your own meal, which when travelling can be appreciated. Also, take a car if you can, whilst your can easily walk to the old town from the farmhouse, it's handy to have if you decide to head into the old town at night or want to soak up the beautiful scenery that is abound in Tuscany. Thanks so much Stefano.
Sydney, NSW Australia Wed 01/13/2010