Name: Teena and Kent
Dear Isabella, Carlo, Luciano, and Carlotta,
Kent and I arrived home last night, and how nice it is to see your message! Our vacation to Italy was indeed everything we hoped and more. The way you maintain and manage Cretaiole and the activities creates a fantastic experience for your guests. I especially appreciate the opportunity to hear and understand a little about the local culture and history. Carlotta is an outstanding tour guide. Special thanks to Carlo for repeatedly helping charge up the pesky car battery and to Isabella for generously loaning us her car so we didn't miss a beat. Luciano, your garden vegetables sustained us not only during our visit at Cretaiole, but beyond to Siena and Monterosso (a cucumber tasted particularly good when we were really hungry one evening) - and, the memorable grappa!
Thank you so much for the pici and ragu recipes. I will be using them frequently and will think of you every time.
If you ever get the chance to travel to the Seattle area, please let us know so we can take you out to dinner!
Posted on 28/07/2014
Name: Amy & Trevor
Our stay at Cretaiole was the highlight of our trip to Italy! Thank you so much for your hospitality! We hope to stay with you guys again
Posted on 21/07/2014
Name: Jennifer Jacobsen
Grazie for your nice note. We had a wonderful time and so enjoyed getting to know you and your family and Carlotta. You were all so gracious, helpful and kind. Thank you for the wonderful stay!
Posted on 20/07/2014
Name: Lori Elliott
We arrived home here in Toronto late yesterday. We are still experiencing a bit of jet lag, but when all has settled I will love to write about your little jewel in Tuscany. The Tuscan hills are not to be missed, but even more luminous for us was the love of your family and its heritage to the land and people and how you shared all that with us. The excellence of your service and the professionals you have hired all added to the warmth and kindness we felt at your farm. Thank you again for the great follow-up. I am thinking of planning a pici pasta-making evening here in our home. That was such a fun evening and lovely to speak with your friends from Texas. I will write soon.
Posted on 20/07/2014
Name: Don and Joyce
Thank you for a wonderful stay. We continued our journey from Tuscany to Rome and then to London so we only returned home on July 12. Our stay was truly wonderful. Thank you for everything.
Posted on 12/07/2014
Name: Kathy Kreidler
Thank you for your email. We have had much opportunity to reflect back on our holiday through recounting our wonderful experiences to family and friends, reminiscing whilst looking through our photos or sitting and drinking the beautiful wine we brought home with us. I can say that the holiday couldn't have come at a better time for us and provided us with the relaxation and escapism we were craving. We will definitely write about our wonderful experiences on the websites.
You must also be a mind reader as I am planning on making some pici with ragu this weekend for some friends and was about to email for the recipe!! Thank you!
We will definitely return to Cretaiole and I have do doubt that having heard our stories many of our friends may also be booking!
Take care and good luck
Posted on 09/07/2014
Name: Kathy Kreidler
Grazie mille to all of you for exceeding our expectations. It was wonderful and the Knutsons and we hope to bring our kids and their families back sometime to experience Tuscany Cretaiole-style.
Posted on 09/07/2014
Name: Cindy Saadeh
Hi Isabella! We have arrived back in the US and what fond memories we have of beautiful Tuscany!! I cannot wait to get back into the studio to paint!!
I wanted to ask if you wouldn't mind forwarding on our contact info to our neighbors Joyce and Don as well as Monica and Enrique. We didn't get to say goodbye to them and exchange info.
And thank you so much for everything. We will always have wonderful memories of our time at Cretaiole and will hopefully return again! I will seriously try to get a workshop together and that would be the perfect location for a group of painters!
Posted on 05/07/2014
Name: Stacy and Kevin
We had the most wonderful time at Cretaiole. I have told everyone about what an experience we had and how wonderful your family and Carlotta were. Zoe and Jack miss Luciano and the garden. Truly the vacation of a lifetime!!!!! Thanks so much for exceeding our expectations!!!
Posted on 28/06/2014
Name: Carol Carter
Isabella, my family and I had a wonderful time at Cretaiole. The variety of activities you offered, the precise driving directions, and the amazing table full of food were much more that I expected. I want to write a good review and wonder how is the best way to do that - on Tripadvisor, Rick Steves, or directly to you? Just let me know.
Also, could you send the recipe you had in the book for frittata? It sounded really good.
I am very tempted by the photo week you offer in October. I might try to talk a friend into doing it with me.
Posted on 23/06/2014
We are so grateful for such gracious hosts and a magical stay. Thank you sincerely for everything! We hope to have the privilege of staying again.
