Cosa scrivono i nostri ospiti sul loro soggiorno a Cretaiole
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Name: Anne and Shirish
By now you are already immersed with a new group of
guests at Cretaiole. The time we spent in your heavenly
corner of the world will linger with us, for years. And
in less than a few years, we will return! You and your
family and Carlotta provided us with the best holiday we
have ever had.
We had so hoped to thank you in person and to say
good-bye on Saturday...but just as we stopped by your
house, we learned that you had left for the farm. We
must have passed you on the road. Thus our time with
you was far too brief, but we certainly experienced all
of the love and attention you have devoted to making
every aspect of our stay just perfect...perfecto!
We will be in touch in the months to come, and meanwhile
send you, Carlo, Luciano and every member of your family
our very best wishes. Hopefully someday you will
include Seattle on your own list of travels!
With warmest regards,
Anne & Shirish
Updated on 12/05/2013
Name: Amy and Paul
I wanted to send you a note and let you know how much we
enjoyed our stay at Cretaiole last week! The room we
had was perfect for us and we enjoyed all the activities
available and books in the room with other suggestions
and driving directions. Luciano, Carlo and Carlotta were
all fabulous in helping us and showing us the Tuscan
culture. We can't wait to get back again some day.
Thank you so much!
Updated on 08/05/2013
Name: Mandy Bartok
My family and I wanted to thank you for a wonderful week
at Cretaiole. From the beautiful accommodations to the
top-notch service and remarkable kindness of your entire
staff/family, it was an experience to be remembered. We
are sorry we missed saying a personal goodbye to you
this morning but we - at least Paul and I! - hope to see
you in the future for another relaxing week in Tuscany.
Please pass along our thanks to Carlotta as well ... she
treated us wonderfully all week!
Updated on 28/04/2013
Name: Jade and Adam
Thank you so much for our stay at Cretaiole. I can’t
describe how much we enjoyed our time there – if only we
could have stayed longer!
We have told all our friends and family about what a
special place Cretaiole is and the amazing hospitality
you, Carlo and Luciano provided us with. And your
travel books rendered us speechless in terms of the
detail – we couldn’t have had the lovely day we had
I honestly can’t recommend any changes – it was a
I will send some of our photos through to you and also
make sure we do a Tripadvisor review and post our photos
Thanks again for a perfect piece of paradise! It was one
of our favourite parts of our trip.
Jade and Adam
Updated on 26/04/2013
Name: Bob Pointon
I just wanted to write you
to tell you what a fabulous time we had last week. It
was amazing and we would recommend you to our friends.
I have attached three pictures that sum up how we were
treated and the feeling of our entire trip. Thank you
for a memorable vacation and please tell Luciano that I
miss my evening Grappa and tell Carlotta Alora!
Also tell Carlo that we had a good dinner at your
neighboring farm just up the street on the left on the
way to Pienza from Cretaiole. They did a good job, food
was good and service was good as well in a nice setting.
We will hope to see you again sometime. Thanks for the
Updated on 26/04/2013
Name: Shelley Pointon
Hi Isabella. We just wanted you to know what a
wonderful time we had at Cretaiole. It was an
experience of a lifetime to be able to spend time in
such a spectacular setting surrounded by the feeling of
We would like to extend very special thanks to Carlotta
& Luciano. Carlotta took such wonderful care of us.
She is so incredibly knowledgable and has a fantastic
sense of humour!
Our grappa nights with Luciano were so much fun. He
challenged us to communicate with him by whatever means
that we could! My only regret was not being able to
speak Italian so that I could hear some of the amazing
stories that I know Luciano has to share.
Cheers to you all. We pray that we may be so blessed as
to see you all again some day.
Updated on 25/04/2013
Name: Justine Gayer
I just wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed
our stay - the only complaint was that the week was
finished so fast!
We will see you again - there is still so much to do and
see, and we felt so comfortable and thank you and your
family for your hospitality.
Updated on 25/04/2013
Name: Rachel David Romy & Mia
we have returned home to Australia from our wonderful
stay in Italy, including your farm. For the girls (and
us), our time at the farm was a real highlight!
i just wanted to thank you very much for making us feel
so welcome and the driving instructions that you printed
out for us to get back to Florence.
I hope all is well with you over there.
I will send pictures soon
Rachel David Romy & Mia
Updated on 25/04/2013
Name: Michelle Boudreau
I checked in with our entire group to find out if they
had any feedback to share and everyone has come back
with the same response. "I can’t think of anything
other than it was wonderful and I loved it and would
Our last night a Cretaiole Luciano stopped by for an
"night cap" and dancing. He asked us to send photos, I
finally remembered to order the hard copy prints and
will drop them in the mail as soon as they arrive.
Hope all is well for you and your family. Yesterday was
a difficult day in Boston, but the sun is out today and
lightening everyone's spirits.
Updated on 25/04/2013
Name: Michal & Michael
We had such a wonderful time at Cretaiole. It was the
highlight of our trip. Not only was our apartment
comfortable, homey, and cozy, but Cretaiole is set like
a jewel in the beautiful Tuscan landscape.
Most important, we enjoyed you and your family. How
often do you find someone who is warm, funny, and
totally organized? That's you! Our day trips were
terrific. The guide we had in Siena was especially
knowledgeable and good. Please tell Carlo one of the
best parts of the week was the olive-oil tasting. Fun
and informative. I try to be sustainable and buy food
from local sources. But I can't find a California olive
oil that tastes as good as those I tasted in Tuscany.
And, of course, evenings with Luciano!
I will finish putting up my photos in Picasa and adding
captions. Until I'm done it's a work-in-progress, but
here's the link:
Have a wonderful and busy season.
we hope to see you again,
Michal & Michael
Updated on 22/04/2013
Name: Julie and Greg C.
We so enjoyed or stay with you! We would recommend
Cretaiole to anyone. Our boys will never forget
Luciano and Carlo. Your wonderful attitude and
preparations were welcoming and all the materials and
resources you provide make Cretaiole stand out as
special. We will send some pictures soon. With our
sincerest gratitude we thank you all for making our trip
such a great memory. Please pass along our sentiments
to Carlo and Luciano.
With our warmest regards,
Julie and Greg; Matt and Marcus
Updated on 19/04/2013
Name: Thais Jones
We are a family of 4 with 2 children, ages 10 and 7. We
travel throughout Europe frequently and I often feel
that I am a stay-at-home-mom turned travel agent. Most
of my planning revolves around finding the perfect,
family friendly place to stay. Too often, we have been
disappointed either about the dwelling or the service.
With Cretaiole, we hit the jackpot! We do not have a
single complaint about the apartment or the service. On
the other hand, our praises seem limitless.
From the start, Isabella, was the most amazing virtual
host. She is organized, quick to respond and is acutely
aware of the needs of her guests. Upon confirming our
reservation, she emailed a plethora of information.
After reading the information, all my questions had been
answered and so much of my vacanza Toscana planning
seemed less daunting. Honestly, Isabella had me at
hello. After my first interaction with Isabella, I was
certain that Cretaiole was going to be a memorable
Cretaiole truly felt like a home-away-from-home! It is
expertly decorated and not a single comfort has been
forgotten. From the moment we walked in, we were
greeted by warmth, flowers and wine. There was more
than enough room for a family of four. And, very
important for us, the children were able to have a
separate space. The apartment is outfitted with a full
kitchen, stone fireplace, luxurious towels and linens,
the family's wine and olive oil, a cell phone if you
wish, and necessities stocked in the refrigerator and
pantry. There is also a washing machine just outside of
the apartments. Isabella has also prepared a travel
binder that proved indispensable when traveling
throughout the Val d'Orcia, finding restaurants and
Additionally, the veranda is a beautiful communal space
with a lending library, CDs, a guitar, seating for
chatting or internet use and holds the activities hosted
buy the Moricciani family.
One is able to make daytrips to Pisa, Siena, Florence
and the like, but we chose to stay in and enjoy the
charming hill-towns of the Val d'Orcia. Creatoile was
the perfect base from which to make our short trips.
We also enjoyed the activties offered by the family,
such as the olive oil tasting, pici making, a tour of
the family farm, etc... My sons, 10 and 7, will forever
remember making and eating their own pici, running after
the family's dog, Luna, cuddling the kittens at the
farm, bathing in the natural hot springs surrounded by
stunning calcium deposits, and biking through the
I am not sure that the delicious food, or the
breathtaking vistas, or quaint, old towns, can compare
to the people we met during this trip. We fell in love
with Isabella, Carlos, Carlotta, and of course, signore
Luciano! We drove way feeling that we had left family
behind that we just knew we'd have to visit again. We
are sure to remember the beauty of the rollling hills,
stone farmhouses and many peaceful walks, our most
treasured memories are of Carlotta's laugh, Isabella's
sense of humor, conversations with Carlo in a unique
mixture of Italian, Spanish and English (whatever we
could cobble together!) and Luciano's late night knock
for chatting over grappa and hen's eggs delivery.
We did not tour La Toscana, we experienced it!
Mille Grazie familia Moricciani!
For anyone considering Pienza, try Cretaiole and you
will not be disappointed!
Updated on 15/04/2013
Name: Kim Heikkila
I just wanted to send you a quick message to thank you,
Carlo, Luciano, and Carlotta for making our stay in
Tuscany so wonderful. You all went to great lengths to
make us comfortable...and well-fed! (I’m still working
off that pici dinner!) Steve, Tu, Eric, and I enjoyed
every minute of our visit. As I told Carlo and
Carlotta, the next time we come, I promise to know at
least a little Italian!
I just posted a positive review of Cretaiole on Trip
Advisor. Are there any other sites that are
particularly helpful to your business? If so, let me
know and I'll spread the word there, too.
P.S. Tell Luciano I am loving the pecorino. Before
this, I was not much of a cheese-eater. I think I have
Updated on 15/04/2013
Name: Michele and Marc
We had a wonderful time during our stay there. Thank
you for being such a great host. We will be sure to
pass along any friends who are planning to vacation in
Tuscany. And will let you know when we come back as well!
Michele & Marc
Updated on 15/04/2013
Name: Corliss and Carl P.
Many thanks to you, Carlo and Luciano for the wonderful
stay at Cretaiole. You have created a very special
place for collecting special memories. A special thank
you to Carlotta for her time and attention. She is a
very good addition to your Cretaiole family. We look
forward to a return trip to Tuscany in the near future.
Corliss and Carl
Updated on 15/04/2013
Name: Angela Foster
Good morning, Isabella,
Great to hear from you with such a personalized note.
Cretaiole was perfect; amazing. Your new guidebook was
so well thought-out and organized and really made our
excursions possible. I really enjoyed the tour of The
Hermitage so much and thank you again for including us
in that. Also, Carlotta seems very knowledgeable and
loyal and was just so friendly; I hope everything works
out for her as your assistant.
Hope to see you again someday,
Updated on 15/04/2013
Name: Heather & Gordon
From: Northern Ireland
Ciao Isabella & Carlotta!
We want to thank you for making our special
holiday even more special. We speak for all eight
of us - Fiona & Conall, Claire, Chris and Beth &
Toby and us - in letting you know how thrilled we
were when we arrived at Cretaiole. After a long
journey we were delighted with the beautiful
apartment, spacious and full of character. And
then all the food, fruit, wine, flowers, Easter eggs
and cuddly toys!! There was no end to your
generosity - endless supplies of wood for our very
welcome fire, Luciano with his bottles of grappa
and Vino Santo, fresh eggs and ricotta. But what
we enjoyed even more than all of those gifts was
the times we shared with you both and the family
and the fascinating information and personal
stories you gave us. We all felt privileged to be
staying at Cretaiole and becoming a part of the
family and friends of that very special place. how
wonderful it was for Beth & Toby to experience
all that. The pici night was the highlight for us all,
and Carlotta, when your husband brought in that
beautiful cake for Toby and we saw his happy
reaction, we were moved to tears! It really meant
that much to us.
We were sorry we didn't see you on the Friday
before we left. We called at the farm, but there
was no one there, and we all had to leave very
early on Saturday morning. We spent 3 more
nights in beautiful Assisi and fell in love with the
town. But Val d'Orcia will always be our favourite.
Please give our thanks to Luciano for his
generosity and great company, and our thanks to
Carlo for the delicious barbecue and for giving
Chris his dream drive in a tractor. Apologies too on
behalf of Toby - poor Carlo didn't deserve that
We send you the hugs we were unable to give
you before we left. None of us will ever forget
Cretaiole and all the people who make it so very
Heather & Gordon
Updated on 14/04/2013
Name: Tracey Polson
Robin and I want to say how much we enjoyed our stay in
Pienza and Cretiole .
Honestly, it was terrific. The accommodation, and
everything you organized for us could not have been
better. Cooking with Alessandro was such fun , he is
lovely and I have been able to replicate the dishes. We
met some lovely people, still in contact with the other
guests. But most of all I wanted to say how much Luciano
made our stay. He was just the best! We loved the way he
brought the guests together, and his Grappa of course....
We will be back.and next time hope to finally meet you.
Updated on 12/02/2013
Name: Lynette Cederquist
What a nice surprise to hear from you! I have been
thinking about all of you and planned to write an email
to you today. When I woke up here was your note!
No, our stay with you did not meet our expectations, it
FAR EXCEEDED anything we could have imagined times 10!
What a fantastic week we had, and everyone we have
shared our experiences with want to come to Cretaiole on
holiday too. My daughter Kristen especially, who is a
bit of an explorer, has said many times, "the next trip
I take, I just want to spend a week or two at Cretaiole
and do just what you did."
It has been my experience that on every holiday I learn
something new and unique, or have a life-changing
experience. This time, I learned so much from you and
your family that has been in inspiration in how I live
at home. I returned with a renewed sense of being more
self-sufficient, and taking more time to enjoy life, not
just rushing through everything.
Yes, we were planning to make pici, and thank you for
the recipe! I had recorded a video of the demo that
evening, and played with a bit of dough to feel the
consistency, but loved your ragu, and appreciate having
your recipe, to try and recreate here in California from
We hope you are all fine, and can take it a bit easier
for a while after the non-stop season you have had. We
think of you all very often, and feel fortunate to have
been able to spend such a meaningful holiday with you
and your family. Tuscany ( especially Cretaiole) has
become my new favorite place, and I am already thinking
of a way to return very soon. My only regret on this
trip was missing the evenings with Luciano in the
veranda because I was sick, so must return to be part of
that next time for sure.
Big hugs to you, Carlo, and Luciano too. We think of you
often and with great fondness, and wish you a wonderful
holiday season, and exciting new year!
Updated on 14/12/2012
Name: Lan and Muriel Mosher
Isabella and family,
We wish you a very special holiday season. You will
always have a special place in our hearts, regardless of
how much time passes since our stay at Cretaiole. Our
time with you was very special. I hope your parents are
well and that business is good. Hopefully we can come
and stay again.
Lan & Muriel
Updated on 14/12/2012
Name: Valerie and Bob Reading
We recently celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday and one
of our many blessings this year was our time at
Cretaiole. It was multiplied by the fact that we were
able to send four couples to you this year as well. As
you know, vacation time is so limited and precious in
the US. We have confidence that our friends will be
well taken care of by the Moricciani family and have one
of the best vacations of their lives. It is wonderful
to share this treasure with others.
Thank you for the pici recipe! Now that it is cold
outside, I will look forward to a cozy afternoon making
pici and ragu. Hopefully, I won't get a blister on my
hand this time.
Merry Christmas to all of your family. Enjoy some rest
and quiet time!
Love, hugs and blessings-
Valerie and Bob
Updated on 04/12/2012
Name: Mary Lou and John Bell
We loved hearing from you. Our vacation at your place
was THE BEST! We will be back. Thanks for the
recipes. I have tried making pici twice. One time was
pretty good, next time not so good. I also have made
Ragu and got raves but I am sure that Liliana's will be
even better. We think of often and wish all of you a
Mary Lou and John Bell
Updated on 03/12/2012
Name: Nancy and Dan Dean
We look back at our time in Tuscany with more than just
warm memories, but of a longing to be back there again!
We thoroughly enjoyed meeting you. Thank you so much for
all the work you did to make our trip one that will
forever reside in our hearts! We hope to come back one day.
Our love and gratitude to you, Carlo and Luciano! Merry
Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your little ones!
Nancy and Dan Dean
p.s. thank you for the pici recipe! I will definitely be
Updated on 03/12/2012
Name: Joel and Beth
Grazie Mille from the Beth and Joel!!!
Ah, Isabella, so nice to hear from you and we have
shared our wonderful experience with you with so many -
it was truly special and we're very grateful for your
We have ALREADY made your ragu and pici - it's the BEST
Be well and we are sending back BIGGER hugs to you and
Beth & Joel
Updated on 02/12/2012
We are safely home in New York now and wanted to say
thank you to you, Carlo, and Luciano for making our
vacation so wonderful. Please tell Luciano a special
hello from me. We really appreciated his hospitality
each night and the chance to get to know him.
Words can't describe how much we loved our time there.
I told Bill that driving in Tuscany is like driving
through a painting - so pretty it doesn't seem real!
We have already talked about you and used our new
knowledge to look at olive oils! Bill said Carlo would
be disgusted by what is on the shelves at our store!
Clear bottles, sediment, and olives from Tunisia.
We hope to see you again. Once is not enough!!!
Updated on 30/11/2012
Name: Jay Drysdale
Thank you again for a wonderful stay, if and when we are
back in Tuscany we would definitely be back. Say thanks
to Carlo and Luciano for their hospitality as well.
Updated on 23/11/2012
Name: Matthew and Annette Large
Matthew and I would like to thank you and all your
family for a wonderful experience. In total Matthew and
I travelled for 4 weeks and our stay with you was
definitely the highlight.
Updated on 21/11/2012
Name: Kendra Kimbirauskas
We had such an amazing time at your place. Thank you so
much for your kindness and hospitality. We truly loved
every minute and it was especially nice having so much
time with Luciano! We were so impressed with seeing
Bruno and Luciano harvest the olives before we left! I
think the secret of the fountain of youth must be hard
work, olive oil and grappa!
Updated on 12/11/2012
Name: Roberta and Craig Nelson
Craig and I wanted to thank you, Carlo and Luciano for
your warm, generous and welcoming hospitality. We had
such a great time, better then we could have ever imagined.
We were delayed getting back to the states because of
the storm and are adjusting to the time change as we
revel in the experiences and memories of our time in Italy.
Thank you again for everything especially your caring
and loving authenticity you so generously shared with us
If you ever come to Seattle, we would be honored to have
you as our guests!
Many blessings and much gratitude to you, Carlo and Luciano,
Roberta and Craig Nelson
Updated on 10/11/2012
Name: Lois and Steve Carr
Buon Giorno Isabella and Carlo,
Lois and I have returned to the States safely and wanted
to express to you how much we enjoyed our time at
Cretaiole. Both you and Carlo were such warm and
welcoming hosts we wish we could have stayed longer.
Our time there was the best of the entire trip! We hope
to return in the very near future and have some more of
your wonderful cooking and hospitality.
Il nostro meglio per tutti e due,
Lois and Steve Carr
Updated on 09/11/2012
Name: Fred and Paula Schultz
Ciao, Isabella, Carlo e Luciano!
We are still talking about our wonderful Tuscan
adventure! It exceeded our expectations, and your
guidance was invaluable. We will definitely recommend
Cretaiole to others. You have changed our lives--I now
buy my olive oil with authority!! Thank you very much
for an outstanding experience.
Fred & Paula
Updated on 08/10/2012
Name: Sheila and Mike Turgeon
What a wonderful week! Our first trip to Italy exceeded
our expectations. Thank you for sharing your beautiful
farmhouse / villa with "the Peggy Party"! We were truly
impressed with not just your hospitality, but with how
well organized you are with all that you offer, from
detailed info on all of the tours offered, restaurants
in the area and directions to all of these places.
We plan on having a family pici making party and as long
as we have enough wine, I am sure it will be the best
Sheila and Mike
Updated on 05/10/2012
Name: Peggy Hansen
I think I can speak for the others when I say that our
time with you and your family was extraordinary. You
are warm and welcoming people, and you worked hard to
make our Italian experience as wonderful as it was.
Mike and I appreciated everything and will will have
many fond memories for years to come.
Greet Carlo and Luciano for me, and I hope that one day
you will come to Minnesota. If so, avremo una grande
festa con il nostro gruppo e voi!
Updated on 03/10/2012
Name: Jan & Nora
Thank You Isabella,
Nora and I left Thursday and I was really not happy that
we had to miss the pasta party. I love to cook; thank
you for the recipes will look forward to making the
pasta and Ragù.
We were very impressed with how much information you
provided making our trip really fun and loaded with lots
to do. We loved the accommodations at the farm, and you
and your family were fully engaged to make sure everyone
was taken care of.
Jan & Nora
Updated on 03/10/2012
Name: Jeannine and Arne Berger
Dear Isa, Carlo and Luciano,
We so enjoyed the stay, and above all, thank you for opening your hearts and homes up to us all to see your lovely way of living in Italy. We were charmed by Luciano of course, as Wendy promised…And charmed by the
way of life and food and vistas surrounding Cretaiole. It was fun trying to speak French with Carlo.
We want to extend our biggest thanks to you for spending your own time in helping us to locate a new lodging in Lucca, and taking the time out of your evening in your own home to do so. And securing for us a place to
stay, when we had a failed accommodation. We will always be grateful to you for helping us in that way. In this way, you demonstrated your giving spirit to us. Our lodging was very nice in Lucca and we had a nice stay
We are sifting through the photos and plan to print some out, as Luciano requested we send him some photos in the mail. I am also working on my Italy blog and of course it includes Cretaiole! We already have people
asking us about Cretaiole and will send anyone your direction we can! It would be such a wonderful thing if one day we could return and so we will wish for it and hope for it one day. If we can do so with Wendy and
Scott, that would be amazing. If we don’t however, we always will hold dear and remember my 50th Birthday and our 29th anniversary were commemorated with this beautiful trip and time shared with the friends and
food of Italy!
All our love and hugs and best to you and your beautiful family. We will always be friends and stay in touch, …facebook and email are our “friends” too!
Missing you and Italy already,
Jeannine and Arne Berger
P.S. Thank you for the recipes!! YUMMMMMMMMMMY!
P.S. We miss Luciano too……
Updated on 22/09/2012
Name: Vivian McCormick
Ciao Isabella, Carlo and Luciano!
So happy to hear from you! We've been home for
just over a week now, and we miss Cretaiole very
much. To make ourselves feel better, we made
pasta by hand last night, using your recipe (I
it on your website) and we drank wine from
Our experience at Cretaiole was one that we will
never forget, and we have been telling our friends
that we must all go back as a big group. So you
may see us and our friends (and a few bambini)
a few years!
Grazie mille and arrivederci!
Updated on 16/09/2012
Name: Bob and Judy Herrington
It's been a month since we left Cretaiole but our
memories are so strong that it seems like yesterday.
I know you are busy and probably get tons of
emails, but Judy and I wanted to personally thank
you for your hospitality. What you provided us,
and all your guests, was above and beyond all
expectations and we felt we must acknowledge
that. Out of many memories, my strongest is the
look on yours, Carlo's, and Luciano's faces as you
served us dinner after making pici together. You
had to be tired and I know that you do this EVERY
week for a different group. And yet a certain love
of sharing came through on all your faces. To me,
this is the gift of Cretaiole. You remind us of the
importance of family - both our own as well as our
extended world family. Thank you for sharing this
with all of us!
We hope to return to Cretaiole next August but are
still waiting to hear from our daughter about the
exact dates of her marriage in Florence. We should
know for sure in 2 or 3 weeks but understand that
you may very well be booked by then. We'll hope
for the best!!
Thank you again for everything. Our best wishes to
you and all your family!
Bob & Judy Herrington
Updated on 01/09/2012
Name: Diane O'Dowd
I am really sorry it has taken so long to get back to
you. We really had a wonderful time and believe
that it was you and your family's hospitality that
made the vacation outstanding rather than just
excellent. I particularly loved your presentation of
the archeological site with insights that related it
not only to the history of the region and the
culture but to your own personal history.
Work is crazy busy all the time but that is good. As
with every fall we have a whole new crop of 18
year old students who will arrive on campus in a
couple of weeks with high aspirations and
motivation which is truly energizing.
I am confident that we will come back to visit
Cretaiole in the future and will pass on the excellent
reviews personally as well as posting on a website.
Hope you are having a nice end of the summer,
Updated on 31/08/2012
Name: Boram and James Kim
From: Hong Kong
Isabella and Carlo!
It’s wonderful to hear from you. You can’t imagine
how much we miss Tuscany—especially
Castelmuzio, Pienza and Cretaiole! We of course
have you and Carlo to thank for the magical time
we had and I would be delighted to write a review
on those websites. As Boram knows, I have never
written anything on any website in the past, but I
am excited to write one for you and Carlo—it would
be our joy!
Thank you also for the recipes! I know Boram and
I will be making one of these (try to anyway) this
weekend and reminisce about bella Toscana!
Boram and James
P.S., attached are a couple photos for you to
remember us for next time. If you and Carlo ever
pass through Hong Kong, please let us know—
would be wonderful to see you!
Updated on 31/08/2012
Name: Kendra Wells
We can't begin to tell you how much we enjoyed
our stay. We are already talking about when we
can return, this time with more of our family
members! Cretaiole was the highlight of our 18
days in your beautiful country. We arrived home
safely, although tired, and we are reliving our
memories daily. Meeting you, Carlo, Luciano, the
rest of your family and the other wonderful guests
made this a week to remember. Just this morning I
ordered a book that Michael (English spelling - I am
not sure of the Polish spelling) recommended to
me and we are planning to touch base with Beth
and Wayne when they return to the US. What a
wonderful gathering of diverse people throughout
the week - all with a common goal of relaxing and
learning (and drinking a bit of wine and grappa) in
this beautiful place.
We are looking forward to trying our hands at Pici
and Ragu!! We may have a few messes before we
get it right (ok, maybe many messes) but we love
this dish so much that we will keep trying!!
Many thanks for making our stay so comfortable
and for your recommendations of things to do and
see while we were in the Val D'Orcia. We miss you
Kendra and John, Kerry, and Brooke
Updated on 31/08/2012
Name: Rebecca Mok
Dear Isabella, Carlo and Luciano,
Thank you for an amazing time at Cretaiole!
Tuscany was absolutely the highlight of our Italian
holiday - your generosity and hospitality were so
We hope to come back again one day.
Please let us know if you end up coming to Asia
later in the year.
Rebecca and Lawrence
Updated on 30/08/2012
Name: Mary Bailey
Isabella, Carlo & Luciano,
Thank you so very much for your wonderful
hospitality during our visit to Cretaiole. My family
had such a wonderful experience there. The
people, the countryside, the food all exceeded
expectations and we were so sad to leave. We met
some wonderful new people that we hope to keep
in touch with.
Updated on 27/08/2012
Name: Beth and Wayne Robbins
Isabella-- We had so much fun last week -- and
most of the fun was because of you ! We are so
grateful for all your help and the fun and
interesting activities that you arranged. You have
more energy than anyone I know ! :) Thanks too,
to Carlo and Luciano. Wayne and I want to know
where Italians get all their energy. How does Carlo
keep a farm, an agriturismo (you do all the work
there!) and do his professional olive tasting too?
and then there's Luciano who stays up all night
dancing and drinking grappa! It's amazing. You
all just really know how to live well. Thanks again -
- your Val d'Orcia is paradise. Beth and Wayne
Updated on 20/08/2012
Name: Suzanne Sawyer
Dan and I wanted to express our sincere thanks to
you, Carlo, Luciano and Liliana for such a
wonderful time at Cretaiole and in Pienza. Your
lovely accommodations, thoughtful attention to
detail, and especially everyone's warm hospitality,
made our short stay so enjoyable.
We hope to be able to return sometime soon. Until
then, best wishes to all.
Please give Luciano a special hello from us.
Updated on 20/08/2012
Name: Bob & Jo Hanny
From: Williamsburg, Virginia USA
Hello Isabella and Family,
We have just returned home after a wonderful
week at Cretaiole. This was our 3rd visit and
already we are looking forward to returning next
year in June with our daughter and her family.
We love everything about Cretaiole but it is a
special time for me when I can enjoy your
wonderful area and activities and the special effort
you make regarding my gluten-free diet. The
welcoming basket with my own bread board, GF
yogurt in the refrigerator, the delicious GF pici with
your wonderful sauce, Luciano keeping my meats
and cheeses separate from bread for tastings,
Carlo for grilling my sausages on a clean grill apart
from the bruchetta grill, etc., etc. etc. I cannot
thank you enough!!!
I want anyone to know that if they have celiac
disease they will be cared for if they stay at
Cretaiole. Of course Luciano\'s garden vegetables
are delicious----and your book lists several
restaurants nearby that offer GF selections.
Updated on 15/08/2012
Name: Skye and Doug Payette
Thank you so much for everything. Doug and I
had an amazing time at Cretaiole. It exceeded our
already high expectations. We have been gushing
to all of our friends/family about what an incredible
experience Cretaiole was. It truly was a trip of a
Also, I'm so glad you attached the pici
recipe....Doug can't wait to make a batch now that
we are home!
Doug and I also plan on mailing Luciano some
photos we took of him/us.
Thank you again Isabella and we hope to be back
at Cretaiole very soon!
Updated on 04/07/2012
Name: Mills Family
Isabella and Moricciani Family,
We wanted to drop a quick note to warmly thank
you for our amazing stay at Cretaiole. You and
your family are very kind and gracious hosts and
we could not have asked for anything more during
Isabella - your binders of information are priceless
and they show your commitment to your guests
enjoyment. Your passion for the Val d'Orcia was
evident everytime we spoke and it is heart warming.
Luciano & Carlo - the wine, olive oil, grappa and
vin santo were excellent!! Luciano's late night visits
were much appreciated and were very enjoyable!
Teresa wishes she could have visited with you more
often (but Peyton was always sleeping).
Our stay at Cretaiole was the highlight of our Italian
vacation and we definitely hope to return in the
next few years!
Sean, Teresa, Peyton, Ken and Donna
Updated on 04/07/2012
Name: Wayne Beckett
Thank you so much for a
wonderful vacation!!! A special thanks to you from
me for your help with the rental van and the return
trip to Rome airport on the day that we left!!
What a special time and special place
Cretaiole turned out to be. We hope to be able to
return, not next year but the year after that. You
and your family are special people and we will
never forget the time that we spent with you!!!!
Once again, thanks for all of you help
and we had a great vacation!! Even though the
kids are young, we have so many pictures that we
took that I’m sure they will remember this trip for
many years and their parents can tell them stories
about the trip for years to come!!!
Updated on 30/06/2012
Name: Andrea Rusch
I wanted to thank you again for everything you did
to make our stay so memorable and enjoyable while
at the farm! We will cherish those memories
forever and hope to someday return with our
family. I also wanted to let you know that I'm
working on putting all of our pictures together and
will send a link to them when I am finished so you
and other guests are able to view them also.
Please tell Luciano "hello" for me! I grew so very
fond of him while we were there and I have
thought of him often since returning back home. I
promised him I would send some pictures and I
have not forgotten that. Please let him know that I
am putting together a package to send and will be
sending it very soon!
Karl and I were also wondering if you ship any of
your goods from the farm here to the US? We
would LOVE to purchase some things and have
them shipped if possible. Please let me know if
you do that, as we are missing some of the
delicious foods, wine and Vinsanto from your farm.
Thank you so much again for everything! I hope
you are all doing well! I attached a few of my
favorite pictures for you to share with your family
Updated on 30/06/2012
Name: Marie Marlin
Cretiole is wonderful. The Moricciani family share
their life and love and are generous with both. All
of Tuscany is beautiful, but Cretaiole is more. It is
more because of Isabella, Carlo and Luciano and
the rest of his adoring family. They have cared for
the land and culture of this area for many years.
Although Luciano and Carlo speak very little
English, their generosity with all they have, make
words unnecessary. When they serve you their
excellent wine, incredible cheese, farm raised meats
and vegetables and marvelous olive oil, they are
handing you their hearts. Isabella interprets
anything that needs interpretation. She organizes,
teaches, guides, and tells tales of life in Pienza and
Cretaiole. She is beautiful, laughs easily, and her
enthusiasm for life is contagious.
And yet, if you want to be alone, you can be.
There is no pressure to engage in any activity, but
many lovely experiences are available. There is
peace and quiet, and there is wine and merriment.
What more can one want?
Updated on 24/06/2012
Name: Bonnie Graves
We have so many wonderful memories of our time at
Cretaiole and hope we can return someday.
