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“Best place ever!”
Review of Casa Gregorio

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Casa Gregorio
Certificate of Excellence
Annapolis, Maryland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Best place ever!”
Reviewed October 11, 2012

I cannot began to tell you what a wonderful time we had at Casa Gregorio! Gregory is great host - super nice and very knowledgeable. He always gave very interesting facts, details, trivia, etc. about the area and places we visited. Our villa location, room, and amenities blew us away - from our room we actually watched the sunrise! We loved the staff because they were so attentive and friendly. We have traveled the world and this was one of the best if not the best trips we've had...

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3 Thank kmfarley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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240 reviews from our community

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English first
Victoria, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2012

This was an amazing week. The location and facilities, both guest rooms and kitchen facilities are just first rate. My room, the Cinnamon suite was stunning. The flow of the days was so well thought out, and the visits were interesting and informative. I travelled alone and was delighted to find our host and group so fun and accommodating. I have been using the cooking skills since my return...to rave reviews. And to top it off it was really a great deal too!

Room Tip: From what I saw they were all great.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank Charlie733
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, CT
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed October 7, 2012

After reading a couple of reviews here (both of whom clearly knew each other), I had to ask myself if we were talking about the same place. Casa Gregorio is a beautiful, authentic villa recently renovated by the charming and engaging host, Gregorio. The food is locally-sourced and prepared by the staff of local women. Every meal was a feast for all the senses: beautiful to see, smell and taste. The accommodations were comfortable but gave us the feel of living in a modern-day version of medieval Italy. Brand new bathrooms in each room for comfort and convenience and antique or reproduction furnishings in the rooms to add to the authentic feel.

Really confused about the comments on the drivers. Yes, Greg drove 1 of the 2 vans and was chattier, but I drove with the other driver who confessed that he was self-conscious about his English. But he wanted to practice and was more than willing to answer any and all of our questions.

All in all, I thought this was one of the best experiences that I have had while traveling. I was raised by a father who was a pilot for Pan American Airlines and have traveled all my life. My expectations are high and Casa Gregorio met each of them.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank cheeselover14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint George, Utah, United States
1 review
Reviewed October 3, 2012

This was my first trip to Europe and I couldn't have chosen any better. Casa Gregorio is everything it promised and more, and I wish I could have stayed longer. Besides the group of people I shared my experience with, the staff was one of the highlights. They were friendly and helpful and made us all feel like family. I learned some great cooking techniques, was able to see everyday Italian life up close, and saw beautiful countryside everyday. I loved the daily tours we took, and found Gregory very knowledgeable and charming on our daytrips. Gregory is busy handling an ongoing remodeling project, handling all the business required of a business owner and yet was kind, sweet, and available. This trip was over the top and beyond expectation, and I would advise anyone looking for an excellent European experience, spend some time at Casa Gregorio with Gregory and his extended family.

Room Tip: Corner suites are large and Sunny
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank Pamela A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Mateo, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed September 30, 2012

I never wrote a review before, though my wife and I have traveled extensively thru Europe and in Italy before. We came to Casa Gregorio after traveling in Umbria and Tuscany for two weeks. I was expecting that visit to Casa will be the pinnacle of our trip, but cannot even describe how disappointed and very sadden we felt after our trip.
It’s true that place is beautiful, nice vistas, etc. - however, all of Italy is full with such views. To future travelers – Castro del Volsci is far from any even tiny villages, located up on the hills, with winding road leading to it. No walking, no jogging, trip to “lower” part of village is up to 45 min – down, then one has to climb back. So only few managed to go there.
Accommodations. Place is nice, nicely decorated dining and common area, nice kitchen, and supposedly nice rooms. We had the room off the common area. We saw several other rooms of other guests – they were much nicer… explaining:
• The floor in our room was not even, really you can feel the incline of the floor, not a pleasnt walk..
• The furniture was old, my grandmother had newer wardrobe, stands, etc. Due to uneven floor, the wardrobe door did not close and we had to pry it up.
• Window was looking into front court, facing the wall of other building. As construction was going on the property, construction people were coming in from front early in the morning, talking, smoking under our windows. Plus as our door was facing into the common area, with some guests sitting and talking there… we sometimes were disturbed by these loud talks, but where could they go after dinner?
• There are no shampoo, no conditioners – I don’t know where other saw them? Just soup and shower gel.
• Linen were never changed, nor it looked that floor were vacuumed as well; tub was not cleaned
• We experienced shortage of water (yes, Greg asked not to take bath, just short showers…). The culminations was on Sep. 07, when everyone woke up, used bathroom and found out that there is NO water at all – no washing up, no flushing the toilet… we left that day after 10 am and do not know what happens later on
• Dining room is nicely decorated, but table is so small for 14 chairs (we had 13 guests + Greg), one can hardly move a hand sometimes… or only lift a hand after next to you puts his down.
• Our TV did not work at all. Greg said that he’ll fix but did not do it, and there are no English channels there anyway, as we were told by others
• Two mornings waking up without lights (after storm). Waiting for personnel to come and switch the power on, as we don’t know where the breakers are. Though Greg supposedly lives here, we never saw him in the morning until we leave somewhere in the car.
• And remember, there is nothing to do in the morning, before you leave for a trip, and after dinner.

