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“A real home from home in Tuscany” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Le Casine di Castello

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Le Casine di Castello
Piazza 4 Novembre, 6, I-53020 Castelmuzio, Italy   |  
Hotel amenities
Oxfordshire, England
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“A real home from home in Tuscany”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2009

My husband and I have just returned from a stay at Il Nido, the garden apartment at Le Casine di Castello in the lovely hamlet of Castelmuzio.

It was the best equipped self catering place we have ever stayed at - and we've stayed at quite a few! Everything you could possibly want had been thoughtfully provided by Isabella. If you wanted to cook a meal (and seeing the wonderful Italian ingrediants on sale, I was tempted to but somehow didn't quite manage it!) there were sufficient pots, pans, cutlery for you to use, even 2 sizes of the Moka coffee maker. There was even tin (aluminium) foil and cling film - useful if you wanted to take food out for a picnic. The water in the kitchen did not only come in the hot and cold variety but there was an additional tap (faucet) which gave cool spring water which was perfectly drinkable.

In the bathroom there was a large walk in shower and everything you needed to cleanse and moisturize yourself had been provided. Right down to the cotton buds and toothpaste so no worries if you're someone who forgets yours!

The courtyard garden, which contained a barbecue, was a lovely, relaxing place to have lunch, a respite from the hot Tuscan sun.

There was a thoughtfully put together travel folder that you could take out with you, giving suggested itineraries and places to eat en route. Oh yes and a bicycle for you to use!

Isabella was so helpful, even before we arrived, suggesting and then making a reservation for a restaurant for a special meal for a birthday treat for my husband who celebrated one of his 'noughty' birthdays whilst we were there.

Guests staying at Il Nido can participate in several events arranged by Isabella. We went to a pasta making class and learned how to make pici, the local pasta. It was tricky at first but with Isabella's guidance we soon managed to make enough pasta for the 'family' meal with the other guests staying at Cretaiole, the agriturismo that the Moricciani family run just outside Pienza. Isabella and some of her family members ensured that wine flowed and the meal was absolutely delicious. It was wonderful to meet people from all corners of the world, mainly from the U.S, but also from Oz too.

We would have no hesitation in recommending Il Nido as a wonderful place to stay, relax and unwind from life's usual pressures and in Isabella you have the perfect host who soon feels like a friend, someone who could help you out if you needed it. The only proviso is that Il Nido would not be suitable for those with mobility problems as there are quite a few steps to go down to access it.

The Tuscan countryside is stunning and just near to Castelmuzio you can go hot air ballooning which we did and what a truly magical experience it was, drifting silently over the landscape below early in the morning before landing for a well-needed breakfast.

Don't think about it anymore - just contact Isabella to arrange to stay in a very special place, you'll not regret it!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Boston, MA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2009

Our family rented both upstair and downstair apartments for the week. Isabella, our hostess, worked hard to help schedule and coordinate many activities. The apartments were clean and authentic to the Val d'Orcia (the region of Tuscanny the town resides). The surrounding town is picture postcard perfect - even the parking lot in back of the town has commanding, idyllic views of the country side falling below! Be mindful however, that this is not a five star hotel one would find in a city like New York. If you are looking for white glove service this is not the place. The place is rustic and quaint and gives one a real feel for life in Val d'Orcia. Be sure to read her guide books found in the units. Doing so will save you much time and frustration if you are not a native of Italy. Benissimo!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2009