Posted on 21/06/2014
Name: David Crane
It is our first full day back home after our wonderful visit with you at Cretaiole. It is truly a magnificent place and you should be very proud of what you have accomplished there.
Carlotta has not made restaurant reservations for us in Potomac, Maryland, for tonight so I guess we will just have to eat at home. She certainly arranged magnificent places for us to eat while we were with you.
Thank you so much for everything!
Posted on 09/06/2014
Thank you again for a wonderful stay! It was a pleasure to write a review on Trip Advisor. One thing I regret, at the end of our last activity with Carlotta we ran off quickly to shelter from the rain in a cafe and didn't thank her properly for being such a great guide and help to us. Her warmth and enthusiasm for Tuscan life and history were a joy to experience. We would really appreciate it if you would pass on our "grazie mille" to her.
Posted on 08/06/2014
Name: Adam & Ashley
Dear Isabella and family,
Thank you so very much for the wonderful week at Cretaiole! It was the best week of our lives and we are already talking about when to return!!
We cannot wait to be with you all again.
Posted on 04/06/2014
Name: Holly Whisenand
Dear Isabella, Carlo, Luciano and Carlotta,
Just arrived back to work today and trying to catch up on all my work, but only thinking about Cretaiole. I have NEVER stayed at a place so lovely with such lovely people. You exceeded our expectations - plus to have the "Optional" itinerary that you provided was an unexpected surprise! The places, meals, activities you set up were exceptional.
I am sorry that I was not able to see any of you after we returned from Firenze. The directions were absolutely perfect! And Carlotta, having the reservations for the Accademia worked out absolutely wonderful!! Perfect!! I thank all of you for a beautiful time and I hope it is our future (soon) to return! Would love to give you hugs again right now.
Posted on 27/05/2014
Name: Travis and Barbara
Thank you very much ! We had a an amazing time again. We plan on returning the year after next, we are already looking forward to coming back.
Thank you !
Posted on 24/05/2014
Name: Rick and Kim
Ciao Isabella, Carlo, Luciano, and Carlotta,
The trip was wonderful from start to finish! And, of course, our stay with you was perfect in every way. We can’t imagine a better way to have discovered Tuscany. Every little detail was attended to with such joy and graciousness. And Luciano, we will never forget your midnight grappa and limoncello tastings! (Actually it’s a little hard to remember much of that.)
We have LOTS of photos, and we’d be happy to share them with you. I think the ap “Dropbox” makes it easy… or through Facebook. Let us know, and we’ll send you all we have from our days with you.
Thank you endlessly for everything, including those recipes. :)
Posted on 24/05/2014
Name: Linda Grinthal
Ciao Isabella, Carlo, Luciano and Carlotta,
We LOVED your little villa very much. Our stay was quite enjoyable and you helped us quite a bit. We especially appreciate the help with the boarding passes as we were a bit stressed over not finding a place to print. Thank you for that! If we return to Tuscany we will not hesitate to book at Cretaiole again, and visit you once more.
Posted on 14/05/2014
Name:Peter and Janine
We had a really wonderful time thank you and thank you for the attached recipe which I will attempt at home. We loved Tuscany and will most definitely visit again, hopefully with our three boys. Your tips and advice are amazing and we found some of the really fantastic restaurants you suggested.
Thank you mostly for the beautiful yoga!!! We did not get back to the farm to look around but it will always be a highlight of our trip. Another special moment was when we visited Nostra Vita, one of us had a low blood sugar problem and the father and mother were so very kind. They sat us on their beautiful terrace with a plate of cheese, bread and meat. Such kindness is rare today and we were very touched.
I wish you and your family a wonderful summer and good health and happiness.
With warm regards
Posted on 12/05/2014
Name: Irineu Silva
Posted on 07/05/2014
Name: Monica Rich
Posted on 05/05/2014
We had a wonderful stay at Il Cretaiole. The spa was so relaxing and the dinner we had at Il Barrino was the best one we had while in Tuscany. Thank you and your family so much for your warm hospitality and help in making this our best family trip yet! It was so nice to meet all of you and to see Tuscany through your eyes. By the way, the artisan tour on Friday with Carlotta was so special. It was a privilege to see your uncle's artwork in his own home.
Posted on 01/05/2014
Name: Garrett Schiff
Thanks so much, Isabella. We had an amazing time and hope we can return soon! We just used the last drops of the olive oil we brought home from Cretaiole and we all got very sad... Looking forward to making pici soon!