Hugs to you,
Updated on 23/06/2012
Name: Linda and Bob Anderson
Thank you and your family for your hospitality.
Cretaiole was the highlight of our six week trip to
Italy and France. We enjoyed the activities you
planned and the trip suggestions in the "Red
Book". They helped us plan our itinerary better
than we would on our own. I especially enjoyed
the artisans of Pienza tour, the fish night at "Dal
Falco" where we met your family---and of course
the pici pasta making, Carlo's oil tasting and
Luciano's grappa. We also enjoyed getting to know
the other guests. We wish we had taken their email
addresses so we could send a note or a picture.We
didn't take enough pictures of people but we have
lots of scenery. We look forward to seeing photos
other people took. I'm attaching one from the
Wednesday fish night because it has people in it
and some other photos of Cretaiole.
We enjoyed staying at the Hotel Daniel in Parma
that you helped us reserve. It was outside the wall
but very near to walk into the town plus it had
parking. It also had a wonderful award winning
restaurant, Cocchi, owned by a family that has
been there for many generations.
Grazie mille. I love thinking about you continuing
on with new guests spreading your joy and warmth
Linda and Bob Anderson
Updated on 21/06/2012
Name: Dianne Smith
Our vacation at Cretaiole was fabulous, beyond
belief, a true dream come true. You and your
whole family made our week with you precious.
We loved our accommodations, the location, the
hospitality of all of you and your caring ways and
love for your visitors. We are already trying to
figure out when we can return.
When I have the time, I will definitely put our
thoughts on one of the websites. Plus, I work in
the travel business at AAA and have told everyone
P.S. thanks for the recipes. We are looking forward
to Pici night with our family.
Updated on 29/05/2012
Name: Randy and Janet Powell
Janet and I returned safely from our 2 weeks in
Italy and we played the same game that we always
play after a vacation: "what was your favorite?" We
both enthusiastically agreed that our stay at
Cretaiole, with you, was our favorite by far. It was
not just the beauty of your farm nor the classic
beauty of Tuscany, but we both agree that you,
Carlo and Luciano, and of course, Liliana helped
make our stay most enjoyable. You made us feel
like Family, and we felt involved with the Land and
very much at home on your farm. It was not just a
place to stay, it was a place to live.
I have only one complaint: Carlo and Luciano's
Chianti was too good! Once I tasted it, I could no
longer fully enjoy any of the other wines that I tried
and furthermore, I lost at least 2 days of activities
and one afternoon in Florence (two people gave
me a left over bottle that they could not finish)
because I preferred to stay at Cretaiole and enjoy
the wine. Could you please send us the e-mail
address of the shop that will ship us your wine
because I greatly regret not visiting that store.
Also, you promised to send us the recipe for the
tomato and bread baked molded thing that we had
at the monastery. You Must!!
Thank you, THANK YOU for making our vacation to
Italy all that it was. We will happily pass the word.
Randy and Janet
Updated on 25/05/2012
Name: Karl and Eleanor Plofker
Thank you so much for helping us feel part Italian.
One thing...If you get some free time (ha ha) in the
next few days or so, perhaps you can get the recipe
for the spelt dish prepared by Sarah at the organic
farm, and email to Eleanor, who loved it.
Stay well, and thanks again, hope we can get to
see you in the future,
Karl and Eleanor
Updated on 24/05/2012
Name: Richard and Jan Block
We are home now and finally catching up. We had
an amazing time at Cretaiole, it was much more fun
than we expected. We thank you and your family
for making it such a rewarding experience. There
are agriturismos all over but I can't imagine that
anyone else spends the amount of time that you
have organizing the travel book and experiences for
us to participate in. Now we know why you have so
many return guests.
We went to Assisi, Deruta and spent
some days in Chianti but your area is just the best
and Pienza was our favorite town. We hope to
return in a year or two and just hang out. I brought
a bunch of books to read and never had time to
just relax as there is so much to do in Val d'Orcia
and the weather was so beautiful on our week.
I hope your next two groups have been
fun, we enjoyed getting to know everyone in the
house and loved having Luciano get us organized
for 10 pm socializing. Thanks to you, Carlo,
Luciano and all of your other helpers for making
our vacation wonderful.
Until we meet
Jan and Richard
Updated on 18/05/2012
Name: Jerry and Susan Liechty
We already miss you guys and the farm.
As always we loved our visit and getting to meet
such great people. It's fun to begin planning our
next visit :)
We will adjust but it always takes a few days. We
got home Monday evening. Thanks for the recipes
Thanks again for everything you do and all your
wonderful plans you make - that what makes it all
Give a big hug to Luciano and tell him Jerry thinks
we need to have a vin santo and biscotti on the
terrace tonight to celebrate the end of our fabulous
Jerry and Susan
Updated on 16/05/2012
Name: Jim and Jamie Kouba
Thank you for a wonderful time. You, Carlo and
Luciano are wonderful, warm, and inviting hosts
with beautiful properties, and excellent products.
Many compliments to you and your friends for
excellent activities. Each was so personal and
friendly that we felt like extended family. Also, we
learned so much about so many things (wine,
food, cheese, history, culture).
Jim and Jamie Kouba
Updated on 15/05/2012
Name: Wanda Harper
My goodness, what a wonderful time I had a
Cretaiole. I didn't think it could have been any
better than when I was there in 2005 but how
wrong I was. It would be impossible to describe
how special the week was. And, the other guests
were just a joy to be around.
Your family has touched my heart. I do not know
when I will return and that truly makes my heart
heavy with sadness, but I hope to never lose touch
with your family. I know I will never forget all of
you nor the exceptional fondness I have for your
most precious country Italia!
Grazie mille, Isa, Carlo and Luciano!!
Amore per sempre, Wanda
Updated on 15/05/2012
Name: Barbara McCulloch
Thank you for your message and for the Pici recipe!
I will try it for sure when I return home, and look
forward to eating it and thinking of my time at
I am glad you had a chance to visit my blog and
also to see the video that my family created for me.
Yes, it was just a wonderful gift to receive from
them, they are very special people to me.
I arrived in Florence today, after a few days in
Orvieto. I am enjoying it, but have to say that I
know that the highlight of my trip will be the week
I spent with you in the Val d'Orcia. I don't ever
remember having such a special week.
When I return home, of course I will take the time
to post reviews on Cretaiole and my experiences
there. My only hesitation is, that after I tell others
how wonderful it is there, it will be even more
difficult to get a reservation again!
Hope your new week of guests are enjoying
themselves and things are well there. Please sure
to give my best regards to Carlo, Luciano, Liliana,
and Laura, okay?
Warm Regards and Best Wishes,
Updated on 10/05/2012
Name: Diane Wollney
We are finally home. After leaving Italy we traveled
to Vienna, Prague, and finally Provence to meet
friends. I think we treasure our time at Cretaiole
above all. You and your family could not have
made our time there any better. We so appreciate
your generosity in sharing your products, ideas,
directions and experiences.
Thanks for the recipes. I will be sharing them, and
our experiences at Cretaiole, with my Italian
conversation group at our meeting this week.
Please tell Luciano that I will be mailing photos and
that I haven't forgotten.
Kindest regards to you and your family.
Updated on 10/05/2012
Name: Stan Jones
Hi Isabella, Thanks for your follow up email. Our
family truly had a vacation to remember. Yes,
Simone has hung up the 4 water colors on the wall
and they look great!
We had high expectations of Cretaiole before we
arrived after doing a lot of research online, and you
and your family truly delivered. Every experience
we had while in Pienza and surrounding areas was
one to remember, from water color painting, to
cooking with Sandra, to touring favorite places in
your red book, to the artisan tour, etc. etc. When
we got back and sat around the dinner table, we
asked each of the kids what their favorite
experience was, they thought every experience was
their favorite. That's how Simone and I felt too.
I think that the key to any businessman/woman's
success is to enjoy what they are doing, and you
and your family seem to embrace this philosophy.
We appreciate your hospitality and will certainly
recommend Cretaiole to anyone visiting Italy. We
hope to return someday.
Updated on 29/04/2012
Name: Trace Udall
Good morning Isabella,
We had a wonderful time with your family and at
Cretaiole. It was our pleasure to meet you, Carlo
and Luciano. We would be honored to submit
reviews on your agriturismo.
I have a couple of relatives who are already looking
to come to Italy and stay with you in the fall. I will
pass your information on to them.
All the best!
Updated on 28/04/2012
Name: Alicesara Lester
Buon giorno, Isabella!
Our family had a WONDERFUL time at Cretaiole with
you, your family and the other guests. Everything
greatly exceeded our expectations and we truly
hope to return to Cretaiole again in the future. We
will all gladly write fantastic reviews of you and
your Agriturismo on the websites and spread the
word to our friends and family about how
wonderful our stay was with you. Brandon and I
have done a lot of traveling and we honestly say
that our time spent at Cretaiole and the
surrounding area was one of the most memorable
and fun vacations we've ever had. We greatly
Updated on 24/04/2012
Name: Don and Becky Borelli
Ciao Isabella and Moricciani Family!!
Grazie Mille for the 'Welcome Home' message and
more importantly for making our stay at Cretaiole
an experience we will always treasure and share
with our family and friends!
The stay at Cretaiole and Val d'Orcia
experience exceeded our expectations! The Val
d'Orcia setting is beautiful and the farmhouse
at Cretaiole so well-thought out...every detail
seemed to remind us we were 'within' the Tuscan
We also appreciate the activities you
have organized and presented in such an easy to
follow way in the 'Red' and 'Brown' books...we
could really have a Tuscana experience that
touched our personal interests like wine and
cooking! This was a unique experience for Becky &
I as "city folk" and took us back to life's elements
of the harvest....skill in preparing food and wine
and the heartfelt welcome of people....way beyond
Also, please extend our thanks and appreciation to
Carlo, Luciano and Luciano's wife for sharing their
warmth, making us feel so welcome, (Luciano's
Easter eggs, Almond biscuit, Vin Santo, Wine,
(Luciano's Grappa sessions (which brought
everyone together..in a special way.. haha), your
mother-in-law's limoncello (wow), Carlo's sausage
and 'ribs' (wow,. his Oleo skill...making us feel
welcome)....and to you Isabella for your wonderful
ability to share and communicate the 'essence' of
the Val d'Orcia and history...organizing the
activities and the Pici-making!!!! What a wonderful
Please extend our thanks to Gary (I think I have his
email...if I can find it ..I'll send Gary an email of
appreciation.) Please extend our thanks to Marta...
our cooking lesson, lunch and dinner were all
wonderful Tuscan experiences and Marta was a lot
Becky and I will be glad to share our impressions
with readers of TripAdvisor, Rick Steves etc. over
the next few weeks.
Yes, pls. send us the Pici and Ragu recipes...they
were terrific!! And we want to share with family and
friends....in May we will be teaching our
grandchildren how to make Pici!!
We hope to come again to Cretaiole and create
more memories we can treasure!
Don & Becky
Updated on 18/04/2012
Name: Jillian Palmer
It has also taken me awhile to write this...But being
in Italy at Cretaiole was one of the best things I
have ever done. For it being my mom, dad and
then Boyfriend (now fiance) :)'s time in Italy, it was
a magical and memorable trip. Your family was
sooo welcoming, we had many wonderful
experiences and it was the highlight of the year.....
Pici making I have yet to master in the states, but I
am trying :)
I hope to come back for a visit soon....in a few
years....with my "husband" we got engaged right
after we got home...What a magical and
memorable place...We all still talk about.....I look
forward to a return visit. Thank you again for your
hospitality and tell Luciano the CD is in the mail :)
Should be getting it soon...
Updated on 25/03/2012
Name: Ann and John Milliman
Hello, Isabella, We are still thinking about our
wonderful stay in the Val d'Orcia in September.
fact, we'd like to return to Cretaiole. I have sent
form to you via your website, and look forward to
hearing from you. So often I go to my iPhoto
library and dream of being back in the Val d'Orcia
and at Cretaiole. John and I have spent many
happy times throughout Italy, and the experience
we had, the soul of your lovely place, stays with
like no other. We are planning a return trip in
and hope that a week with you will work. We
that you and your beautiful family are well, and
that you enjoyed the Christmas season. A Happy,
Healthy New Year to all of you.
Best Wishes, Ann and John
Updated on 06/01/2012
Name: Kathy and Frank Matriss
Thank you for your greetings on our arrival home. I’m
sorry it has taken me all this time to return this
letter to you.
Frank and I had a wonderful time at Cretaiole with you
and all the family. You certainly know how to embrace
us all and help us to see your beautiful home and family
as it should be seen. The two of us were content to
stay in the Val d’Orcia area and embrace the people and
the culture. I didn’t feel the need to go to the big
cities as there is so much to see and do in the Valley.
Pienza must have been my home in another life. I felt
so at home and loved everything about the village. We
spent most of the time driving to the small villages in
the valley and just walking and exploring and taking
pictures. You made visiting the area so easy to do with
the itinerary book you had in our apartment. We enjoyed
visiting Il Casale and making pasta with Sandra, but
nothing compares to the Pici Night. Frank and I both
come from small families and how wonderful it was to
have everyone learning from you and making the pasta.
It was like a big family gathering. Carlo was
exceptional making all the ribs and sausage for us. I
really enjoyed going to the garden and picking
vegetables, bringing them upstairs and cooking. I guess
you can tell I love to cook and nothing better than
fresh from the garden. And Luciano - what can I say.
He has a charm that cannot be spoken in words. It was
like having a big brother come every night to have a
happy end to the day celebration with grappa, vin santo,
song, and dance. We loved every minute of it. Even
though we did not know anyone in the other apartments,
by the end of the first night it was as though we had
all traveled to Cretaiole together. The Moricciani
family and homes are magic and brought us all together.
I could go on and on with praise for all of you and
everything you and the family represent. We will be
back some day to feel the warmth of family and to see
more of the area. Until then, I want to share my
pictures with you. I am mailing an album of photos to
you along with a disk for your computer. use whatever
you want for your website. I am not that good with a
computer but if I can forward anything to your website
from my computer I will. So far I have had problems
doing that so I am doing things the old fashioned way -
I hope your grape picking went well and the olive
picking was successful. As much as I would like to come
later in the season to participate in this, I would miss
the garden so I have to decide what to do.
We think of you and the family often. We have made our
own pasta and we now eat it more simply as you taught
us. I still have your olive oil and don’t know what I
will do when it is finished. We’ll just have to come
back to Cretaiole for a visit and stock up.
Please extend our good wishes to the whole family. I
hope you and Carlo have a chance to have a vacation
after a very busy season. Best wishes for a Merry
Christmas and a very Healthy and Happy New Year.
With warm wishes,
Kathy and Frank Matriss
Updated on 04/12/2011
Name: Diana Lombardo
I cannot tell how much we enjoyed our time at Cretaiole.
It was truly the trip of a lifetime for us and now that
we are home it feels like it was all a dream. Everyday
that I come into work I place a new picture from Tuscany
on my computer as my screen saver and daydream when I
look at it. How we would love to be back there.
You and your family are absolutely wonderful, Cretaiole,
magical! I have a feeling that we will all be back,
maybe together. I know we are talking about a family
trip that would include everyone.
La Residenza del Proconsolo B&B was perfect for us. The
location could not have been better and Mariano and
Lorna were the best!
Thank you for suggesting Lucca. We loved the city of
Lucca and truly enjoyed learning of it's history.
Please send all of our best to your family. Our family
has a special place in our hearts for yours and Cretaiole!
I hope your holidays are wonderful and this finds you
and yours healthy and happy!
Ciao and hugs back,
Updated on 23/11/2011
Name: Kim and Kevin Steiner
We had a fabulous time at your lovely place. What
hospitality! What a gorgeous location! We wanted to
thank you for everything. We depart Italy on Wednesday
and can't believe it!
We are hoping you can email us the basic pici recipe. I
know we have to feel it though! We also would love if
you could share the recipe for your ragu that was
fabulous. Also if you have a recipe for some of the
ribolitta soups we tasted while in the area. We love
all the food so much and hope to make some even close to
share with family and friends!
Kim and Kevin
Updated on 23/11/2011
Name: Wendy and Scott Stewart
Can we come back right now? Scott and I had an
absolutely lovely time. We were SO impressed with how
well all of you took care of us. All the attention to
detail was amazing. I've already made the pici at home
along with your Ragu sauce. I did pretty good, I need
to practice a bit more with it. We've also been
enjoying the olive oil that we brought home.
It truly was a magical time and we had a hard time
leaving Cretaiole. The late evening visits with
Luciano were so special. Our stay at your agritourismo
was certainly the highlight of our trip.
Thanks for everything Isabella and please thank the rest
of your lovely family too! Hope we are able to see you
Wendy and Scott Stewart
Updated on 15/11/2011
Name: Harriet Chaney
Thank you so much for being such a wonderful hostess for
the five of us at Cretaiole last week. YOU make the
experience so special. We appreciate all the hard work
and thoughtfulness that you have put into creating an
interesting and enjoyable vacation for your guests.
I do want the pici recipe when you send it out, please.
My daughter-in-law and I are going to try it...!!!???
Thanks again for everything. You are a very special woman.
Updated on 18/10/2011
Name: Lynn and Vic Johansen
Hope you and your family are doing well. Thought I'd
share the pictures Vic took of our experience two weeks
ago in preparation for your pici making class tonight.
I especially like that last shot of Harold, one of the
two men who stayed upstairs from us in Castelmuzio....he
is having such a good time!
We very much enjoyed our visit thanks to you and your
family's warm hospitality. The time we spent with you
helped to give us a true understanding of what it's like
to work, live and love in Tuscany.
Our last week in Italy was spent in the Cortona area,
and although we love Cortona, we don't like the
surrounding area nearly as well as we do Val D'Orcia.
Can't wait to come back.
I wish we were closer - we'd love to make
another pot of pasta fagioli soup and stop by for your
pici, pecorino & salami, Carlo's olive oil, rosso &
bruschetta, and Luciano's vin santo! Grazie mile for a
truly memorable week! Please give our regards to Carlo
Lynn and Vic Johansen
Updated on 18/10/2011
Name: Michele Hebert
I am so happy to hear from you. We will certainly send
pictures as soon as we can. We met such nice people on
our trip and hope to be in touch with some of them again.
I get emotional just thinking about our trip to Italy.
It meant more to me than I am able to express in words.
It was everything I hoped for and more. The trip would
not have been as special had it not been for you, your
beautiful accommodations, your wonderful organized and
helpful itineraries, maps, and tips, and of course your
precious family. We simply had an amazing time. The
scenery, the food, and the people are all exceptional.
You truly have a gift with people so never doubt you are
in the right business!
We took many photos (Tim even took one of me dancing
with Luciano - haha!...there are probably a lot of
photos of him dancing with people :-) ). We will share
them soon with you according to your instructions in the
All the best to you and your family,
Michele (and Tim)
Updated on 18/10/2011
Name: Ann & John Milliman
Hello, Isabella and family, We so enjoyed our week at
Cretaiole. It was our first time in the Val d'Orcia,
and we fell in love with the area. What is it about
that place that sinks so deeply into the soul? We have
told many friends about our time. Having stayed in many
agriturismo locations throughout Italy, your hospitality
surpasses them all. Isabella, the notebook full of
choices is unrivaled. With all that we did, we know
that there is more. Who knew that we could love bare
rolling fields? The September light is beautiful. Now,
just turn down the heat a little. We're talking about
our next visit and deciding what part of the year that
will be. Our very best wishes to each of you.
Ann & John Milliman
Updated on 17/10/2011
Name: Doug and Ann VanWatermulen
Thank you so much for a wonderful week. It's something
we will never forget. We really liked the
intersections and all the recommendations. It was so
well put together and took the stress off us driving to
places. I can't think
of anything I would change or do differently. We hope to
come back some day!
We miss your wine! It was so good.
Thank you again.
Doug and Ann VanWatermulen
Updated on 15/10/2011
Name: Laurie & Richard Griffee
Thank you for a delightful week at Cretaiole (Sept
10-17). We enjoyed every minute of it thanks to you and
your family. Wish we lived closer!
Looking back at all the articles we have for
agriturismo's in Tuscany, we realized that we had been
collecting articles for Cretaiole since 2007, so it was
meant to be!
A warm hello to Luciano, Carlo, and the rest of the family.
Thank you again.
Laurie & Richard
Updated on 13/10/2011
Having the opportunity to participate in the
grape harvest in Tuscany is like winning the
lottery. Being fortunate enough to participate
at Cretaiole with Luciano, Carlo, Isa and the
Moricciani family, made it an experience of a
lifetime. We truly left our hearts and souls at
Isa's charisma and passion for the Val d'Orcia
region provide a foundation for a truly
wonderful experience in this region of Italy. In
your wonderful room you will find detailed
itineraries and directions to visit this region of
Tuscany which truly take the stress out of your
exploration. You will also find that Isa will
recommend trips, day tours, as well as
restaurant recommendations to make your trip
memorable. Rooms are clean, some with
kitchens and fireplaces, with all the charm you
can imagine. The outdoor space is large with
plenty of room to relax in a lounge chair while
looking over the countryside and views to
Pienza. Sunsets are magical.
The highlight of Creatiole is getting to spend
time with the Moricciani family. Luciano will visit
most evenings and even though he did not
speak much English, and we could speak little
Italian, we understood each other clearly while
enjoying his Cretaiole Grappa and Vin Santo. Pici
(pasta) making with the family is a wonderful
evening with this beautiful family. You can
purchase Cretaiole wine and view the wine
making process, as well as, purchase their
percino cheese and cured meats to enjoy. If
you are lucky their chickens will be laying and
you can enjoy fresh eggs as well.
If you are looking for a truly Tuscan experience,
Cretaiole will fulfill all of your dreams.
Updated on 10/10/2011
Name: Carol Bergson
This was our 5th visit to Pienza and first stay with
Isabella and her family. We travel by bicycle and
rarely spend time with English speaking tourists. As
such, we approached our stay at Le Casine di Castello
with some reservations. Well, we can't wait until we
can return to Castelmuzio and to Le Casine di Castello.
We have never stayed at an apartment that was so well
furnished for cooking and touring, either in the US or
abroad. We have stayed near Castelmuzio, but not in the
paesino (better word than village to describe the
location with 200 inhabitants) so we knew it would be
fantastic for bike touring, half way between Montalcino
and Montepulciano, with the whole Val d'Orcia right there.
What we did not expect was the variety of activities
arranged with Isabella's friends and associates. Some
we went to by bike. For others we hitched rides with
other folks staying in Castelmuzio or at the agriturismo
or with Ilario, Isa's friend who drives a local taxi.
Ilario, by the way, is a fund of local knowledge and
history and was extremely patient with my stumbling
italian. It was unusually hot, for the time of year and
we had some health issues, so we did not ride as much as
we had planned, but our days were full, to say the least.
Don't miss the visit to the family farm and romitorio,
complete with Etruscan artifacts that the Italian govt
won't let archeologist excavate...and hear that story
and others. Being there in September meant we could
still harvest tomatoes (the best ever!!!) and other
veggies from the agriturismo garden. And by all means,
take the pici making class and stay for the pot luck.
You may even get to try Luciano's (Isabella's father in
law) grappa and vin santo. The former is, well, is
grappa. The vin santo is heavenly.
Most of all enjoy Pienza and the most gracious, fun,
lively family you may ever meet. All this and more at
Cretaiole and Le Casine di Castello.
Updated on 01/10/2011
Name: John Monaco
“Want to touch the heart of Tuscany?” We first wrote
those words in July 2006. It was our third trip to
Italy, but our first time at Cretaiole with Isabella,
Carlo, Luciano and the Moricciani family. July 2011
found us on our fifth trip to Italy and our third visit
to Cretaiole. This time our two daughters and
sons-in-law joined us.
Cretaiole is a 14th century farmhouse, with hundreds of
olive trees, a vineyard, and fields of wheat all nestled
in the Val d’Orcia surround by hills. Cretaiole’s
accommodations are very clean, quite comfortable and
located in the movie set beauty of the Tuscan
countryside. In fact, the monastery scenes of the
English Patient were shot just ten minutes from Cretaiole.
Isabella and her family provide a person-to-person,
heart to heart experience. You can visit Rome,
Florence, and Venice and never get close to Italy. You
will at Cretaiole.
Isabella is a born concierge who could work in the
finest hotels. She greets and gets to know all of her
guests, and she knows and shares the treasures of the
valley. She has compiled a 3” thick binder of
activities, sites and restaurants for each apartment.
In addition, she offers an itinerary of events that you
might want to do during your stay. We followed her
advice. Among other things, we visited and had lunch at
a working farm and at a winery near Cretaiole, made
pasta with Isabella, and learned a considerable amount
about olive oil from Carlo, Isabella’s husband. Luciano
- the patriarch - is a special treat. Although he does
not speak English, he communicates as he shares his farm
Want to touch the heart of Tuscany? Cretaiole. We love
it. So will you!
Updated on 01/10/2011
Name: Nina Puente
Henry and I so totally loved our stay. We are real
softies, so we really took heart to your family. Which
makes me ask how Luciano is doing? The day we said
goodbye he was headed for the hospital. Please send our
regards and tell him our prayers are with him.
Henry got some amazing pictures of you making Pici.
Soon, he will post his pictures on line and you can grab
what you liked. We connected with all of the residents
that week that are waiting for his pictures as well.
Thank you and God bless you and your family.
Updated on 23/09/2011
Name: Lois Griffin
Dear Isabella, Luciano and Carlo,
Thank you for making my first visit to Italy so perfect.
Isa, I loved your stories and lessons, related so
knowledgeably and passionately, often while keeping your
motherly eye on Nicco and Filippo. Pici will soon be the
national pasta of the US, if you keep teaching! Luciano
is a superb host, and you are all justly proud of your
vin santo and all your creations. Carlo is a great chef
too! Please tell Luciano grazie for the tomato seeds - I
scraped the ripest tomato and put the seeds in a paper
towel. I will plant some when I get home and some next
primavera! I will send photos!
Isa, I felt at home and NOT like a tourist. Molto grazie
for your hospitality.
Lois from Tallahassee
Updated on 19/09/2011
Name: Martha Freeman
Hello, hello, Isabella!
It was a wonderful week with you and everyone at
Cretaiole. I can't tell you how impressed Mike and I
are with all your amazing research and information you
provide to all the guests. And your new place in
Castelmuzio ... wow!
Thank you for such special memories. Pici night,
Luciano's visits, the monastery, cooking with Marta.
All times that meant a lot to both of us.
Please send me the file for your recipes! I can't wait
to try them. I was telling my daughters about
"panzanella" and now it's our new favorite Italian word.
Just wait till they taste it!
Many, many thanks,
Updated on 09/09/2011
Name: Famiglia Romano
Ciao Isabella, ciao Carlo,
Purtroppo siamo tornati alla normalità lasciandoci
alle spalle il “mondo incantato” di Cretaiole dove
tempo e spazio assumono dimensioni e sfumature
diverse da quelle a cui siamo abituati.
Infatti durante il soggiorno ho perso la cognizione
del tempo, lo spazio non più a 3 dimensione ma a
4,5, 6,... i profumi, il silenzio ed il dolce far niente
si univano a quel magnifico scenario
Siamo rimasti piacevolmente sorpresi
dall'attenzione che date agli ospiti di Cretaiole e
l'ultima mail che ci è giunta è una dimostrazione
ed una conferma che non siamo stati considerati
come nella solita struttura ricettiva, al pari di
semplici sagome umane inpersonificate e senza
volto, ma ospiti nel senso più nobile della parola,
e questo ci onora!!
Non esagero se vi dico che è stata la più bella
vacanza della mia vita, vuoi per la bellezza dei
luoghi, vuoi per la qualità della materia prima del
mio hobby (il cielo stellato), vuoi per quel senso di
libertà che mi ispirava il vostro podere senza
recinzione alcuna, ma soprattutto per essermi
sentito per la prima volta in una vacanza, come a
casa mia e ripeto, per merito anche della vostra
superlativa ospitalità e per l'attenzione che ci
Sono rimasto sorpreso dall'interesse mostrato da
tutti gli ospiti dell'agriturismo verso il meraviglioso
cielo che vi trovate a Cretaiole, una vera e propria
risorsa !, sicuramente da valorizzare, da difendere
e soprattutto da far notare agli ospiti, avete uno
dei pochi cieli in Italia dove ancora possibile
scorgere la Via lattea!
Non sono riuscito a guardare tutto quello che mi
ero prefissato, ma per me è stato comunque
emozionante specialmente quando gli americani
ponendo l’occhio all’oculare del telescopio mi
esclamavano Uauuuu !!!! Oh my God !
Meraviglious ! e roba del genere…, una sera c’è
stata addirittura la fila! E dopo aver ammirato il
cielo a forte ingrandimento ne rimanevano
estasiati quando gli mostravo The Sky and the
Milky way ad occhio nudo.
Tenete presente che il cielo stellato fa parte del
paesaggio, quando la notte sembra portare via
ciò che abbiamo ammirato di giorno ...... Ecco che
si configura un nuovo scenario... il buio, l'universo
e lo spazio infinito diventano il protagonisti !
Lo scintillio di minuscoli puntini luminosi al solo
occhio nudo ti invitano alla riflessione e
trasmettono serenità, mentre al telescopio, le
nubi stellari e di gas si intrecciano in vortici
Se mi consentite, appena avrò un pochino di
tempo mi riprometto di scrivere, per gli ospiti
dell'agriturismo, una semplice guida al cielo
notturno di Cretaiole, integrandola con qualche
mappa per il riconoscimento delle costellazioni.
Fossi in voi, metterei lì nel prato, una piccola
postazione con un binocolo astronomico su
cavalletto, con tale strumento non c'è bisogno di
avere nessuna nozione di astronomia ne di sapere
dove puntare, bisogna solo rivolgerlo in un punto
qualsiasi del cielo, e assistere allo spettacolo
ammirando migliaia e miglia di piccolissime stelline
in grandi campi stellari, la visione è simile a quella
che si ha guardando attraverso l'oblo di una
navicella spaziale, credetemi con un binocolo
astronomico che è molto più spettacolare di un
telescopio, darete alla gente un emozione che
difficilmente potranno rivivere nella loro
Anzi io lo proporrei come un’attività al pari della
lezione sui Pici, la visita al Romitorio e le tante altre
interessanti attività che offrite agli ospiti.
Vi lascio ringraziandovi ancora e sperando di
rivivere presto quanto sopra detto.
Un caro Saluto.
Updated on 29/08/2011
Name: The Souhrada Family
Isabella & Family...
Words cannot describe our gratitude and feelings about
our experience at Cretaiole. We will never forget any
detail, conversation and adventure we had in Italy. We
also, cannot not express how Cretaiole has touched our
heart and soul!!! Thank you for your kindness,
hospitality, graciousness and welcoming spirit. We have
been blessed to have met such wonderful people. Our
children we very sad to leave and told us they had an
experience of a lifetime.....and we all agree!!!!! We
hope to return.
Please give our regards to your family and a great big
hug to Luciano!!!!!!
Love and regards~
Angela, Chris, Michael & Victoria
Updated on 20/08/2011
Name: Sharon Fishman Ben-mayer
Hi Isabella, We apologize for taking so long to say
hello after our wonderful and amazing mother and
daughter journey to Cretaiole. Hadas continued her
studies in Firenze till May and then traveled some more
and got home in June. Italy will always remain a special
place in her heart as it will mine. We have told the
world about our special experience and we owe you some
pictures. I will have her post them this week for sure.
Please send our special regards to Luciano who made sure
we were always warm at night with his fires and his
grappa and Vincente wine. Hadas and I made a special
family/friend dinner of the ravioli's that we learned to
make at Il Lecio - we were a hit!! Hugs and warm regards
to you and your familia. Ciao!
Updated on 13/08/2011
Name: Anne Wallschlaeger
We have finally made it home to Wisconsin (USA). We
cried as we left. We will be back!!! Since we have
left, we have shared our
experience with about 20 different families! Everyone
is going to visit your
Thanks for all of your help!
Updated on 02/08/2011
Name: Ron, Janet and Bethanie Melcher
Dear Isabella and Family,
Last night as I was driving home from a family dinner, I
looked up at the sky, as the sun was setting and I
thought of the night sky over Cretaiole and the darkness
and bright stars. I thought of the sounds of the
crickets and the dogs barking in the distance. That’s
when I thought I must write you before the magical spell
fades as the responsibilities of life at home take over.