This was by far one of the best places that I have stayed. Le Casine di Castello is a small property that is comprised of 2 apartments. I spent 2 weeks in the smaller apartment, Il Nido. It is charmingly romantic and has absolutely everything that is needed for a wonderful stay. There is a beautiful bedroom with a comfortable bed, a spacious and well-equipped bathroom with a roomy shower, and a kitchen and dining area. The kitchen has everything that is necessary for either a snack or preparation of a large meal. Nothing has been forgotten. My favorite thing was the large, private patio. It is absolutely secluded...filled with flowers and equipped with lounge chairs and a table and chairs for dining outside. I did get a chance to peak at the larger upstairs apartment, and it was equally charming and well-appointed. I stayed alone in Il Nido; but this would be a great place for a couple. The upstairs apartment could easily accommodate a family or group of friends travelling together.
Both apartments are located in the tiny, authentic village of Castelmuzio. This town was quaint, yet had everything right there that one could need....grocery store, several trattorias for dining, some interesting shops...and most importantly really nice, friendly people. I felt a part of a very unique experience while staying in Castelmuzio. But, it is still perfectly located for exploring this wonderful area of Tuscany. Closeby are many great towns...Pienza, Montisi, Petroio, Montepulciano...just to name a few. The owners the apartments were very helpful to me. Carlo and Isabella are caring and always willing to give a hand, advice, etc. As a woman travelling alone, this was a great comfort to me. And, I never had an uneasy moment while staying here. If you want the perfect location from which to explore the Tuscan countryside and still want to have a very private vacation...this is the perfect place. I am looking forward to my return trip!

  • Liked — Private location with easy access to alot to do and see.
  • Disliked — Nothing!
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 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.
Massachusetts
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2008

We cannot say enough about Il Nido at Le Casine di Castello in Castelmuzio - It is located five minutes from Pienza by car. It was recently restored a few years ago and comprises an open plan studio apartment with cozy kitchen, dining area, four-poster bed and a bathroom with large shower. The back door led us to a small private garden with seating, eating table and grille.

Note: A car is needed to visit the beautiful surroundings, the nearby charming towns and villages and to get a real taste of the Tuscan country-side.

We were allowed to purchase the farm products (pecorino cheese, fresh eggs, raw ham, grappa, Vin Santo...) and to get all the same personal assistance that they give to their guests of Agriturismo Cretaiole.

Our hostess, Isabella, was quite fluent in English and can tell you anything you want to know regarding local information! She helped us to experience Tuscany as the locals see it. Included in the apartment was a guidebook written by Isabella (in English) offering information on restaurants, museums, suggested itineraries, and other information you most likely won't find anywhere else.

As a guest of their place, they offered:
* a three-hour guided tour of Siena with a local professional guide who grew up in Siena
* Isabell's husband, Carlos, is a professional olive oil taster for Italy. Both Isabella and Carlos gave us an olive oil tasting evening never to be forgetten!
* and my personal favorite was the "pici" (pasta) cooking class followed by a tasting with the fabulous meat ragù of Liliana, Isabella's mother-in-law, in a traditional Tuscan family dinner!

The family owns a Hermitage that was originally an Etruscan tomb, and later used as a hermitage by monks in the Middle Ages. So much history at our fingertips!

Our days/nights consisted of having dinner with a local chef,; touring an organic farm that is self sustaining, followed by a homemade organic lunch - the most amazing meal we have EVER had!

The scenery was so amazing - you can sit on a lounge chair at Cretaiole and look out at Val d'Orcia all day long if you just need to relax.

We cannot say enough about our stay here. We are planning our next visit when we can bring our children back in the very near future! Isabella was wonderful and helpful and her family is so caring and friendly. It was a trip we will never forget and one I cannot stop bragging about!

Famiglia Moricciani
Agriturismo Cretaiole
Via San Gregorio, 14
I-53026 Pienza (Siena) - Val d'Orcia - Toscana
Tel./Fax 0039.0578.748083
Cell. 0039.338.7409245
www.lecasinedicastello.com
www.cretaiole.it

  • Liked — The privacy, it was comfortable, loved the patio for morning coffee
  • Disliked — NOTHING
  • Stayed May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2008

My wife and I just returned from our Italian vacation--a wonderful 5-week trip of a lifetime. We went to so many places--Rome, Florence, Venice, Lake Como, and Cinque Terre--but the week that stays in our minds the most is the week in Castelmuzio--staying in Il Nido at Isabella's place--Le Casine di Castello. We almost forgot we were tourists for that week--and almost began to believe we actually lived in Italy--THAT is how authentic it felt to stay at Il Nido in Castelmuzio, and with the guidance we got from Isa. Except for the language difference (and no, we do not speak Italian, although we intend to learn some and come back!!!) it felt like going to a good friend's hometown and finding out from the locals just exactly where to go and not go, where to eat and not eat, etc.