Our host Gregory.

I personally found him very cold, very remote and not engaging at all. He never talked to us, never asked how are we, if we need anything. I asked him a few questions and received very short answers. I had to pull out from him several times, where we go and when. We drove every day somewhere and Greg was driving a van, two other couples – us and lovely and friendly couple from Canada – Hi, D & P!!!, driving in a passenger car, and a few more people in third car. Greg probably talked to them in the van, so we had to ask them what is going on.
A few times I asked Greg a simple question when we will be leaving on Sep. 8 and DID NOT got an answer… “I have to look on other people flights, etc.?. How long does one need to look at schedules. We found out from someone else that he was planning(?) To send a car with us and some other guests around 4 or 5 am – that what we were told by others (one guest had a 9 am flight). Greg did not find time to talk to us and we almost did not see him.
We did not see him in the morning, a few times for dinner, that’s all. All what Greg was concerned was his remodeling and bringing in more people next week. He did not engage with us in any conversations and was more on the phone then with us.

On Friday 09/07 we found out from other guests, that we not going to see the Grotto, as it was closed for a long time already, that we are going afternoon for shopping for some groceries, which other guests wanted to buy, and we were not much into sculpture cutting. We and other couple decided to leave this morning to Rome, and spend some time in Rome. When we approached Gregory to ask to take us in car to Rome, he did not care that we are leaving. He started to talk about that it may be an extra trip, gas and toll prices (as we were never told who and when goes back to Rome anyway, I don’t know if it’s true). He offered to take us to Rome if we pay him 150 euro extra. We did not argue, and decided to leave on our own. We almost left the room, when, may be seeing our long faces, he suddenly changed his mind and said that he will give us a car, and we left with one of the drivers. And shouldn’t we be taken to the airport by you anyway?

Dining.

Breakfast. Coffee and croissants from packages, yogurt – that’s all for breakfast. Two times (when in Casa) two small plates with omelets on table. Cheap food! Most of the days we had to go out to a small café owned by Greg’s cousin – for same croissants and coffee.
Lunches. One standing in a small front office room in olive mill office – bread, oil, cheese and sausages. Simple cheap house wine. That’s all. One lunch on day of arrival – nicely presented, one plate of cheese, mozzarella, prosciutto
One lunch – picnic (a joke!) White bun with prosciutto in it, dry! Nothing else in it – really its hard to believe, but yes, that is true. Italy, where you see these great yummy sandwiches, mouse-watering paninis, etc – a bun with cold ham for a picnic. A drink of course. So Cheap! Sitting outside at the table, called it a picnic. Someone asked – Greg, any cheese? Any mustard, mayo? Answer – No, no! I had never had a sandwich worse then that.
Lunch in Terracina. A beaten down café – self-served, take a tray, stay in line, choose 2 items from the foodline, carry your tray, and eat somewhere at the table. Cheap food!
Only one, more or less decent lunch in Atina, in a restaurant.
Dinners. We missed the last dinner, but most of them were so-so. One dinner in empty restaurant, where we are served only pizza, almost every other pizza with different topping, very average pizza. I really do not want to spend so much time reviewing the food. My opinion – very mediocre food for a cooking destination, with a very cheap food and the host, who charged very high price for the trip.

Tours.

There were no tours per say. You are driven for an hour or two to some small local place, outside a village, somewhere in a countryside. You arrive to a small, private production. Olive oil – all of us standing in front room, there no production and nothing to see. The hosts – all of them – do not speak English; they tell you something about their place. Greg translates something. Tourist trap also – they want you to buy their product.
Winery – nothing to see. A few empty rooms with wine bottles stored in metal cages.
Sausage factory, even more painfull – we all crowded in a small room, they bring out a small extruder, and fill in a few casings with sausage meat. Tour finished…
Another tour – we are shown the chambers where they cure the pork meat. Same for place where mozzarella is made – you don’t see any actual production – we saw people washing down the floor already. And why to bring us to barns where cows are housed? Dirt, and stink hang over everyone.

Classes.

