My wife, 22-yr old son and I took our first trip to Italy this year and PIEVE DI CAMININO was the highlight of our 3 week tour! It’s the absolute perfect place to experience the beautiful countryside of Tuscany and enjoy the "softer" side of Italy after intense sightseeing in Rome, Venice, etc.
We more or less stumbled on to Caminino thinking it would be a good place to stay and see Tuscany. But Caminino turned out to not just be a good place to stay but an incredible place to stay that exceeded our wildest expectations. Caminino is perfect in every way - very well located in the heart of southern Tuscany, authentically charming, beautiful, old but modern & comfortable, affordable, clean, interesting and packed with things to do & see. It’s a large 1,200-acre working estate (olives, grapes & cork) overlooking the Tuscan countryside that has a main large stone main home (former church built in 1100 where Emy, the owner, and his family live) plus various other old buildings that have been converted (and modernized) into beautiful guest rooms that are large & unique and each with a private bath. As we first drove in through the entrance gate to the estate we instantly knew this was going to be a very special & unforgettable place. And boy was it. Everywhere you looked there was something to marvel at – the beautiful stone buildings, views, orchards, groves, amenities, historical artifacts, antique furniture, gardens, fabulous rooms, architect, … even the pool was something we’ll never forget (water comes from a Roman aqueduct).
Emy is a hands-on owner who is an architect and over 15 painstaking years took his family estate and converted part of it into a country resort with unique guest quarters. He’s a wonderful host - very friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, well liked all around the area, speaks English and has that rare ability to leave you alone to enjoy your stay at Camanino. Emy opened his estate up to us like we were part of his family or a long-time friend and wanted us to have the best time possible – whether it was a day relaxing or a day we wanted filled with things to go do and see.
We stayed in the “Monks’ Library” room which has to be the largest room I’ve ever slept in [must have been 20’x 80’). The room was very good but not so good as to spoil the feeling of living in a true medieval country villa in Tuscany. It had a 14' high exposed wood beamed ceiling, stucco walls, clay tiled floors and recessed windows with beautiful views looking out over the Tuscan valley below. There was daily maid service, a clean & functioning bath, antique furnishings, comfortable beds, etc. No TV or phone (whew) and no air conditioning (15 windows! provided more than enough cross breeze).
The way it works is you have to have a car since Caminino doesn’t have a restaurant. No problem. You either pick up groceries in town and prepare meals in your beautiful room that has a kitchenette or you head out to any one of several nearby little medieval towns perched atop hillsides and eat at one of several quaint restaurants & cafes to sample true Italian fare. Emy gives you maps and tells you where the best places are to eat. The towns are nearby & easy to get to and were some of the most picturesque places we saw in all of Italy. After each dinner we'd explore that town looking at the wonderful centuries old churches, charming stone houses, cobblestone streets and breath-taking views over the Tuscan valley below. It really didn't matter which town we went to or at which restaurant we ate - all of the food & scenery were wonderful. And it really doesn’t matter whether you eat at Caminino or go to a neighboring town – you’re in beautiful Tuscany eating the delicious local fresh food. Bonus to dining out - you get to explore the fabulous countryside coming & going to dinner and a wonderful Italian dinner prepared for you. Bonus to eating in at Caminino – you don’t have to leave such a beautiful place to eat dinner. So we'd eat lunch at Caminino and eat dinner out.
At Caminino we had fun strolling the grounds, taking photos, my wife painted, talking with Emy, lounging in our 1000-yr old room and spending an afternoon swimming in the pool. So many things we wanted to do but ran out of time for – take a hike in Emy’s cork forest, picnic in the olive groves, see Emy’s vineyards, eat at more of the hilltop towns, spend time looking in the main house, seeing more of Tuscany, going to the Roman baths, swimming/fishing in the Mediterranean (20 min. away from Caminino), and more. Our stay at Caminino was life-changing (or at least life-enriching) and is definitely one of the top-10 places we’ve every been to - maybe even top-5. It was extremely hard to leave but as we drove away we comforted ourselves by vowing to return soon and make it a much longer stay. Thanks, Emy – it was great!
>Rent a Car
>Stay for at least 3 or 4 nights
>Relax by the pool
>Follow Emy's sug...
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