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“An Authentic Tuscan Experience: Castello di Colognole”
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Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
46 reviews
63 helpful votes
“An Authentic Tuscan Experience: Castello di Colognole”
Reviewed September 13, 2010

As first time visitors to Italy, my husband & I wanted to enjoy a unique experience. We found exactly what we were looking for at Castello di Colognole, perched high atop a hill in the quaint village of Greve in Chianti, approximately 45 minutes south of Florence

The castle, which dates back to the 12th century, is owned and operated by sisters Rosita & Rita Ricci. Two apartments are available for weekly rental: the first floor Bacco (two bedrooms, two baths) and the three-story Quartessi, also 2 bdrm/2 bath but with an additional loft room that contains a large sitting area and extra bedroom, which we booked with our friends. Each apartment has direct access to a sprawling garden overlooking vast fields of vineyards - a glorious site to awaken to each morning!

The rental runs from Sunday to Sunday (although Rosita is sometimes able to be flexible but only as availability allows) so we arrived in Italy on Saturday, having taken a direct flight from Phoenix to London on British Airways with a connection in Heathrow. We had less than two hours between flights but had plenty of time in making the connection. We arrived at Milan Malpensa and took the shuttle provided by the Novotel hotel I located online and reserved for a very reasonable 78 euros. We again took the shuttle the next day back to the airport in order to take the bus to Milan Central train station to board a Eurostar train to Florence, where Rosita had arranged to pick us up, again for a reasonable fee.

Our friends, who had rented a car, met us at the castle that afternoon and were as delighted as we were with the accommodations. The grounds are breathtaking, the apartment spacious (one bathroom is on the small side but adequate) and comfortable. Our hosts could not have been kinder.

We took advantage of Rosita's home cooking Sunday night - she prepared a feast for 25 euros per person (this includes a bottle of their vineyards wine), which she spread out on the picnic table in the garden. Simply delightful and delicious!

The village of Greve is about 2 miles from the castle; due to the steep hills walking would be difficult for most people. In fact, the drive up is challenging in itself - I would definitely advise an automatic shift vehicle for those not accustomed to stick shifts which presented some difficulty even to our friends who have had experience with such cars. In any event, we made the drive to town on several occasions as we enjoyed walking about, attending festivals held in the piazza, eating in the assorted restaurants and shopping in the assorted stores - both the piazza itself as well as along side streets. One of our best finds was a leather outlet store just off the main road to the village.

Historic Tuscan cities, such as Sienna and San Gimignano, are within an hour's drive; each provided a wonderful afternoon's activity with plenty of sites to be seen, more shopping to be done, and delicious food to be eaten. Florence is easily accessible either by car (though parking can be hard to come by) or bus.

Although the rental ran for one week, my husband and I decided to make the most of our limited stay and left two nights early so we could spend some time in breathtakingly beautiful Lake Como before heading back to the Novotel the night prior to our departure back to the States. To do so, we took the train from Florence back to Milan, and from Milan to Verena. I had been most concerned about the trains prior to embarking on our trip but found them to be fairly easy to manage once there (though we should have booked ahead of time due to the busy time of year we scheduled; we were lucky to get seats at the day and time we arrived for travel).

I was surprised to see upon our return that I'd taken nearly 300 photographs during our stay (I will attempt to post some, if possible, at a later time) but each one is so magnificent and helps preserve the memories of truly one of our most memorable vacations ever.

2 Thank sueRN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
102 reviews
54 helpful votes
“A great little ceramics shop”
Reviewed August 26, 2010

Whilst in Tuscany we were looking for some ceramics and it was difficult to find a shop that wasn't mass produced or extremely expensive. We came across Corsini ceramiche by accident at the side of the road. Bruno Corsini helped us and gave us time to look around his wonderful products. There was a wide range of pottery and ceramics particularly kitchen/dining items. These items were well priced and we felt comfortable to browse.

This was exactly the place we were looking for and throughout our stay never found another shop/studio that was comparable. The shop is about a 30 minute drive out of Florence set in the beautiful Tuscan countryside.

Corsini Ceramiche
Via Taddeini, 222
Tel 0571657170

2 Thank TravellingHannah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose
1 review
“Great tour guide for Tuscany - Eugene Martinez”
Reviewed August 9, 2010

One day we went with a guide to Tuscany and I would highly recommend him to anyone. He grew up in New York but has lived in Italy for 30 years – fluent in both English and Italian and had lots of interesting stories . He will customize a tour to include whatever you want to see . He took us to several local wineries – had lunch at a great small place – made everything from scratch etc. He has local contacts for anything you would like to see –
Here's a brief summary of the places we visited:
> Castello di Gabbiano
> Castello Vicchiomaggio
> Greve-in-Chianti - Antica Macelleria Falorni
> Fattoria Montagliari
> San Gimignano

Eugene Martinez
cell: +39 331 459 81 50

Check out my t.g.i.FLORENCE page on Facebook!
Visitate la mia pagina t.g.i.FLORENCE su Facebook!

Thank ruarmstr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Undited Kingdom, Surrey
Level Contributor
7 reviews
“Beautiful area in Tuscany called Pentolina”
Reviewed July 6, 2010

We had an extremely enjoyable and educational trip to Tuscany. There was only one very severe downside to the whole experience. We have always taken travellers cheques away with us for security. In USA there has never been any problem with travellers cheques being treated the same as cash, i.e. you get change and you are NOT charged to use them.

Unlike Italy. We were deeply shocked to find that NO ESTABLISHMENT, including Banks were willing to take travellers cheques, despite the fact they were in euros. We changed a 50euro note and were charged 8euros!!! We thought we would pay our bill at our resort with the rest. Oh no, we were told when we were checking out the charge on 300 euros would be 30euros.

Please be warned DO NOT TAKE TRAVELLERS CHEQUES to EUROPE. the banks are fleecing everybody.

I cannot understand how the Post Office can even be selling them to us, they seem to be completely unaware of the situation.

Thank jeliciousjune
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
5 reviews
7 helpful votes
“Farm House in Tuscany - Perfect 10 out of 10!!”
Reviewed June 21, 2010

Date: 21 June 2010, stayed at IL Pozzo, San Gimignano part of Houses from Sassibianchi

Just back from a week's holiday in San Gimignano and we stayed in a little farm house called Il Pozzo just outside the old town of San Gimignano. It was wonderful as you feel that you are in a different world with the outlook from the house looking straight on to San Gimignano across the vine yards.

This little farm house is a gem and we were lucky to find it. It has lovely grounds were you can just sit around reading. It also has its own barbecue area which is perfect. We spent lots of time just laying around the private pool and watching the Tuscan world go by.

You are in the perfect location to either drive of go by train to Florence, Sienna and many of the little villages that surround the Tuscan hillside. The owners are lovely and very knowledgeable about the area and we felt that we had found a home from home and will definitely be going back again next year! if you have been then you will know from experience what it is like and if you need info on properties then look at

Sassibianchi [info@sassibianchi.com] and you will not be disappointed.

Thank ladypedinburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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