We read about this agriturismo in Rick Steves' Italy 2011 and booked a week's stay for our group of four adults. The location was beautiful and our lodging-- La Casa del Contadina -- was spacious and well-appointed. It was, however, the well-organized hospitality that impressed us the most and allowed us to spend our time savoring the food and sights of the Val d'Orcia rather than problem-solving all those travel issues. Isabella's binders of suggestions for local driving trips, restaurants, scheduled tours, and other activities are an incomparable resource. With humor and a strong ability to read people, she helps her guests to quickly settle into their vacations by encouraging some basic plans to be made shortly after arriving. She encouraged us to ask her to make reservations for us at various sights and restaurants, "they know me!", and we did receive extra-special service (and some price discounts) at places that knew Isabella had sent us. If you stay here, I strongly recommend limiting your sight-seeing to places within a 30-45 minute drive. Spending time relaxing at Cretaiole is a delight and there is so much to see in the immediate area.
We especially enjoyed the following restaurants (we frequently coordinated our sight-seeing with lunch or dinner reservations):
Pienza: the best gelato is on the corner across from the small green park outside of the old part of town, such a kind man. The only all day restaurant we found in the region is La Buca di Enea and the hosts are very sweet, bringing complementary after-meal drinks (the bottles to pour for yourselves), tasty home cooking with good pici (the regional pasta).
Montepulciano: Osteria dell' Acquacheta, need reservations, their speciality is the the bistecca alla fiorentina and the owner is an entertaining character-- visibly wielding a huge cleaver in the back, bringing your raw cut to the table for your approval, and totaling up your bill on your table cover.
Monticchielo: Osteria La Porta, need reservations, absolutely amazing culinary creations with generous and attentive service. The most impressive, gourmet meal on our travels through Italy.
Trequanda: Il Conte Matto, wonderful food and an amazing view of the Crete Senese.
Sant' Angelo in Colle: Il Leccio, delicious, great service.
Montefollonico: 13 Gobbi, great food, enthusiastic host. Dessert was mediocre.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Agriturismo Cretaiole, a restored medieval Tuscan farmhouse, with panoramic vistas, has apartments to accommodate groups from 2-7 people. Come and embrace the enduring spirit of Tuscany! Weekly rates include authentic Italian experiences, such as a pasta-making class and Tuscan dinner. Located between Pienza and Montalcino, in the heart of the Val d'Orcia UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cretaiole is as delightful for adult travelers as it is for families. Assistance available in English, French, German. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Agriturismo Cretaiole Di Luciano Moricciani Hotel Pienza