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“A very special place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of La Frateria

La Frateria
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La Frateria
Convento San Francesco, 53040 Cetona, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 4 Cetona B&B and Inns
Boston
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“A very special place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2012

This is not for anyone looking for a typical hotel experience. If you are looking for NOT a typical hotel experience, this is not just the place to go, it is not to be missed.

This is not a hotel. It really is a monestery. There is no front desk, no room service, no bar, no pool, no fitness center, and no lobby. It is a bit confusing when you get there. They will be expecting you, though. Just go inside and any one of the monks will help you get your bags into your room.

I was told that most of the monks are formerly troubled kids who are rehabilitated. They are extraordinarily kind, attentive and helpful. They tend the beautifully manicured grounds, and the monestery, which is beautiful with great views. The dinner was amazing - varied, interesting and served in a first class manner. Breakfast was amazing - typical Italian breakfast with meats, breads and cheeses, as well as cereal and milk (and cappuccino and expresso, of course).

The accommodations are beautiful (I do not think the monks live this way). The ammenities of a hotel, yes. Shower and bath facilities were perfect. It was just an amazing experience.

If you are the kind of person who wants to get off the beaten path, this is your destination.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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11 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Prague, Czech Republic
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2011

One of the best places we have stayed in. It is a monastery established in 1212. The community, which runs it is very service oriented. It is under command of padre Eligio and you can feel that the spirit of the place is quite different compared to purely commercialy run places. The food is also excellent. Although the chef Walter is a Brasilian, he cooked probably the best pasta we ever had.

There is one thing to be aware of tough. Cetona is located in a place, where there are limited activities possible. If you are ready to drive, you can reach Montepulciano, Montalcino and Trasimeno Lake within an hour. Siena and Florence are within 2 hours reach. So if you are a couple ready to travel, it is fine. If you travel with children, you might find that there is little to do for them. There is no swimming pool there and they would probably not appreciate that there is no TV set and internet in place.

So, it is a fantastic place, but you need to be ready for it.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
leverett
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2011

A truly wonderful experience -- this was a return visit, having stayed at La Frateria eight years ago for a single night, which was not enough. It is certainly not cheap, but worth every penny to experience not just slow cooking but slow living - the monastery itself having been rebuilt, along with its lovely gardens (with woodlands and wild orchids) and its own excellent vegetables and herbs, as well as wine and olive oil.

Dinner is a fixed tasting menu of seven courses, but it's never heavy, and the ingredients are always fresh and where possible local (and often homegrown). Vegetables have included battered elderflowers (quite delicious) and their small portions of pasta are always outstanding. And there's an outstanding wine list.

A quiet and untouristy part of Tuscany, but it's worth visiting for La Frateria alone. One or two of the rooms are a bit dark, because they're surrounded by trees -- but that can be a welcome relief from the summer sun.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2011

Recently we were on a trip in Italy staying at a villa near Citta Della Pieve, Umbria. We stayed at the wonderful Podere Baicco Villa with 8 or so friends. A wonderful experience in it's own right. We noted before going on the trip it was close to Mondo X, a restaurant that has been on my radar for about five years. We were told of this place several years ago by the lovely proprietor of Avignonese Winery, Elano Falvo. After a tour of the winery she invited us to stay for a wonderful lunch. She mentioned this place as her favourite restaurant in Italy. So now five years later we go.

As you may know, this holy and tranquil 13th century Franciscan monastary is now used to mentor and rehab addicts and troubled youth. They work in the grounds, the farm and the restaurant under the direction of the father, Padre Eligio. The grounds are truly amazing and you get a short tour of the facility, (in Italian), and the incredible art and artifacts that grace the grounds. There were three of us for lunch and we were shown to the dining area. We sat in the small veranda overlooking the grounds. By now, we are totaly relaxed and in an almost tranquil state. The beauty, the holiness and the grace ooze to make an ambiance that is undescribable. We have two waiter attendants. Both lovely young men, one is the young man who conducted our tour. He gleamed as we told him he resembled Cesc Fabergass, a famous Spanish soccer star who plays for the greatest team on earth, Arsenal. On the table we are shown our hand written menu. There are no choices, they bring what the chef feels is best suited for the day and season. Flowers adorn the table and an assortment of breads are laid on the table. They are as good as they look, but don't eat too much bread, there is a lot coming. They bring a bottle of sparkaling white wine made there at the facility that is superb. We drink a toast and start with our first several courses. All are presented perfectly. We look at the wine list and pick our red wine for the later courses as each course moves closer and closer to red wine territory. We go for a 2005 Argiano Brunello at 50E's. What a deal. Wine list is extensive and not marked up. After the first few courses including a salumi plate made at the restaurant, a turkey grapfruit salad combination, local fresh water fish, escargo and crostini then comes a plate of beef stuffed pasta. Time for the red? Of Course. Then a platter of the most wonderful risotto, bright lemmon yellow coloured from the local saffron and adorned with grilled quail. All courses are presented and served family style by our servers table side. Then out comes a huge black marble slab with a sizzling steak. A huge bone in ribeye that is cut table side and seved with fried sage leaves and grilled tomato. Finaly a desert of cloud like panna cotta and compote of fresh fruit.

Nothing too complex or too rich but done so well we all agree it is in our top 2 or three. Interestingly we all three rate this experience close to if not higher than Arzak in San Sebatian Spain, a place we had all been before at different times and a place that is 180 degrees opposite of MondoX. The cost is quite high but for the experience we felt like we had the better end of the stick and also contributed to something very positive. We toured the kitchen and met a few of the young people working there. They were so proud of themselves and proud of what they are doing. And knowing that these people wanted to meet them and take their picture makes them feel even more important and gives them the self respect they need. By the way, the cure rate at Mondo X is over 90%. Truly tranquil, truly holy and worth your time.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Crantock Cornwall
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2010

My wife and I stayed at La Frateria di Padre Eligio during a week's trip to Tuscany to celebrate her 40th birthday. We had been recommended to eat at the restaurant at La Frateria but decided to stay overnight too.
The building is a restored convent originally constructed in the 13th century but it is set in such a peaceful, tranquil location set amongst the trees with formal gardens overlooking the valley. If you want to 'get away from it all' this is the place.
However, the highlight was the evening meal. It truly was a gastronomic feast with seven 'taster' courses starting with antipasti, followed by terrine of duck and fennel, swordfish fillet, shoulder of lamb amongst the dishes.
We have been luck enought to have eaten in several Michelin star restaurants and this was on a par with any of them. Gordon Ramsey has competition but it's tucked away in Tuscany!
It isn't cheap, the meal is £110 per head plus drink, but for a special occasion it must rank amongst the very best - I cannot recommend it highly enough.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alabama
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2008

We stayed at La Frateria during our 25th anniversary trip to Rome and Tuscany and it was definately the highlight of our trip! It is a beautiful peaceful place. Everyone there went out of their way to make us feel like we were the most special guests to ever stay with them. The beautifully presented meal prepared by chef Walter was the best we had during our 10 days in Italy and the service was incomparable. We truly felt like royalty. This is a place that should not be missed.

  • Liked — The overall experience was amazing
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about La Frateria

Address: Convento San Francesco, 53040 Cetona, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Siena > Cetona
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 B&Bs / Inns in Cetona

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