The people who live in this little village were very friendly to us--always nodding, smiling, and saying "buon giorno" (actually, just "giorno!") to us. The little grocery store, the Coop, had everything we needed and was only a few steps from our front door. Parking was easy--which is something, considering how most Italian villages are. And the location of Castelmuzio is perfect for people who want to see the Val d'Orcia and towns such as Pienza, Montepulciano, Montalcino, and Siena. Next time we come, we want to stay here and take daytrips to Assisi, Perugia, and Cortona.

To know how great Isabella is, and the entire Moricciani family, you should also read the reviews for Agriturismo Cretaiole. But, we really are glad we stayed at Il Nido because we felt we got the best of both worlds--the activities and amenities of Cretaiole (the terrific pasta lesson and enormous dinner at Cretaiole, use of the garden at Cretaiole, olive oil tasting, etc., etc.) but also the authentic lifestyle of living in a Tuscan village.

Isabella loaned us a cell phone while we were there, and she was always just a few digits away if we needed anything, or had a question. You absolutely cannot beat that! Her English skills are amazing, her knowledge of the area is incredible, and we felt so comfortable the entire time because we had her help whenever we needed it.

Before we left, we were able to see inside Il Cielo, the large two-bedroom house upstairs--and it is definitely where we will stay if we convince our friends to travel with us next year. But, for just the two of us, Il Nido is our private little "nest"--and really feels like home to us.

If I could think of a downside of staying here I would mention it…but, truly, I cannot think of one single reason not to stay here. I recommend it to anyone who is looking for the kind of experience I have described.

  • Liked — Absolute comfort and our private garden!
  • Disliked — Liked everything!
  • Stayed October 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2008

My wife and I recently spent a week in Tuscany and stayed in a garden level apartment in the delightful village of Castelmuzio.
The house we stayed in had been converted into two rentals with the upper level being a large spacious apartment. The garden level apartment where we stayed called Il Nido had a good sized bathroom with shower, a fully equiped kitchen in which we could make our own meals when we chose.
Il Nido is perfect for a couple who like their privacy but is conveniently located in the village with a co-op (local food store) and a good restaurant where we enjoyed tasty local cooking, About half a mile down the road there was also an excellent inexpensively priced restaurant.
The apartments are run by the family owners of the Agriturismo Cretaiole which is just outside Pienza. Isabella does an outstanding job of providing information and arranging tours and activities for the guests at Cretaiole and Castelmuzio apartments.
It is through the contact with Isabella's family that Tuscany comes to life.
The hill country of Tuscany offers a lot for the tourist but Isabella and Carlo make a stay with them a truly memorable experience and we have no hesitation in recommending a stay with the Moricciani family.

  • Liked — Privacy and convenience to Tuscan hill country plus a wonderful hostess
  • Disliked — you can not help but be enchanted by the quaintness of the place
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Powell, Ohio
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2008

We recently returned from a four week stay at Le Casine in Castelmuzio (Castello), which is located near Pienza in southern Italy. My wife and I are of Italian descent and our goals were to live like Italians, among Italians and to enjoy the beauty and charm of Tuscany. In the most sincere and simplest terms, I can state that our expectations were exceeded far beyond the most optimistic presumptions.

We had planned this vacation for about a year and the planning was a daunting task. With the many beautiful Tuscan regions and literally thousands of options for accommodations, we knew what we wanted to do but were having difficulty in determining how to do it. Through the most seredipitous of circumstances a "friend of a friend" recommended that we contact Isabella Moricciani at Agriturismo Cretaiole in Pienza. We did so and this is inarguably the step that led to our success. Because we wanted to stay for four weeks, Isabella was having difficulty in accommodating us at Cretaiole due to prior reservations. Instead of being disappointed, I was impressed that Cretaiole was so fully booked.