All the best.
Posted on 29/04/2014
Name: Helen and Joe
We had a GREAT time. Thank you to everybody for everything.
We are enjoying the olive oil and wine we brought back with us. A little bit of Cretaiole in Cleveland!!
Best regards to all,
Posted on 28/04/2014
Name: Julie Kim
Grazie for the email & to you, Carlo, Luciano & Carlotta! Kyle, Kira & I truly enjoyed our stay at Cretaiole as well as all of the adventures we had in the area. We shared all of the photos with my husband & we will definitely be returning in the future :-)
Posted on 27/04/2014
Name: Jennifer Driscoll
I'm so sorry for the late response, we've only finally gotten back to the States and have gotten back to our routine.
Thank you so much for everything. Staying at Cretaiole truly was the highlight of our entire trip. You and your family made us feel so welcomed and we couldn't have asked for anything more.
You will definitely be seeing us again. I've told my family that we all HAVE to visit next year for our family trip! :)
Hope all is well.
Posted on 27/04/2014
Name: Thais Jones
Thanks so much! We had a wonderful, wonderful time. Thanks for all the care that you, Carlotta, Carlo and Luciano put into making your guests feel at home and enjoy their stay in La Toscana! Our memories will last a lifetime!
Posted on 27/04/2014
Hi, Isabella! We're back home and speaking English again -- I have to break the habit of saying "Ciao"... Unfortunately coming home we had to get right back to work and school, although we did have an extra day home from school due to the cold weather here. However, we can't stop thinking about the incredible time we had in Tuscany and the rest of Italy -- the food, the beautiful scenery, the unique experiences, and of course, the warm and wonderful people we met. Our stay in Cretaiole was definitely the highlight of an amazing trip. We can't stop talking about panforte competitions, drinking grappa with Luciano, and trying the delicious products of San Gregorio.
We hope we see you again. We can't say when we will be back in Italy, but we won't be forgetting you all. Have a wonderful 2014.
Take care -- Diane
Posted on 20/01/2014
Name: Wendy and John Pitcairn
Ciao Isabella, lovely to hear from you and your timing was perfecto!! Tonight we are getting together with our friends Axel and Sharon who stayed with you a week or so after our stay so we can look at pictures and reminisce about the great time we all had in Italy!! We would love to come back one day, we loved staying at Cretaiole, you made us feel right at home, Carlotta was so helpful and Luciano was a lot of fun. You have to be careful about how much grappa you have though as my husband learned!! Thank you for the pici recipe, we loved the evening where we all learned to make the pasta and your husband Carlo wonderful BBQ dinner! I got a pasta maker for Christmas and plan on making some home made lasagna this weekend! Wishing you and your family and happy and healthy 2014, and we will be back someday to visit again.
Grazie Mille and arrivederci
Wendy & John Pitcairn
Posted on 11/01/2014
Name: Annie Altavilla
I am looking forward to some of your magnificent olive oil, homemade bread and Luciano's wine.
I cannot thank you enough for all of your assistance. From the planning to the execution of our stay at Cretaiole your knowledge, patience and enthusiasm with the two Americanos was greatly appreciated.
I have dreamed for so long about coming to Italy - you, Carlo and Luciano made my dreams of Italian life, family, culture, hospitality and landscapes come true!
I don't know how to thank you properly because words just don't convey how much the experience meant to me. I truly wanted to jump off the plane in Switzerland and run back to Tuscany!
I can only say that I look forward to seeing you all again and hope that my next trip will be sooner rather than later (and only involve a further exploration of the local areas via your suggested day trips).
Posted on 11/01/2014
Name: Rebecca Sellers
Forgive me for not writing sooner, to tell you how special our week with you and your family and Carlotta was. In fact, in many ways, it was a life- changing experience. Please thank Carlotta for her goodness and kindness to us. And thank you and Carlo and Luciano for all of yourselves that you gave to us. Cretaiole was one of the loveliest spots I have ever been privileged to visit. And the fresh vegetables were just wonderful. Thank you for all of your work to make us feel at home and to introduce us to your world and family and town. We will always remember our visit.
Sending love and best wishes and gratitude.
Posted on 10/01/2014
Name: Mel and Rick
We definitely have happy memories of our stay with you! Thank you for the recipe. We are looking forward to a grand Tuscan dinner with friends soon. Happy new year to all!