I know my memories of Cretaiole will never completely
fade and I will probably think of our trip to Italy
often. I wanted to thank you all so much for our amazing
stay at Cretaiole the week of June 17th. It far exceeded
our expectations in so many ways.
We didn’t just have a vacation, but we had an Italian
experience, an immersion into the culture of the Val d’
Orcia region and an education. You took the time to
explain your way of life and share your food and
cultural traditions. We so enjoyed the Pici dinner and
are planning our own with friends in a few months. You
all made us feel so at home.
One of my favorite memories is the evenings sitting on
the porch with Lucciano and the other guests sharing Vin
Santo and cantucci (our biscotti). Lucciano was so warm
and so patient with our Italian language skills. Every
time I hear Andrea Boccelli I will think of Bethanie and
me dancing with Lucciano.
Without you and your family, Cretaiole would be just
another beautiful farm in Tuscany. However, with all
your dedication, warmth and commitment to helping guests
experience the “real Tuscany” you have created an oasis
in a busy world! Isabella you are such an authentic and
strong person. After we’d listen to your talks Ron and I
would later say that we were so glad that Bethanie, our
teenage daughter, was hearing you because you are such a
positive role model for a woman with a strong voice and
sense of herself, who does not compromise who she is,
yet embraces family life with such passion. In English
I’d say that you are a “maverick” who is someone who
takes an independent stand, an individualist, free
thinker. In my book, it is a great compliment.
It was also a chance for me to revisit my family’s
Italian roots. My father’s family immigrated from Aliano
in Basilicata. Although I’m sure southern Italy is much
different than Tuscany, I still felt that in some way I
was returning home.
Things I will take back with me:
I will now always check out the olive oil bottles and
look through them to see the color and clarity or to
look for the IGP label.
I will try to cook more with vegetables in season
I will take more time for family meals and meals with
friends and try to separate some of the courses sometimes
I will build a small herb garden on my porch and someday
I will build a vegetable garden
When I feel stressed I will close my eyes and picture
the miles and miles of beauty of the Val d’ Orcia
I will drink more wine
I will take an Italian language course sometime in the
Once you travel, you are never quite the same person
when you return and you look at the world in different
ways. Thank you for opening ours to the beauty and
culture of your land. Thank you for opening up your
hearts to all your guests and welcoming us as if we were
I will never forget our stay with you all. I know I can
speak for my daughter and husband in saying that they
feel the same way. Bethanie is already asking when we
can go back. It was truly the best vacation of my life
and I know that we will return someday.
Ron, Janet and Bethanie Melcher
Updated on 02/08/2011
Name: Dave Drews and Lauri Reeder
Lauri & I were at Cretaiole in May (with Jeff & Sharon).
We just finished
reading War in Val d'Orcia and both liked it very much.
Thanks for the
We also both really enjoyed Cretaiole, both because of
the place and the
wonderful hospitality all of you provided.
Dave Drews/Lauri Reeder
Updated on 22/07/2011
Name: Cindy and Phil Rankin
Dear Isabella and Famiglia Moricciani,
We had such a wonderful time at Cretaiole in March. I am
so happy that we got to stay for 2 weeks. It was so nice
to be out in the country away from everything. We loved
our apartment, and we enjoyed cooking meals there. I
LOVED having a fire in our apartment every night, and I
missed them when we moved to our next apartment. We
can't thank you enough for the binder you made with
daily itineraries for your guests. We carried the binder
with us every day, and we followed your instructions to
a different destination each day. We especially
appreciated going to places that are not for the
tourists. We felt more like locals, because of you, and
we got to see beautiful parts of Tuscany that we would
have never seen. Some of our favorite places we visited
were tourist free. We fantasized about buying a home in
Chiusure, because we loved it there so much.
Thank you for everything you did for us to make our trip
to Tuscany a memorable one. We will never forget
Cretaiole, and we will never forget you.
Cindy and Phil Rankin
Updated on 28/06/2011
Name: Dennis and Gloria Gibbons
We are now officially home and it feels good although we
had such a a great time everywhere we traveled it seems
so quiet without a daily itinerary to follow. We will
always remember our two weeks at Cretaiole with you and
Carlo, Luciano and Liliana, Nico and Filipo, and Luna,
of course. After leaving Cretaiole, we spent another
week in a villa near Siena, then a weekend in Rome, a
cruise through the Mediterranean to the UK, a few days
near Stratford on Avon, a weekend in Paris and then back
to London, then home. Of all the sights and people we
met, we still talk mostly about our time with you and
the Tuscan countryside. The big cities are just too
congested with tourists and other residents on vacation.
I hope we can return some day. Got to start building up
our frequent flyer miles account. Sure wish you would
accept credit cards - it would help with the miles!
Please know that you are always welcome at our home. We
would love to have you visit and stay with us!
Dennis and Gloria
Updated on 28/06/2011
Name: Ed and Fran Weed
We are now back in Florida and reminiscing about our
wonderful week at Cretaiole. Ed and I were caught up
in your warm and exuberant energy and love for Italy and
particularly Pienza. We always leave a small part of
ourselves when we leave you and your wonderful family.
The dinner at Casa Moricciani was above and beyond our
expectations. Chef Manuele was so humble in preparing
one of the finest cuisines we have ever had. Please
send him our very best wishes and gratitude for an
unforgettable evening. Bravo!!!! (By the way Ed is now
a Farro convert. Yea)
Your villa, Casa Moricciani, is beyond words. The love
and care that you and Carlo put into every detail was so
evident along with your excitement to share it with us.
Castelmuzio is the perfect setting for such a quaint
yet unforgettable view.
When our friends ask us what was the one event that
wowed us, within a heartbeat, it is always Cretaiole and
As soon as I organize my pictures, I will send them to
you. I am not very proficient so it may take awhile.
Even though our visits are every other year or so, you,
Carlo and Luciano always make us feel like one of the
family during our stay. It is like coming home once
again to Pienza.
May this find you and your family in good health and happy.
Ed and Fran Weed
Updated on 28/06/2011
Name: Sharon and Jeff Koppel
We are sending you some pictures since we aren't so good
on the Internet. We have made a photo book of our Italy
trip and the
picture of Luciano preparing the bread at the farm is
picture...we love it so much!! Here are also our
comments about the
Isabella: Our trip to Cretaiole was awesome! Your
accommodations were perfect. Though the farm itself and
and the grounds were exceptional, it was you and your
family who made
this trip so incredible. You shared Tuscany with us.
You shared your
personal life with us in a way that we could understand
Tuscany and the history of the area. The Val D’Orcia is
one of the
truly most beautiful places we have visited. To be able
to enjoy that
valley everyday for a week just by walking out our door
We loved all the group activities, meeting the guests,
and wish we
could have communicated better with Carlo and Luciano
(our Italian was
not very good!). Your notebooks of information meant we
to plan anything for our week inTuscany until we
arrived…every day was
a new adventure! The dinners planned through
excellent also and gave us a taste of Tuscan food that
I can’t think of a single recommendation which would
have made this
Isabella – Ditto everything from Sharon. We loved
everything from the
location - Pienza surprised us with its charm, to the
makers, to the wine, meat & olive oil tastings, to the
relaxation throughout the grounds. But Sharon
linguistic abilities – I felt ours were pretty much
feel that was our only letdown and was our fault. To be
unable to tap
in to the rich knowledge and personalities of people
like Carlo and
his dad left me with a feeling of a missed opportunity.
else – wonderful, a highlight of our first trip to Italy!!
Sharon and Jeff Koppel
PS: We will be posting comments on Trip Advisor too!
recommending your lodging to everyone we talk to who is
trip to Italy.
Updated on 28/06/2011
Name: Gord and Connie McCormack
Thank you! We just returned home one week ago and have
been busy catching up.... so much to do and the garden
to plant. We loved being at Cretaiole enjoyed you, your
family and all the activities and hope we can return
again. I think the Val d'Orcia is one of the most
beautiful areas in Italy and indeed, the world and you
are very lucky to live there!
If I should post photos I will definitely send you the link!
Ciao and our regards
Gord and Connie McCormack
Updated on 04/06/2011
Name: Jeanne Carpenter
Jay and I had a wonderful time at Cretaiole. You,
Carlos and Luciano are wonderful hosts. Attached are a
few pictures that I wanted to share.
I hope your new villa is an amazing success.
Updated on 03/06/2011
Name: Tom Burns
It seems that each of our stays at Cretaiole get better
and better. We wish we had time to visit more often, but
be certain we will return for a forth visit as soon as
Kathleen enjoyed her conversations with Luciano in
Italian over grappa very much.
Pienza and the surrounding area will always be our
favorite place in Tuscany!
Updated on 25/05/2011
Name: Barbara Ray
So good to hear from you. We continued to Posatano and
Capri from your place. It was a fabulous section of our
trip. We really enjoyed our stay at Cretaiole. The
time of the year was perfect! Your attention to the
guests were exceptional. We would not hesitate to
return to your beautiful Cretaiole and enjoy your family
friendly place. Ed and I wish you continued success at
your many properties.
Barbara J. Ray
Updated on 25/05/2011
Name: Mark and Lin Leffler
Grazie for your note. We enjoyed our visit to Tuscany
and Cretaiole so much, especially the olive oil tasting
(which we failed so miserably) and the cooking class
with Sandra, not to mention your wonderful hospitality
and the grappa sessions with Luciano. We will certainly
recommend Cretaiole to our friends, and we would not
hesitate to stay with you again. Regards to Carlo and
Thank you again for being such a good hostess.
Lin & Mark
Updated on 21/05/2011
Name: Tom Hudson
Our stay in Tuscany was fantastic. At the end, we were
certainly not ready to leave. The same applied to Rome.
Too much to see and do. Obviously, the only solution
it to come back. Next time maybe we can stay for two
weeks. Your accommodations are perfect for our style of
travel and I doubt that there are many places on the
planet more idyllic than Val d'Orcia.
Thanks so much for your hospitality. Renee and I hope
to see you again in the not to distant future.
Updated on 16/05/2011
Name: Joann Colvario
I know Christine and I had a wonderful time in beautiful
Agriturismo Cretaiole. Every moment was wonderful, I
could not ask for anything more of that experience
except to stay longer. You and your family are so warm,
inviting, and friendly.Your handmade books of tourist
information were incredible detailed and helpful. I
appreciated all the hard work that you and your family
put into my wonderful stay at Agriturismo Cretaiole. We
were very happy and satisfied with everything! Thank you
so much for a wonderful experience!
Updated on 14/05/2011
Name: Lou and RoseAnn LaBrocca
Dear Isabella, Carlos and Luciano ,
I couldn't wait to post a review. We did it last night
on Tripadvisor and Rick Steves Graffiti Wall . These
were the two web sites we visited to research you and
boy did that work out! We found a priceless gem at
Lou and I had such a wonderful time , that we are
already planning on how we could come back. I spoke all
week of your farm to my colleagues at work and family .
The pictures are breathtaking and the sketches I did are
personal memories that I touch with warmth. I especially
would like you to extend for me sincere thanks to
Luciano for being patient with my rusty Italian . I
can't tell you how his conversations and the fact that I
could begin to remember the language I thought I lost
years ago became so important to me . It's so funny how
time changes perspectives . When I grew up in an Italian
household and we went to school it was not considered
"right" to speak a language other than English . By
Friday I was beginning to think in Italian again and was
sorry to leave that immersion into the language . Maybe
our next visit will have to be longer than a week:)
SO again we thank you for all that you and your family
did to make this week perfect ..
We will look forward to seeing you all again ..
Lou and RoseAnn LaBrocca
Updated on 30/04/2011
Name: Joe and Chris Kovacs
We are finally home in Buffalo, New York and we wanted
to thank you so much for our wonderful stay at
Cretaiole. We had a fantastic time...Joe even misses
making his nightly fire !
Please tell Luciano we are sorry we did not see him
before we left...how we will survive without our nightly
grappa and vin santo remains to be seen...I tell
everyone he is the "George Clooney" of Pienza !!
The farm fresh eggs, the olive oil, your wonderful
wine...all made the visit extra special. The book you
have put together is terrific...even though this was our
fourth trip to the area, we found new and exciting
things in your book that we never knew existed. What a
wonderful resource !
Again thank you and your family for the hospitality and
the adventure of Cretaiole ! All the best,
Chris and Joe Kovacs
Updated on 21/04/2011
Name: Linda and Richard
Hi Isabella, Carol and Luciano,
We are now back home to sit and look and think
about the amazing time we had in Toscana.
Being at Cretaiole was a dream .... so beautiful
were our days of sun, cypress trees , hills , hidden
towns ,food, wine andmeeting your family and
seeing our daughter!
It was a shock to go to Florence and stay on a
narrow street withmo-ped noise but we had fun
seeing art, buying shoes! and eating gelato!
One day we hope to get back to Cretaiole and
soak up the magic once more.
Thank you so much and good luck to all of you!
Updated on 05/04/2011
Name: Cheryl Bradbury
I was just clicking on your website for the ragu recipe
as we will fix an Italian birthday dinner for a dear
friend next week. I had to laugh about Jinny calling me
"Sherry" as that was the name Luciano called me.
You must know that so many fond memories of our girls'
trip in September 2009 and many,many fun stories is what
prompted my husband to surprise me with another
wonderful trip to Cretaiole. He just couldn't believe it
and had to see for himself. Oh, my.....he whips out his
pictures and his stories of our rainy but oh so fun
adventure in November to all who will listen.
Experiencing snow, sleet, fog and wintry nights just
added to the excitement of being in the Val D'Orcia
again. AND, once again we met wonderful folks, young and
old, that will remain forever in our hearts. When we
went to La Porta, Daria said she always had the best
visitors from Cretaiole without fail. You have a magic
touch Isabella...and well but , of course, the
irresistible smile of Luciano.
You have a rest period for a time and I know that it
will be renewing. Our best to all of you. I will send
some pictures if I can figure it out on this new
Buon Anno, Cheryl
Updated on 06/01/2011
Name: Johanna Swenson
I have been thinking of you and your family over the
last while, hoping everyone is well and happy. I get
quite emotional every time I see a picture on Facebook
of Cretaiole, you, Carlo, Luciano – such a wonderful
time in my life getting to know the Moricciani family.
How is Liliana? Your boys?
We are coming back the summer of 2012. As time gets
nearer I will contact you regarding making a
reservation. On that trip we will be spending a week in
Sweden and a week or more in Pienza. Our time at
Cretaiole was lovely – next time we would like to try
your new apartments in Casa Moricciani…they should be
completed soon – how exciting for you!!!
We were up in Whistler skiing and snowshoeing this last
weekend, discussing with our friends Tami and Per what
to do for Per’s 70th birthday in the summer of 2012.
And a visit to Sweden and Pienza is just what we want
Please give a big hug and kiss to Carlo, and a big
squeeze to Luciano. We miss you all – a piece of our
hearts was left in Pienza.
May you and your family have a very Buon Natale!
With much love,
Updated on 07/12/2010
Name: Darrell and JoAnn McKenzie
We all loved Cretaiole. Tuscany was our favourite place
- we travelled through Belgium, France, Spain, Greece
and Italy and loved Tuscany best so we really want to
Thank you so much for making our stay so wonderful.
We enjoyed your home and your family.
Tonight, we made pasta for our dinner. It was
delicious. It took 2 tries to make the homemade pasta
but we did it and we loved our meal.
I found IGP olive oil at our local grocery store and
bought more when I was at Costco (Kirkland brand from
2009 from Tuscany) We appreciated the olive oil tasting
and did learn something!!! The olive oil is really good.
We have snow here so it is cold. It's hard to believe
that just a few weeks ago we were in t-shirts enjoying
the sunshine in Tuscany.
Luckily, we have many Italian Canadian friends so we
enjoy wonderful italian meals and friendship often.
Until we meet again...arrivederci
Darrell and JoAnn
Updated on 25/11/2010
Name: Mark Marion
Thanks for the note and I can say that we totally
enjoyed the experience. We have been to Italy countless
times however I must say that Val D' Orcia is
magnificently beautiful as each day we discovered a new
village to explore. We enjoyed La Cantina and will
definitely plan to return. We have already spoken to
many of our friends about Creataiole so I'm certain you
will hear from them during the upcoming year.
Thanks for your hospitality and tell Luciano we will
return for more Grappa!
Updated on 24/11/2010
Name: Mary and Eric Lenser
We are now reliving our wonderful experiences at
Cretaiole through our photos. Thank you a million times
over for your hospitality during our stay. It was a
perfect week that we will never forget! We will share
our experience with others and gladly visit one or more
of the websites you sent.
On another subject, we hope no one is stealing your
valuable truffles this year! We thought you might be
interested in reading the attached article from our Time
Best regards to you and your family,
Mary and Eric
and our traveling friends,
Karen and Corby
Sandee and Ron
Updated on 17/11/2010
Name: Marsha and Dave
Dear Isabella, Carlo, Luciano, and Liliana,
Thank you so much for our magical time in Tuscany. Our
time with you was by far the highlight of our trip.
Through your hospitality and guidance we experienced
something very special that most people do not
experience in their travels. The various activities that
you offered us and your explanation of historical
background provided us an appreciation for and the
significance of everyday life in beautiful Pienza.
Perhaps someday we shall return and we most definitely
would visit you again if we do. I have already passed
on your information to a few friends who are
considering trips to Italy.
Dave and I thank you so much for sharing yourselves and
your beautiful home with us. We are still smiling.
It was magical, truly magical.
With warmest regards to all of you,
Marsha and Dave
Updated on 14/11/2010
Name: Holly Doughty
Dear Isa, Carlos and Luciano….. Thank you for being part
of our adventure in Italy! Your place is amazing – and
your customer service is wonderful. We truly enjoyed
every day – except when we had to leave. Our olive oil
that Luciano gave us made it back safely – with our only
regret that we didn’t have enough space or weight
allotment available to bring home your wine and cheese.
Our time In Rome although a little rainy was very good
– and then our trip home….. also good – except for the
delay from Frankfurt and in Toronto for our flight to
Kingston. Exhausted now but all luggage made it back
with us – although it seemed to get heavier as the hours
went on. Staff did a great job for me and my dog still
remembers me. Ciao, ciao!! Holly
Updated on 11/11/2010
Name: Len Rudolph
Our stay at Cretaiole was the highlight of our three
week trip. We have told so many people of your place,
the activities and the wonderful people we met.
I'm sending you several photos taken during our stay.
Updated on 11/11/2010
Name: Mary and Terry Austin
Thank you to your entire family for making our week at
Cretaiole so wonderful. Thank you especially Isabella
for helping Terry and I get to Hertz after missing our
train. We are already looking at our calendar to see
when we can return.
You have a wonderful talent for making all your guests
feel like part of a family during vacation.
Mary and Terry Austin
Updated on 07/11/2010
Name: Paul Halberstadt
Sheridan and I had an absolutely great time at
Cretaiole! We enjoyed meeting you, your wonderful
family, and the many other nice guests. There were many
memorable events during the week --- but I am sure our
highlight was the “Truffle Hunt” with Paolo, Spina, and
You asked me to give you my impression of Ristorante
Rosellino --- we found it to be a very nice experience.
Nothing but freshest of local ingredients --- but cooked
with a “French twist”. We split an antipasto of smoked
goose breast, thinly sliced and arranged in a pinwheel
pattern, with sweet orange zest marmalade in the center
of the wheel. It was visually artful, and the flavors
balanced and complimented each other. Sheridan ordered
gnocchi with fresh porcini, and found them the best of
the trip. I had the rabbit with an olive tapenade, in a
balsamic reduction. Outstanding! The hostess suggested a
Rosso di Montalcino, and I added Vin Santo and Cantucci
Guests must be prepared for a leisurely evening, no fast
food here! In fact the 12-seats are all close enough to
the kitchen that you can hear the preparation of each
dish. The stop/start of the ventilation fans, the
plating of the dishes. But that is the charm. And the
chef comes out to the table with each dish, to answer
questions and solicit comment. The owning couple are
each kind and tolerant. While they spoke little or no
english, there was no communication gap. They made us
feel as if our broken Italian and hand gestures were
fluent italiano; and we understood them as easily. A
delightful evening! Keep it on your list. We enjoyed it
as an upscale, leisurely meal.
But we also enjoyed Trattoria Fiorella --- equally
fresh, but much more simple. To us it was more what we
imagine Tuscan “home cooking” to be. The restaurants
were equally good, and very different.
And finally we have to mention Sette di Vino --- what a
wonderful experience just to put oneself in the hands of
this guy. Very entertaining and memorable. Sheridan
makes a very good bean soup, but she is dying to add the
fresh scallions as he did.
Again, our most sincere thanks for a wonderful week ---
I don’t know how you keep your passion, week after week.
But it is a true pleasure to experience it!
Updated on 29/10/2010
Name: Pat Barratt
We had a big Italian family dinner last night and just
had to write and tell you how the beauty of Italian life
rushes into every household in America. You probably
already know that, but after we experienced the real
thing in Italy we can now feel it more closely and
cherish it in our hearts. Looking down at my big family
with wine bottles and pasta scattered about it was just
the essence of pure living. Our time in Cretaiole was
very special with your family bringing so much pleasure
and genuine friendship.
I took a look at Susan's photos on facebook and there is
one of Cretaiole that I am going to paint in oils, the
one on top of its own hill.
Your season is almost over and now you can sit back
knowing that you did your best to make your guests
happy,,,,,you did and it will be longlived for us.
Say hello to Carlo and Luciano; they are probably busy
in wine production and that grappa from ,,,,,,!!!
Have a great time off, you deserve it,
Updated on 26/10/2010
Name: Jocelyn and Steve
I wanted to thank you, Carlo and Luciano for everything.
We had a wonderful stay, and it meant so much to us to
be part of the grape harvests and to be invited to your
home for lunch. You really made us feel like part of
I will miss speaking Italian with Luciano-I never
imagined my Italian would improve so much in such a
short time! And of course we will miss our nightly
Grappa with him. Please tell him good-bye again from
me, and tell him I will write and send photos soon.
Wishing you all the best,
Updated on 09/10/2010
Name: Randy & Joyce Ayers, Dick & Carole Campb
Dear Isabella, Carlo, Luciano, and the rest of the
family! Thank you so
much for a wonderful week!! The Villa is fabulous and
we totally enjoyed
sharing the week with you and learning so much about
Tuscany! What an
experience! We have shared our adventure with family
and friends and hope
to some day visit you again at Cretaiole!! Thanks for
being such great
hosts!! The scenery, wine, and food were awesome!
Updated on 09/10/2010
Name: Tina and Bud Marsh
HOPE THIS NOTE FINDS YOU DOING WELL ! I SENT YOU A NOTE
OF GRATITUDE TO YOUR GUEST REVIEWS, HOPE YOU RECEIVED
IT. IF YOU DID NOT, WE WANT TO LET YOU KNOW OUR HEARTS
AND WONDERFUL MEMORIES OUR WITH YOU AND YOUR WONDERFUL
FAMILY AND CRETAIOLE. WHAT A FABULOUS HOLIDAY WE HAD
IN THE VAL D’ ORCIA AND SURROUNDING TUSCAN HILL TOWNS.
WE’LL NEVER FORGET YOU !!!
LOVE AND BEST WISHES,
TINA AND BUD MARSH
Updated on 07/10/2010
Name: Patti and Rick Ghio
Ciao Isabella, Luciano, Carlos,
Rick and I wanted to send you a quick note. We have
been reminiscing about our wonderful week at Cretaiole.
We are back in our home in San Diego and have praised
your hospitality to all that we tell of our trip. We
hope to bring our entire family to Cretaiole some day.
Again we wanted to thank you for welcoming us to your
part of the world so graciously. We learned so much
about Tuscan living and to be honest I think here in the
US we need to learn from your culture.
Thank you for all of your help with cooking class,
touring, hiking, dinners, pici making (can’t wait to
make it), olive oil tasting and learning. You are a joy
and very lucky to have such a beautiful place to promote.
May God continue to bless you and your family.
Your new Tuscan friends,
Patti and Rick Ghio
Updated on 29/09/2010
Name: Vera and Richard Siegel
We have been home for two weeks by now but we think and
our vacation in Val d'Orcia all the time. It is hard to
anything more beautiful and lovingly cared for than Val
Thank you so much for being such a wonderful hostess
and for sharing
with us your love for Val d'Orcia. When people ask our
kids what they
liked best in Italy they say Cretaiole without a second of
hesitation. We feel that guide books and maps could
lead us well
around Florence and Rome, but we would not have gotten
to know Val
d'Orcia so intimately without you, Carlo and Luciano .
Carlo and Luciano for us for their hospitality. We look
coming back to Cretaiole.
Best regards to you and your family,
Vera and Richard
Updated on 24/09/2010
Name: Cinzia and Stephen Swedish
Dearest Isa, Carlo, and Luciano --
We just wanted to thank you for the most beautiful week
we have ever spent
anywhere! The Val d'Orcia is the most beautiful place
we have ever seen
but what made this stay so special was you and your
entire family. Saying
Good Bye to you all a couple of days ago was VERY
difficult. We really felt
like you had welcomed us into your family. You are very
special, and the
care that you extend to each of your guests is amazing
and what makes
Cretaiole one of the really special places! We learned
so much from you.
You are the Great Communicator! The activities you
planned for us were
really amazing. There is not one we would have traded
away...not one! We
made many new friends in the Val d'Orcia, thanks to you.
And, now we are
looking forward with great anticipation to our return to
Cretaiole in April.
We will tell ALL of our friends about Cretaiole and are
sure you will meet
some of them in the near future.
So, thank you for everything you did for us. It would
take a BOOK of
comments to list everything, so for now just know how
much we love you all
and can't wait to return.
Cinzia and Stephen Swedish
Brookfield, Wisconsin USA
Updated on 20/09/2010
Name: Diane Fitch
Dear Isabella, just a quick note to let you know I
posted a new review on trip advisor which should be up
in a day or so. We had a fabulous
time in early June in La Casa del Contadino with just
one other couple; the
space was amazing. Loved everything we did and wished we
did more, but
there is only so much time and energy. Your family is
andthe enthusiasm you perform your job with is amazing!!
Keep up the
good work!! Diane Fitch
Updated on 17/09/2010
Name: Jenni Burke
Ciao Isabella! I hope you are well. Tonight my mom, sis,
and I and our dear husbands are coming together for an
"Italy reunion" dinner, where we will show the boys our
pictures, tell stories, and reminisce (all while eating
Italian food and drinking some of the wine we brought
back, of course!). :)
Thank you again for such a lovely time at Cretaiole. It
blessed my heart more than you can know. :) And of
course, Chrissi and I have begun to blog about our
wonderful time in Italy at Find the Found. In fact,
there were two blog posts last week in particular that I
thought you might especially enjoy...one was by me,
"What Italy Taught Me" and one was by Chrissi, "Tuscany
is Not Romantic", with the link below. If you still
think you may place the link to www.findthefound.org on
the Cretaiole website, that would be spectacular! I
think the kind of people who go to you would also enjoy
the kinds of things we have to say at find the found.
Every blessing to you, dear friend!
Updated on 06/09/2010
Name: Brenda and Mike Casey
I cannot thank you and your family enough for the
wonderful holiday experience that you made possible for
Mike and I. We loved and were thrilled to be included
in the evening meals with you and your friends, which
made our trip very special. Of course it goes without
saying that we loved staying at and participating in the
activities at Cretaiole. Please thank Carlo, Luciano
and Liliana for making our stay so special.
I hope that all is well with you and your great family.
We look forward to keeping in touch and maintaining the
wonderful friendship and we have developed. We can
hardly wait to see the pictures of the new place that
you are constructing and hope that we will get an
opportunity to see it in person in the future.
Perhaps you and Carlo will venture over to Canada. We
would love to see you if you decide to make that trip.
Once again, thank you for taking such great care of us
and including us in such memorable events!
Brenda and Mike
Updated on 06/09/2010
Name: Elizabeth Kennedy
It is very hard to get used to buying wine, olive oil,
cheese, etc in this country after Tuscany. I don't
I thought Cretaiole was wonderful and have recommended
it to several people. I would love to return, but don't
know how old I have to get to do so! You remember our
trip was in honor of a special birthday of mine.
Allison and I very much enjoyed the tour of the
Romitorio (am glad Luciano and Carlo bought it), Michael
and I the walk to Pienza, all of us the baths you
recommended (no swimming pool!), the suggestion book you
did, Luciano's wines, the amazing pork sausage at our
Thursday meal with everyone, etc, etc, etc! I miss that
Updated on 26/08/2010
Name: Phil and Carolyn Rector
Dear Isabella, Carlo, Luciano and Liliana,
We had the most delightful visit in June with all of you
and will always cherish your thoughtfulness
shown to us. It was so wonderful to witness the true
love and caring of family members. Your love and respect
for each other shows what happiness you share with
everyone including your guests. All of the activities
were wonderful , interesting and enjoyable. We certainly
will recommend Cretaiole to our traveling friends.
We loved your sparkling personality! Luciano's garden
was lovely. Carlo, we really enjoyed your grilling. We
enjoyed the way you explained your way of living in
Tuscany. We send our love to all of you. I have
attempted to attach several collages of photos which we
took to capture the romance of Tuscany as we experienced
it. They make take a while to download.
Phil and Carolyn Rector
Updated on 21/08/2010
Name: Spud and Jeanie Newton
Thank you or the wonderful time we had at your
agriturismo. It was all you promised and more. The food,
wine and location are all beautiful. Meeting the people
staying there from all over the world was a great
Your family is great and Grappa with Luciano is the
Thanks again for a great week.
Spud & Jeanie Newton
Updated on 14/08/2010
Name: Ellen and Michael Lewis
Buongiorno Isabella! We have now had time to organize
our pictures of the pasta making class during held our
stay in May. I am going to send them in a series of
emails in case they take up too much room on your server.
I got the recipes from your website and yesterday made
the ragout which we had for dinner. It brought back
wonderful memories! We did not attempt to make the pici
this time but certainly will before long.
Thank you again for making out Tuscany experience one of
the highlights of our trip. We do hope to return one
day, until then we'll keep the memories alive with the
pictures and recipes!
Ellen and Michael Lewis
Updated on 14/08/2010
Name: Natalie and Graeme Ball
Dearest Isabella, Carlo & Luciano,
Graeme & I are now back home.........and settled into
our day to day life. Our return was difficult after our
wonderful holiday..........as Sydney greeted us with
winter - freezing!!
We have included just a few of our favourite snaps of
our stay with you (of course there are thousands and we
love them all). We felt incredibly welcomed........like
old friends not the first timers we were. We absolutely
loved being in your wonderful homes. We felt very lucky
to be able to spend a morning with you, Isa, hearing
your amazing stories of times gone bye........the
passion you exude for your family & your truly gorgeous
surroundings is a generous gift you share with 'guests'
like us and we felt blessed to have had that
experience!!! Of course that was only one of the
wonderful memories we have.........every day was
incredible. Your family is....like you giving, sharing
We really appreciate the time & effort you put into
making the weekly stay a fulfilling 'experience'!! We
learned soooooo much in our week with you........many
thanks. We were just two people.......in a year of
visitors but you made us feel special. We also really
appreciated the effort you made to organise us a
vespa...this topped off our stay in the Val D'Orcia!!
We hope we meet again.
Love to you all
Natalie & Graeme
Updated on 02/08/2010
Name: Eric Shrode and Nancie Plum
Dear Famiglia Moricciani,
We want to thank all of you for an outstanding time.
Each of you went
out of your way to make us feel comfortable and offered
us such great
hospitality. We loved your location, the activities you
the Val d'Orcia in general. In addition, we loved your
and olive oil (evidenced by the amount we purchased to
bring home) and
how can you beat fresh eggs and fresh vegetables
straight from the
garden! What a super vacation for us!!!
Even though our niece, Carmine, who stayed with you a
couple of years ago, told us how wonderful a stay in
Cretaiole was, it still exceeded our expectations. She
about her stay as will we.
Speaking of great food, I have tried to find your
recipes on the web
but cannot - can you give me the web location? I would
like to get
the Bolognese pasta sauce (also called Ragu) recipe used
on the pici.
Carlo and Isabella, I hope your short vacation went well
and you got a
Updated on 23/07/2010
Name: Marilyn and Chuck StGeorge
Dear Isa, Carlo, Luciano, and Liliana,
It was great to hear from you when we arrived home!
Jill and Chad certainly had a "fairytale" wedding.
Everyone that attended has told us over and over again
how memorable the wedding and vacation was...
When we looked at the pictures for the first time, we
all had tears in our eyes. We feel very fortunate to
have your friendship. You are a remarkable family that
shares your lives with others in a genuine way. You
must know how unusual that is!
