Pienza - Val d'Orcia - Siena - Tuscany

Cretaiole is a place for all ages, for families with kids, for couples of every stage of life, for families wanting to have a family reunion, for old college friends wanting to celebrate a “certain age” together, for honeymooners, for babymooners, for those who want an active vacation, and for those who want to enjoy Dolce Far Niente (the sweetness of doing nothing).

In fact, Cretaiole is even perfect for the solo traveler! It is a place where one can have solitude if desired, but also have camaraderie at the end of the day to share experiences, share tips, have a glass of wine with someone, or get ideas for the next leg of the trip.

So, you may wonder why we say Cretaiole is for ALMOST everyone—and so we tell you.

Nothing pleases us more than to hear our guests say, “this place is even better than we imagined!” or “our week exceeded our expectations!” or “we can’t wait to come back next year and bring our family!” In other words, our goal is to meet or exceed your expectations.

There are a few travel expectations, however, that we cannot meet—and so we tell you upfront what these are in case these are important for you. There aren’t so many, but we want you to know that:

  • Cretaiole is a self-catered stay. It is not a B&B; and, nor do we offer full- or half-board stays

  • We do not have a restaurant on the premises. We do not provide breakfast, or other meals on a regular basis.

    However, there are two exceptions to this that we wish to note. During the primary season, once a week as part of our Dolce Vita stay, we offer a handmade pasta class which is followed by a large Tuscan dinner. Also, it is possible to have a local chef (based on availability) come to your apartment and give a cooking lesson—which then becomes a delicious meal to eat on the premises.


  • Cretaiole does not have air conditioning

  • But we do have enormously thick stone walls and plenty of electric fans for your comfort. For the most part, hot temperatures are not a problem for comfort during most of the year. There are times on abnormally hot summer days when Tuscany is quite warm. If you need to have assurance that your room can stay a cool temperature regardless of the heat outside, you may decide to stay somewhere that has good air conditioning.


  • Cretaiole is not a private villa

  • Well, sometimes Cretaiole IS a private villa—but this is only when large groups rent the entire farmhouse for the week. Usually this is not the case and what you will find is a community of travelers from many countries in the world (the majority of our guests speak English, even if they come from non-English speaking countries), who are looking for a “slow travel” experience—and have come to Cretaiole for a full week’s stay in order to find the rhythms of Tuscany: its people, its culture, its cuisine, its wines, its hidden corners. It is a place to meet new friends, to share vacation thrills, and to learn about our area through their eyes as well as yours. During the day you will find Cretaiole to be quiet and serene because most people are out on day trips, busy with activities in the region, with no one but the farm kitties lazing around the property. Late afternoon, the guests come home, one by one—ready to rest a little, and get ready for dinner, which they may prepare in their own apartments or they will find in nearby towns such as Pienza.


  • Cretaiole is a highly rated vacation stay, but it is not a 5-star city hotel

  • Perhaps you have seen the reviews for Cretaiole on Trip Advisor, Rick Steves’ website, Slow Trav, Slow Europe or other sites—and you have noted that many people really rave about their stay. Our assistance, our concierge service, our care for our guests is 6-star! but our services do not include swanky amenities you would expect at a 5-star hotel in a major city: room service, bellhops, gourmet restaurant, wood-paneled bar, business office center, front office desk clerk (we don’t even have a front office!), beauty shop, gift shop, etc.


  • Cretaiole does not have a swimming pool

  • Just because we do not have a swimming pool on the property does not mean that you cannot find GREAT swimming while you are here. To see more about this topic, please click here.



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