Mel & Rick
Posted on 02/01/2014
Name: Melissa and Brent Stutz
Ciao Isabella! We enjoyed it more than you will ever know. We have told ALL of our friends that if they make a trip to Tuscany, they MUST stay at your place. We will be back. It was more than just a vacation, it was an experience that we will always treasure. Being part Greek, I love the people as much as I do everything else. The food, the landscape, the wine...it was all incredible. But what made our trip complete, were the people we met. I absolutely loved the Italian people. Your family was so amazing and we count it a great pleasure to have met you. We can't wait to return. I am attaching a few pictures I think you will enjoy!!!! Big hugs from us as well! Tell that handsome father- in-law of yours we miss our Italian music and grappa evenings!!! Melissa & Brent
Posted on 02/01/2014
Name: Jim and Mandy Schneiker
There is not a day that goes by that Mandy and I don't think about how we can come back to Italy, this time with our 2 little kids. We had the trip of a lifetime in August, and I'm hoping we can visit again in the next 2-3 years when our kids will be ready for the adventure.
Also, thank you very much for attaching the recipe and in fact we have already made our own pasta several times since our visit.
Have a very Happy New Year!
Jim & Mandy
Posted on 02/01/2014
It is so thoughtful of you to share these recipes. Thank you!
Our stay at Cretaiole was much more than we could ever have hoped for. Thank you for sharing the beauty of Tuscany with us and making the holiday of a lifetime possible.
We look forward to returning someday, perhaps now with brushed-up pici-making skills!
Our best wishes to you and your loved ones for the New Year.
Posted on 02/01/2014
Name: Dennis & Virginia Szarowicz
So good to hear from you. We had a wonderful vacation with you at Cretaiole and cannot thank you enough for all of the personal touches you provided to help make our time in Tuscany very memorable. We loved the apartment, the access to the garden was phenomenal, and the tours were all wonderful. Most of all the opportunity to get to know you and your family and to see the "real deal" was so special. Carlotta was a wonderful historian and guide - please give her our regards, as well. You do so much to bring all of the vacationers together to get to know each other, and that was also fun. We have fond memories of everybody we met.
We hope 2014 will be a wonderful year for you all - wishes for love, luck and good health. Please give our best to all.
Dennis & Virginia Szarowicz
Posted on 02/01/2014
Name: Barbara and Robert Raju
Dear Isabella, Carlo, Carlotta, and Luciano
We wish you and your family a happy and healthy 2014.
We were so happy to hear from you and appreciate your sending us the recipes as a nice holiday gift to be treasured. I am not sure if we will tackle the pici but we will make Liliana's ragu sauce.
We spent 4 weeks in Italy and our stay at Cretaiole was by far the highlight of our adventures. We appreciate the hospitality and warmth that all of you showed us. You made us feel special. We felt like we were at home and when we left, we said it is hard to believe that there will be new guests staying in our home! When our friends ask us about our vacation which included Rome, Florence, and Umbria, the only thing we rave about is our experience with your family.
We will return to Cretaiole in the near future. Our hope would be to stay for a longer period of time.
God Bless you and your family
Barbara and Robert
Posted on 02/01/2014
Name: Scott and Debbie Christie
Hi Isabella I want to let you know what a great time
we had with your family and the farm house. You
guys run a very smooth operation with first class
accommodations with a marvelous staff. We will be
working our way back to Italy and will for sure be
wanting to rent a room again.
One thing my wife wanted to know was, could you send the pasta and sauce recipe we had at the Tuscan dinner? She has been dying to make it again and I have been dying to eat it!!!
Scott & Debbie Christie
Posted on 23/12/2013
Name: Pam Yarborough
Good afternoon Isabella,
Cody and I wanted to thank you so much for all the experiences we had while staying at Cretaiole. Everyone made our stay there very memorable and very special for our 25 Anniversary. We enjoyed everything we did and everything we saw but I think the visit to the farm was the most memorable. The warmth that everyone showed towards us was remarkable. I know that you work extra hard to make everyone’s visit feel that way, but Cody and I truly appreciate it and will always remember it.
Would you mind sending me the Pici recipe as well as for the Ragu. I found it touching that you shared the recipe and techniques of your mother-n-law. I have several recipes from my grandmother that I will treasure forever and now I hope to add the Pici recipe to that group. Cody is all excited to make me a Pici board. We are hoping to get in some practice at making it and then have a Pici dinner party with our friends.
Thank you again for everything. We truly enjoyed and treasured ALL of our experiences while staying at Cretaiole. Please tell Carlotta how much we enjoyed it and enjoyed her company and knowledge on our tours. Thank you so much.