As far as next year, we would love to confirm the last
week in April for Il Pollaio. Jill and Chad will also
return probably next fall. Chad absolutely loves
Cretaiole and in fact wished that they stayed another
week rather than going to the Cinque Terre and Lake
Como. Of course, we completely agree!
Thank you again for everything but most especially for
your love and support!
Marilyn and Chuck
Updated on 17/07/2010
Name: Michelle, Cara, Liz, and Meredith
We are so sad to say goodbye to all of you so soon as
this has been one of the most magical and memorable
times in our lives. Each of you have been special to us
and we are so glad to have met you. We would love to
hear your travel stories. We came as perfect strangers
and left feeling like a family.
Updated on 16/07/2010
Name: Jamie Friedman
Thank you for a wonderful week. We definitely felt that
we learned so much about the culture and the region, met
some lovely and interesting people, and enjoyed
ourselves immensely. You have a wonderfully natural way
of extending hospitality. I hope we can come back with
our own Isabella, our daughter, sometime soon.
Updated on 16/07/2010
Name: Rebecca and Ron Brasi
Ron and I didn't get a chance to say a proper goodbye to
you. We just wanted to thank you for making our stay at
Cretaiole one that we will never forget. Because of
you, your kind family, and your beautiful place, we were
able to experience Italy on a level we could have never
imagined, and we made some new friends along the way.
Hopefully, one day we will be back with our kids!
Noel (Rebecca to Luciano) and Ron
Updated on 14/07/2010
Name: Mandy Leighton
From: South Africa
We had a fantastic holiday, thank you. We travelled
quite a lot after we left you and went on a cruise ship
to Croatia, Greece and Turkey, from Venice. What a
lovely holiday. After doing so many things and seeing
so much, we all have come to the conclusion that the
best part of our holiday was our time on your farm. It
was so relaxing and so very interesting, worlds away
from our lifestyle in Africa. We will definitely
recommend your farm to our friends. Your family were so
amazing and we had such good experiences. We have been
telling everyone about Luciano and his late night grappa
visits. He is so sweet. Please tell him we all send
our love. I am going to try to send some photos and
hope that they are not too big. Lots of love and many
thanx, till we meet again.
Updated on 12/07/2010
Name: Amelia Jacka
Thank you so much for your hospitality, we were
overwhelmed by your generosity. We had such a
wonderful time at Cretaiole, it was definitely the
highlight of our trip.
We are having lunch with some friends of ours who
are looking to go to Italy in September/October.
We will be certainly recommending Cretaiole as a
place to stay (I hope you have some space left for
Hopefully we'll be back again soon.
Amelia, Justin & Lochie
Updated on 09/07/2010
Name: Barry and Linda Coutts
You did indeed share your passion and sincere respect
for your way of life -and how wonderful that was for us.
Your sharing was like a liberal sprinkling of sunshine
for our experiences, our thoughts, and memories.
We know we could not have had a better experience
of"Tuscany" with what you did and what you planned for
us-and what is already there to experience!
Thanks so much for a super holiday and lifelong
memories. (We all check our olive oil more carefully
We would not hesitate to highly recommend Cretaiole to
We miss the good wine!
Barry & Linda
Updated on 08/07/2010
Name: Renee Rees
Dear Isabella et al,
We are home now, suitcases unpacked,
washing/ironing done and the COLD weather
(frosts every morning) has hit us hard – a reality
Isabella, at our post-mortem on our
Italian experience, we all agreed that our week with
you was the most memorable highlight. You and
your family made us feel like part of your lives and
we experienced the real Tuscan country life with
you! We thank you for your every kindness,
generosity and endless patience; we hope to visit
you again in the not too distant future. Once again,
many thanks and I will be nominating you as
Ambassador for Italy!
Renee, Ian, Carol and Graeme
Updated on 05/07/2010
Name: Ann Baldridge
We didn't get to say good bye so I just wanted to email
to say thank you so much to you, Carlo, and Luciano for
making our stay at Cretaiole so special. We had such a
wonderful time there. It was so helpful to have your
ideas for places to visit in the area, and we really
enjoyed all the activities at Cretaiole and beyond. The
Val d'Orcia is so beautiful and i hope to visit again
one day, sooner rather than later! And I will be trying
to make pici on my own soon...
all the best (and I hope the wedding goes well tomorrow!)
Updated on 30/06/2010
Name: LuAnn Snider
We have returned home safely to
Florida from our week in Tuscany. Our visit was the trip
of a lifetime thanks to the gracious hospitality of you
and your family, the thought and effort you put into the
activities you recommended, and the beauty of the area
and its people. We definitely want to return to
Cretaiole and will recommend it without reservation to
anyone. Hope to see you again in the future.
Fondly, Lu Ann
Updated on 24/06/2010
Name: Andy and Shelley Rogers
Shelley and I thank you for a wonderful time, as well!
We just flew back from Rome yesterday - and, boy, are
our arms tired! (That would be a bit of American-style
humor for you.)
We went on to Cinque Terre and Florence before
going to Rome, and I must say that our stay at Cretaiole
was, by far, the highlight of the trip. We certainly
look forward to coming back and will definitely
recommend your place and, mostly, your fine hospitality
to any of our friends who are planning a trip to Tuscany.
Ciao and mille grazie to you, Carlo, Luciano and
everyone else who make Tuscany so special!
Updated on 18/06/2010
Name: Kristin and Billy Smith
We missed telling you goodbye Sat. morning! We cannot
say enough about what a wonderful trip this has been for
us. You all went over and beyond to make it special and
it was just that and more!! Thank you for your amazing
hospitality and your passion for making everyone’s trip
an experience to always remember. We will certainly be
back to visit!!
Kristin and Billy
Updated on 18/06/2010
Name: Greg and Nicole Coleson
We can’t say enough about how much we enjoyed our time
at Cretaiole. Also we sincerely appreciate how much all
you and your family opened their hearts to us and made
us feel welcome. Also, everyone that hosted all the
extra activities treated us the same way.
Thanks for a great vacation,
Gregorio e Nicoletta
Updated on 16/06/2010
Name: Jennifer Fitzwater
It was wonderful to see you and your family again. We
had another fabulous visit. I hope to convince some of
our friends to come back with us again next year!
Please pass along our thanks to your family.
Updated on 16/06/2010
Name: Cathy Briles
We had a lovely two weeks in Italy, Isa, and of course
our week at Cretaiole was the highlight of the trip. I
really enjoy the area and you and your family make me
feel like I'm visiting family. I know Don enjoyed his
time there as well. I was thrilled that there was fog
while I was there and have some wonderful photos. We
have some other "must visit" destinations on our travel
list (South America, Africa, Australia, New Zealand) but
there are still places in Italy I'd like to visit
(Cinque Terre, Lake Como area, Milan) and when that time
comes, I'll definitely be looking forward to ending my
trip with a week at Cretaiole. There is just so much to
see and do in the area that another visit will be
I made pici last weekend. I definitely need more
practice. The noodles were too fat!!! When rolling
them, they were stubborn and I just couldn't get them
any thinner. I'm not sure if the difference is our
American flour vs. the Italian flour or if I didn't get
the water, egg, flour ratios right. They tasted okay,
but it took a lot longer to cook them. I used your
sauce recipe from the website and it turned out
excellent! So, I'll keep practicing on the pici!
It was great to get to meet Claudia and Gary since she
and I were FB friends prior to the trip, so thank you
for including she and Gary in Thursday's dinner, it was
a great time!
I'll be visiting family back in Indiana and hopefully
get to visit with Wanda and will give her a big hug from
you. Wanda has been relentless in asking to see the
photos. I'm hoping to make good progress going through
the photos from our week at Cretaiole over the weekend.
Once I have those complete and uploaded, I'll post a
link on Cretaiole's FB page! I'm glad you have been
enjoying the ones from our other destinations.
I did pass along the Cretaiole website to a woman seated
next to me on the domestic legs of our flight. I was
telling her about it and how I was excited to be
returning, the area, your family, etc. She was
interested and I recommended that she visit the website
and told her she wouldn't be disappointed. I also have
girl friends that have heard my travel stories and seen
my photos and tell me they want to come along with me
when I go back to Italy, so maybe there will be another
girls trip someday.
Thanks so much for a wonderful stay. We couldn't have
visited at a better time. Your passion for Val d'Orcia
and the warmth and kindness flows through to your guests
and has made both of my visits experiences of a lifetime.
Please give everyone big hugs from me.
Updated on 11/06/2010
Name: Deb Levin and Jonathan Hartlyn
Dear Isabella and Family,
Our memories with you all and the Val d'Orcia area are
so vivid. Every day since our return, Jonathan and I
have conversations about our time in Tuscany.
This weekend, we are having friends over for an Italian
meal and then will share our photos (they asked us,
imagine!). We have already sent your web site out to
our friends. I tell people that you all were so caring
and engaged, making us feel like we were the first
visitors you ever had.
It was a special time and we will return.
Deb and Jonathan
Chapel Hill, NC
Updated on 11/06/2010
Name: Margie and Jack Lombardo
We can't thank you enough for making our stay Val
d'Orcia so memorable. We loved every minute of our stay
at Cretaiole and getting to know you, Carlo and Luciano.
We think the Italian government should send you around
the world as the spokesperson for promoting tourism in
Val d'Orcia. The books of information and weekly
programs you prepared for your guests should be the
benchmark for anyone doing what you do. You really are
We were very sorry we didn't get a chance to say good
bye on Saturday morning. Hopefully we will be returning
to spend more than one week.
Please thank Carlo and Luciano for us. Let Luciano know
I am sending lots of pictures to Nina and her mother in
Thanks again for all your wonderful suggestions,
programs, attention to details, spending time with us,
entertaining us and teaching us so much.
Very warm wishes,
Margie and Jack Lombardo
Updated on 09/06/2010
Name: Patricia and Tom Biehn
Our stay is still firmly in our minds and hearts. We
truly consider this stay on of the best we have had in
Italy, bar none. Your helpfulness was beyond our
expectations and everything we needed was provided for
us. We heartily recommend you to everyone and anyone
who will listen to us! I am working on the comments to
convey the enthusiasm appropriate for our feelings
regarding our stay. We know you will be successful, the
love you have for your home and the area is so apparent
and sharing it with others is your gift to us all!
Patricia and Tom
Updated on 08/06/2010
Name: Scott Gerstenberger and Liz Sweet
I'm sure you have many, many pictures of Cretaiole. So
rather than send you more, I thought you might like to
have some photos of you and your family.
Liz and I had a great time staying with you. We
appreciated your gracious hospitality and enthusiasm for
Tell Luciano that I still refuse to believe he's only 29
since he admitted to being born in the same year that I
was. And I am most definitely not 29.
Scott and Liz
Updated on 05/06/2010
Name: Kayoko Nagahama
I hope you are doing well and I am really happy to hear
from you! I am so sorry for my rather late response.
It is hard to express in English how wonderful our stay
with you was. You and la famiglia Moricciani were very
thoughtful of us and always made us enjoyable. My
mother and I thank each and every one of you beyond all
Thanks to you, I could give good memories to my mother.
So she was glad to spend the day relaxing together in
beautiful countryside and communicate with you and to
know your culture. I also happy to be able to feel as I
got extend family.
Yes, we really enjoyed Tuscan countryside and country
life - beautiful scenery of Val d'Orcia, and beautifully
furnished l'Oliviera, walking in the morning, great wine
and food, planting flowers, splendid tuscan traditional
family dinner, making pici and so on. All the things I
experienced were unforgettable. I miss your smile since
I was back to Tokyo.
I would love to return some time in the near future
especially in harvest season next time.
Take good care of yourself. I am looking forward to
seeing you again and really hope you could come to visit
Updated on 01/06/2010
Name: Colleen and Kevin Flanigan
We had such a wonderful time at Crataiole. When people
ask us what our favorite part of our trip was we both
easily say our week in Pienza. The experiences that were
available to us, the beauty of the area as well as the
opportunity to meet amazing people from all over was
amazing. We really enjoyed getting to meet you and your
family. It is so apparent that you all love what you do
as you do such an amazing job! We will never forget
joining Luciano in the late evenings for grappa and
vinsanto, Carlo's amazing bbq sausage and ribs and all
that you did for us and put together for us. Isa, you
have such a talent and passion for what you do! We loved
every minute and wouldn't have changed a thing. Staying
at Cretaiole was an awesome experience, but wouldn't
have been the same without our fabulous hosts. We thank
you for a very memorable week and hope to return one
day. We are already telling our friends and family about
your incredible place and highly recommend it.
Thank you again for providing the highlights of our
Colleen and Kevin Flanigan
Updated on 26/05/2010
Name: LeAnn Morgan
Despite the rainy weather, staying at Cretaiole was a
real pleasure. All the special efforts you make--the
notebooks, planned activities, and your hands on
availability and advice--separate Cretaiole from other
agriturismos. My thanks to you and your family for
sharing your love of Tuscany with your guests.
I am sure you are as glad as I am that the weather is
improving! Firenze is sunny and warm. My memories of
Cretaiole are the same, and I will certainly recommend
it to my friends. I definitely plan to return and see
the Val d'Orcia in the sunshine.
Arrivederci until we meet again.
Updated on 17/05/2010
Name: Deborah and Harold Shaw
Ciao Isabella and the family,
You are my Italian family now and of course when we
return to Tuscany you will see us once again at our
Tuscan home with you all. I will think of you all daily
with the fondest of memories. Photos will be forwarded
to you soon, a lovely one of the two of us, just have to
get Harold to show me where they are on this computer so
I can download them and sen them to you. Our return
flight was an ordeal, but we make it home safe and
sound. We were delayed out of Rome and had to stay on
the ground on the plane for about three hours before we
could take off. Then of course we were late into Wash DC
and had to overnight there, long, journey until our
return to Albuquerque. Love to you all and more to
Deborah and Harold
Updated on 15/05/2010
Name: Beste Family
What a delightful time we had indeed! Your work to make
that happen has to be seen to be truly appreciated. (We
knew you did a lot, since the website and Facebook
entries show that, but seeing you work with so many
people so cheerfully and so sincerely was a most
impressive thing to witness!) Thank you for all you did
to make our experience so memorable. We are extremely
grateful in particular that you did not give up on the
Romitorio tour for our family--we really wanted to
experience the history we had read about, and you did
everything in your power to make that happen, despite
the weather. Grazie mille from all of us for that!
We miss Cretaiole already and would love to plan a
return trip. Perhaps our third daughter will be inspired
by our stories and make a visit so you might meet her,
too. But most of all we miss the people: you and Carlo
and Luciano in particular. I have included a couple of
group shots as attachments--feel free to use them on
Facebook or wherever you'd like--they are a wonderful
reminder for us of the grace and generosity of the
entire Moricciani family. (I'd post them in Facebook,
but I don't use Facebook very much--still, they may
appear there soon, too!)
We will tell everyone we know about our experience at
Cretaiole! Thank you so much. Please tell Carlo and
Luciano "ciao" for us.
Hoping we will meet again,
Steve, Anita, Lena, and Claire
Updated on 14/05/2010
Name: Ieva and Mara
Dear Isabella and the Moricciani Family,
We are back in Latvia after our wonderful trip to Italy.
Certainly our stay at Cretaiole was one of the
highlights of our trip. The memories of your farmhouse
Cretaiole and the beauty of surroundings will linger
with us for a long time. The Val d'Orcia is the crown of
Tuscany, but Cretaiole is the brilliant in this crown.
We will return. Please, book us in La Cantina for next
Kindest regards to you, Carlo and Luciano
Ieva and Mara
Updated on 06/05/2010
Name: Hayne Family
Thanks so much for a wonderful week at Cretaiole. It
was definitely a highlight of our trip. You do an
AMAZING job! There is something very special about the
farm, your family, the countryside, etc. that cannot be
explained in words. It was a perfect week for our
family...we already miss it!
We hope to be back someday. Until then, have a
Allison, Jaimie, and the girls
Updated on 06/05/2010
Name: Jeff and Karla Allen
Isabella and Family; Thank you very much for everything.
Cretaiole was a highlight of our visit to Italy and we
would very much recommend you to other travelers coming
your way. Thanks again for making us part of your famiglia.
All the best,
Jeff and Karla
Updated on 03/05/2010
Name: Burt Family
How nice to have your welcome home message and may I say
how much we enjoyed being with you again. We fully
expect to return to Tuscany/Umbria and will certainly
stay at Cretaiole if you can fit us in. Again,many
thanks for all you did to make our stay so pleasurable
and with kindest regards to Carlo, Luciano and Liliana,
not forgetting your friendly cats!
George and Sally Burt and Richard
Updated on 02/05/2010
Name: Cher Moon
The extra 7 days was such a fabulous gift – I must
remember to thank the volcano gods! Claudie and I
were able to visit some places that we had wanted to,
but ran out of time – Siena, Tierenna, Livorno and
Volterra for example and many many little towns,
villages and hamlets in between. I wanted to get back
to the Pienza area one last time, but unfortunately
that was not to be.
On leaving Cretiaole we took your suggestion and
travelled south and visited the towns down there –
Pitigliano was fabulous! We came home with over 4,500
pictures plus video clips! It will take me a year to
go through it all.
I do wish I had more time – time to visit Elizabeth
and obtain a water colour – perhaps she will send me
one if I e-mail her. I have kept in touch with Joan,
Wendy and Chris (the girls from Germany). Chris was
really taken with Elizabeth and enjoyed very much her
art lesson. So much to experience and savour in the
Pienza/Val d’Orcia area – it definitely means another
trip – this time with my husband!!
Thank you and Carlo for your heart warming hospitality,
and for opening your home to Claudie and myself. We
will forever recommend you to our many friends!!!
Much love to you and the family!!
Updated on 27/04/2010
Name: Jan and Bill Douglas
Grazie! We had a wonderful visit to Toscana. It was
my (Jan), first visit to Europe. Isabella, you and your
family made our trip extra special. All the history,
information, food, people and experiences were
wonderful. We are sharing our stories, and pictures
with our family and friends. We are recommending any
one of your places to anyone planning a trip to Italy.
We have made our first try at making pici. It was
good, but I still need a little practice.
Jan and Bill Douglas
Updated on 27/04/2010
Name: Sheryl Lamb
I waited until today to send my grateful thanks to you,
because I was trying to find the superlatives to
effectively communicate to you how special our week at
Cretaiole was. I've come to the conclusion that words
just won't do it, but I'll make an attempt.
Your hospitality was perfection. You were there first
thing when we arrived, and Luciano's visit just before
we left (grappa in hand!) left no doubt that your guests
are special to you and your family. In between, the
Pici, the olive oil tasting, the Romitorio (especially
that!), the Easter Monday lunch - all just wonderful.
And additionally, being perched on that mountain,
looking out over your magnificent valley just simply put
the world back in perspective.
Personally, it was such a delight to meet you, Carlo and
Luciano. My only regret is that I didn't have command
of my Italian. Next time, I'll be a better communicator!!
So thank you so much. We have friends who have family
in Italy. We've talked for years about the four of us
making a trip. Now I'll be adamant about it, and you'll
hear from me for a reservation!
I'll gladly post comments on the websites you've noted,
and I'll look forward to my return to Tuscany!!
Updated on 13/04/2010
Name: Linda S.
Thank you for your note; we had a great time and I miss
it already!! I hope your family is feeling well these
days and I totally understand, there was really nothing
that we needed, we are pretty self-sufficient travels
but thanks for thinking of us.
Plus, Luciano took great care of us – it was a pleasure
meeting him! I don’t think I’ll ever forget the night
that he came and knock because our key was in the door –
oh my gosh!!!! Tell him hi for me!!
If the opportunity ever arises that I can return to
Tuscany your property would be the first that I would
think of, it’s so nicely located in the country but
close to numerous towns and I will most definitely
recommend to others if I hear that they will be visiting
that part of the world.
Best wishes for a wonderful summer and if you ever get
to the States please stop by!
Updated on 06/04/2010
Name: Bonnie and Jack
Dearest Famiglia Morriciani,
I feel compelled to drop a note to you, as I think of
you all every day. It was this time last year we were
planning our holiday at Cretaiole and getting so
excited! I’m sure you are very busy now helping other
visitors, new and “experienced”, plan for their stay.
Perhaps new bunnies? Piglets? Chicks? for Luciano to
welcome as well. Barrels of wine and olive oil all
stashed away, waiting for them.
I must tell you that Italy has stolen my heart, and I am
a soft touch for all things Italian. I know this is
corny, and you’ve heard it before, but it’s true. I’ll
be planting lots of basil, although I’ve never seen it
grow here like in Luciano’s garden. I had to get a Bay
(sweet Laurel) bush also, as the few leaves I brought
back with me are all gone. I love to cook with a little
Val d'Orcia every day. I am still able to buy the
certified Tuscan Virgin Olive Oil at Costco. I have no
Idea how they can supply all of North America. Have you
figured that out?? We are always on the lookout for
that wonder Balsamic too.
You taught us so much, with such care and attention. We
will always remember and be happy. I love looking at
the beautiful Christmas greeting and can have an
armchair holiday when I need to “get away”. I even
check the weather in Pienza often, just for a peek of
what’s going on there. I’m very surprised that your
weather is very similar at any given time to ours here
on Vancouver Island. Meanwhile, I’m saving, and God
willing, Jack and I will be back, perhaps to experience
your Spring flowers one time in the not too distant future.
So, take care. Hope everyone is well. Have an
absolutely wonderful Season full of happy guests,
With much love,
Bonnie and Jack
Updated on 29/03/2010
Name: Dale and Liane
From: USA (AR)
Thanks for a wonderful place to stay, your itinerary
suggestions, and your warm welcome as we arrived at
L'Oliviera. The fire place was the perfect touch for
beginning and ending the day.
Please extend our gratitude to Carlo and your
father-in-law, Luciano. Our lack of Italian language
skill did not hinder their ability to convey their charm
and willingness to help.
The only regret would be that 5 days was too short. We
would love to return and spend a day working with your
family with the vineyard or olive trees.
To anyone considering a stay in Tuscany, you will not be
able to top being hosted by the Moricciani family, they
are the warmth of the sun in Tuscany.
Dale and Liane
Updated on 28/03/2010
Name: Amy and Patrick
I've been meaning to thank you for your hospitality
while we stayed at Cretaiole. It was so wonderful
having the whole farmhouse to ourselves. Even with
Patrick sick the beauty of that valley and the sweet
apartment was worth the stay. I especially treasured my
time with Luciano and hope all is well with Liliana and
the farm. We sincerely hope to come back some year soon
and see everything we missed. I took 793 photos on our
trip! Thank you again.
Amy & Patrick
Updated on 14/03/2010
Name: Byron Petersen
Good afternoon from South Dakota. Deanna and I
often reminisce about the fantastic time we had for the
9 days we were there. We recommend all our friends
spend a week w/ you. I hope you and your family are
having a good year and a profitable tourist season.
Hopefully some year our paths will cross again, Byron
Updated on 05/03/2010
Name: Garofalo Family
Just writing and saying your name in my mind brings up
so many warm memories of our time with you and your
family last year at this time. We just wanted to thank
you again for allowing us to taste life in such a deeper
way, and to be touched by your lives and memories there.
We wish you all of God's blessings of peace, joy and
love in this most special season.
Ciao for now!
John, Lisa, Joe and Will Garofalo
Updated on 30/12/2009
Name: The Bottalla Family
Dear Isabella and family,
We are sorry that it has taken us so long to email you.
We had a such a wonderful time in Tuscany that I believe
it has changed us forever! Wherever we visited the
people were friendly and warm. This was especially true
at Cretaiole! In just the short time we spent at
Cretaiole we felt welcomed and at home, we can not wait
to return! My family enjoyed all of our photos and video
and could not believe the beauty of Tuscany. My daughter
who came home from Firenze yesterday has left her new
friends with a heavy heart. We also feel we that left a
piece of our heart and soul in Tuscany. Thank you for
your Christmas card was so beautiful, I will never
delete it! Thank you so much for making a short visit so
memorable. Judy wants me to say hello to Luciano for
her ... he was quite the ambassador of Cretaiole!
A Very Merry Christmas from The Bottalla Family
Updated on 30/12/2009
Name: Theresa Phillips
Merry Christmas! I am wishing you lots of laughter and
joy this holiday season.
Agriturismo Cretaiole will always have a special place
in our hearts. It was by far my very favorite part of
our trip to Italy. Thank you for your generous
hospitality and the fascinating information/education
you taught us about the culture and region. Someday, we
will return - with our kids!
I still haven't organized my pictures, but as soon as I
do I'll be sure to email you the best of them.
Thanks for the video! I've already shared it with
another couple who are planning a trip to Italy next fall.
Updated on 30/12/2009
Name: The Barkers
From: Canada, British Columbia
Dear Isabella, Carlo, Luciano and family:
During this Christmas week as we celebrate with family
and friends here at home, we fondly remember you, the
Moricciani Family who so warmly welcomed us into your
home environment. You, as a family, so adeptly role
model the true values of life as you share the beautiful
Val d’ Orcia with your guests. We loved everything about
our holiday in Tuscany and would dearly love to return
to Cretaiole for an extended visit. As you watch the
Olympics from Canada this February, please think of us
here in British Columbia knowing that we would love to
share our home with you and you are welcome anytime.
Your Christmas greeting is delightful and brings tears
of joy to our hearts. Thank you! Until we meet again,
our best wishes to you all for good health and happiness
and our sincere thanks for all you did for us to make
your home our home while we were in Tuscany.
Bonnie and Jeff
Updated on 20/12/2009
Name: Dave and Karen Finlay
Hello Isabella, thank you so much for the video. It was
reminder of our time spent with you and your family in
October, 2009. We
have been really busy since we've been back and have
hardly even had time to
sort through our hundreds of pictures. I am sending a
few to share with you
and also wanted to thank you for a holiday that we will
truly never forget.
We have recommended your place to everyone who asks
about our stay in
Tuscany. We felt like part of your family for the week
that we stayed
there, from the second that we met you, Carlo and
Luciano. Staying at your
restored farmhouse, picking grapes for your first
harvest, the hermitage
tour, our private dinner at the monastery, the pici
making course and the
fabulous feasts we enjoyed with the entire group were so
amazing. We could
go on for ever, but just wanted to let you know how much
we enjoyed our stay
We hope that you have a wonderful Christmas.
Dave & Karen Finlay
Updated on 15/12/2009
Name: Rick Wion
We absolutely loved our stay at Cretaiole. We even
started talking about a return trip this September with
more family or friends. It is a truly special place.
Luciano made us feel very welcome and my son Tommy is
still talking about “Luciano’s farm with Luna and the
chickens.” It made quite an impression on him that he
won’t soon forget.
Thanks again and we look forward to staying with you again.
Updated on 05/12/2009
Name: Kleiman Family
Thank you for your lovely note. We were all so
surprised to see Ellie’s cat picture on your web-site,
and Ellie was delighted, and she, of course, remembered
that you said that you would put it on. Thank you for
remembering! It meant so much to her!
been telling everyone about the incredible time that we
had at Cretaiole, and about your warm, wonderful family.
You were an amazing hostess, and we learned so much
about Tuscany and Italy from you! It was truly the BEST
family vacation that we have ever had, and it was
because you so generously welcomed us into your family
and your world. We enjoyed every moment! Your
beautiful website only reminded us of the lovely time we
had, and made us want to go back right away!
Our very best wishes to the entire Moricciani family for
a very Merry Christmas and Holiday Season! We hope to
return to Cretaiole soon!
Laura, Lee, Hannah, Sasha and Ellie Kleiman
Updated on 05/12/2009
Name: Kari Holloway
Thank you so much for a wonderful time in
Tuscany, it was one we will never forget. I'm so happy
to see you on Facebook! The pictures of your October
harvest are amazing. I wish we could come back tomorrow!
Hopefully though we will make it back sometime next year
- I'll cross my fingers.
I hope all is well with you and your family!
Updated on 04/12/2009
Name: Victoria Doss
In America we have just celebrated our Thanksgiving
which is a very warm and wonderful time to gather with
family and friends and give thanks for life's blessings.
This year I am extremely thankful to have visited
Cretaiole with my college friends, “the Grails”. We
have traveled many places together, but our stay in the
apartment at your farmhouse in the heart of the Val d'Orcia
is now our most favorite memory!
The description --and the feeling-- that overcomes me
each time I think of my stay there is WARMTH! The
warmth of the gorgeous autumn landscape; the warmth of
the lovely apartment which is designed for beauty and
ease of living; the warmth of the new friendships we
enjoyed with the Canadian couples who visited at the
same time; the warmth of the Moricciani family as you
each shared your special knowledge, talents, heritage
and most especially the warmth that radiated from each
of you as you told us the stories of the farm and your
struggles and marvelous successes!
Isabella, you are an expert hostess, concierge, teacher
and promoter. You explained yourself as a “city girl,
come to the country”. It is evident that your
transformation into an excellent
steward of the Tuscan countryside has been completed.
Carlo, Luciano, and Liliana were excellent teachers, for
you love the land as much as they.
I wish that I could choose one favorite memory of my
stay--it could be Luciano's beautiful vegetable garden
and his generosity with it. Or maybe making pici and
sharing a meal with all of your other guests! Or maybe
sharing time with Luciano as he came around to visit us
in the evenings. Or my wonderful memories of all of your
other guests who seemed like kindred spirits.
I promised that I would share the poem that we wrote for
Luciano. I hope that you will translate for him and I
hope that he and the rest of you will remember us six
friends as fondly as we remember you!
Cretaiole worked its magic--we loved our time with you!
Sunrise, sunset, the moon lighting the view.
Salami and cheese, olives and wine,
Isa's warm guidance and ambience so fine!
Crowning it all was the warm family feel,
And Papa Luciano who made it so real.
We've all loved it so, we hope to return,
and hope to guide others whose hearts, too will yearn!
Thank you, Isa!
Updated on 03/12/2009
Name: Johanna and Brad
From: Canada, British Columbia
We can't say thank you enough for sharing your
world, your life, with us. We will be back--we left a
piece of our hearts in the Val d'Orcia
With big hugs,
Molti ringraziamenti per
un' esperienza meravigliosa! Brad and I enjoyed meeting
you, working with you, and getting to know the Moricciani
family as people, not just landlords. Please come visit
British Columbia. We would love to share our home with
Updated on 03/12/2009
Name: Rob and Nancy Verboon
We are sending our friends, Syd and Jane, in our place.
We would love to be there also--perhaps next year. I
am hoping they will paint some wonderful vistas from
your beautiful countryside.
We hope your family are all well, and also your new baby
who must be a year old now.
We have been careful
to purchase only the best Italian olive oil, as we were
completely in love with the oil produced in your area.
I have continued to study my Italian, but I'm afraid I
have not gotten much better. If only we could spend a
relaxing year in Tuscany--that is my
Thanks again for the wonderful week in
Nancy and Rob
Updated on 03/12/2009
Name: Maureen Shotts
I recommend Cretaiole because it is a very, very special
place. YOU and your family make a visit to Tuscany truly
magical. Thank you for making my favorite country
outside America so much more memorable!
Many visitors to my web site come to me via your link to
my painting. It means the world to me that you have
posted my painting of beautiful Cretaiole~
Happy Holidays.. hope to see you and your family again
in the near future.
Updated on 29/11/2009
Name: Joan Cardone
Thank you for the lovely greeting. We certainly enjoyed
our visit at Cretaiole, so much so that we saved our
bottle of wine from there for our Thanksgiving
celebration last night! We reminded everyone of our
favorite stop on our trip to Italy We will certainly
return there if we are ever back in Europe, and have
encouraged others we know to come and see you. Happy
Updated on 27/11/2009
Name: Dan and Lucy Neely
Thank you for your kind note. We had a fabulous time and
are so thankful to have been a part of your family's
life. We are still enjoying our fond memories with the
wine and olive oil we took home with us and just this
past weekend we hosted a party of friends where we
taught them to make pici as well!
It would be my pleasure to share our positive
experiences with others and I will gladly post some
online reviews as long as we can always find a way to
compete for a reservation with you!!!
Dan and Lucy Neely
Updated on 20/11/2009
Name: Dani and Ron de la Mare
Hi Isa -
I meant to contact you sooner to tell you how much we
enjoyed our stay with you. You totally made it for us -
you are just so helpful, knowledgable, and caring. Your
family were equally great, especially your fatherinlaw!
As soon as I get the time I would be happy to go on
line to let others know how much we enjoyed your place.
