The grounds of Cretaiole are perfect for children of all ages—you can rest easy and enjoy watching your children have the time of their lives, running and playing with perfect freedom in the sunshine and Tuscan breeze!
Also, Cretaiole is perfectly equipped for you and your children. Items are available such as baby bed, special plastic bathtub, high chair, bottle warmer, baby monitor, cuddly bears, and toys. I have two boys of my own, Niccolò who is 13 years old, and Filippo who was born in February 2008! I know exactly what you need when you travel with your children.
There are more activities for your children than you will have time to do while staying at Cretaiole! Here is just a sample:
Visit our farm and see our farm animals (and their babies!)
Children (of all ages!) who live in the city often have no contact with farm animals. Some have never even seen a chicken or a pig "up close and personal." At our San Gregorio farmhouse in Pienza, where we live and grow our crops, we also raise many animals: geese, ducks, guinea hens, chickens, turkeys, pigs, rabbits, pigeons, and guinea pigs. If your children want to see and hold these animals they are welcome to visit our family farm. They will be thrilled by it! All you have to do is let us know!
Tractor rides for children
Depending on the time of your visit and our agricultural schedule, our youngest guests can enjoy the thrill of riding on a tractor with Carlo. Let me know if your child would like such an experience and we’ll do our best to make his or her wish come true!
Go to the terracotta museum
In the tiny charming medieval village of Petroio, near the town of Trequanda, you'll find a museum dedicated to terracotta. Terracotta has been made from the area’s soil for centuries, using traditional methods for making articles essential to all facets of life. The museum chronicles the history and development of this art form. Also, the delightful guide and expert artisan, Rodolfo, will be happy to teach you how to model the clay to create beautiful items. He particularly loves to work with children! Please know, however, that no English is spoken.
Pizza cooking class, tour, and lunch at an organic farm
You may visit a small family-owned organic farm that is run using only farming techniques that work in harmony with the land and the environment. The owners will share their passion for their life with you in their big kitchen where they will teach you how to make pizza cooked in their wood oven! You will see their animals (including an ancient breed of wild pigs), wine cellar, and vegetable garden; and at the end they will offer you an enormous vegetarian lunch made entirely from ingredients produced on their farm.
Guided mountain bike tour
Enjoy a fantastic bike ride from Bagno Vignoni to San Quirico d’Orcia to Pienza and back through the heart of the crete senesi with Mauro, a great guide who will take you through the most beautiful landscapes, on back roads you would not find on your own. Enjoy a light lunch stop in Pienza for a pecorino cheese tasting. Some itineraries end with a dip in a spa or thermal spring, and that feels so goooooood on those muscles you have just been using, and your children will have great fun splashing around.
Horseback riding lessons and excursions
Riding lessons for all skill levels (beginners through advanced) with excursions in the magnificent surroundings of the Val d’Orcia. Lessons for children are available!
Perugina chocolate factory and museum
Chocolate lovers will enjoy a guided tour of the nearby Perugina factory and museum. Open Monday to Friday. Tours by appointment. Free entry.
Ride the Treno Natura (Nature Train) through the Tuscan countryside
Take a ride on historical train cars through the magnificent Tuscan countryside. Renovated steam locomotives and "centoporte" train cars (this means "hundred doors"–the cars have as many doors as compartments) take relaxed rides through the Val d'Arbia, Val d’Orcia, and La Crete. The train is in operation only seasonally, but if you are lucky enough to be coming to Tuscany when the Treno Natura has an event, you will be happy to go along for the adventure!
More info: Treno Natura
"La Gora" natural hot springs pool
There are a great number of natural hot springs and wonderful health spas for you to choose from in our area, and we will be happy to supply you with the list, their descriptions, and locations. But this one is our favorite and the favorite of all the children!! Go to La Gora for a dip in Mother Nature’s hot springs out in the woods in a surreal landscape. This deep blue natural swimming pool sits directly below Bagno Vignoni at the base of the Parco dei Mulini (Watermill Park). As the natural spring water makes its way down from Bagno Vignoni along a rocky wall it cools down to 80-82 F°! Not only is this a fun and pleasurable experience, very few tourists know about it…. and it doesn’t cost a cent!
"Fosso Bianco" hot springs and mineral ponds
At the foothills of the mysterious Monte Amiata is a brook called Fosso Bianco. The hot springs leave calcium deposits that continuously transform the landscape in a wonderland of pools and natural formations. Here you can find the famous "White Whale", formed by white calcium deposits from the water and recognized as one of the world’s natural wonders. Enter into the almost clear, blissfully warm pools, and emerge feeling your skin renewed and purified. As you enter the pool you immerse your feet into a pleasant, white mud, and lose yourself among the wild vegetation, warmth, berries ... the purest of pleasures. Your kids will love it! Admission to Fosso Bianco is free of charge year-round.
Bagno Vignoni and the "Val di Sole" spa at the Hotel Posta Marcucci
The Hotel Posta Marcucci offers a tranquil hot spring pool that overlooks a valley with a spectacular panoramic view. You can stand beneath the waterfall that feeds the pool which is divided into two parts: the hotter 104 F° pool (which the waterfall feeds into) and a cooler 95 F° that is more conducive to swimming. Bagno Vignoni’s hot springs have been cherished since the Roman era, which is why many prestigious figures have visited the small village. The "Val di Sole" spa has a large beautiful lawn with lounge chairs, a shaded area, a small bar, showers and locker rooms. Your kids will enjoy learning to play the Italian game of bocce or have fun playing tennis.
For additional photos of this section, click here