Posted on 16/11/2013
Name: Erin Fishman
Ciao Isabella! Wow, what a wonderful time we have had in Tuscany. We love Cretaiole and all of the amazing surroundings. I thought it would be hard to top Latte di Luna, but tonight's dinner at Il Porto was incredible. Thank you for the awesome recommendations. We are so thrilled that our friends recommended Cretaiole!
Posted on 16/11/2013
Name: Sally Sunshine
We made it back to NY safely, and are already missing Cretaiole!!! We wanted to write to thank you, Carlo, Carlotta and Luciano for making our time in Pienza so special. We loved every moment of our stay and hope to come back again sometime soon!
Would you be able to send the pici recipe our way? It was our favorite meal of our 3 week stay in Italy and we want to make it for our family at the holidays. Would you also be willing to provide your meat sauce recipe? -- it was amazing!
We are missing Italy desperately.
We hope that all is well.
Sally & Peter
Posted on 16/11/2013
Name: Skip Wolf
To everyone – Isabella, Carlo, Luciano and to Carlotta,
Thank you for a truly wonderful experience. I was one of the six –the short one with the beard – who stayed in the #1 apartment during the last week of October.
I don’t think that there is anything that you could have done to make our stay more perfect. I only wish that I spoke more –some – Italian so that I could have traded stories with Luciano over his bottles of grappa.
You all do everything so well! It is clear that you work very hard at what you do because everything is so seamless and the details so perfect. Quality like that is only the result of much thought and hard work – and probably having some fun at the same time. All the little touches from the flowers – they were everywhere - to the consideration given to restaurant recommendations to the friendly warmth that was always there shouted that you clearly love what you do.
So, to borrow a phrase from the Australians, “Good on ya!” and thank you ever so much for a truly memorable experience – one that will remain with us for ever.
And best wishes for much continued success.
I know it is a slim chance, but if you ever come to Canada, the eastern part, please do look us up.
Posted on 12/11/2013
Name: Kim and Danny Mahaney
Isa, just a quick note to thank you from the bottom of
my heart! You made this past 2 weeks so incredibly
special. Your family is beautiful and so kind. Danny
and I appreciate everything that you did for us, a lot
of which was above and beyond. I hope that I get to
return one day and see all of you again!
Please tell Carlo how much we appreciate all that he did as well. He is a very dedicated and wonderful man! Give Luciano one final kiss and hug from me, tell him every time I dance, I will remember him with fondness... The twinkle in his eye is enchanting!
Carlotta ... She is one amazing and dedicated girl. We very much appreciated her help!
Finally, tell the driver of the ape, grazie mille for giving me, an American lady, the memory!
Also, tell Roberto at Latte di Luna to never stop smiling and winning the ladies over!
Hugs to all for your abundant generosity!
Kim and Danny!
Posted on 02/11/2013
Name: Cindy Billings
I just posted a review of our fantastic experience of staying with you last week. We could not have had a more enjoyable week. Your attentiveness to detail left nothing for improvement. The special touches of milk and cereal etc awaiting us, the flowers in the showers, the use of the garden etc...were so beyond any expectation. The travel book and informational notebook you prepared were so helpful. The greatest joys were our interaction with you and your family which now includes Carlotta ( the perfect addition), and seeing Tuscany through each of your eyes and heart.
Thanks again. If you ever plan a trip to the US, or to New Brunswick, Canada, we would welcome your staying with us.
Ciao and mille grazie,
Posted on 02/11/2013
Name: Bob and Danna Siverts
We absolutely loved our stay and have been singing your praises to all our friends and family. We also shared our experience on Trip Advisor. It was a fantastical week and you and your family did so much to make us feel part of the family. You also have hired a real jewel in Carlotta. She did an amazing job of sharing the history of the area in such a warm and friendly way.
But aside from telling you how wonderful you are, we were hoping you would share your recipe for pici and especially the bean salad you served. Bob is dying for me to make it.
Thank you for giving us such a wonderful experience.
Bob and Danna Siverts
Posted on 30/10/2013
Name: Butch and Linda Fowler
what a wonderful time we had. got home last night. we look forward to a return visit. if you are ever this way would love to have you. our best to all of the family and a special hug for father in law.
butch & linda
Posted on 28/10/2013
Name: Mimi Borchers
I want to thank you, your family and the staff at Cretaiole for a WONDERFUL experience while we toured Tuscany. Carlotta was so very helpful and we loved all the different excursions that you had planned for the guests. One of my favorites was the Pici pasta making class and the delicious dinner that followed. When you have time, would you please send me the recipe for the Pici. Do you think that Liliana would share her ragu recipe as well?....fabulous !!!