(That is the way I found you in the first place). I got
some great pics of your place so will get them to you as
soon as I can.
Thanks again Isa.
Best wishes, Dani and Ron
Updated on 19/11/2009
Name: Tami Moe
Dear Isabella and Moricciani Family,
We absolutely adored our stay at Cretaiole and meeting
all of you. I have meant to send you a note sooner, but
have been swamped since we arrived back home. Your note
has now prompted me to send you a fond thank you for all
you did to make our stay at Cretaiole something very
special and one we will always remember. It is our hope
we can return at some point in the future and have
already told many people we have the place for them to
stay if they plan to go to Italy!!! You all work so hard
and I hope you have a rejuvenating winter! I will
continue to follow you on Facebook and stay in touch!
Grazie Mille and our love to you and the family, until
we meet again . .
Tami and Per
Updated on 19/11/2009
Name: Nicholas Barthel
bella isa, my memory is full of the sights, sounds and
tastes of cretaiole, and what a delightful and
interesting week. tx for all your energy. when we left
your area, we went to cinque terre, and it was gorgeous,
and lenny and i hiked the trail between the 5 towns, the
stretch between monterosso and corniglia was quite
strenuous, but worth the effort. happy thanksgiving to
you, carlos, your boys, your father in law, and to all
the wonderful italians! viva italia! ciao! nicola
Updated on 19/11/2009
Name: Paul and Donna White
Cretaiole is a farmhouse converted into quaint villas
situated atop a hill in the middle of an olive orchard
overlooking the breathtaking Tuscan valley. There is a
well maintained and manicured vegetable garden for all
their guests to pick fresh items if they wish to prepare
meals in their villa. Words cannot adequately describe
the feeling of walking through the valley and coming
upon one of the oldest most photographed churches dating
back to the pilgrimage era in travelers’ quests to visit
Rome. Learning about the Tuscan culture and how the
residents wish to preserve their "antiquated" simplistic
way of life in order for all the world’s inhabitants to
experience exhibits the lifelong dedication and nobility
of the friendly locals. Their culture is so unique that
even displaced fast-paced, upper-class residents that
previously lived in large cities such as Milan learn and
eventually grow to love. The Moricciani family’s local
grape and olive vineyards with their frequent tastings
of the associated products such as wine, olive oil, and
aged pecorino cheese is the best one could hope for.
Making handmade “Pici” pasta is an unforgettable
experience that the guests can share with family and
friends back home. Day trips to local villages mostly
encased within the preserved walls of medieval castles
and thermal springs exemplify the ancient charm as well
as historical importance of the region. In conclusion,
the unique experience will result in one’s reflection on
their inner spirit, which intuitive travelers will learn
to “work to live” rather than “live to work” changing
their lives forever.
Updated on 16/11/2009
Name: The Richters
Thank you so much for a wonderful week at
Cretaiole. Our family thoroughly enjoyed the
property and all the available activities. We're
sorry we had to leave early but we Americans
need to preserve our culture - the girls couldn't
We accidentally took with us your Rough Guide
for Tuscany. I'd like to mail it back but I'm not
sure what is your international mailing address.
Could you send and I'll get this back to you tout
Thanks again and please say hello to all of your
Updated on 09/11/2009
Name: Roger Graham
Dear Isabella and Carlo,
I was babysitting on our last night at Cretaiole (
10-23-09), so I missed the session on olive oil, but
most of all, I missed saying goodbye to you. I just
wanted you to know how much I and my family enjoyed our
stay at Cretaiole. Thanks to you, a corner of my brain
is now filled with lovely Tuscan hills, fine food, and
charming, passionate people ---luminous memories for a
Thank you again, warmest wishes, and---Ciao!
Updated on 06/11/2009
Name: Cheryl Bradbury
The 6 college friends from the states wish you to know
how much we appreciate the Moricciani family and their
efforts to share their wonderful Tuscan life with those
who are privileged to be their guests. I think of your
family as a great symphony--- each of you with your own
special talents, each of you contributing to the
"specialness" of Cretaiole.
As I sing the praises of this beautiful place
and those who made it so beautiful, I am always asked
what was my favorite part. I have to tell you, Isabella,
that your "chat" with us before we toured the Hermitage
is my favorite because you had a profound impact on me
personally. Having just retired from a 32 year tenure of
teaching, I can assure you that you are a natural
teacher...and it is a gift. You spoke about the
transitions of your life, the commitments of the
Moricciani family to farming and the preservation of
land and how living more simply can be achieved. I think
often of that day--and even though I know you have told
the story many times to your guests, it was as though
this was the first and most important time. Thank you.
Our best to all of you, Cheryl
PS. I have had much fun telling the story how I kept
asking Luciano for a horse(cavallo) instead of a
Updated on 28/10/2009
Name: John and Sandy
We would like to Thank you and your family for
an unforgettable vacation in
Tuscany. After spending a month in Italy
travelling from Rome North to Como
Lakes and lots of places in-between your place
is the one we enjoyed the
most and is on our list of places to return to for
a longer stay.
In our travels around the world to many places
and with many more to see and experience
there are only a few which we both feel is a
must to experience again and your wonderful
place and hospitality makes Cretaole one of a
I understand that a friend has just made
reservations for a month starting in late August
next year, I am sure that they will love your
place and will find it a great place to relax and
enjoy the hospitality of the region.
We would love to send a small gift over for
Luciano with our friends next year, is there
anything you can think of from Canada that he
would particularly like.
Once again Thanks and looking forward to a
Updated on 25/10/2009
Name: Sandra Hwang
How are you? Ben and I just wanted to thank you for your
hospitality while we stayed at Cretaiole (the week of
September 12). It was a joy meeting you and your family.
Staying in Val d'Orcia was the best part of our trip to
We enjoyed all the activities which you helped set up
(especially pici-making night). We were so excited to
make pasta that we practiced our pici-making skills a
few days after we arrived home! The dinner that we had
on Thursday night was one of the highlights of our trip.
We talked about your ragu recipe, but I've forgotten
how you made it. Would you send your ragu recipe to me
when you get a chance? I know I can't replicate the
sauce, but I'd be happy if I can come close to it.
I'd also like to find out Luciano's address if you don't
mind forwarding it. Once I develop some of our pictures,
I'd like to send some to him along with a letter. I have
a friend that studied Italian in college, and if her
Italian isn't too rusty, I'm hoping she will help us
write a letter to Luciano (since my Italian is
Well, thank you again for everything! We hope to visit
some time in the future, and we will definitely tell our
friends and family about Cretaiole.
Sandra & Ben
Updated on 23/10/2009
Name: Cynthia Askew
Precious Isabella !
You beat me to it ! what a wonderful welcome home to
receive your e-mail. Funny, how a week can make such an
impact on how you feel about life. I feel so blessed
(and really am at a loss for the right words to convey
the deep emotional impact) to have shared so much of
you, your family and your life. My husband would have
felt the same way - you would have loved him. But, I
have tears in my eyes now just thinking about what an
incredible week we had with you. You went so far above
and beyond in all that you do. And, with all that you
have to do and with your family and your children - how
do you find the time. Never hurried, always sincere and
so giving and a beautiful way of sharing your personal
stories. Hoping that our time together can happen again
- already thinking about coming back next year.
We had a good time on the last few days of our trip -
but nothing in comparison to the time with you. And, I
have seen Florence - I am so not a big city person (even
though I live it one).
Life offers so many special things, and people cross our
lives and make a difference. So glad that my life
Much love. health and blessings to you and your precious
P.S. I am craving Pici !! and I did forward your e-mail
to Cathy, Maggie and Lee. We all loved our time with you.
Updated on 17/10/2009
Name: Jim and Nina Bice
Grazie mille for another incredible visit at Cretaiole.
I really cannot put into words my appreciation for all
that you and the Moricciani family do to make our stay
so special. Please accept our very simplest "thank you"
and know that you and Cretaiole and the Val d'Orcia hold
a very special place in our hearts.
We are thankful we were able to share this experience
with friends this trip who found all the same things to
Thank you also for sharing your story and Luciano's
story the day of the hermitage tour. It was very
special to be a part of that and gave us a greater
understanding of both the family and the Val
You have worked hard to create a special place, and we
love it here. We will, most definitely, be back again.
Until then, grazie mille, over and over.
Jim and Nina
Updated on 17/10/2009
Name: Dave and Karen Finlay
Isabella, Carlo, and Luciano
Thank you so much for the most memorable holiday of our
lives. Words cannot express our appreciation for all
the extras that you include, and for including us into
your family if only for one week.
Karen and Dave
Updated on 10/10/2009
Name: Bonnie Bain
Just wanted to write to tell you how much we enjoyed our
time in Cretaiole, Tuscany and with your family. You
all made it so special for us! Your every day was our
dream stay. Now, we are back to our “every day”, but
with such fond memories. It was the perfect get away
for Jack and I.
Just to let you know, La Rosetta Hotel was a great place
to experience Rome too. Thank you so much for making
those arrangements for us. We didn’t know where to
begin. We steeped ourselves in the atmosphere of the
Colosseum and the Forum. We took bus tours up top in
the rain. (probably why we got sick with the flu when
we got back, but no matter). We never did get the hang
of eating at 8 PM, but everyone else in Rome was out
then..until mid night! We preferred our quiet little La
Cantina and Luciano’s garden.
With all the people you meet and care for, I know our
faces will soon fade from your memories, but, I am
working on your second sock! And Jack will be sending
some pictures of our home structure for Luciano as he
showed an interest and they had discussions.
I hope the grape picking went well for Carlo, and the
wine will be superior. We surely enjoyed all that
flowed at Cretaiole.
Thank you again for all you and your family did for us.
I hope we are able to return, perhaps when the wheat is
green, or ripening. I have friends who are very
Much love and good fortune to you all,
Updated on 07/10/2009
Name: Pat Bayley
My Dear Isabella,
Now we are back in England. I just wanted to write and
thank you for everything that you did to make our stay
in Tuscany so enjoyable. We saw and learned so many
things and you explained everything so clearly. All the
little villages, it was so much fun and I know all four
of us thoroughly enjoyed the week with you. I am sure
that we will all be back before too long, if we all have
Please say Hello to your husband and in-laws, they were
all so much fun. Tell Carlo I look very carefully at
the bottle when I buy my Virgin Olive Oil!!
Thank you once again for all your help and kindness to
us during our stay. With every good wish to you all
Updated on 25/09/2009
Name: Reginald Bell
We have really great memories of our time with you and
Carlo and Luciano. We made pici yesterday and it really
turned out beautifully! And Luciano's grappa is really
probably the best grappa I've ever had. We are sitting
outside with a fire burning sipping it.
Updated on 20/09/2009
Name: Becca Hunt
Isabella, Luciano, Carlo, and Family!!
Thank you so much for my wonderful stay at Cretaiole! I
have now been all over Toscana and I can with heartfelt
honesty say that the Val d'Orcia is my favorite area here!
I can't wait to come back and see it in the spring!!
Hopefully in the next couple of years!!
Thank you so much for making us all feel like a member
of your wonderful family!!
P.S. Wild rice in Minnesota is as pici is to Tuscany.
I would love it if you would try it. Boil it until the
kernels pop open. Serving suggestion: mushrooms and
sausage. Let me know wha tyou think :-)!! Ciao!!
Updated on 19/09/2009
Name: Amy Farcas
We're back to reality now from our stay at
Cretaiole in July. Thank you for your care in
arranging such a special place. One of my
was pici-making. I'd like to try it on my own; can
you remind me of the proportions of ingredients
Updated on 04/09/2009
Name: Brown Family
We’re now back in the U.S. after our wonderful family
trip to Europe.
Certainly our stay at Cretaiole was one of the
highlights of our trip. The memories of your wonderful
farmhouse, the beauty of the surroundings and your
hospitality and assistance will linger with us for a
long time. We are grateful for all of this and hope we
will have the opportunity to return someday.
In the meantime, Lev and I were thinking of making pici
for a family dinner and per your offer, we wonder if you
could send us the pici recipe.
Mel, Sally, Lily and Lev
Updated on 27/08/2009
Name: Kadi Rahuoja
We had most wonderful time in Cretaiole with
you and your family and with all the other
Indrek is going to USA for a week, but when he
is back we will certainly try to make pici at
home:). The pici making lesson was so nice and
we had so much fun and dinner was delicious!
We are especially happy that the time we spent
at Cretaiole we met so many wonderful people.
So thank you very much for your warm
hospitality, we hope to come back some day!
Updated on 25/08/2009
Name: Pat West
I don't know quite the perfect words to say
thank you. I had a wonderful time in Italy due
largely to staying at Cretaiole. I came home
great memories and tools, too.
Please thank Marta for the lessons. Yesterday I
made the Strozza Preti alle Briciole. It was a
complete success. I even used cherry tomatoes
from my garden. Next time I'll try Pici.
Also please thank Luciano for the tomato seeds.
I'll be taking half to my sister in Colorado next
week and have made her a challenge for next
summer to grow them. Maybe the loser will
to take the other back to Cretaiole? This
like a fair wager to me.
Regarding your accommodations, they are the
perfect mix of farm atmosphere and "creature
comforts". The veggies spoiled me and finding
blackberries and ripe figs (the last few days) was
bonus. Also your wine and olive oil, pecorino
cappacola have spoiled me for what we have
available here. The beds are wonderful after a
day of walking and driving and bathrooms are
pristine clean. I came home wanting nothing
crisp white sheets and a memory foam bed! On
that I have one question, what is the brand of
the bed in the apartments, if you know it?
Please convey my greetings and wishes for their
good health to Luciano and Liliana, and my
promise to speak a good bit more Italian when I
Updated on 24/08/2009
Name: Linda Gallmeier
My daughter, Erynne Hart, and I have re-lived our week
at Cretaiole so many times and we want to thank you for
being such a special concierge. You contribute so much
to the stay there offering intimate experiences with
the special women in the Val D'orca. We really enjoyed
our cooking class with Marta, visiting Sandra at her
farm,painting with Elizabeth and learning about wine
tasting with Serena. We were very impressed with each
one's vitalilty,strength, intelligence, enthusiasm and
happiness with their ways of life. The women of Tuscany
are awesome. We wouldn't have known about them without
Your notebooks were so informative and you were so
patient and helpful. Your pasta making and the last
night's dinner were a perfect ending to our stay.
Everyone I've talked to can't believe how amazing it
was. I will add my praises to your website.
We hope the fox has spared the last little kitten.
Please tell Luciano "Ciao" and that we think of him.
Updated on 16/08/2009
Name: Amatsia Raanan
My wife and I would like to thank you again for a
wonderful vacation at Cretaiole. We found your place
most special and the actual experience exceeded our
expectations. The optimal location, your generous
hospitality and the special ambience made us immediately
feel at home.
We look forward to spending a longer vacation at
Cretaiole in the future: This time – with our children
As promised, I am enclosing a few photographs taken by
me at Cretaiole. Please let me know if you'd like me to
resend all or part of them again in a larger size
(weight) for displaying them at your website.
Warm regards and Arrivederci,
Updated on 08/08/2009
Name: Caroline Miller
Dear Luciano, Liliana, Isabella, Carlo, and family,
Please accept these gifts with my thanks for all your
hard work and for the time you graciously gave us during
our stay at Cretaiole. You did not have to make the
effort, but you did. You are truly Italian Ambassadors.
By sharing your beautiful Agriturismo Cretaiole, your
fun pici class and delicious dinner, your Etruscan
ruins, your farm and delicious products, you share your
beautiful culture. There is no better way to create
understanding than through education. Thank you.
Isabella, I made the bracelet for you. I hope you will
enjoy it. It if does not fit or if it should ever
break, please return it to me so that I can fix it for
Luciano, I made the wreath for your laboratorio. I hope
it will brighten a corner of the laboratory where you
make the world's best vin santo. Please accept it with
my gratitude and thanks for all the time that you spent
with my grandson, Jack, and with us each evening, over
grappa, trying to speak with us. I enjoyed that time
very much and appreciate your patience. I have signed
up for Italian classes at the college and promise that
when I return I will be able to speak with you.
Thank you Moricciani family for the beautiful gift of
Cretaiole. You have given me memories that will remain
in my heart forever.
Updated on 31/07/2009
Name: Nancy and Andris
We were so sorry that we didn’t' get to see
on the day we left. We must have passed each
other on the road. We did stop by to pick up
olive oil and say thanks to Luciano, but would
have loved to have given you a big hug and tell
you once again how much fun we had!!
We are totally missing eating breakfast at the
round table while surrounded by the cats.
We would love to have the pici recipe, as we
to invite friends over to make the pasta and
a fine Tuscan dinner. Could you email it to us,
please? Besides, we need to keep practicing
those dough rolling skills!
Be sure to tell Luciano that we miss his late
wine and all of the fun charades we had around
the long table. He is such a merrymaker!
Please know that what you are doing was very
special for us. I know that you all work incredibly
hard and it shows. We truly treasure the time
that we had together and hope that we will be
able to return.
Updated on 25/07/2009
Name: Cherry Joh
I just arrived home a day and a half ago and
wanted to thank you for a wonderful
at Cretaiole. The time we spent there was
amazing and truly memorable. The events you
planned, your warmth and passion for Val d'
made our trip really special. From the vegetable
garden to the lively dinners to grappa & wine
Luciano, we enjoyed every moment.
Thank you again for everything.
Updated on 25/07/2009
Name: Dominik i Karolina Kuklinscy
Thank you so much for warm welcome and stay in Cretaiole
(L'Ovile between 12th and 17th of July). Exactly as You
said, it was unforgettable vacations.
We've met those great people from all over the
world, felt the ambience of Tuscany and had great time
during those lazy hours in Cretaiole and also during
many activities that you've prepared. It was great to
meet Carlo and Luciano, they are really good people,
warm and welcoming. We brought those souvenirs to our
family, they were pleased, but I regret I didn't buy
more your products like pecorino cheese and salami. We
were afraid that it would be difficult to drive it home,
because we have a car without clima. Although we've got
other 'memory keepers' like photos for example.
So we've got this feeling that in the middle of
our troubles with first place to stay, we've found this
real jewel, which is You and your fabulous place. Again
many thanks, and hope we'll be in touch.
Dominik i Karolina Kuklinscy
P.S. We're sending a few photos. Hope little kitty is
still out of fox's reach.
Updated on 23/07/2009
Name: Ron and Joy
Sorry it took us so long to contact you, but we had a
wonderful time in Cretaiole in early May. It was the
highlight of our trip to Italy. You have more than just
a farmhouse and rooms - Cretaiole has a personality all
its own that makes it an experience we'll always
remember. We are glad to recommend it to everyone who
wants to see the "Real Tuscany". You're the BEST!!!
Ron and Joy
Santa Rosa, CA USA
Updated on 23/07/2009
Name: Connie and John Morris
We can't begin to tell you how very much we enjoyed our
week at Cretaiole! From the beautiful rainbow on the
afternoon we arrived to Grappa tasting with Luciano on
the night before we left and everything in between, it
was a wonderful week. You are the absolute best
hostess! We have so many memories and pictures - a few
of which we are attaching for you.
L'Oliviera was an awesome room - we enjoyed the
fireplace on the first few chilly nights. And being cat
people, all of the cats made us feel very much at home.
Of course, the massages in the olive grove are another
highlight, as was dinner at the Monastery. We have
rented "The English Patient" and plan to watch it tonight!
The pici making lessons and dinner were fabulous. I
won't ask for the recipe for the pici because I know we
must get the "feel" for the proper ingredients; however,
I would love to have your bean salad recipe. It was
We have nothing but the highest praise for Cretaiole and
for you, Luciano, and Carlo. All of you helped make our
40th wedding anniversary one we will remember forever!
Connie & John Morris
PS - La Portal restaurant was a wonderful recommendation
for our last night. The food was fabulous!
Updated on 11/07/2009
Name: The Ryan Family
We're back home from our wonderful trip to
Italy. We absolutely loved the time we spent
La Cretaiole and touring the beautiful Val
We found the location to be perfect for relaxing
as well as exploring the picturesque hill towns of
Tuscany. The activities you arranged for us
both fun and educational, even for the kids.
especially enjoyed learning to make pici and
wait to make it again at home. Would you
forward the recipe to us as well as the recipes
from our wonderful day with Marta? Dried pasta
just won't do any longer.
The girls would like to know how the kitten is
doing. Hopefully the fox hasn't managed to
Please give our love to Carlo and Luciano.
With Warmest Regards,
Updated on 09/07/2009
Name: Gary Pon
We thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and your
family and our time at Il Cretaiole. The best
you gave us was to not stray too far, but to
immerse ourselves in the Val d'Orcia which we
did. I am still working away at our photos and
send a few of the best when finished. Thanks
all the hospitality.
Updated on 07/07/2009
Name: Paul and Barb
My wife and I had a wonderful week at Cretaiole. It
couldn''t have been better. Our studio apartment was
very comfortable, the hosts friendly and informative,
and the nearby village of Pienza was great. We enjoyed
driving through the Tuscan countryside visiting historic
and beautiful towns, touring wineries, walks through the
wheat fields, eating the great food, and just sitting
and enjoying the quiet.
The week we spent at Cretaiole was a wonderful mix of
relaxation, history, and fun. Isabella welcomes you with
a wonderfully organized list of options. She has
obviously spent a lot of time thinking through the
activities that give you a great sense of Tuscan life.
We enjoyed everything we did.
We would love to go back, and would really like to be
back there right now!!
Paul and Barb
Updated on 06/07/2009
Name: Robin Clark
From: United Kingdom
Thanks so much for fantastic stay. We really had a great
especially enjoyed the extra effort to have veal at the
BBQ which was unforgettable. We will always recommend
people to your place.
Robin Emma and Oscar Clark
Updated on 21/06/2009
Name: Derrick Vargason
Chelsea and I made sure to take the name Val d'Orcia
back with us and tell
our friends and family about this wonderful place and
the people who live
there. Of our three weeks in Europe, this was by far our
most beloved place
and one we would love to return to some day.
To anyone reading this, you won't find a more inviting
place to stay in
Tuscany. The activities Isabella arranges are unique,
interesting and fun.
Carlo and Luciano are hard working, passionate and kind.
are first rate, comfortable and clean.
We ran into Rick Steves in Dubrovnik, and he said he
thought this was a
special place that he'd like to actually vacation at
Thanks for all you do to bring a little magic into
Updated on 18/06/2009
Name: Anne L.
Ciao, Isabella, Carlo, Laura e Luciano - greetings from
grey, cool Canada,
where I am back home but longing for the warm sun and
blue skies of
Cretaiole, Pienza and Castelmuzio. My friends and I had
such a marvelous
time in Tuscany, and a lot of it is due to your warm
wonderful facilities. The views from Cretaiole were
I loved the camaraderie of 20 strangers turned into
friends around the
dinner table at the pasta-making feast. Luciano's tour
of your farm, and
all the samples of your wonderful products, has made for
memories - and I long now for a lunch of the fennel
and ripe pears with arugola.
We are still talking about the roast suckling pig we
tasted at the trattoria
in Pienza, at your recommendation. I am going to host
an oil tasting here
soon to show off my new knowledge to my Canadian
friends. The afternoon
spent relaxing at Cretaiole and the massage from
Simone, capped off with a
chat with Isabella - was definitely one of the
highlights of our 2 weeks in Italy.
Thank you again for all your help and hospitality. I
hope to return some
day, and to stay longer next time. Cheers, Anne
Updated on 18/06/2009
Name: Derrick Vargason
Thanks for your kind response. It's so nice to
the new website (which turned out fantastic)
and your pictures on Facebook. It helps me feel
connected to such wonderful memories. I only
wish we could have stayed longer.
Chelsea and I have talked, and we usually don't
vacation in the same place twice, but we're
already dreaming of coming back to Cretaiole
Val d'Orcia. We hope to be there for harvest
Be well and the best to your family from Chelsea
Updated on 18/06/2009
Name: Jennifer and Geof
Isabella - Grazie mille for the restaurant
recommendation last night. La Porta was wonderful! And,
Daria says "hello".
We are on our way to Roma now but wanted to thank you
again for the wonderful stay. You, Carlo and Luciano
made this our best trip to Italy yet! For that we are
grateful. We'll send you some pictures when we get back
to the states. Hope to see you again soon!
Jennifer and Geof
Updated on 13/06/2009
Name: Dan and Bev
Hello Isabella and Carlo -
I agree with you that the group of people that was there
last week had a very special connection! It was a truly
magical week, and Dan and I both have said it was the
best vacation of our lives (and we have been on many
vacations)! I still believe that you and Carlo and
Luciano have a great deal to do with that magic.
Everyone feels comfortable with you and your place is
very inviting! Tuscany is also breathtakingly beautiful
and the activities you plan are so interesting and
enjoyable! What's not to love? The wine perhaps? Or
the olive oil? Oh no!! They were PERFECT too!!
Thank you again Isabella, for everything that you do to
make our visits so enjoyable! You work very hard, and
it pays off for your guests. I truly hope that we have
an opportunity to return someday. I really don't like
to fly, but I must say, I would get on a plane to return
to Cretaiole in a heart beat!
Thank you again for everything!
Dan and Bev
Updated on 26/05/2009
Name: Unni & Dag
I just wanted to say thanks for a wonderful
The week was just what I hoped for. The tour
the Romitorio, the dinner at St Anna, and the
making with the following dinner exceeded my
expectations! It was also a great pleasure that
friends were just as charmed by Val d'Orcia,
Cretaiole, Pienza and your family as we are!
Please give warm thanks and regards to Carlo
Luciano. The farewell present from Luciano,
images from the fields and acres, is now
decorating our little summer house as a great
reminder of Val d' Orcia!
We will certainly return, as always I plan to
improve my Italian before we do!
All the best!
thank you from
Updated on 05/05/2009
Name: Christie, Jerry, Ben, and Gracie
We are home safely after a delightful week at
Cretaiole. Gracie actually cried a little bit when
we drove off Saturday morning, and we are
already plotting our return someday.
We so want to thank you for a wonderful time;
your continued generosity and spirit means a lot
to us. I don't know how you get everything
done (possibly you do not know either) with
kids and older parents. In the US they call
in this situation "the sandwich generation" (I
include myself) because they are squeezed in
between the generations.
Warm regards to Carlo and Luciano, thanks to
them for pretending to understand my six
of Italian. And a kiss on his little nose for Filippo
don't expect Niccò would accept a kiss on the
nose, but you can try!)
Updated on 20/04/2009
Name: Tara and Steve Bradbury
Dear Isabella and Luciano,
Thank You again for a wonderful trip to your
home. I attached some pictures that we took
while we were there. Our stay at Cretaiole was
the highlight of our trip to Italy. We added a
recommendation on Trip Advisor. Hannah,
and Jack keeping talking about Luciano, which I
think they feel is their Italian Grandpa! Thanks
all you do....We hope to return.
Updated on 04/04/2009
Name: Linda Parysek
We have arrived home safely, but we really
to turn around and come
right back to Italy. The boys are completely
convinced that the greatest
place on earth is Italy and we agree.
I am writing to say thanks for your hospitality
also to ask for your
pici recipe. I know that you make pici as one of
your summer activities.
We had a lot of pici while staying in the Tuscany
area and became addicted
to it. Noah was so disappointed when we could
not get it in Rome. I really
like to cook and would like to make it at home.
I've seen two "recipes" for
pici on the internet and they seem to greatly
differ....one has eggs and the
other does not. I know your recipe will be for
authentic pici and so would
prefer to make that.
Thanks very much for your time.
Updated on 02/04/2009
Name: John Garofalo
We have told everyone we meet here in America of how
gracious you and Carlo and your family had been to us,
and how wonderful our stay was with you all. Lisa and I
hope to come visit again in the next year or so.
Our thoughts and prayers and best wishes to you all. We
are still so affected from our visit to Italy, and in
particular our stay at the farmhouse. We are finding
ourselves choosing to live with less, and go about our
days more slowly and deliberately.
I told Carlo to let me know when the grape and olive
harvests are for you, because our son Joe and or myself
may want to help in the harvest. If that is something
that you all offer, assistance to help on the farm and
in the harvest, let us know.
Again, all of our best wishes for you and your family.
And please say hello to Luciano for me especially. He is
such a dear man!
Updated on 04/02/2009
Thank you for the beautiful Christmas greeting ! And
thank you so much for the wonderful stay we had with you
and your family at Cretaiole. It's a trip we shall never
forget and the memories are very special and the time we
spent with you and your family will always be held in
our hearts. Seeing the pictures of Cretaiole and Tuscany
and your family makes me feel homesick and wishing to
come back and spend time with all of you again. Once
again it's a very special place and you are a very
special family. May you have a wonderful Christmas and a
full and Happy New Year! We all pray for world peace
and a strengthening of the economy for everyone. May we
meet again someday. The group of women who stayed at
Cretaiole from Sept.14th - Sept. 21st 2007. The red
haired quiet one. Love to you and your family! Roberta
Updated on 18/01/2009
Name: Steve and Donnis Benson
From: Florida - USA
Hope you enjoy this dish. You have pheasants which
makes it practical. Can't tell you how much we enjoyed
our visit to Cretaiole--so much. The room, kitchen,
vegetable garden and interaction with your family and
the other guests all added up to a wonderful experience.
The scheduling of events enriched our appreciation of
the area. The Hermitage, wine tasting, pasta event and
organic farm plus the dinner at the monastery were all
bonuses. (The best duck!) We returned exhausted,
knowledgeable, and fulfilled. My first visit to the
grocery store I was able to choose an olive oil of high
quality because of your talk. Everything we did was fun
and very informative and we came away loving a
destination that was a 'place' until we met YOU. We are
telling all our friends about Cretaiole and Tuscany.
Grappa with Luciano was also very special. Please
remind him for us. (My best nights sleep of the trip!)
We hope to visit again with a command of Italian and more
money. Love you guys. P.S. We brought back a wheel of
Updated on 26/12/2008
Name: Maureen Shotts
Susan Truitt sent us your video, and I enjoyed
revisiting all those treasured memories with you and
Tuscany. I was one of the artists in Susan's September
workshop with Kenn Backhaus. (I was the one who kept
trying to get online with my Mac at your house!)
My husband, Ed, frequently speaks of you and his
experience with your family and those exceptional tours
you planned for the spouses.
We have recommended friends, Paul and Donna White, and
they have reservations to stay at Cretaiole next year. I
hope that Ed and I have an opportunity to return some
Here is a small painting that I completed in my studio.
It was fun to paint, and I wanted to share it with you.
I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season
and a joyous New Year!
Updated on 21/12/2008
Name: Peter and Eija
Dear Isabella and Carlo, Greetings from Finland! My
husband and I stayed at Cretaiole September 20-27 during
which my father died. I want to thank you for all your
helpp--the use of your phone and computer--but most of
all, your kind words and support. Those we will carry
with us for a long time. Out of all the places we
visited in Italy, in your beautiful Toscana people
seemed the happiest, most satisfied with their work and
lives. I truly hope we can return one day and only have
getting pici right to worry about. Grazie and all the
best to you and your family. Eija
Updated on 01/12/2008
Name: Dave and Kendra
Isabella, Carlo, Luciano, you have been greater hosts
than we ever expected. You made us feel like family the
entire time we were here. We are very thankful for
having people in the world who care so much about their
homes and are willing to open it up and share it with
others! You are truly rare people! Thanks for
everything! Dave and Kendra
P.S. Carlo and Luciano--Sorry that I could not speak
Italian with you! :-(
Updated on 26/11/2008
Name: Richard and Piret
Isabella, We left a little earlier than we expected so
we have to say goodbye without a hug for you. We had a
wonderful week. There are so many agriturismos in the
Val d'Orcia but only one Isabella and we had the good
fortune to find her. Cretaiole is magic!! For a week
you all were our family and you made us feel a part of
yours. Thank you for all your great suggestions for
tours, activities, and restaurants--we loved every one.
Thank you for the olive oil and the wine--so thoughtful
of you. Please say goodbye and thank you to Luciano (he
is delightful and we enjoyed his vegetable garden very
much) and to Carlo, Liliana, Flora (great pici!!), and
your beautiful children. We wish you good health, joy
and happiness and continued success. We hope to be back
but a bit of our hearts will always be here. With love
and thanks, Richard and Piret
Updated on 26/11/2008
Name: Priscilla & Nick
Isabella & family,
Cretaiole was the perfect place
to experience the food, people
and beauty of Tuscany. We've
been to Italy several times but
this was a totally different
experience, one I would
recommend without hesitation.