I am not stopping on these, much described by others. Justino – chef – is great, funny and friendly (sorry if I misspelled your name). Some classes were fun and we liked them. We liked very much the personnel, Anna her daughter and other girl. Our drivers, though they don’t speak English at all (at least Mattio) were nice too.
One class taught by Greg I found very mediocre: a) precut pork chops, dip in bread crumbs and put on frying pan; b) same as # 1, but for beef, rolled with cheese inside; c) and something which you “never saw before” – we are taught to peel and cut potatoes, cut bell pepper and sausages, put into frying pan. All cooking is done by staff. Meat dishes were very average – my opinion, and overheard others talking.
Greg was mentioning that all guests get a cook book, apron, and whatever – of course, he did not give these to four of us, as outcasts.. I did though ask for cook book upon leaving and got one. Well, home copying pages, with crooked text, cut off text on pages, not clear instructions, and faded out prints, some hard to read. I also found even mistakes in recipes.

Resume

This tour is a highly overpriced trip. Cheap and not tasty food. Non-attentive host. Overblown representation of the tours, where there is nothing to see. Some serious problems, in my opinion, with accommodations. Unless, you really need to be in these several nice cooking classes, you better off spending this pile of money ($2,000 per person for 6 nights, with Groupon discount…!) on other places in wonderful Italy, with beautiful views, and world-class food.

Room Tip: Please, read our review
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
33 Thank Peter K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portage, Indiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2012

My husband and I had no preconceived notions about what we would experience at Casa Gregorio. We had never attended a cooking school, and generally travel on our own. We thought this would be a new adventure, but never dreamed that it would be so much more than than that! It was an opportunity to get to know interesting and adventurous new friends, in a setting that was both amazingly beautiful inside and out. And although the Casa was designed and decorated so expertly, it had a comfortable and approachable feel, that encouraged mingling with the group, whether out on the splendid back patio, or in the main living or dining room.
Agreeing with all the accolades in the reviews, the frosting on the cake for us was the opportunity to be hosted by Gregory and his amazing staff. Everyday was an adventure, and was presented as if they too, were experiencing the fun with us. This is no easy task, with lots of driving, visiting the same spots, and dealing with all personalities and their idiosynchrasies.
We were amazed that Greg was driving, teaching classes, and dining with us. We felt like guests and friends, rather than just tourists filling the rooms.
The cooking classes were loads of fun, and we learned from the locals in a non threatening environment. One of the guys who initially was not at all interested in the cooking part, found himself in an apron and joining the group for several classes! And I have recreated 2 of the dishes out of the cookbook that was given to us along with our signature aprons!
This was a once in a lifetime week for us. We will long remember the beauty of the countryside, the elegance of the Casa, but most of all Greg and his wonderful staff, that makes it all possible. We would recommend this trip, and have, to all our friends and family!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Betsy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa
Level Contributor
48 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 133 helpful votes
Reviewed September 23, 2012

Its difficult to write a review of Casa Gregorio without sounding like a broken record so I won't even try. My wife suprised me with this trip on our 25th wedding anniversary and although I was excited to be going to Italy, I was a little apprehensive about cooking classes. I wondered how much fun I would have cooking when I could be out sightseeing. I like to cook but figured there would be so much to see in Italy, and would I really want to be stuck in a kitchen every day. Well, like 99% of the reviewers here, we had a fantastic holiday! It turned out to be much more than we expected. After a very busy 3 days touring Rome on our own, it was time to go back to the airport to be picked up by our driver from Casa Gregorio. We left Rome in fairly heaving rain as part of a 3 vehicle caravan and about an hour later we approached Casa Gregorio. By the time we wound our way up the mountain road to the town of Castro dei Volsci, the sun was shining and it was hot. Things were looking up! The view from our car of the surrounding mountains and valleys was incredible! We have never seen such beautiful scenery before.


We entered the hotel with the other guests and were met by Greg, the owner. He escorted each of us to our rooms and showed us all the amenities inside. My wife and I were in the 'Sage' room just off the eating area. The view from our window was overlooking a church and down to the bottom of the town with mountains in the background. Our room was very nice with plenty of space to put away our clothes and the washroom was very spacious. Shampoo, conditioner, soap and a hairdryer are all supplied. We had a TV but not once did we turn it on. The surrounding countryside was our TV! There is air conditioning in each room which works well if needed. There were some issues with the water supply one day due to the recent drought, but Greg dealt with them quickly. Beds are firm but comfortable. Another couple of pillows would have been appreciated. After getting unpacked, we headed out to the terrace to meet and mingle with the other guests who we would be spending the next week with. Half were from Canada and half from the US. All together we were a group of 13. We walked around the extraordinary Casa. Its very large and beautifully decorated by Greg himself. We spent time each day sitting on the terrace, chatting, reading, or writing in our travel journal. Wi Fi is available, but limited to the living room and dining area. The Casa was being renovated while we were there, with a second breathtaking kitchen being added on the lower level. A pool and gym will be available in the future as well for guest use. A walk through the town of Castro dei Volsci followed and the town is fascinating. Narrow cobblestone streets with little nooks and crannies lead to ornate doors of residents homes. We spent may hours throughout the week meandering the streets, chatting with the locals, and taking stunning photographs. A walk up the hill to the top leads to Mama's Cafe, where you can purchase a cold beer or wine or whatever suits your desire from Guistino and relax with the locals. A walk down a bit leads to the coffee shop where we had a few lovely breakfasts of fruit, warm pastries, and amazing espresso and cappucino.