After we left Cretaiole, we traveled to Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast. It was lovely, but my favorite stop was your home in Tuscany.
Thank you and the entire Moricciani family and staff for a very memorable experience . We began saving for a return trip :-)
Posted on 25/10/2013
Name: Rick Levitt
Diane and I arrived back home from Italy on Saturday night, and we are already missing it and planning our return. We want to walk the entirety of the Via Francigena over the course of several years, so we will be coming through the Val d'Orcia again (probably many times--it is our favorite part of Italy).
I wanted to thank you, your family and Carlotta la Magnifica for all you did for us and our friends when we stayed at Cretaiole last month. The location and the agriturismo itself are wonderful, but it was all of your efforts that made our stay so wonderful. For our friends Astrid and Andrew and my niece Avery, it was the greatest introduction possible to Italy.
One thing you should add to your list of suggestions for guests to the area is a restaurant in Monticchiello we've eaten at many times over the years--La Taverna di Moranda. There is a lot of excellent food (the cervo and piccione are favorites of ours), the wine list is good, and the owners very friendly. Both of them speak English (hers is particularly good). It doesn't have the view of La Porta, but unless you sit outside there, you don't get a view anyway.
Tante grazie per tutti, e saluti a la famiglia, particolarmente Babbo Luciano. A la prossima volta,
Posted on 23/09/2013
Name: Isabelle & Rolf
Dear Isabella, Carlo, Carlotta, Luciano and the whole
Finally we’re back home. Many thanks for the wonderful week we had with you. We enjoyed it very much and send our best wishes for your future.
Isabelle & Rolf
Posted on 20/09/2013
Name: O'Flaherty Family
We had the most memorable time at your farm, when we share our stories of adventure among friends and family, memories of the rolling views, the gardens we used to cook our dinner, the farm, the neighbouring villages full of history that we just can’t grasp here in Australia and of course Luciano, are all expressed with heartfelt fondness and affection. We would love to one day return to Tuscany and visit the farm.
Thank you for the recipes, now there is no excuse not to make it for my mum.
Arrivederci and thank you for all the effort you all put in to make such a special place to stay.
Banjo, Larissa and Niall
Posted on 02/09/2013
Name: The Gray Family
We are so sorry we missed saying goodbye to you as well, as we had the most wonderful time and wanted to tell you in person how much we appreciated all your help. We can't stop talking about all the amazing memories we had there and how sweet you and your family (including Carlotta:)) were making it even that much more magical. It was an absolutely perfect holiday with memories we will treasure forever. My parents just flew back to the US today after a week stay in Belgium with us and Cretaiole was amongst our conversation every day. We have even already discussed making plans for next year, as we unanimously loved it and can't wait to experience it again:).
Thank you for including us in your family last week. You have an amazing family and you all went out of your way to make sure we (and all the guests) felt at ease that week. All the reviews we had read online were absolutely true and you still more than exceeded our high expectations:) We are just starting to go through our photos and will email you some of our favourites.
Out of curiosity, when do we need to book for next summer noting we would want the larger unit again? Thanks again for everything and we look forward to seeing you again very soon:).
Hugs to your family as well (including Carlotta)!
Love, Ashley, Scott, Janice, Joe, Ella and Isabel
P.S. Ella can't stop talking about picking fresh vegetables each morning for breakfast and Isabel can't stop talking about petting Luna and the kitty cats.
Posted on 26/08/2013
Name: Elina Ryzhenkova
we had an amazing week at Cretaiole! It was even better than I expected. Unfortunately, we haven't met in person since you were on vacation (I hope you had a wonderful week as well), but I hope we'll come back and finally will have a chance to meet.
I will post my review and some pictures on Tripadvisor, hope it will help to promote Cretaiole. You're doing an amazing job and what's more - it doesn't feel like a job, it felt like we're visiting friends. At first I didn't believe it when I read all the reviews on TripAdvisor - but it really is so!
