I spent well over a year planning a 2 week trip to Italy and the absolute best decision I made was to stay at Ca Gioiosa!
Our accommodations far exceeded my expectations in every way. The rooms were beautifully decorated, impeccably clean, and very comfortable. We all settled in right away and felt at home almost instantly. We prepared meals in the modest kitchen but almost always ate outside on the beautiful brick courtyard next to the house. In fact, aside from sleeping, almost all of our time was spent outside. We made use of the pool to cool off in, ate many dinners on the porch, made pizza in the wood burning oven, strolled around the vineyards, and had a great time playing table tennis. The beauty of the house and surroundings just drew us outside all the time, and it was where we could interact with Fiona. Enjoying an espresso on the porch with the early morning sun and chirping birds was one of my favorite parts of the trip and one that I look forward to repeating when I return next year.
I planned a variety of activities and did a lot of research on my own before my trip, some of which turned out to be good but certainly not all. In contrast, every bit of advice from Fiona was excellent, I am so grateful for her guidance on tours, interesting destinations, and food suggestions. Fiona arranged for a cooking class to be held right in her own kitchen, for most of us it was the single best part of the whole trip! We spent hours learning how to make traditional tortellini and Bolognese sauce, it was delicious and so much fun to prepare.
I anticipated a great vacation but what I didn’t know was that I would be making new friends. Fiona is a dear person, lovely, genuine, and fun, I’m grateful to know her. Likewise, we got to know her partner and son on our visit and found them both delightful. I hope I am fortunate enough to enjoying their company again in the future.
Finally, I must acknowledge that Fiona is my hero. Within 15 minutes of receiving my rental car at the airport it caught on fire and ultimately burned down to the metal frame. After frantic calls to the fire department I phoned Fiona to let her know we were going to be a little late arriving. However, I forgot to leave my new cell phone number in my voice mail message. Upon retrieving my message and unable to reach me she drove all the way to the airport and was actually there when I arrived seeking a new car. I was a little stressed-out, to say the least, but she was incredibly helpful in dealing with the car company, as well as making follow-up calls, and helping to guide me. I am forever grateful to her for going beyond what I expected and for being a source of calm and support when I needed it most. The rough start was quickly put behind us and the rest of the trip was everything I dreamed it would be!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.