The Romitorio tour, the olive oil
tasting, the Pici dinner were very
special, and Isabella made us
feel as if we were her very first
customers. Luciano's sheep
cheese and wine are to die for
(we're still craving more)! He is
extremely proud of his farm and
its products; we very much
enjoyed his company. We
particularly liked the private
dinner at the abbey
and the private tour and lunch at
the brunello winery, which would
not have been possible without
Isabella's assistance. We hope
to return in the future, but for
now we have wonderful
memories and photos of
Cretaiole and the surrounding
Updated on 17/11/2008
Name: Richard and Toby
We want to thank you for your warm hospitality during
our recent visit. The farm was the perfect experience to
explore the wonders of Tuscany. The accommadations were
very comfortable, and the optional activities were a
delight. We loved the garden!!! Maybe someday we will be
fortunate enough to visit again. Our best to you and
your family for sharing the beauty and tranquility of
the countryside in Italy. Salute!
Richard & Toby
Silver Spring, MD
Updated on 17/10/2008
Name: Robert & Michelle Kennedy
Thank you so much for the most
memorable vacation which has
left us home sick and heart sick
for Cretaiole. Our lives have
been touched with your family’s
passion for fine living! We are
sorry that our plans did not allow
us to spend time with all of the
Isabella you are absolutely
amazing and we found Luciano
adorable! Isabella you are so
very thoughtful in all that you do
for the guests. We could never
articulate how incredible you
are! Please don’t ever lose your
zest for life! Take time to re-
charge! If ever vacationing in
the USA…Please don’t hesitate to
give us call, we would love to
treat you to a nice dinner or that
hamburger you haven’t had!!!
Please convey to Luciano we will
study our Italian so that we can
better communicate upon our
next visit (We are hoping for
September 2010)! We truly
enjoyed Luciano’s company,
kindness, & Grappa! Michelle
found him so charming! In
addition, we met the most
spectacular people (your
guests)! So many happy
memories/thoughts we are ever
Robert & Michelle Kennedy
Updated on 14/10/2008
Name: Karen and Jeff
Jeff and I want to thank you for a wonderful week in
Tuscany. We loved each and every minute and we thank
you personally for making it so special. The activities
that you had available to us were fantastic and we
learned so much about wine, food, olive oil and Italian
history. You dear girl, are the biggest asset a family
could ever have. You are smart, friendly, outgoing and
totally wonderful in every way. We loved our apartment,
the garden, and thoroughly enjoyed all the guests that
were around us. It was also great fun to be with Bev
and Regis. They called us this morning and gave us an
update on all that went on after we left.
We hope to return to Cretaiole with Eric. I would not
want to stay any other place. Thank you Isabella, for
everything. Please give our warmest regards to your
Karen and Jeff
Updated on 09/10/2008
Name: Donna and Paul Irwin
A little delayed, but we wanted to thank you for a
wonderful wonderful visit.
You, your family and the gorgeous area were better that
we could have hoped.
Our wish is to return every year but that may not be
possible with the pitiful economy.
We hope you, Carlo, Luciano, the boys and the family are
Again thank you for a delightful vacation.......Donna &
Paul Irwin and the Keisters and Dana
Updated on 09/10/2008
Name: Cynthia & Jessica
We had the best week of our vacation
thanks to the wonderful hospitality
of Isabella, Carlo and Luciano. The
rooms are comfortable and the
experiences really embody the Tuscan
dream. We can't recommend this place
highly enough and look forward to a
Updated on 08/10/2008
Name: Walt and Christine
Thank you so much for the wonderful time that we had at
We loved our room (Oliviera), the gorgeous views and
property, the outstanding activities, the helpful
insight into Italian life... and, of course, we treasure
the time with all of you.
We wish you all the best at your beautiful piece of this
earth. Thank you for sharing and for giving so much of
yourselves. We will carry our fond memories with us and
will be sure to recommend your experience to our friends.
Walt and Christine
Updated on 01/10/2008
Name: Tom & Pat Strand
We were thrilled to see the new,
updated website, especially the
photo gallery. Thanks for
including the picture of Tom in
bed sleeping off the grapa that
Luciano so generously provided
to all of us at the family banquet
in the courtyard. The circle of
women surrounding his sleepy
head quickly brought back the
hilarious memory for us. Our
group stay with all of you was
like a dream come true. Travelling
with our dear friends is always
special, but staying at your farm
with them was just plain magical.
I hope that the eight of us can
come back again. Your facilities,
knowledge of the surrounding
area and your hospitality are
what made the visit so perfect.
Thanks for everything! Sincerely
Tom & Pat
Updated on 31/08/2008
From: Moscow, Russia
I am back home safely! I spent two wonderful days in
Firenze and finished my Italian vacations in Rome. It
was all so wonderful!
And I must say that impressions I got from Val D'Orcia
were the best! It is where my sole rest and mind relaxed!
THANK YOU again for your care and all the guidance! I
hope I shall come back to Cretaiole in the near future!
I hope my family and my dear and good friends could also
see you one day!!!
I hope your vacations were enjoyable! Please know that
you are always welcome in Moscow and in our home!
I have one request - could you kindly share with me the
recipe for pici, I planned to make a cd for Allison with
small movies I made and send it to her with the recipe.
And it will be very useful for me too.
So I am not saying good-buy for long, promise to be in
Please pass my best wishes to Luciano and Liliana!
Updated on 23/07/2008
Name: Rita Mantone
Thank you for making a week at Cretaiole so special!
The places you had us visit, your warm hospitality,
teaching us to make pici, you really made the Val
d'Orcia come alive for us!!!
Please tell Luciano thank you for all the great wine and
food and that I wish I could have spoken better Italian
Tommy and I are sorting through our photos of our trip,
we were gone a month, so we have many. Do you want me
to put them on a disc and send them, or do you just want
me to email them? If they are used only for the web,
the small size should be fine, but if you want them in
their original 10 megapixel size, we will have to put
them on a disc. We certainly can send them email and on
a disc, if you would like.
We informed our friends of our special time at
Cretaiole. We told them that we have a place for all of
us to go for the week in Tuscany, so God willing, you
may see us again!
Updated on 21/07/2008
Name: Chris Mowrer
From: Colorado, USA
Luciano was very very accommodating and welcoming
We ARE going to come back!!!
and recommend to all!!
It was better than any website could ever describe!!!
Updated on 12/07/2008
We were held up in traffic and didn't get to Cretaiole
until very late at night. Isabella was there waiting for
us and made us feel very welcomed and comfortable.
Isabella and Carlos and their family were extremely
helpful and accommodating. The activities that they
planned for us were wonderful. They provided
opportunities for us to not only experience Tuscany, but
to meet and
spend time with the other folks staying at Cretaiole
Isabella made several calls for us to verify our train
reservations and to obtain information about the rental
One would be hard pressed to find a more centrally
located place to stay while in Tuscany. All the extra
activities, advice and hospitality provided by Luciano,
Isabella and Carlos make it the perfect place in which
to learn about the Tuscan way of life.
Updated on 12/07/2008
Name: Curtis Stiles
From: Brookline, MA, USA
Arrival and check-in -- friendly and smooth
The activities suggested and/or organized by the
Morriciani family were all wonderful experiences. These
were 1)olive oil tasting 2)a private dinner arranged in
a nearby monastery 3)pici making followed by an Italian
family dinner with all the guests in the courtyard and
4) a guided tour to an Etruscan tomb. A lovely week's stay.
The location of Cretaiole, just outside of Pienza, makes
it an ideal hub for visiting many of the charming Tuscan
villages. Most can be reached and explored by relatively
short drives -- San Quirico, Montalcino, Bagno Vignoni,
Montechiello, Cortona, Montepulciano, Castelmuzio,
'A super way to spend a week in a beautiful part of
Italy. Wonderful towns, wonderful food and wine, and
Updated on 12/07/2008
Name: Fulvio Romano
From: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, United State
We felt very welcome and confortable from the first minute.
Perfect stay for a family with young children. All the
staff went out of their way to make our stay perfect.
An oasis of peace.
The ideal place for anybody who wants to discover or
revisit Tuscany in a relaxed way.
Updated on 12/07/2008
Name: Werner Mees
From: Port Perry, Canada
Complimentary bottle of wine in our room was
a nice touch.
Activities like pasta making, olive oil
tasting added enjoyment to our stay.
The host was congenial and expedited the
A chance to absorb the Tuscan surroundings.
Well located, close to an attractive town.
Friendly people, guests and hosts.
Updated on 12/07/2008
Name: Sylvia Iredale
From: Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Our stay at Cretaiole exceeded our expectations. We had
an incredible stay and a wonderful experience. The
family who run Cretaiole ensured that we experienced a
unique Tuscany stay. They went above and beyond to
ensure we had a delightful stay. I would recommend
Cretaiole to all my friends and would love to return
there one day. For the present we have wonderful
memories. My regards to the family who run Cretaiole for
their outstanding service and for allowing us to be a
part of their family for the time we stayed there.
We loved the pasta making and olive oil tasting nights
and the tour of the hermitage. The fresh produce we were
allowed to pick and eat free of charge tasted
exceptional. The whole experience was a joy and the
service and attention to detail exceptional.
The value for money exceeded our expectations.
The wonderful family that run it should be highlighted
as they are the force behind the exceptional service and
A place where you would experience the true Tuscany; a
little bit of heaven in another wise hectic world.
Updated on 12/07/2008
Name: Ann Robinson
From: Belmont, MA, USA
this was the most wonderful vacation. Isabella and
family are authentically Tuscan; gracious, warm and
inviting into their homes and lives. they are genuine in
their love of and appreciation for their heritage, their
land with the passion to bring that to their guests.
They brought to their farmhouse a true experience of
Tuscany, we hope to go back soon and are delighted to
give you feedback. It was more than we expected.
Isabella gave each guest a guide book she had put
togeter, it could be used as a model for all homestays.
Each town has its own section, day trips, restaurants
reviewed from guests, etc. She is a natural teacher and
sets a very high standard for service and integrity. My
husband and I were delighted by our visit to Italy and
Tuscany and we travel 2 major trips a year and I believe
that Isabella and her family were a major part of that
Exceptional value for the money, but what we received
there was 'priceless'
you may include any of the above comments on your
website with my name on it.
authentic, the real thing, rustic farmhouse with a
spectacular setting and a family that will and do
provide a genuine Tuscan experience.
Updated on 12/07/2008
Name: Cathy Briles
Cretaiole is a gem. The
wonderful reviews that everyone
has written about it and the
Moricciani family are absolutely
In celebration of our 50th
birthdays, a friend and I chose
Italy for our destination. We
wanted the trip to be special and
it exceeded our expectations.
The highlight of our trip was the
week we spent in Tuscany at
Cretaiole. We both are
photography enthusiasts and the
area is a shutterbug’s delight.
Our apartment was comfortable
and perfect location for exploring
the quaint, picturesque hill
We prepared all of our meals at
Cretaiole, enjoying fresh
vegetables from the garden. We
purchased additional fresh fruits
and vegetables from the weekly
markets in Pienza and
neighboring towns. We shopped
at the local coop and butcher for
meats, cheeses and addicting
We sampled the fresh pressed
olive oil from the olives on the
farm, the pecorino romano
cheese aged by the Moricciani
family and also enjoyed their
wine, Grappa and Vin Santo.
A special thanks to Isabella and
Luciano for making our trip
special. Leaving made us “molto
triste”. We felt as though we
were leaving behind dear
friends. We have plans to
return to Italy again and will look
forward to staying with at
Cretaiole again. We would not
consider staying anywhere else
in the beautiful Val D'Orcia area.
Updated on 09/07/2008
Name: Donna & Paul Irwin
From: Florida, USA
Our expectations were definitely
surpassed. Everything one
reads about Cretaiole is so very
true. It is so refreshing to be
away from the big cities and to
enjoy the true people of Italy.
The Moricciani family is so warm
and vital...they do so much to
make all guests feel at home, we
truly appreciated each and every
Thank you Isabella, Carlo and of
course Luciano for a wonderful
week in Val d'Orcia...can't wait to
Updated on 07/07/2008
My husband and I stayed at Cretaiole with dear friends.
The apartment we shared was perfect - comfortable, cozy,
working kitchen where we cooked some meals. Spring in
Tuscany is spectacular - cool evenings, warm days. We
spent our days in the surrounding areas, exploring small
walled cities, tasting local culinary treats, and
hiking. Isabella was a wonderful hostess - helping to
arrange interesting outings (including a tour and
spectacular meal at a near-by organic farm) and even
teaching us one evening how to make pici pasta. Our
entire stay was perfect!
Updated on 29/04/2008
My wife and I just returned from two weeks at
Agriturismo Cretaiole. It was not enough. Picking
Cretaiole as our home in Italy for the short time we
were there was the absolute right decision for us. All
the rave reviews you read here are only a glimmer of
what Cretaiole is about and what it means to be there,
making friends and sharing experiences with the other
guests, all under the attentive care of the Moricciani
The Val D'Orcia is one of the most beautiful, most
photographed areas in all of Italy. The landscapes are
fantastic, the towns and villages are enchanting, and
the people are warm and open with their hospitality.
Cretaiole is all of that, perched on a hill between
Pienza and San Quirico D'Orcia with fantastic views in
practically every direction. The house is lovely, with
its apartments well appointed and maintained. The
grounds are immaculate, surrounded by olive groves,
woods and fields below.
The activities available, planned and arranged on a
weekly basis by Isabella, some at no additional cost,
some at a very (very) reasonable cost, were perfect for
us - whether it was touring a working farm and eating a
Tuscan lunch with the workers there, visiting a small
winery near Montalcino and eating a Tuscan lunch with
the family there, or learning to make pici (I love to
cook) and sharing a meal with all the guests of
Cretaiole and all (almost) of the Moriccianis - Carlo,
Isabella, Nico, and Lucciano. Lots of warm memories
(along with all the great food and wine).
Cretaiole is a tranquil, real place. The Moriccianis are
passionate, real people. If you want to know Toscana,
meet her people, and see what makes this such a
beautiful place, Cretaiole is the place to come and
immerse yourself. We can't say enough good things about
it. We will be back! And soon!
Updated on 29/04/2008
Name: Vija and Alissa
we arrived home without delays and quite tired, but with
beautiful memories of Tuscany, Florence and Pienza.
We saw and experienced so many emotions. We felt
privileged to walk on the centuries old roadways, see
centuries old artworks created by the worlds greatest
artists, the green hills of Tuscany and friendliness of
the Italian people.
You, Isabella contributed so much to make our stay
comfortable, provided us with tonnes of information and
advice. Thank you so much for everything.
Our best wishes to you and Carlos and your family.
Vija and Alissa
Updated on 13/04/2008
Name: Patty and Dave Lockman
We traveled many places in Italy on our 16-day adventure
and this was by far our favorite.
This wonderful family farmhouse was relaxing, friendly
and offered many activities for the whole family. Our
accommodations were very comfortable and we made friends
with the other guests who were staying there at that
The Moricciani Family opened their home and traditions
to us and made us feel like part of the family. We were
lucky enough to be there during their olive pressing and
got to sample the absolute freshest olive oil you will
ever taste. We were not there for the pasta making
night, when all the guests cook something and bring it
to a community table but I heard it was fun. Oh, they
also have a garden from which you can pick vegetables
The small town of Pienza also has the best pecorino
cheese that you can smell from outside as you walk by
the local markets.
We will definitely spend more time at Cretaiole the next
time we visit, 3 days just wasn't enough time to absorb
all the local beauty.
Updated on 02/04/2008
Name: Heidi Granger
From: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Our family stayed at Cretaiole for a week in September
2007 and absolutely loved it. The property, the
thoughtfully appointed rooms, the views, the close
proximity to various hill towns and the excellent
hospitality made it one of the highlights of the trip.
We were travelling with our six month old baby and it
was perfect - they had a crib, highchair and baby bath
all set our for us when we got there. At night, the baby
could sleep with us just outside her door drinking a
glass of the wine produced at the farm, eating fresh
veggies out of the garden and staring at the
postcard-perfect view. You couldn't make it up. Highly
recommended for families and anyone who wants a great
home base for exploring Tuscan hill towns including
Pienza, Montalcino, Montepulciano and Siena.
Updated on 28/02/2008
Name: Margareta Nicholas
From: Adelaide, Australia
As other people have already said, this is a special,
special place. We would go back again and again. As a
respite from the rat race world there is no equal.
The villa complex is made up of 7 apartments catering
for singles, couples and groups. I think the whole place
was full while we were there. September is a lovely time
to visit. Warm days and cool nights with no rain or
We (three adults) stayed in La Caciaia, an apartment
with two bedrooms, kitchen and eating area on the first
floor (one up from the ground floor for our American
friends) so the views over the valley to Pienza were
superb. Plenty of towels were supplied, the beds were
great and there was enough cooking equipment to make all
of our meals.
Isabella (who speaks excellent English) and her family
welcomed us as if we were long lost friends, and indeed,
by the time we left we did feel as if we were.
Agriturismo Cretaiole offers plenty of activities for you
to discover the magic of the area; winery touring, a
visit to Siena, their own bit of Etruscan archeaology,
olive oil tasting and appreciation, and the fabulously
fun experience of group making "pici" which we all
consumed together with a home made feast prepared by the
family. We did all of these. We could also do (but did
not do) hear Gregorian chanting and have a massage in
the olive grove.
Cooking for ourselves was a treat as we were able to use
Luciano's vegetable garden produce and bought the
farm's olive oil and chianti. There is nothing better
than to sit down to a fresh food meal with a glass of
red while looking out over the valley as the sun is
setting over Pienza. There is also a spring (on tap) for
the best water I have ever tasted.
The villa has a bevy of cats who will adopt you if you
are a cat person (we are). We had visits from Romeo and
Juliet who helped us overcome our homesickness for our
Pienza is a short (4 km) drive away and has an excellent
butcher, fresh fruit and vegetables store as well as
plenty of cheese, cold meats and wine shops. An
internet cafe is handy as well.
Just be aware of the opening hours for these. If you are
there when they are open, buy as the next time you pass
they may be shut. This applies to the lunch hour mainly
but they are usually open quite late.
The location is also good for Siena, Cortona, Montalcino
and Montepulciano. The area is not as tourist driven as
Chianti and there are plenty of side roads to explore to
get the feel of the place.
If you are looking for the lush vegetation of Chianti
you will be disappointed as this part of Tuscany is clay
and more clay - great for olive growing, not so good for
grapes. As Australians this did not matter to us - we
are used to dry country. What you do notice is the
mellow light, the peace in the evening and the night sky
where you can see the stars.
I think I had better stop before I start gushing.
Go check it out for yourself.
Updated on 28/02/2008
From: Austin, Texas, USA
We spent the entire month of June traveling all over
Italy and nothing comes close to comparing with the
experience we had at Cretaiole. I am just bummed that we
stayed there first, because everything afterwards was
just a disappointment. The family that owns this
agriturismo cares, really cares, that you not only enjoy
your stay on their farms, but that you learn and come to
a real appreciation for the people, culture and history
of this area. That information is imparted incredibly
well by the vivacious Isabella. It is true what an
earlier reviewer wrote, you wish you could make her a
lifelong friend. The activities that are planned are
really interesting, fun and make your stay that much
more special. When I come back to Tuscany, this is the
Updated on 28/02/2008
Name: Kevin and Connie
From: Michigan, USA
Without a doubt the highlight of our trip. Cretaiole is
My husband and I forever will feel like a part of the
family. The Agriturismo is located just outside of
Pienza. Easy to locate. The arrangements for our stay
were made with Isabella who speaks and writes wonderful
English. At the time of our trip Isabella was days away
from the birth of her new son and so we were met by
Luciano who spoke little English and we spoke little
Italian but things went great. We were showed to our
apartment and all matters were discussed, how to turn on
the heat, the stove etc... Luciano left us for the night
with a bottle of wine and it was great. The apartment
was clean and beautiful, fully functional with
One of the best things was finding the leather binders
on the chest of drawers with complete listings and
itineraries of outings in the area. The family shop is
full of awesome treats such as home made sausage,
cheese, wine and grappa Oh yeah olive oil too. There is
also a hermitage that is for the guests of the house. If
you get a chance to tour it please do you won't be
The best way to say this simply is, if you can stay here
you should it is a little bit of heaven on earth.
Updated on 28/02/2008
Isabella - Ann and I did not get a chance to sign the
guestbook before we left, so we wanted to e-mail to let
you know how much we enjoyed and appreciated our stay at
Cretaiole. We were so fortunate to have found this
place - and the people in it. You, Carlo and Luciano
(who has a special place in my heart) were so welcoming,
so warm and so informative. We learned a tremendous
amount about the culture, the people, the history, and
about wine, olives and olive oil, and - of course -
about grappa and vin santo! Being able to experience
the Val D'Orcia and Tuscany as part of your extended
family truly made our vacation special. That we were
blessed to be able to join in such things as the olive
harvest, the olive oil pressing, pici making, lunch at
Il Casale and Il Bosco della Ragania - everything you
offered only heightened the experience. We hope all
goes well with the new baby and that everyone has a very
happy and healthy New Year. We look forward to
returning as soon as we can. Please share the attached
photo with Luciano. Ciao!
Updated on 13/02/2008
From: United States
My week at Cretaiole, in the Toscana (Tuscany)
region, near Pienza was one of the most magical
weeks I've ever had. You see a place on TV, and
you read about it in books, but until you really get
there, and see the sites, eat the food, smell the
smells, and meet the people, you don’t really
know what the area is about I had done all the
research before going to Italy. Now, having gone,
I know I picked the best place in all of, not only in
Tuscany, but in the Val D'Orcia region, in
Agriturismo Cretaiole, though it was the first
agriturismo in the region, is not nearly as well
known as some of the others. It's a beautiful old
farm house, perched on a hill and nestled by olive
trees, and cedars. If you stop to look out the
back, you will have some of the most marvelous
views of mountains and fields. Isabella and her
family, Carlo, Luciano, and Lilliana, have created a
warm, welcoming venue, and the apartments are
marvelous. You will arrive and immediately feel like
you are part of an extended family. At no time
will you ever feel like a guest who has stayed too
long, or that you are bothersome. And Isabella
stops by daily to check on you and helps you with
your plans for the day.
Cretaiole is a fantastic location to relax and sit
outside and read, or nap, either in your room, in
the hammock, or on very comfortable lawn
furniture. Or, you can do as I did, and travel to
many wonderful, rustic and interesting (and some
a bit spooky) towns, mostly less than an hours
drive. Isabella has created a several hundred page
travel guide with a copy for each room. It has
descriptions of all the local towns, their history,
interesting things to see, and fantastic places to
eat. To take it one step further ... they have
created day trip itineraries solely for your use. You
are not only allowed, but encouraged to take the
books with you. Just choose one of the
itineraries, follow the detailed directions and you'll
find yourself whisked away to old, authentic Italy.
Places that haven't been changed in hundreds of
years, where the people still work the land and
celebrate life the same way their parents and
grand parents did. Then there are the times to
put away the maps and itineraries, and explore.
The region around the Val D’Orcia is filled with
gravel roads. Where do they go? I don’t know,
and you won’t know till you take one, but take
one. Driving down a gravel road, dust flying
behind you, wondering who and what you will
find at the next turn is a fabulous adventure. I did
it several times and happened upon people and
small hamlets that aren’t on any map, but held
such charm and beauty it was well worth the
Isabella and Carlo have also setup a list of possible
event where you can learn and do things without
having to travel far outside of Cretaiole at all.
There is the Uccelliera Vineyard in Castlenuovo
Dell'Abate to visit (fantastic Nobile and Brunello -
never had them before, Brunello is now my
favorite wine). The local olive press where you
can view, learn and taste how fresh olive oil is
made (and how different fresh is from what we
get in the U.S). There is much more, one of my
favorites is the Hermitage tour. This is on the
owners' land.. Isabella will walk you through the
tour and explain the Etruscan history and religious
symbolisms of the place. Additionally, there is the
weekly pici class, where you are instructed on
how to make pici, a regional dish done only in the
Val D’Orcia, is something that should not be
missed. You will learn the history of pici during the
class – which is fantastically fun, and you will finish
with a gastronomic delight of pici, sausages,
bread, wine, cheeses, fruit, grappa, vin santo. It’s
a time where everyone gets together for a feast
and sharing of stories, friendship, laughter, and
food, a perfect end to your time at Cretaiole.
During all of these adventures, whether driving
someplace, or taking part of the pici making class,
you will start to realize the wonder of the land
and its people. I was in awe, not only of the land,
the activities, the food, the countryside and they
cities, but even more by the passion Isabella,
Carlos, Luciano, and Lilliana have towards Cretaiole
and the Val D'Orcia.
When it was time to leave, I had some tears in
my eyes. These people poured out their love and
passions freely to me. I felt like I was leaving a
very dear friend I might not see again for a while.
But as sad as that was, I knew I was better. My
heart, mind, and soul where all refreshed and
lightened beyond what I ever imagined a vacation
could do. And my outlook on the world and my
own life was changed forever.
I'm not sure exactly what Val D'Orcia means in
English and it's not important, but I think it should
translate to Valley of Life. I believe, Agriturismo
Cretaiole and the Val D'Orcia and all the people
there, are truly the heart of Italy, not the tourist
heart, but the real heartbeat, the hands in the
dirt, raising families, loving each other, and loving
their friends, real live heartbeat of Italy. And while
you are there, you will get caught up in that
heartbeat and never want to leave.
But, once you are gone, all you’ll have to do is
just close your eyes, and breathe and think back
and you’ll feel your heart beating in time with Val
D'Orcia and find yourself transported back to
Cretaiole and suddenly you'll feel a warmness in
your chest and a wide smile on your face.
Agriturismo Cretaiole and the Val D’Orcia, they are
a place and a people you won't forget and will
want to see many times more.
Updated on 23/01/2008
Name: Nancy Verboon
Thank you for your Christmas greetings. Rob and I did
not have the opportunity when we left to tell you what a
wonderful time we had at Cretaiole. Everything was
perfect. We so much enjoyed picking olives and seeing
the olive oil produced. Our can of oil arrived safely,
and we bought bottles and gave away many gifts of oil,
which is sooo delicious! Also, we have been enjoying
Luciano’s Vin Santo. Thank you to your entire family
for such a lovely time in Tuscany. I feel like I am
still there as I am reading Iris Origo’s war diary. We
hope to come again sometime, perhaps when the exchange
rate improves a bit!
We wish you a wonderful new year of health and
happiness. I hope you will send out a note and picture
when your new baby is born. Thanks again for such a
Updated on 29/12/2007
Name: Cathy Briles
What a wonderful and memorable time Wanda and I had
during our stay at Cretaiole! Wanda and I speak of it
often and the small things remind us often of the trip.
It is hard to believe that a month has passed and I am
sorry to be so tardy in sending a note to say grazie.
I hope that you and the baby are well and you are
feeling better. I'm sure you and Carlo are anxious and
looking forward to the baby's arrival in February.
I am continuing to work on photos and relive the trip as
I review and edit them little by little every evening. I
will send a few via e-mail once I get them organized.
We enjoyed Luciano's visits and his patience with us and
our struggling with the language. The Italian/English
dictionary was used extensively along with our phrase
books. We had a grand time and it was a highlight of our
trip, so please pass along our enjoyment to him. I'm
saving the Vin Santo
that I brought home and will open it when Wanda visits
me next year and we will drink it and remember our trip.
On our trip home we both agreed that our trip to Italy
was the best vacation ever and exceeded our highest
expectations. We felt very welcomed and comfortable, as
if we were part of an extended family. We look forward
to visiting Italy and you and Cretaiole again, but
probably not without Virgil and Don. Don likes hearing
me tell about our experiences and he would now
like to visit also!
It is cold here and we are expecting snow this
afternoon, as much as 6 inches which means we will have
a white Christmas.
Please send news of the baby and the family.
I want to wish you and your family a Blessed Christmas.
Nuovo Anno Felice!
Updated on 22/12/2007
Name: Cyrus Moore
Dear Isabella, Carlo, and Luciano,
Thank you so much for a splendid time at Cretaiole!
Amanda and I and our relatives enjoyed our stay very
much! The farm is lovely--the wine, cheese, fresh
ricotta, olive oil, prosciutto, and other products were
delicious! Luciano--many thanks for your visits with
bottles of grappa and vin santo. Carlo--the truffle hunt
was terrific! Isabella--best wishes for the coming
addition to your family!
We hope to see you all again one day!
Updated on 08/12/2007
From: Maryland, USA
When we were there: July/August 2007, One Week
Location: The situation on a hill, surrounded by trees,
overlooking Pienza is perfect. When you imagined what
Tuscany would look like, this is it. We drove by many
other agriturismos in the Val D'Orcia and none appeared
to be as perfectly serene or as pretty as Cretaiole.
Cretaiole is also perfectly situated to access all of
the Val D'Orcia. Montalcino, Montepulciano, Radicofani,
San Fillipo, Castelmuzio and many other towns are all
within a 20 minute drive. Siena is only 45 minutes or less.
Being a very short drive (a few minutes) to either
Pienza or San Quirico makes shopping at the local COOP
(food store), finding an ATM or, more importantly, many
small shops, cafes and restaurants very easy. It is
also nice being close to a small town like Pienza which
is not overrun by tourists and which is small enough to
know quickly and be able to visit again and again. It
is also scenic, clean and charming. The people are all
very friendly. Of course, you may not want to take a
picture of the little "hardware" shop unless you can run
the 100 like you did when you were young!
Nearby Amenities: You must drive for groceries but, as I
said above, both Pienza and San Quirico are very close
and convenient. Then again, if it is fresh vegetables
you want or maybe some coffee for your Moka, a bottle of
Cretaiole Olive Oil or Orcia Rossa, you only have to
walk to the large garden outside or, your cupboard.
Isabella and family keep the cupboard stocked with
essentials!! Luciano enjoys helping you pick some
lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, herbs, etc. A couple of
days, before heading out, we would grab a watermelon
from the garden and eat it with "new hungry friends we
meet along the way" outside a little church or
overlooking a green vista.
If you feel adventurous, go ahead and drive on the back
road (the famous Tuscan white roads) to Pienza.
The Farmhouse and the Apartment
Cretaiole, the building is as perfect as the location on
a hill. A 14th century farmhouse, it is comfortable,
private and pretty. It makes you feel good just sitting
in the courtyard or on your terrace. Of course it's
even better at night drinking some of Cretaiole's
Chianti or Vin Santo with Luciano! There are about six
apartments that all have private entrances on the ground
or first floor, around the courtyard. Each is nicely
furnished and very comfortable. You will never want to
leave the view from your windows.
Our three bedroom unit had a long wooden table in the
kitchen. We loved sitting around it and eating some
fresh Pecorino from Pienza or the morning coffee from
the Moka. Did I mention that coffee never tasted so good?
As for the other guests, the grounds at Cretaiole are so
large that you can hang with them (which you will
probably want to do at least some of the time) or not.
No problem. There is a huge field with chairs, ping
pong, etc. There is a public sitting room inside. The
other guests while we were there were from northern
Italy and from Switzerland. They were regular guests at
Cretaiole and very nice.
Garden: As stated above, the courtyard, gardens, open
fields are all beautiful and peaceful. No pool. We
didn't want it and, even though it was in the 90s every
day, probably wouldn't have used it if there was one.
We were too busy. We would also go for runs, bike
rides, walks etc. early in the morning. You can walk,
run or bike down the white road in picture perfect
scenery. A bonus is seeing the all the animals that are
our early in the day.
Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas: The furniture was
in good shape and comfortable. The apartment was clean
and there were enough chairs for everyone in the living
room and dining room.
Bedrooms/Bathrooms: The beds are very comfortable.
There is a lot of storage space. The bathrooms have
good hot and strong water, and every room has a view to
Kitchen: It definitely was a usable kitchen. We only
cooked a few meals but, there were more than enough pots
pans, plates, etc. Also, quite a few seasonings, the
families own olive oil, etc.
Bonuses: As so many have written, the bonus is the way
that Isabella really takes you under her wing. If you
want to have an intimate dinner in town or on a farm,
she will arrange it. If you want to go swimming in
thermal baths or pick olives- she will arrange it. If
you want to tour a Brunello vineyard with the owner, she
will arrange it. And, everything she recommends was
tested by her and Carlo, and is probably the better than
anything you would have found on your own.
We had the time of our lives hanging out with the locals
at the thermal baths at San Fillipo, going down the
trail and finding private little pools. We fell into a
private concert at Sant'Anna (English Patient abbey),
only a 10 minute drive away, where we listened to
beautiful music in the chapel. No one else was there.