I was even more impressed when Isabella contacted me a week later and suggested that she could accommodate us at Le Casine di Castello, another property that she had in the area. I did an online search, saw the pictures, read the description of the property and the surrounding area and immediately reserved it for our stay. Le Casine is composed of two apartments, Il Cielo (The Sky) and Il Nido, (The Nest). Again, owing to prior bookings, we were to stay the first three weeks in Il Cielo and the last week in Il Nido. Any trepidation that we had because of having to move was more than balanced by the individual charm of the two properties. Il Cielo was larger and had a very nice rooftop sundeck while Il Nido was cosier, had a great kitchen and bath and a comfortable courtyard just off the kitchen. It would be difficult to say which one we preferred

Castelmuzio (or Castello to the local people) is a town of about 200-300 people located about 5 miles from Pienza and it was just what we wanted; a small Italian village, outgoing and friendly people, a market, some restaurants, safety and tranquility. A magnificently sounding church bell tolls the hour and half hour from 7:00 AM until 10:00 PM. It is conveniently located just minutes off the main roads to Pienza, Montepulciano, Montalcino, Siena and Florence. During our stay we became acquainted with a number of the townspeoples, with whom we were able to carry on reasonable conversations. We were on a nodding acquaintance basis with most everyone and we were the "due americani" that were regularly seen walking along the road to either Montisi or Petroio. We both enjoy cooking and one of my tasks was to buy fish from a traveling fishmonger who came every Wednesday morning to the village. His fish was always fresh and very tasty and I would be out there among the ladies of the village looking over the tempting array and trying to make the best selection.

This area of Tuscany is arguably the most beautiful landscape of the region. It is called the Val D'Orcia (valley of the Orcia River) and it is what you see when you see paintings or photos of the Tuscan countryside. Sunrises and sunsets were breathtaking. We were there in September, so that the harvest of wheat was completed, grapes were just about ready for picking and the olive trees, while fruited abundantly, would not be ready until the end of the year. Nearby are many stunning hill towns and villages. Many are famous for a particular wine (Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Brunello di Montalcino and Vernaccia di San Gimignano) and we had more than our share of all of them! And the food! You literally could not find a disappointing meal. The fare was simple, nourishing and delicious. One of our favorite activities was to walk to a nearby town, have coffee and a sweet roll and walk back "home" to Castello.

All of this describes the potential for a wonderful experience. There is one more element that is critical to truly enjoying Italy and that is having a host to advise you. We could not have had such a successful vacation without the counsel and guidance of Isabella. She is a bundle of energy, thoroughly knowledgable and so well known and respected in the area. With her help, we saw many beautiful sites and experienced Italy to the fullest. Among the many activities she organized were trips to Florence and Siena, making (and eating!) the local pasta, "pici", a trip to a winery to sample Brunello complete with a magnificent meal in an ancient wine cellar and a tour of a working farm in Pienza, again, complete with a great meal. Just as importantly she helped us find places that were of particular interest to us and cautioned us on places to avoid. Never in our lives have four weeks seemed to pass so quickly.

We are already planning our next trip and it will most assuredly be with Isabella, Carlo and Luciano.

  • Liked — Being among the Italian people in a very comfortable setting.
  • Disliked — That it was only for four weeks!
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Le Casine di Castello

Address: Piazza 4 Novembre, 6, I-53020 Castelmuzio, Italy
Location: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Siena > Castelmuzio
Amenities:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Specialty lodging in Castelmuzio
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Le Casine is located in an ideal location for daytrips to Montalcino, Montepulciano, Florence, Siena and Cortona, Perugia and San Gimignano. Owned by Isabella Moricciani, who manages "Agriturismo Cretaiole." She will teach you to make pasta, taste wine and olive oil, and enjoy the traditions of the Val d'Orcia. Come taste, feel, and absorb Tuscany in a way rarely experienced by others who visit Italy. Your memories of your stay will last a lifetime! ... more   less 

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