Please, send my sincere regards to Luciano. Next time I'll try to learn some Italian and answer all his questions about Russian political situation :)
With best regards from rainy Saint-Petersburg,
Posted on 26/08/2013
Name: Bob and Jo Hanny
Thank you again, Isa, for another wonderful week with
you, Carlo, Luciano, Nicco --and your new assistant,
Carlotta. Having our daughter and her family with us
made it an even more special time this year. The birth
of 4 kittens at Cretaiole was the highlight of the trip
for our 12 year old granddaughter! How did you arrange
Even though this was our 4th visit with you there are always new things to do and see. We enjoyed staying in your Castelmuzio apartment, II Cielo for the first time. It was lovely and spacious for the 2 of us with the rooftop terrace a plus. We were still involved in the activities of Cretaiole but could retreat to the quaint small town at night----except for those evenings when we just HAD to share a glass with Luciano at Cretaiole.
Your special help with my gluten-free diet was again really appreciated. It was such a treat to find that MY welcoming basket contained GF cereal, crackers, breads, and pasta----as well as all of the fruits and veggies. For the second year you made gluten-free pici with me for the Thursday night dinner---with your delicious sauce ----and as usual, Carlo separated my gluten-free sausages from the grill used to toast bread for appetizers----thank you, Carlo!!!
Our friends keep asking us why we return to the same place in Italy. We tell them it is because of you and your family.
Our fondest regards.
Posted on 20/08/2013
Name: Francesca and Brendan
Buon giorno, many thanks for your email and for the recipes.
We had a lovely time at Cretaiole and I have attached some pictures which I promised Luciano I would send. Please pass on our best wishes to all; dancing with Luciano to Frank Sinatra and Andrea Bocelli, and drinking Limoncello will hold fond memories
Francesca and Brendan
Posted on 19/08/2013
Name: Clinick family
Thank you so much for the recipe and such a magical stay
at Cretaiole! Luciano and Carlotta were so fantastic and
helpful during our stay! The kids are wondering how
Mario is doing, they love her so much and ask about her
Andrew, Jessica, Ethan, Annabelle and Sophie
Posted on 19/08/2013
Name: Shirlene Brown
Thank you Isabella! We had a wonderful time at
Cretaiole and wanted to make sure we told you how great
Carlotta was arranging everything for us, giving us the
tour of the hermitage tomb, teaching us how to make pici
pasta and making us feel comfortable and at home.
Luciano was also wonderful and we thoroughly enjoyed
getting to know the culture, visiting the farm and
picking vegetables from the garden. Also, your guide
book was extremely thorough and invaluable to us!
Our girls really enjoyed their art lesson from Elizabeth Cochrane in Montisi and would highly recommend that for anyone!
You live in a beautiful country and we are so happy to have spent a week at Le Cretaiole - we hope to visit again!
Posted on 15/08/2013
Name: Tavia Hrabovsky
Thank you so much Isabella! Our stay was PERFECT! We
had so much fun, and we hope to make it back to
Cretaiole one day! I look forward to using the recipe
to wow my friends soon :). Please give Carlotta and
Luciano our love and let them know we truly appreciated
all they did to make us feel at home during our vacation.
Thanks again, and until we meet again...Grazie Mille!
Posted on 12/08/2013
Name: Kim Suppes
Thank you so much for the recipes! For my mother’s 75th birthday we taught our family how to make pici and made the ragu! Delicioso! I’ve attached a couple of the pictures for you to see!
Staying at Cretaiole and meeting your family was the highlight of our trip to Europe! We are telling all of our friends and they can’t believe the wonderful experience we had with you…they say the Thursday night dinner sounds like a movie! And it was!
We will be sending some photos to Luciano in the mail…along with a cd of Kate singing. And I will send you some pictures too, when I get a chance to sort through them!
We already miss all of you! Thank you for everything!!! We will be in touch!
Kim and Greg and Kate and Matt
Posted on 11/08/2013
Name: Norbert Wirth
It was so wonderful to see you all again. For me it was like coming home and I was so sad to leave. It definitely won't take long to come back.
In my entire life I haven't been to a place like yours. You meet so many different people from all over the world and just after a few days you are feeling that you have known them forever. I am really feeling privileged to be part of this unique family at Cretaiole.
Give me best regards to everybody.
Posted on 08/08/2013
Name: Dolly Trinidad
Isabella, Carlo, Luciano and Carlotta,
Words...they are not enough to describe my thanks for the lovely moments you and your family had extended. Magical Pienza and Val d'Orcia .... I am wishing to watch Andrea Bocelli in Tuscany....it is a shame I missed him last July 13.
Please email pictures from your birthday shared by other guests Isabella, I will much appreciate it:)
Grazie and till we meet again!
Posted on 17/07/2013
Name: Marcelo Goldberg
Many thanks for sending the recipe.