We had a great day in Siena following the tour that
Isabella arranged (part of your stay). The Pici dinner
was probably THE highlight of the week. Carlo's
sausages and Luciano's meats and the family's Orcia
Rossa and hanging out with all the guests (and of course
rolling our own pici while drinking wine with new
friends, etc.) was great. Isabella arranged for us to
tour a nearby farm (Il Casel) and Sandra was the
consummate host, tour guide and the meal was never
ending and delicious, while looking at the best view you
will ever have while eating outside. Another highlight
was coming back at night and hanging outside with
Luciano who would bring enough wine, vin santo and
grappa to last all night. We had a great time laughing
with him while we tried to understand each other. After
a while, the full moon and the wine start to talk for you.
Price: The price was more reasonable for what you get
than you could ever expect. (Pss- don't repeat that).
Also, even with the horrible exchange rate, meals in
Tuscany cost less than in the states because the prices
are so low. Even the nicest place rarely has many items
on the menu that cost more than €10. And, you can
always get the house wine very cheap. It's always great
(from a local vineyard). Why pay more?
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others? There
were eight of us. Six in the three-bedroom and two in a
one-bedroom. We were all in agreement that this
vacation was the best ever. It exceeded everybody's
expectations. Both for the hospitality of the owners
and for the great experiences we had. We can't wait to
Things to do in this area: See above. We were there a
week and didn't do half the things we would have liked
to. But, we wouldn't change a thing either. The only
thing we can do is go back as soon as possible.
Updated on 21/10/2007
Name: Barry Marshall
From: United States
I unpack the suitcase.
First the wash from the 2 hour machine
the smell in the clothes make me long for Cretaiole
Out comes the olive oil from Cretaiole
Carlos' larger than life smile returns to me
and then the vegetable garden, the hills,
the colors, the heat of the day, the breezes
Niccolò and of course, you Isabella.
This morning at breakfast we drank
our cappuccinos with coffee from the coop
and though the eggs were American,
the honey was from Podero and the
limoncello preserves were from Pienza.
Our Niccolò, Samuel, sat with us and we
began to share the stories. Around our table
we laughed to the edge of tears as we told
about the Romans who backed their car
up to the vegetable garden and were ransacking
Cretaiole in the typical way Tuscans experience
Your stories, your vision for making us know this
place in Italy that you also have come to know--
we are so grateful for it and for you. Our best to
you and to your
Updated on 20/07/2007
Name: Carole Marshall
From: United States
I forgot to sign your guestbook on that last
evening, so I am writing now to thank you for
the many special memories we owe to you. We
would never have gotten that sense of the place
otherwise, and that made it much more than a
tourist trip. Cretaiole was also a perfect place for
stepping out of the whirlwind; I left you a far
more relaxed person than when I arrived.
Arrivederci! Carole Marshall
Updated on 20/07/2007
Name: Julia Kelly Perry
Dearest Isabella, Carlo, Nicolo,
Luciano, Lilliana, and Laura,
This last visit to Cretaiole in
June was very different than my
last three visits with you that
have always been in the month of
For anyone who wants to experience
the harvest of the wheat like a
pulsing heart, beating in the
country side, and all the beautiful
wild flowers along the road sides
this is a perfect time to visit.
When I parked my car and walked
across the grass, covered with a
carpet of yellow flowers, into my
little apartment it made me cry
with happiness. Cretaiole is
enchanting and I am inspired by it
and at peace within it. This last
visit I got a lot of painting done
and the colors of the hills are so
different during June.
The massage in the olive grove was
wonderful, so wonderful I had to
have it twice! The flickering light
through the leaves, the song birds
chirping away, the warm gentle sun
and breezes carressing my body,
while Simone made all my cares
melt away... It was like Heaven on
Thank you again for allowing me
the joy of "living" at Cretaiole.
As the church bells of Pienza ring
out the hour of the day off on the
hillside in the distance, I can
almost hear them still.
Updated on 03/07/2007
Name: Dan and Jody Hacker
Sorry this is coming so late but Dan and I
to thank you for a
truly wonderful week at Cretaiole (May 19-26).
This was our tenth trip to Italy but one of the
most unique trips there
we have ever taken. We learned so much
the people, the culture,
and the food (...and wine and olive oil!) of
southern Tuscany that this
trip will always be a special memory for us. We
also met some fun
fellow travelers who we are keeping in touch
and hope to see again
in the future.
Thanks again for your help with the faxes....
Isabella, I cannot tell you how much that week
Cretaiole meant to
both Dan and me. Your family is kind, warm,
so giving and we can't
thank you enough for making our trip to Italy
that we will never,
Dan and Jody Hacker
Updated on 20/06/2007
Name: Jeanne and Denny
Denny and I are home again and back to work
and our busy lives here.
There is absolutely no question in our minds that
the best part of
our trip to Italy was spent at Cretaiole and in that
of the world. We saw wonderful and memorable
things in Venice and
Rome, but there are too many people, cars, etc.
If we were to ever
return to Italy, it would be to come to Cretaiole.
We just feel so fortunate to have meant you and
Carlo and your
wonderful family. Thank you for treating us as
friends and not just
visitors to Cretaiole. Also thank you for touring us
hermitage and for your passion for the history of
your area and for
sharing that with all of us. We all benefit so
greatly in knowledge
and memories from your sharing.
The olive oil made it home safely in our suitcase.
Getting it home was no
issue after all and now am so delighted to have it
in my kitchen.
We are passing along the information and our
about Cretaiole to anyone interested in going to
Tuscany. Again, we
have been so fortunate to have made your
acquaintance and wish you
all the best for the future as you continue on
with your lives. Take care dear friend and--if you
ever plan to come the the US--we would LOVE
to have you come to our
beautiful area and we stay with us. Thanks again
and God bless you,
Jeanne and Denny (Gina and Dino)
Updated on 20/06/2007
Name: Janet Garner
I did not want to let any more time pass before I
sent you a note to tell you and all the family how
very special our week at Cretaiole was. In
bringing three friends with me I was a little
nervous making the plans and renting a room for
a week. It was beyond any of our expectations.
We are a very well traveled group and I think this
is the first time we really felt we had a vacation!!!
As I told you, one does not rent just a room or
an apartment, one is adopted by your family!!!!
Our thanks to you and Carlo and Luciano and the
rest of your family for making our stay such a
wonderful adventure. I cannot wait to return.
Best wishes for a wonderful summer with lots of
great and interesting guests. Many thanks.
Janet Garner Nashville, TN
Updated on 23/05/2007
Name: Paul and Annemarie Crump
Dear Isabella and Family,
What a wonderful and magical time
Paul and I had at Cretaiole. We
are already planning and dreaming
about our next visit! You and your
family are such warm, generous, and
gracious hosts. Everything about
our trip was perfect. I have been
telling all my family and friends
about you and Cretaiole, Pienza and
all of the beautiful Val d'Orcia
and surrounding area. We enjoyed
everything! Each day had special
treats and surprises: Luciano and
Laura bringing us the Vin Santo,
eggs, and Easter bread on Holy
Saturday; your amazing tour of the
Hermitage on your property; the
fresh vegetables each night from
your garden; the olive oil "class"
and tasting with you and Carlo; the
monastery dinner; the pici pasta
class and wonderful dinner with
other guests and your family;
Luciano sharing grappa with us; the
tour of San Gregorio and the
sampling of your wines and
prosciutto... all of the nice
people that we met, and I could
keep going on and on about how
wonderful you are and all of the
things that we enjoyed.
Liliana's ragu for the pici was so
delicious, as were the wonderful
meats and sausages that Carlo
grilled. I don't know if Liliana
shares recipes, but if she does - I
would love to have her recipe for
meat ragu. I am also hoping that
during our next visit I can
purchase a copy of your family
cookbook that Carol (the
photographers - Vince and Carol)
was so lucky to get! Isabella,
would you believe that I have made
pici 3 times since we have come
home? My family absolutely love
it! My technique improves each
time! Thank you so much for
teaching us to make it.
Your son, Niccolo, is such a bright
and handsome boy. I wish that I
had pictures of my children to show
you during our visit. I will send
you one with my next email.
Isabella, please don't forget us,
because I know we will never forget
you, and we will see you again soon!
Thank you again.
Ciao and love,
Annemarie (Annamaria!) Crump
Updated on 04/05/2007
Name: Rob and Chris Inouye
We just returned to Vancouver a few
days ago and it has been raining
since we came back and the
temperature has been around 12
degrees Celcius. So we REALLY miss
the warm weather and sunshine of
Toscana. But even more, we miss
everyone at Cretaiole. Our stay at
Cretaiole was the highlight of our
trip and we will remember it for
the rest of our lives. All of the
activities that we participated in
were special and something that we
could never have done on our own.
Chris wanted to show off her new
pici making skills so she taught
our daughter, Kristy, how to make
it. Thank you so much for being
such a wonderful host. We will
definitely recommend Cretaiole to
all of our friends and will be sure
to return again someday. Please
give our best regards to Carlo,
Liliana, Luciano and Nicolo. If
you and your family ever have a
chance to visit Vancouver, please
contact us. We would be very happy
to show you the best of Vancouver.
Ciao and warm wishes to all of your
Rob and Chris Inouye.
Updated on 30/04/2007
Name: Glenn Westerfield
There have been many comments on
the Cretaiole Agriturismo and none
I have read have been over stated.
We were their guests in early
November 2006 for one week.
Isabella, her husband Carlo, his
Liliana and Luciano, were wonderful
representatives of the warm and
friendly Tuscan people. We wanted
to learn how the Tuscan people
everyday life and did we ever. What
a wounderful family full of life
very prideful of their Tuscan (Val
d'Orcia) area and it's history. You
probably have read of all the
activities Isabella offers to her
but none were more memorable than
the evening dinner after the Pici
pasta making class. Since this was
our third trip to Italy, Isabella
wanted to know what we have enjoyed
the most in Italy. When I told her
one of the most memorable was our
stay in Cretaiole, she was greatful
but puzzled. I explained, above
all, it was the simplicity of the
and the warmth of her and her
family. I told her to never change
they were doing, they have
something very special. The
perfect to see many towns and other
sites in Tuscany. We hope to have a
chance to return someday soon.
Updated on 31/01/2007
Name: Jack and Toni Matthews
We loved Il Granaio because
we loved the view from the kitchen
and bedroom windows. I absorbed so
much beauty when we were there,
that when I close my eyes, I have
that most beautiful view of the
valley and Pienza tucked away in my
memory. Everytime we look at the
pictures of the week we spent
there, it makes us want to re-visit
your beautiful "piece of heaven"
once again and of course you and
your wonderful family.
Jack & I hope you and your family
are doing well. Give our regards to
Carlo and Nicolo.
Jack & Toni Matthews/ Texas
Updated on 06/01/2007
Name: Lynn and Brian Pelly
It has taken me too long to write
to you. Time just seems to fly
by. I want to thank you, Carlo,
your father-in-law, and the rest of
for making Brian and my first trip
to Europe so wonderful, and one
will never forget. Our stay at
Cretaiole was by far, the best part
holiday, and we enjoyed every
minute of it. We can't thank you
all of the effort you put into the
activities to give us such a
experience. Tuscany is absolutely
beautiful. I have told many
your place, and you will probably
be hearing from some of them over
couple of years.
Again, thank you. We hope that
someday we can return and again
We are finally getting together
with Nigel and Cynthia to share our
pictures and memories. We wish all
of you well. Sincerely, Lynn and
Updated on 30/12/2006
Name: Valerie Brodie and Family
Thank you very much for the lovely
Christmas greeting. Both Kevin and
I have such fond memories of
staying at Cretaiole this past
July. There isn't a day that goes
by that I don't think about Pienza
and all of the experiences that we
had. We used some of your olive oil
on Christmas day and our guests got
to hear all about Cretaiole, the
beauty of Southern Tuscany, and
your wonderful hospitality.
May the Moricciani's New Year be
prosperous and full of joy (and
lots of guests at the farmhouse)!
The Brodie Family (Kevin and
Updated on 29/12/2006
Name: Kathy and Glenn Westerfield
Hello from Kathy and Glenn
Westerfield of Jasper, Georgia,
USA. We just
wanted to say hi again and thank
you for allowing us to be a part
family and to let you know that
Kathy and I had a marvelous stay at
Cretaiole thanks to you. The rest
of the trip in Italy was very
interesting with Vernazza in Cinque
Terre being the most interesting.
It was also very trying to drive to
the various places we went. No
place met the standards that
Cretaiole set and it was our best
our trip. We already started on
the olive oil as soon as we got
sure is good.
Kathy says to tell you she hopes to
see you again next year, or as soon
as she can.
Ciao for now, Glenn & Kathy
Updated on 22/12/2006
Name: Christie Brown
We are back in the US now after
spending eight months in Europe.
We travelled in nine different
countries but Cretaiole was by far
our best experience (we were there
just before Easter this 2006). I
was describing it to a student of
mine who was looking for a nice
place to take his family and I got
very wistful and hope we can return
someday soon. Our flat was very
comfortable, you were so very
welcoming, and the other guests
made the experience even more
pleasant. I hope your whole family
is well. Please tell Nico that
next time we will bring an American
football and teach him to play if
he will play more soccer with us.
Christie, Jerry, Ben, and Gracie
now in Ann Arbor, Michigan
Updated on 06/12/2006
Name: Judy White
Though there have been many entries
for Agriturismo Cretaiole, I felt
compelled to add my comments. It
truly is all that everyone has
about it. My husband and I have
traveled throughout the world, and
honestly say that our stay at
Cretaiole in early October was one
of our most
memorable experiences. The
Moricciani family are gracious,
warm and generous
hosts. The incomparable Isabella
not only plans many exceptional
activities,she also helps you learn
about and understand Tuscan
participated in and enjoyed all the
activities. One of our fondest
is the Pici pasta making class and
dinner with the entire Moricciani
Liliana's ragu sauce was the best.
Carlo grilled delicious sausages and
meats, and it was pure delight
watching Luciano (with the
slice his prosciutto. We finished
the meal with Luciano's Vin Santo
grappa. What a feast!
Cretaiole seems the perfect
location in Tuscany. It sits right
in the middle
of the spectular Val d' Orcia, is
just outside the walls of Pienza
favorite) minutes from Montalcino
and Montepulciano, and just a short
to Siena, Chianti,etc.,
If you are intrigued with the idea
of staying at an agriturismo in
highly recommend Agriturismo
Cretaiole. It is an experience you
Scottsdale, AZ USA
Updated on 06/12/2006
Name: Kimberley Jacobson and family
You have no idea what an impact
your beautiful family and the
surrounding Val D’Orcia had on me,
Dennis, Colby and Mallory. We have
spoken of you all so often since
our return in August and hope that
you, Carlo, Nicolo, Luciano and
Liliana are all doing well. What a
wonderful experience you gave us –
thank you from the bottom of our
hearts. You are very special and we
feel blessed to have crossed paths
I have been wondering if you have
been picking olives……thank you
again for giving us such a terrific
entrée to Tuscan culture. We hope
to come back someday soon. For now,
I have to be satisfied with looking
at my photos.
P.S. I have shared the story of the
Bosco della Ragnaia with many
people here in Houston. I have a
picture of it in my office to
remind me “Only Here, Only Now"
Updated on 22/11/2006
Name: Crystine and Brian
Isabella, Carlo, Luciano, Lillian,
Thanks for a wonderful time in your
country and with your family! All of
the wine and olive oil made it home
safely so now you know the tins
leak. We are loving the oil and
eating it with gusto, practically
I will send some pictures some time
next week, but until then know how
much we loved our stay and
appreciated all the time and care
you all put
into making our stay a lovely one.
Crystine, Brian, and Rowan
Updated on 21/11/2006
Name: Christopher Molinari
Dearest Isabella, and all of
I'm finally getting around to
sending you a Thank You email. We
with you this past September 23-30,
and wanted to thank you for a
The apartment, the food, wine,
scenery, location, family, the
experience, was magnifico, eh?
Thank you so very much, for making
perfect experience for us.
night!! If you ever come to
Boston, I'll make it up to you!
I'm sure you probably get a lot of
photos from guests, but i'm sending
a few anyway (they are all
from "pici night").
Updated on 21/11/2006
Name: Bill and Erika Fredericks
Dear Isabella, Carlo and Luciano,
thank you so much for making our
visit to Italy a "one of a kind
experience". Your knowledge of the
area and each special event on the
itinerary was outstanding!
We feel we have had more than a
vacation. We have had an experience
we will remember forever.
Grazie and arrivederci!
Bill and Erika Fredericks
Updated on 29/10/2006
Name: Tersia Bower
We never had the chance to say
goodbye because of your sudden trip
to Milano, so I just want to make
use of this opportunity to thank
you once again for the wonderful
time with your family at Cretaiole
and Castelmuzio! We will always
remember it as one of our
highlights of our stay in Tuscany
and would recommend it to all our
I hope that you are all well and
I'm sure that you are busy as ever
entertaining guests. Please say hi
to Carlo and the rest of the family
too. We wished as never before
that we could speak proper Italian
to communicate with all of them too!
Hope to return one day, but until
then.....keep well and good luck!
With warm wishes
Updated on 28/09/2006
Name: Barbara Sacchetto
Approfitto degli strumenti moderni
per salutare tutti Voi e
ringraziare per l’ospitalità.
Sono Barbara, la mamma dei gemelli…
A distanza di qualche giorno dal
nostro rientro volevo ringraziare
per la bellissima accoglienza che
ci avete riservato. Mi sono sentita
a casa e ho potuto riposare nel
vero senso della parola.
La vostra terra, la vostra
filosofia e semplicità ci hanno
aiutato a star bene.
Penso che ritorneremo ancora presto
per assaporare i tesori della Val
d’Orcia e prometto che portero’ al
sig. Luciano qualcosa della mia
terra da assaggiare.
Un saluto a tutti. A presto!
Updated on 30/08/2006
Name: Fiona and Stephen Irwin
Safely back in Ireland now, sadly!
We came home via Lucca and Pisa,
both. However, we found nowhere as
picturesque as the Val D'orcia.
We would like to thank you and your
whole family for a marvellous
farm is beautiful and we really
enjoyed all the activities. Thank
you for all
the advice and arrangements which
were really handy. Looking back, we
to have done a great deal in a
week. We were sorry not to be able
to say goodbye
to all of you in person, but I hope
you don't mind an e-mail instead.
The night of the pasta making was a
highlight for us all, despite the
In Ireland we usually can't count
on the weather so we're not
The pici were great, and many
thanks to Carlo and Luciano for the
and cheese and all the great wine.
A big thank you to you personally
from the three of us. Good luck
with the rest
of your season.
Fiona, Stephen and Sadhbh
Updated on 09/08/2006
Name: Valerie & Kevin Brodie
Along with all of the fabulous
things that Isabella Moricciani and
her family do to make a stay in
Tuscany fun, they also have
a "mission" to make sure you
understand Tuscan culture. The
Moricciani family are passionate
about teaching others as to how
Tuscans work, eat, play and live.
Isabella told us on our first day
that she wanted us to see and do
things that weren't "touristy".
Hence, almost all activities engage
you in the community of Pienza and
it's surrounding communities.
Additionally, the activities and
day trips are planned with others
that are staying at Cretaiole, so
you are able to get to know people
from all over the world. Both my
husband and I feel that our visit
and stay at Cretaiole enriched our
lives and our understanding of
people. It is a visit that we will
never forget. We highly, highly
recommend a stay here, but book
early! Grazie Moricciani family!
Updated on 03/08/2006
Name: Lan Mosher
Our stay at Agriturismo Cretaiole
in October 2005 was the highlight
of my three trips to Italy. Why?
The family, Isabella, her husband,
Carlo, and his parents, Luciano and
Liliana Moricciani, are warm and
wonderful hosts. Each of them is
instantly likeable and they conduct
their businesses, farming and
hosting, with integrity and grace.
The time with them was one of the
best parts of our week. They gave a
class in making Pici pasta, for all
of the guests. It stormed so we
moved into the large upstairs
apartment’s kitchen for the meal.
The Moricciani’s provided a great
ragu sauce with home made sausages,
pancetta, and wine, and topping the
meal with homemade prosciutto,
pecorino cheese, and grappa. It was
a memorable feast.
Isabella arranged for us all to
have dinner at a nearby Monastery.
She also arranged a guided tour of
Siena and she and Carlo conducted
an olive oil tasting seminar one
evening. Isabella conducted a tour
of the Etruscan tombs on their
property, an experience too unique
We had one of the two apartments
without a kitchen and that was
fine. The Val d’Orcia is beautiful
and you can have great day trips to
the best sights of Tuscany. Orvieto
and Assisi are easy day trips.
If we can go back, we will. We went
to Rome before our week in
Cretaiole and then on to Florence,
Cinque Terre, and northern Italy.
Time is the country between city
explorations worked well for us."
Updated on 01/08/2006
Name: Scott and Nozomi Dineen
Hi! How are you? Sorry we have
not emailed you sooner. We know
you must be very busy right now,
compared to when we were there in
March. We wanted to drop you a
quick line and say "thank you so
much for the great vacation we had
in Cretaiole!" We also wanted to
let you know about a small article
in the GQ magazine (April 2006 page
215) here in the States that
referenced the 25 most romantic
spots in the world, and one of the
places that you recommended was on
the list! Osteria La Porta!! A
quote from the article, "...one of
the most incredible views you've
ever laid eyes on-with the majestic
Val d'Orcia spread out below." We
feel so priviledged to have had the
chance to be there.
We want you please thank your
family for sharing so much with
us. Your hospitality will never be
forgotten. We hope to come back
again next year.
Please take care,
Scott & Nozomi Dineen
Updated on 19/07/2006
Name: John and Carole Monaco
Want to touch the heart of
Tuscany? Spend a week at Cretaiole
with Isabella, Carlo and the
Moricciani family. What a treat!
This was our third trip to Italy.
After a week in the magnificent
madness of Florence we made our way
to Cretaiole. We spent a lot of
time searching for the right
agriturismo before our trip, but we
were keeping our fingers crossed.
You know how it is.
We found Cretaiole very clean,
quite comfortable and located in
the “movie set’ beauty of the
Tuscan countryside. (Actually, the
monastery scenes of the English
Patient were shot just ten minutes
from Cretaiole.) This was the
setting and the kind of place we
had hoped for.
What we had not counted on was the
dimension that Isabella and her
family brought to our visit.
Isabella is a born concierge who
could work in the finest hotels.
She greets and gets to know all of
her guests, and she knows and
shares the treasures of Val
d’Orcia. She has compiled a 3”
thick binder of activities, sites
and restaurants. Each room has a
copy in both English and Italian.
In addition, she offers an
itinerary of events that you might
want to do during your stay. We
followed her advice. Among other
things, we visited and had lunch at
a working farm and at a winery near
Cretaiole, made pasta with
Isabella, and learned a
considerable amount about olive oil
It is not surprising that we met
several other families who had been
to Cretaiole three and four times.
We will return to Cretaiole soon.
We loved it!
John and Carole Monaco
Updated on 15/07/2006
Name: Patti and Don Potts
Hi Isabella, Carlos, & Luciano
Just a quick note to our fabulous
host and hostess and family for our
amazing stay at your 13th century
restored villa. This note is from
entire "familia" to your
entire "familia" and comes with
appreciation for a most memorable
week in our lives. Your generous
breakfast and wine sampling, the
amazing "pici" making and dinner,
fabulous daily activities
available, the olive oil
most importantly the spirit with
with each one of you shares your
for the Agristuro Cretaiole. It is
difficult to express the magnitude
life-long memory of our shared time
in Italy. Our other guests were
companions as well.
The final icing -on-the-cake was
the victory of Italia in the World
I hope you are feeling much
better , Isabella, and back to your
attitude. Your spirit is definitely
contagious and uplifting. We loved
Abbey dinner , the Brunello
winetasting, and the organic farm
bike tour was fabulous and so were
the thermal baths. Il Porto
Montechiello was a lasting,
unforgettable memory with a view of
that is imbedded in my mind's eye.
Once again, thank you from the
bottom of our collective hearts,
Patti & Don
Brett & Danielle
Suzi & Matt
Our friends Bill & Erika Fredericks
are coming in October. We are so
to share their experiences. We will
NOT give away the many surprises
await their vacation time in
Updated on 14/07/2006
Name: John and Carole Monaco
Hi Isabella & Carlo,
Congratulations to all of Italy on
your World Cup victory! We watched
every match that Italy played and
now we need another vacation after
all the stress.
Thank you for your warm
hospitality. We enjoyed ourselves
immensely. It was our pleasure to
meet you and your family and to
spend time at Cretaiole and in Val
d’Orcia. Our week with you was
certainly the highlight of our
trip. We have not stopped taking
about our adventures at Cretaiole.
We hope to make a return visit as
soon as possible.
Best wishes to you and family,
John and Carole Monaco
Updated on 13/07/2006
Name: Lino and Chiqui Bautista
Thank you so much for our wonderful
stay at Cretaiole. It would
definitely be one of the most
memorable time of our trip. We
will return to Tuscany again one
day...and we will want to stay at
Cretaiole again! As a hostess, you
are the best! If you ever decide
to visit Vancouver one day, please
call us. We would love to show you
around our beautiful city.
Enjoy the summer,
Chiqui and Lino Bautista
Updated on 23/06/2006
Name: Nigel Potts
I just wanted to write a quick
email to thank you and Carlo and
for a truly wonderful week at
Cretaiole. I can say for
and me that it was the highlight
of our three weeks in Italy, due in
small part to your enthusiasm and
generosity in planning so many
things for all of us to do. Given
the numerous positive guest
your website and our own
experience, it is very obvious that
the energy and
spirt you and your family bring to
your role as hosts clearly sets
Cretaiole apart from other
agriturismos. We also enjoyed very
interaction with fellow guests from
Germany,Australia,US and western
anada -it is always a great part
of travel to meet people from other
While we can't be like our fellow
guests Claudia and Gary and book a
advance, we will certainly be back,
hopefully in the not too distant
future. I have kept your website
bookmarked and will recommend
friends and family planning a visit
Updated on 16/06/2006
Name: Hans and Maja Vervoort
Dear Isabella and Carlo, Luciano and
Back in Holland, where the weather
is cold and the summer refuses to
come, we like to thank you for the
wonderful stay at your farmhouse. We
have been in Tuscany before, but
never so right in the middle of the
scenery and the countryside.
Panoramic views everywhere, not in
the least from the Cretaiole itself.
We enjoyed the tour you gave us
around the Romitorio and we admire
the way you keep everything in its
original state. Also we will never
forget how to make pici! We drank a
lot of your wine, which was very
Thank you for your enthousiasm and
hospitality, for us it was a very
Amsterdam, Hans and Maja Vervoort
Updated on 07/06/2006
Name: Toni Matthews
After reading all positive reviews
about Le Cretaiole (a 13th century
farmhouse renovated and made into 6
lovely apartments), my husband and
I made reservations. We spent 7
wonderful days (first week in April
2006). The panoramic views of the
Tuscan countryside from our kitchen
and bedroom windows were awesome.
The rolling green hills are dotted
with cypress trees, olive groves,
and vineyards. The Moricciani
family (owners) are so welcoming,
friendly, and very helpful. Their
greatest satisfaction is derived
from seeing their guests enjoy the
culture, history, and beauty of
this area. Le Cretaiole is located
only 4.5 Kilometers from Pienza in
the Val d'Orcia. Isabella who
speaks 4 languages wrote a
guidebook with information about
winetasting, hilltowns in the area,
and directions to each. We rented a
very comfortable and spacious 2
room apartment with fireplace,
kitchen (with utensils if you want
to cook), comfortable king size
bed, and nice size bathroom. The
weekly rates are very reasonable
and they offer free activities
during the week (i.e., pici making
(local pasta), oil tasting, a tour
by Isabella to the Romitorio
(Etruscan tomb-hermitage) on their
property. We enjoyed driving (car
recommended) through the beautiful
countryside and visiting quaint
villages in the area. We enjoyed
sitting outside on the hilltop
(that's where Le Cretaiole
farmhouse is located), relaxing and
enjoying the panoramic views of the
Tuscan countryside. The most
treasured moments were spent with
Isabella, her husband Carlo, and
their precious son Nicolo. Le
Cretaiole to us is a little bit of
heaven on earth.
Updated on 19/05/2006
Name: Kenneth Candelaria
Hello Isabella. We are safely back
home in California and wanted to
write you back and say a big THANK
YOU! Your country and Cretaiole
were beautiful and we really
enjoyed ourselves and now have
wonderful memories of Pienza.
Again, you were a real host and
thoughtful in every way. Thanks
again, and we are excited about the
next time we can meet.
Warm Regards, Ken and Wendy.
Kenneth J. Candelaria
Updated on 15/05/2006
Name: Liz & John Mather
One of our best holidays ever. We
loved the farm, the family and the
countryside. We are planning to
return next year - we are even
learning Italian. Isabella has such
infectious enthusiasm for the whole
area, even though she is not really
from there (quote Luciano). We just
wish we had been born Italian.
ciao for now
Liz and John Mather
Updated on 05/05/2006
Name: Stephenie Andrews
Thank you so much for your lovely
hospitality during our family's
visit to Cretaiole last week! We
had a fabulous time and my husband,
Matt and I hope to return to
investigate property in October.
Absolutely one of our highlights
was learning all about the
significant Brunello di
Montalcino. We loved Luciano's
visits to share Vin Santo and
Grappa with us and Nonna's ragu--
Many thanks to all. See you soon.
Stephenie Andrews and family
Updated on 30/03/2006
Name: Cristiano & Monica
Ciao a tutti,
ho appena parlato con Isabella al
telefono per prenotare un week end
ai miei genitori
nell'appartamento "Il granaio".Sono
rimasti affascinati dai miei
racconti e dai paesaggi cosi' hanno
deciso di festeggiare il compleanno
di mamma nel vostro spendido
Io e Cristiano siamo stati nel
monolocale "La cantina" dal 05/03
al 08/03/2006.Com'e' triste
ritornare alla vita di tutti i
Ringrazio tutti:e' stato bello
sentirsi a casa.
Ringrazio Luciano per i grappini
offerti e per le lunghe
chiaccherate sui valori che non
esistono piu',ringrazio Isabella
per la sua simpatia,per gli utili
consigli dati,per gli itinerari e
per averci insegnato a preparare i
per la breve ma intensa
chiaccherata alla nostra partenza e
ringrazio Liliana per il suo
ragu'(uno cosi' buono non l'avevo
Spero di ritornare nella Val
D'Orcia nella bella stagione,quando
le giornate sono piu' lunghe ed e'
piu' caldo.Un bacione a tutti
Monica e Cristiano
Updated on 11/03/2006
Name: Patti, John, Mary and Bill
To Isabella, Carlo and Family
Thank you all so much for your
kindness and hospitality.
You made us all feel so welcome and
comfortable. We enjoyed our brief
stay very much - we will be back!
Tuscany is VERY beautiful! We very
much enjoyed the grappa, nuts and
It was a night to treasure, we will
hold Italy close in our hearts.
Patti, John, Mary & Bill
Updated on 04/03/2006
Ti ricordi di me? Oramai sono
passati un paio d'anni che sono
venuta (con Monica) da voi a
Castelmuzio. Ho festeggiato im miei
30 anni a Pienza. Ti ricordi del
regalo che hai organizato per me?
Era quella bellissima croce
d'acciaio che ha fatto un figlio di
Biagiotti (spero che il nome sia
giusto). Le vacanze da voi sono
ancora dopo tanti anni
indimeticabili! Spero tanto di
poter venire quest'anno o il
prossimo anno! Ho tanta voglia di
rivivere quella bellissima
esperienza e di rivedervi. Vi mando
tantissimo saluti di zurigo e spero
a presto! Patrizia
Updated on 20/02/2006
Name: Verena und Boris
Liebe Isabella und Familie! Wir
möchten Euch gerne die Besten
Wünsche für das Neue Jahr senden!
Uns geht es sehr gut, wir denken
wirklich sehr oft an Euch und den
Urlaub den wir bei Euch verbracht
haben! Wir hoffen, dass es Euch auch
gut geht! Vielleicht hören wir ja
wieder einmal voneinander... Ganz
liebe Grüße von Verena und Boris aus
Burghausen / Bayern (erinnert ihr
euch? Boris hatte solche
Updated on 08/01/2006
Name: Homer and Lorraine
We cannot express how much we
enjoyed our wonderful stay at
Cretaiole. Despite the
uncooperative weather while we were
in Tuscany, staying at Cretaiole
gave us some of the happiest
memories of our trip.