Now on to why we were here. The cooking classes started most days at 4:30PM and the list of chefs teaching included Guistino, Stefania, Pasqualina and of course assistants Elena, Alessandra and Gregory's right-hand 'man', Anna. These people work their tails off in the kitchen all day so that the guests just have to cook. They do all the prep work and all the cleanup of which is no small job. They set the table for each meal and clear all the dishes. The classes themselves were much more fun than I expected. We laughed constantly, especially with Guistino! We listened to nice music and drank wine while cooking. We learned to make fresh pasta, pastries and tarts, eggplant parmesan, pork scallopini, marinated eggplant, pizza, pasta fagioli, bruschetta, deep-fried zucchini flowers, gnocchi and other dishes too numerous to mention. The ingredients were fresh, and the food and wine was plentiful. The best part was sitting down later in the evening to enjoy the fruits of our labours and always with a nice selection of red and white wines. We usually didn't sit down to dinner until 8PM but that is the norm in Italy. We learned rather quickly in Rome that the tourists are usually the only ones in restaurants at 6PM and then the locals stream in after 8. My wife and I easily adjusted to this schedule. After desert, the girls in the kitchen were more than happy to make you an espresso, cappucino or regular coffee. There were also opportunities to enjoy a Limoncello liqueur or Grappa.. Usually most guests would retire to their rooms by 11PM to get a good night sleep before the next day's excursion.


Our daily excursion was always something to look forward to as it was another opportunity to see more of the beautiful Italian countryside. Our 3 vehicle caravan would head down the mountian after breakfast and Gregory, along with Patricio and Matteo were our drivers. We toured through and stopped in some very nice towns like Pofi, Terracino, Arpino, Frosinone, Veroli, Ferentino and Cassino. We toured an olive factory, cheese factory, sausage factory, farmer's market and a vineyard. We sampled some amazing food at all our stops and were able to purchase some nice wine and cheeses to bring back home. Unfortunately we are not able to bring sausage back with us otherwise we would have bought some for sure. An interesting tour of a proscuitto factory followed by a nice lunch outdoors took up one afternoon. We saw some amazing sites including centuries old monasteries. My wife sat in the front seat of the van each day as she is prone to motion sickness. The roads are winding, and Italians drive fast. A bit of Gravol might be useful to bring if you have the same problem.


Before we knew it, the week flew by but couldn't have ended on a nicer note. Our last night before leaving, we had a wonderful multi-course dinner at a restaurant nearby where 70% of the food served has to come from local farms. We had amazing appetizers, 3 kinds of pasta, escargot, goat, wine, Limoncello. A perfect, authentic Italian meal to end a perfect holiday. However when we got back to the Casa late that night, my wife and I and one other guest made one last trek up to Mama's Cafe to say goodby to Guistino and have a nightcap with him. Yes Guistino, your Mojito is the best outside of Cuba! We were sad to be leaving but met some wonderful people and we can't thank Gregory and his staff enough for making us feel like family in his home and for delivering everything that was promised. This is not an all inclusive vacation in Mexico, nor a tour of the sights in Rome. If you are looking for an open bar or require constant amusement you will be disappointed. But if like most of the guests there, you are searching for a relaxing, nicely paced holiday in the Roman Countryside, with great company, beautiful surroundings, and wonderfully prepared food, you will have a wonderful time.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Hilts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Gregorio

Property: Casa Gregorio
Address: Via Civita 67, 03020 Castro dei Volsci, Italy
Phone Number:
Location: Italy > Lazio > Province of Frosinone > Castro dei Volsci
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Castro dei Volsci
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Casa Gregorio invites you to an amazing hands-on Cooking Program and Culinary Tour in the Roman Countryside. An extraordinary cooking experience in a traditional Italian family environment.Ciociaria, the New Tuscany, where "You eat...and you eat Well"!!! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Casa Gregorio Italy/Castro Dei Volsci

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