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!
- 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