We had heartbreakingly beautiful
postcard-perfect views of the Val
d'Orcia countryside (in fact views
along the same road show up again
and again on postcards and
calendars of Tuscany). But even
more extraordinary was the
hospitality of the hosts, Isabella
and the rest of the Moricciani
They were extremely warm and
welcoming, but beyond that they
also had organized activities, that
made our stay there truly
memorable. One evening we had a
very enjoyable and enlightening
olive oil tasting session, and then
Isabella and her mother-in-law
Liliana taught us how to make
pici, the local pasta. We all had
fun kneading the dough and rolling
out each of the noodles by hand,and
when we were done each of us took
some of the pici to our apartments
to have for dinner (along with some
of Liliana's special ragu sauce,
and salad greens which we picked
from the vegetable garden). On top
of this all, the rates at Cretaiole
are very reasonable (e.g., 70-80
euro/night for a very clean,
comfortable apartment for two with
kitchen and fireplace).
Our stay at Cretaiole was a
remarkable experience, and gave us
some of our most indelible and
happy memories from our trip. I
think other travelers will
similarly enjoy this singular
Updated on 03/11/2005
Name: David Byrn and Diana Hart
Chiao, Isabella: What fond
memories of our week's stay at
Cretaiole, meeting you and your
family, munching on the veggies
from the garden, waking up to the
sounds of the morning light (cock-a-
doodle-doo!!), our meandering along
the fields of yellow flowers with
views of vineyards and farmhouses,
the sounds of pheasants calling to
each other and of course, the
feeling of being a part of your
family, enjoying your delicious
wine, olive oil, cheese and the
dinners. Thank you for the
memories we will always carry with
us and share with our friends.
After we left Cretaiole, we left
our car in Chuisi at the Hotel
Centrale, took the train to
Firenze, Lucca and returned to
Chuisi , visiting many hillside
towns and then onto Rome, homeward
bound. So beautiful a visit! We
will return to Cretaiole in the
future. Thank you again. Grazie,
Grazie! David and Diana Byrn
Updated on 27/10/2005
Name: Steve and Barbara Hopkins
My dear Isabella,
We are just now home safe on
Bainbridge Island and I wanted to
tell you that our time with you and
family was the fondest memory of
our 10 weeks on the road. Please
give our best to Luciano, Liliana,
Carlo and Niko. As I have time and
go through the 1000+ photographs
that we have of our tour I will be
sure to pass on anything special
that could be of use to you.
Please be assured that we consider
you and family as friends and would
be very pleased if you found a way
to visit Bainbridge Island in the
future. You are truly wonderful
people and we already miss the time
that you all made so special in Val
Barbara and I look forward to our
next visit to Cretaiole!
Updated on 06/09/2005
Name: Laurie Bent
We had the vacation of a lifetime
at Cretaiole. From the website you
can see that it is a charming 14th
century Tuscan farmhouse,
beautifully restored, tastefully
and comfortably furnished with
Tuscan antiques, in a picture-
postcard setting, with spectacular
vistas in every direction. We
loved the house and the setting
because they gave us a sense of the
antiquity and natural harmony that
are the essence of Tuscany.
What really sets Cretaiole apart,
however, is the family that owns
it, the Moricciani family. Luciano
and Liliana have farmed near Pienza
all their lives, first as
sharecroppers, then as renters, and
now as landowners. They, their
daughter, Laura, their son Carlo,
Isabella, his wife, and Carlo and
Isabella's 6-year-old son Nicolo
treat their guests like family.
Isabella speaks perfect English,
and one could not ask for a more
Isabella made everything easy.
Each apartment has a copy of her
thorough 130-page notebook (in
English) with itineraries, maps,
local attractions, restaurant
suggestions, and phone numbers.
She was always available to
recommend a destination, look up
train schedules, check the weather,
or answer any question. She wears
her cell phone around her neck, and
cheerfully and efficiently made
reservations for restaurants and
activities for us.
Each week the family arranges four
or five special activities. One
evening Carlo (a master taster on
the Olive Oil Commission) taught us
to discriminate among different
types of olive oil. Isabella took
us on a private guided tour of an
important nearby archaeological
site, the Romitorio, consisting of
caves carved out of stone cliffs.
(The caves were used by the
Etruscans as tombs, and over the
centuries were also used by monks
and hermits. The caves are
fascinating, filled with mysterious
ancient carvings. The site, which
is owned by the Moriccianis, has
not yet been fully excavated so it
is not open to the public, but
guests of La Cretaiole get a
private tour.) Isabella also
arranged wine tastings and a guided
tour of Siena. One evening a week,
Isabella and Liliana teach their
guests how to make pici, the local
handmade pasta. Afterwards, the
family treats all of the guests to
a 7-course farm feast, featuring
their own prosciutto, the pici we
had made, doctored up with
Liliana's special sauce (recipe
secret), bacon, sausage,
vegetables, pecorino cheese, and
salad dressed with their own olive
oil. All, of course, was
accompanied by their delicious
wine. Better even than the
wonderful food was the warmth with
which the Moriccianis welcomed us
to their table and their lives.
The best part of the house, to me,
was the stone courtyard with a
wooden table in the middle. Most
of the apartments opened to the
courtyard. We sat at that table
for the olive oil-tasting and the
pici-making, and the courtyard was
a place to gather with the other
guests, sharing food, wine, and
stories. We got into the habit of
sitting at the table in the evening
moonlight, joined by other guests,
who were Italian, Canadian, and
American. Some evenings Luciano
would stop by for an evening chat.
He tolerated our pidgeon Italian
with good humor, and we enjoyed our
evening conversations, filled with
sign language, dictionary-thumbing,
Luciano freely shared his lush
vegetable garden with us, so every
day we ate fresh zucchini,
tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers,
squash, etc. There were flowers
everywhere, and big pottery
planters in the courtyard are
filled with thyme, oregano, and
sage, perfect for spicing the day's
meal. There are also several big
grills and lots of cut wood. We
did a lot of grilling. There was a
fig tree at the corner of the house
loaded with fresh figs for the
The agriturismo is in a wonderful
location. It is about 2,5 miles to
Pienza, a gorgeous Renaissance
town, and several times we walked
or biked there on back farm roads.
Walking and biking are wonderful
way to see the country and to be in
the landscape. You truly do
experience it in a different way on
foot. The Moriccianis have
serviceable mountain bikes
available, adequate for short rides.
If you are lucky enough to go to
Cretaiole, be sure to watch the sun
rise over Pienza at least once;
hike into the surrounding
countryside a few times (make sure
you get to the Pieve di Corsignano,
with its pagan sea serpent
carvings, and to the Travertine
marble chapel nearby, the one you
see on postcards all over Tuscany);
and take time to sit on the lounge
chairs and relax, with the vista of
Pienza spread before you. Give my
warm regards to Isabella, and to
all the Moriccianis.
Updated on 13/08/2005
Name: Doug Boate
I'm writing to thank you and your
family for a wonderful experience
we had during our stay in Cretaiole
a few weeks ago. For me it was the
highlight of my Italian trip.
Since returning home, Ruth and the
girls have made pici with good
success, though the sauce was not
as good as Liliana's!
Updated on 31/07/2005
Dear Isabella and Moricciani
Family, Our stay at Cretaiole was
fabulous. You were all so welcoming
and helpful that we felt part of
the family. The others guests were
amazing and the stay quickly became
warm, inviting, enjoyable, and fun.
Your farmhouse is so accepting of
children and pets which was great.
Our every wish was granted and we
especially enjoyed the homemade
pasta dinner. This was our favorite
adventure to make the pasta and
spend an evening with the other
guests and your family. Thank you
for opening up your lives to us. We
will certainly come again and have
already recommended your beautiful
farmhouse to others. Best wishes to
all of you.
Updated on 30/07/2005
Name: Mike Tadman and Family
From: Great Britain
Dear Isabella, Carlo,
Luciano,Liliana, Laura and Niccolo,
Just a note to say a huge thank-you
for a wonderful holiday at
Cretaiole. We had a perfect week
and felt so welcomed by you all as
a family. We really appreciated all
the time you spent making our stay
with you just right. We all have
some very special memories of our
holiday not least your friendliness
and the wonderful pici making
evening and feast. When we
arrived home in Oxford, Morgan
said, 'Can we go back to holiday
now?' so I don't think you can beat
I wish I could write this in
Italian for you all to read but
Isabella I'm sure you will pass on
our best wishes and thanks to all
the family. I hope we will see you
again, we certainly plan on another
trip to Tuscany and I hope it won't
be too far in the future.
We are recommending you to all our
friends and family!
Thank-you once again
Nic,Mike, Morgan and Finlay Tadman.
Updated on 09/07/2005
Name: Ulli und Elli Voegele
nun sind wir auch schon wieder im
Alltagstrott angekommen. Zur Zeit
ist sehr warm, eigentlich das
richtige Wetter zum Urlaub
machen -, wie zum Beispiel auf
Cretaiole. Doch, an dieser Stelle
nochmals ganz ganz lieben Dank für
die schöne Zeit auf Cretaiole. Wir
das Essen, das tolle Olivenöl und
die ganze Umgebung sehr genossen.
Gut dass wir genügend Öl und Wein
mitgenomen haben, so können wir ein
Stück Italien hier in
Deuschland geniessen! Sobald der
Wein und das Öl aus ist, müssen wir
natürlich wieder einen Urlaub auf
Bis dahin viele liebe Grüße an die
Eure Ulli, Elli & Marie
Updated on 30/06/2005
Last year I discovered this
agritourismo near Pienza in
Toscana. Every morning I would
wake, brew a cup of cafe latte &
hang out the window in awe of the
incredible beauty of the Crete
Perhaps it's the incredible beauty
of the land that is reflected by
the people who live there, for
never have I met such 'real', warm
and truly kind people, as the
Moricciani family, who own and
operate Cretaiole. I am not
exaggerating when I say that they
have bent over backwards to insure
that we had the absolute best
Tuscan experience imaginable.
Isabella Moricciani is truely a
gem. She knows 4 languages and is a
wealth of knowledge about every
restaurant, monastery, terme spa,
and cultural activity happening in
the area. She has been incredibly
helpful in planning my next trip to
the area. Her husband Carlo runs
the farm with his father Luciano.
They grow olives, grapes and have a
full farm with sheep, pigs and
chickens. They are master
winemakers as well & gave us a tour
of their small winery providing
samples of all the varieties
including the sweet vin santo and
the powerful grappa (yumm!).
Luciano's sweet wife, Lilliana and
daughter Laura work with Isabella
operating Cretaiole for the guests.
Each week they generously teach
their guests how to make the
local 'pici' pasta, then host a
party in the garden, where we dined
on all of the products grown and
raised on the farm. Delicious! All
the produce in their organic garden
was available to pick for our
dinners. We had salads, tomatoes
and zucchini fresh from the garden
My heart aches to return to such
beauty and I am constantly online
planning my next opportunity to get
back to Cretaiole and the kind
Moricciani family. Check it out if
you are looking for a true Tuscan
experience, where you will meet a
local Tuscan family and
participate in the beauty of their
lives, if only for one week. You
will not leave untouched by this
Updated on 30/06/2005
Name: Izik and Sivan Hanuka
Dear Isabella & Carlo,
Hello from Israel.
Its been almost 2 months ago since
we have been hosted at Cretaiole
but...we would like to thank you
for the good time we had (sorry for
the delay...), and we want to say
that its been a lovely holiday, and
most of the credit belongs to you.
You are very nice people and it was
very nice to meet you and stay at
We promise that when we will come
again we will stay at Cretaiole for
Meanwhile we are recommending
Cretaiole to our friends in Israel
and as a first gesture we are
sending our friends to stay at your
Thank you very much,
Sivan & Izik Hanuka
Updated on 06/06/2005
Name: Krissen and Dave Lane
We just returned from a wonderful
stay at Cretaiole. We stayed in one
of the smaller of the six
apartments, clean and homey with
its kitchen in a cupboard (an
armoire that opened into a
kitchen), comfortable king-sized
bed, table, and sitting area with
fireplace. While the house and
relaxing grounds look like they
came right off of a postcard of
Tuscany, what makes Cretaiole
special is the warmth and the
hospitality of the Moricciani
family (Carlo and Isabella, Carlo’s
parents Luciano and Liliana and his
sister Laura), from the welcoming
bottle of Cretaiole wine to the
bottle they send home with you to
extend your Tuscany memories. They
have a deep love of their land and
the surrounding valley and strive
to share this with their guests.
To this end, they offer a variety
of activities at no additional
charge including olive oil tasting
with Carlo, a cooking lesson during
which Isabella and Liliana teach
their guests to make “pici” the
hand-rolled local pasta (and then
provide you with Liliana’s
scrumptious sauce), a three hour
guided tour of Siena, and a tour
guided by Isabella of their own
piece of ancient history, an area
carved out beneath Pienza that
served as both Etruscan tombs and a
hermitage. Luciano generously
offers the products of his garden
to their guests. Isabella, who
fluently speaks four languages,
made our stay very special. Each
evening she made a point of
connecting with each of her guests,
helping them make reservations for
dinner or outings. She has written
an indispensable guide of the
surrounding area with sample
driving and bicycling itineraries
to the many surrounding hilltowns,
extensive descriptions of
highlights and recommendations of
restaurants as well as market days,
medical resources and grocery
stores. Our hosts’ generosity was
highlighted on Labor Day when we
were invited to the traditional
family gathering and served a feast
made with products from their farm.
Cretaiole is a perfect destination
for anyone wanting to savor the
essence of Tuscany! Some of our
fondest trip memories are of our
afternoons with a glass of wine and
a book soaking in the views of the
countryside and Pienza from the
Krissen and Dave Lane
Updated on 20/05/2005
Name: Kiki and Dirk
Dear Isabella and Carlo,
Yesterday we left Cretaiole and
wanted to say goodbye to you,
We wanted to thank you so much for
our wonderful stay at Cretaiole. We
drove to Firenze and walked into
the city, It was nice but very
crowdy. It was nice to have a look
there, but we loved the quiet
places in and around Cretaiole.
I told my family and friends about
you and our wonderful stay in
We wish you a very good summer with
many guests and a good harvest for
wine and olio. In a few days we
have seen and tasted the good life
in Toscane. Thank you.
Greetings also to the padre of
Many greetings and with love,
Kiki and Dirk
Updated on 12/05/2005
Name: Lisa and John Familetti
We are now home, trying to adjust
to our normal lives and missing
Cretaiole and your wonderful
family. We cannot tell you how
much we enjoyed our stay there -
Rome paled in comparison!
I intend to post a very positive
review on the Slow Travel website
and will also try and have one
published in our local newspaper -
The Philadelphia Inquirer. If they
accept it, I will send you a copy.
In the meantime, I am recommending
you to everyone we know, but hoping
you won't become so popular that
you will never have space for us
Back at home, everyone loves the
cheese, wine and olive oil and
everytime we have some we think of
all of you and your lovely home
with great fondness!
Please feel free to pass my name
and email on to anyone who needs a
reference and know that we are very
grateful for all of your kindnesses
Thank you for sharing Cretaiole
Lisa & John & all the Familettis!!
Updated on 09/04/2005
Name: Stefana, Loeiz, ecc.
Gentile Famiglia Moricciani,
rieccoci purtroppo nella nebbia
Padana....ma il cuore è rimasto in
Vi vogliamo ringraziare per la
bella accoglienza e dirvi che è
stato un piacere avervi conosciuti.
Allora Buon Anno e alla prossima
volta!Stefana, Loeiz e gli altri
P.S.Oggi ho fatto i pici e sono
Updated on 10/01/2005
Name: paolo wanda valentina vicari
From: italia veneto vicenza
Una vacanza è sempre bella ma una
vacanza a Cretaiole è qualche cosa
di particolare di indimenticabile
Arrivi e trovi le chiavi sulla
porta.... una calza con bellissimi
Scopri l'oliviera che è una
bomboniera accogliente con stanze
pulitissime curate nei minimi
con uno stupendo caminetto.
Conosci Carlo e hai già
l'impressione di gente schietta
semplice, Isabella non da meno
simpatica aperta cordiale....
e qui vieni travolto.....
inghiottito da un turbinio di cose
di iniziative di esperienze ...
che ti ripagano del lungo viaggio,
che ti riportano in un ambiente che
che segue i tempi della natura,
scopri l'orto... le terme .....
la vita contadina........
le facce della Toscana rurale.....
esperienze uniche..la caccia al
cinghiale...i profumi dell'olio
l'ebbrezza del vino fatto come una
conosci la gentilezza e
l'accoglienza di Luciano e Moglie
gente d'altri tempi, gente di
campagna di una disponibilità e
accoglienza unica..... scopri un
angolo di Toscana a dimensione
A presto e grazie da Paolo Wanda
P.s. Luciano la pancetta era
dimenticavamo grazie anche da Luna
Bau...Bau... (a Cretaiole accettano
Updated on 10/01/2005
Dear Isabella and Family,
again I want to say how beautiful
my time was there at Cretaiole.
When I close my eyes I still can
see in great detail my room, my
view from the window and door and
the many splendid views throughout
Val d'Orcia. Not only where you and
all your family most kind and
gracious, but I truly felt your
friendship and care for me
personally. Although my trip was
shortened my wonderful memories of
Italy will fill my heart and mind
for years to come. I look forward
in keeping in touch with you and
with good luck and good fortune our
roads will cross once more, just
outside of Pienza in a little piece
of heaven called "Cretaiole".
Updated on 31/12/2004
Name: Emiliana, Gian Piero, Eleonora e Mauro
From: Tempio Pausania Sardegna
Grazie per gli Auguri, ricambiamo
di cuore e speriamo di riuscire a
rivederci al più presto!!!!!!!!!!!
Grazie per l\\
Updated on 29/12/2004
Name: Lior and Yivonne
Dear Carlo and Isabel.
Hi, it is Lior and Yivonne, we were
at your farmhouse the last fall. We
had a great time, and a very unique
experience. Being at your farmhouse
was like a dream come true for a
Isabel! it is Yivonne - I want to
thank you for teaching Lior how to
make a good Picci, he is on the
roll of making me great pasta as
you taught him. We listened to your
advice and bought a lot of tuscany
pasta. We still have some, and
enjoy making great food.
How are you and Carlo? How is all
the family doing?
You got a lot of complements for
the Vino Santo and the Orcia Rosso!
When we look at the picture it
reminds us of the great restaurant
Isabel recomended that tastes,
smells, views and extremely lovely
people of Tuscany.
We hope to come back some day. We
want to thank you very much for the
great vacation ever, for your
hospitality and genurisity.
Love Yivonne and Lior.
Updated on 20/12/2004
Name: B.& J. - L. & J.
I am ashamed I have not written
sooner to thank you for our magical
stay at Cretaiole. The scenery was
breathtaking and we experienced an
overwhelming sense of history.
But, what we remember most and with
such delight is you and your
special family. Please tell them
all how much we enjoyed meeting
them and J. says to toast Luciano
with a glass of grappa - from all
B. & J.
L. & J.
Updated on 17/12/2004
We would like to thank the entire
Moricciani family for you kind
hospitality at Cretaiole. Such a
beautiful agriturismo farm in such
a picturesque place. Really it's
like a movie set. I only wish that
we could have been there longer to
enjoy more of your activities and
see more. Such an incredible
landscape! We were able to go to
the festival in Montalciano--
Sangre Del Tordo(?) is that
correct ? Beautiful! Thank you for
We loved our three nights there and
hope to make it back for an entire
week or two in the future. I would
love to bring my husband and
daughter and spend a week
Please make sure to thank Luciano
again for helping with our car
problems.Such a kind and helpful
person. They were our heroes! We
send him all our best. He must have
thought us terribly stupid American
women. It was such a dumb mistake
putting unleaded fuel in a diesel
car. It was so confusing at the
self serve,with paying first,
didn't accept credit cards... and
in Italy the color for diesel is
blue and in America the color for
diesel is green. Luckily we caught
the problem very quickly and it all
turned out okay. It was a nice
adventure non the less.
Again....Thank you so much for all
of your help Isabelle! You were so
helpful and I hope to meet you upon
one of my next visits.
I have many photos that I would be
happy to send to you on Cd rom.
Here are a few. Please stay in
touch.Best wishes to you and your
incredibly sweet and kind family!
We enjoyed meeting them all, Carlo
was very kind and helpful and so
was Laura. I was dissapointed not
to have really met your mother in
law, she was there on the morning
that we left, she too was very,
We are still enjoying the vin santo
and the Cretaiole olive oil ,
compliments, all so very delicious!
I look forward to seeing you all
soon..Grazie Mille, Betsy and
Updated on 16/12/2004
Name: Tom and Family
Dear Isabella and Carlo,
I'm writing to let you know that A.
and I, as well as my mother-in-law,
and the girls all had a delightful
time at Cretaiole. You are all so
kind, and work so hard to make your
guests comfortable, and to create
such a special place. I so much
appreciate your hospitality,
friendliness, and your constant
availability for our
needs and concerns. It was
wonderful having the family
together. You made it a truly
memorable vacation. The farm is
beautiful, and the apartment cozy
and done with such good taste. It
was so much fun meeting your
charming family, and receiving so
many special treats! And
thank you for the fascinating tour
of the tomb, and the
We enjoyed the local area, the
wine, the food, and the hot
This was a great vacation for all
of us. I do hope to come back
I was a little sad to leave
Cretaiole. It was a week to
remember for us all. I'm telling
everyone in the hospital how great
your place is, and have brochures
to pass out.
Thank you so much.
Tom and family
Updated on 25/11/2004
My Dear Isabella,
as I mentioned in my letter, you
all made me feel so welcomed there
in Cretaiole. Not just as a guest
that comes and goes,
but more than that. Having me to
your family table meant a great
deal to me and will be something I
will remember for the rest of my
life. I will not be so surprised to
see the olive trees and garden of
Cretaiole again , I think that the
road will lead me back there.
I have photos, but more than that I
have images in my heart. The last
faces I saw as I drove out of
Pienza, was your father in law,who
waved and smiled to me from his car
as he past. Like I was an old
friend, and your mother in law who
I don't think saw me but I saw her.
We have a game we played as a girl
in my home town. Who is the first
person you see when you come home
to town and who
is the last face you see when you
leave.?Funny, I knew no one when I
arrived but as I left ,I knew them
My love to you and all of yours.
Updated on 25/10/2004
From: Cape Town, South Africa
We had a fantastic holiday in
Italy. Thank you for making our
week in Tuscany so much fun. I have
told all my friends about Cretaiole.
When we left Tuscany we went to
Verona and Venice and were very
lucky to get last minute tickets
for the Opera in Verona. The only
problem was that there was a huge
thunder storm and rain so we only
saw half the Opera. We will have to
I was thinking of you in August and
hope that your wedding day was a
I have attached some photos that I
thought you would enjoy.
We hope that you are still planning
to come to visit us in Cape Town.
You will love the spectacular
scenery and all that this beautiful
city and surrounds have to offer.
Updated on 06/10/2004
Dear Moricciani Family,
A late thank you for a wonderful
visit to a beautiful place in
husband and I just had good friends
for dinner and we opened the 1999
botle of wine that Luciano gave us
when we departed from Cretaiole. We
thought that the wine was delicious
and we also had your outstanding
oil with a frsh loaf of bread so
the dinner was a big success and we
our friends about your wonderful
farm and your hospitality. I hope to
return with friends for a longer
stay and in summer when it is hot
sunny every day.
Updated on 24/05/2004
Name: Michael and Sandra
We had a fantastic and wonderfull
time at Cretaiole. Not only our
wedding but also our stay at
Cretaiole has made our weddingday
very special! Everybody liked it so
much! And you and your family are
so friendly and helpfull! We think
about it a lot.Thanks for
everything!!! And the foto's are so
beautifull; we will send you some
when there ready!
My father has satellite tv and he
has Retequattro. He will try to
record it for us, but we hope it
will be o.k. because the channel is
not always even clear. Maybe you
can record it for us also, when we
don't have it very well we let you
Michael and Sandra
Updated on 24/05/2004
Name: Matteo e Caterina
Ho appena guardato le foto di
Cretaiole e mi sono commosso,
è stata davvevo una vacanza
stupenda, tutto è funzionato a
meraviglia e questo grazie a voi e
alla vostra cortesia.
Un abbraccio a tutti quanti da
Matteo e Caterina.
P.s. Pure il cane in questi giorni
è triste, mi sa che
sente la mancaza dell'aria e dei
prati di Pienza!
Updated on 25/01/2004
Name: Albert and Barbara Gelpi
Thanks so much for your holiday
greeting. We hope that you all; had
a blessed Christmas and we send all
good wishes to Isabelle and Carlo,
Luciano and all of the Moricciani
family. We have such radiant
memories of our stay at Cretaiole
and to the hospitality of the
Moricciani family, and we hope to
come back for another visit before
too long. Meantime we send
greetings from California.
Updated on 07/01/2004
Name: Kathrin u. Andreas
From: D- Muenchen
Ciao Isabella & Carlo,
vielen Dank nochmals für Eure
herzliche Gastfreundschaft – wir
haben die Tage in Castelmuzio und
auf Cretaiole sehr genossen und
werden uns immer gerne daran
erinnern. Schön zu wissen, dass es
auch in der Tourismusbranche noch
Menschen gibt, die Dinge aus
Überzeugung tun und nicht, um in
möglichst kurzer Zeit möglichst
viel Geld damit zu verdienen. Wir
haben Euch gleich unseren besten
Wir wünschen Euch und Eurer Familie
alles Gute und hoffen, dass wir uns
irgendwann mal wiedersehen.
Viele Grüße aus München,
Kathrin & Andreas
Updated on 07/01/2004
Name: Gerry Westerhof Klaas - van Hulst
From: Ommen, The Netherlands
Dear friends of Cretaiole,
It was a great pleasure to receive
your christmas greetings.
Herewith we want to wish a merry
christmas and a very happy
new year 2004.
We often think of the time we spent
with you, already back in
spring this year. The walks we made
in the terrific landscape near
Cretaiole I something we cannot
forget. Also your friendly care
we appreciated highly.
Getting back to our busy lives, we
every now and then think of
the time we were with you. The wine
and olive oil we have from
you helps us there.
I'm afraid we cannot resist to come
back to you again, we have
no fixed plans yet, in fall 2004
the first opportunity seems to come
Isabella, Carlo, and all other
Morriciani, please accept our best
wishes and we hope to see you again.
Updated on 26/12/2003
Nous vous remercions de votre
lettre. Nous gardons un excellent
souvenir de notre séjour, nous
retournerons sûrement un jour, peut-
être pas l'année prochaine car nous
aimons varier, mais plus tard il
faut nous garder le vin au frais!
Meilleurs souvenirs à vous, à
Carlo ,sans oublier Luciano et
Liliane pour qui j'éprouve beaucoup
Updated on 04/12/2003
Name: Liviana e Francesco Buti
Volevamo ringraziare nuovamente per
la vostra gentilezza e ospitalita', cari saluti a
tutti in particolare a Carlo e Isaballa, un
bacione a Nicolo', scusandoci di non averli
salutati prima della nostra
partenza, ciao a tutti e buon
Updated on 04/12/2003
Name: Pia Iglowstein e Giorgio Huber
Erinnert Ihr Euch noch an uns?
Wir haben unsern Aufenthalt in
Cretaiole in allerbester
Erinnerung. Ritornato a casa ho
construito un "Piccibrett". La
superficie ho fatto ruvido con una
spazzola di filo di metallo.
Funziona ottimale, come con la
vecchia asse a Cretaiole.
Updated on 04/12/2003
Name: Medini Alessandro
Ciao Carlo sono Alessandro,
sicuramente ti ricorderai di me, ti
invio una bella immagine del tuo
La foto testimonia quella che per
mè resterà uno dei luoghi più
accoglienti e familiari che ho
frequentato, un grazie da me e da
tutte le persone che con me hanno
soggiornato in questo bellissimo
Updated on 04/12/2003
Cari Isabella e Carlo,
grazie per il piacevole soggiorno
trascorso tra voi, per la vostra
cortesia e disponibilità.
Non mancherò di fare un buon
Quando tornerò su, verrò a farvi
visita anche se non ci sarà posto.
Vi prego salutare Liliana, Luciano
Buon lavoro e... un'ottima giornata!
Updated on 04/12/2003
Name: ALESSANDRO & ANNA
From: Italia - Genova
Dicesi Pennuto......l'impiastro trovato nel
vistro bellissimo giardino il 12.06.03.
Il pennuto, mangia più di una "Cinta
senese", è bellissimo, in questo momento si
sta esercitando nelle prove di volo!!!!!
Saluti a tutti voi, con affetto e simpatia.
Un forte abbraccio a voi tutti.
Updated on 04/12/2003
Name: Christina und Norbert
Viele Grüße von Christina (Greece)
und Norbert (Germany).
Die Tage bei Euch haben uns gut
Wie war die Mille Miglia?
Und wer hat den Olivenöl - Test
Vielleicht bis nächstes Jahr...
Updated on 04/12/2003
Name: Tommaso Pappas
From: Leawood, Kansas USA
Ciao famiglia Moricciani,
come state? Io e mia moglie stiamo
benissimo. Innazitutto vorrei
augurarvi una buona Pasqua. Spero
che l'affare al vostro agriturismo
Cretaiole sia prospero.
Qui in Kansas, la primavera è
bella. I bei fiori primaveri sono
qui e le foglie degli alberi mostrano
i loro bei colori nuovi. È una
bella cosa da vedere. Immagino che anche a
Pienza il tempo sia bellissimo.
Di tanto in tanto torno in classe
italiana per ascoltare. Ma, ho
paura che io abbia dimenticato
troppo. Dovrei practicare più
spesso il mio italiano, ma non
conosco molte persone italiane in
Ci piace il vostro olio di oliva
che vi abbiamo comprato l'ottobre
scorso. Mi manca moltissimo la
bella Toscana. A casa quando
stappo una bottiglia del vino
toscano o una bottiglia dell'olio
di oliva Cretaiole, penso ai
molti lieti ricordi di Pienza.
Penso ai cibi italiani deliziosi
e la gente italiana simpatica.
Spero di avere presto vostre
notizie. Vi invio i miei più
Updated on 04/12/2003
Name: Irina and Maty Vaisman
We really enjoyed a splendid week
in Cretaiole, thanks for your great
hospitality! And we also learnt a
lot about oil and pici and also
spoke so much Italian!!!We hope to
come back and visit you sometime in
the future (sooner the better!), I
have attached few pictures.Ciao!
Updated on 04/12/2003
Name: Marc Schalow
hoffentlich kannst Du Dich an uns
erinnern. Wir (Anja, die schwanger
war) und ich waren letztes Jahr im
Sommer für 8 Tage bei Euch in
Cretaiole. Wir hatten vorher auch
häufiger miteinander telefoniert.
Es hat uns bei Euch so gut
gefallen, dass ich gern auch dieses
Jahr wieder bei Euch in Cretaiole
wohnen möchte. Dieses Jahr aber
anders. Ich würde gern mit meinem
Freund Christoph mit dem Motorrad
zu Euch kommen, weil ich ihm
so von Cretaiole vorgeschwärmt habe.
Wenn es möglich wäre hätten wir
gern eine Ferienwohnung mit 2
getrennten Betten oder zwei kleine
Wohnungen. Wir würden gern bleiben
vom 12.6.2003 bis zum 15. oder
Wäre echt total super, wenn wir
kommen dürften. Wir freuen uns auf
Deine Nachricht und vielleicht
schon ein wenig auf Cretaiole.
Liebe Grüße aus Hannover
Updated on 04/12/2003
Name: Alessandro e Luisa
From: Italia - Latina
Grazie infinite per l'invio dell' E-
Mail, no sai che piacere che ci hai
fatto, anche se devo ancora
comunicarlo a tutta la combriccola.
Le mie amiche che per la prima
volta sono venute a Cretaiole,
ancora mi ringraziano per avergli
fatto conoscere un posto speciale e
gente speciale come voi.
Per le foto non ti devi preoccupare
perchè ti preparo io stesso un CD
con la raccolta completa di tutte
le immagini catturate a Cretaiole e
dintorni, sto realizzando per i
miei amici una piccola mosta
fotografica con gli scatti più
belli e ti prometto che la prossima
volta che ci vedremo le porterò con
mè così organizzerai una visita
alla mia mostra.
Ti garantisco che da alcuni scatti,
è possibile sentire con la vista,
il profumo della mattina di
Updated on 04/12/2003