It was a great pleasure to stay at Cretaiole. We had a great time that we would like to repeat some day. You treat the guests very well and made us feel at home; this is a life experience I recommend to everyone!
Enclosed you will find some pictures we took. Please feel free to use any of those in your website or wherever you want to use them.
Hoping to return soon, all the best
Marcelo and Carla
Posted on 12/07/2013
Name: Meredith Newman
Thank you Isabella!! To say that our trip was phenomenal
does not do it justice!!! We had the MOST amazing time
and made so many memories with your wonderful family in
your beautiful agriturismo. Your hospitality, kindness,
organization, and thoughtfulness were fabulous. We
simply could not have asked for a better experience and
we have already said that when we return to Italy, we
are coming back to stay at Cretaiole!! We have some
friends coming to stay with you all in the fall and we
couldn't wait to get home and tell them how wonderful
everything was and how excited we were for them to be
coming to Cretaiole!!
Thank you so much for the recipes and we cannot wait to try them out here in Georgia!!
Many, many thanks again for everything!! Meredith
Posted on 09/07/2013
Name: Mark and Sherri Nelson
Isabella, Carlo, Luciano and Carlotta
Sherri and I want to thank you for such a great experience at Agriturismo Cretaiole. You opened up your hearts and your home to us and we thoroughly enjoyed your hospitality. We did not only rent your farm, we feel like we rented your family. And what a great family you have!
We will always treasure the experiences and the memories we had during our week there. We also made some great new friends.
Thanks again, you run a great program. I can't think of a better way to experience Tuscany!!
Thanks so much,
Mark and Sherri
Posted on 09/07/2013
Name: Rich and Deb
We had the time of our lives thanks to the authenticity
of Cretaiole. The planned activities were so unique for
us to experience, so different than if we had stayed
somewhere else. Your attention to detail was awe
inspiring. It was such a pleasure meeting you, Carlos,
your son, Carlotta and Luciano!
Rich and Deb
Posted on 09/07/2013
Name: Randy and Geraldine
Good Morning Isabella
We very much enjoyed Italy. And in particular we enjoyed our stay at Cretaiole. The day trip to Sienna and your self guided tour of quiet/deserted hill towns are two hi-lites that we've both told friends about.
Thanks to you, your family, and Carlotta for a wonderful stay.
Posted on 08/07/2013
Name: Annamarie Nagy
Dear Isabella, and Family, and Carlotta:
Thank you for the wonderful week my daughter and her family, our Hungarian relatives and I spent in Cretaiole. Your warm hospitality touched my heart. Annemarie and Paul were always sharing their most pleasant memories of staying at your place previously. My experience of being there with them exceeded all my expectations based on what they told me about Cretaiole. Mille, mille grazie!
Cara Isabella, I am so sorry that you suffered the loss of your father during our stay. May he rest in peace in the glory of God's Kingdom. I truly admired your composure that in spite of your grief you still were able to attend to your guests. May pleasant memories of your father and the love of your family console you in your sadness.
I don't know what is in store for me, as I am growing old (80 years old next year!) but I keep hoping to return once more to Cretaiole.
With my love to all of you who made our vacation such a great experience,
Posted on 07/07/2013
Name: Jackson Family
Si! Grazie for the recipes.
We are in a taxi on our way to Paris airport CDG. Sad to be leaving again, but we had such a wonderful time this year. Joyce, especially loved her stay at Cretaiole. Thank you for everything.
I intend to write a longer message to you upon our return, but I wanted to say that we want to post a review of Cretaiole on the web... Please let me know if there are any travel sites in particular that you might prefer.
Grazie mille to you & of course Carlo and Carlotta. And please give our love to Luciano as well. He is our Italian papa, and we miss him every moment since we left your driveway. See you all again, as soon as possible.
Melissa, Greg and Joyce
Posted on 07/07/2013
Name: Buck and Cathy Cochran
We had an amazing time at Cretaiole – thank you. We can’t wait to come back. Can you send me Carlotta’s email? We would like to thank her for all her help.
Posted on 25/06/2013
Name: Denise and Walter
How nice to see your email, especially today as we just arrived back in the USA yesterday. It was a wonderful 5 wk trip and most everything went beautifully. Both Walt and I agree the best of it was our time at Cretaoile! (Even the gorgeous snowy alps from the lakes and Venice boating could not compare to those postcard views from your swings.)
We thoroughly enjoyed our apt and the whole experience there. As we moved on to other places we still spoke of how much we enjoyed it and giggled about Luciano coming by with his grappa and vin santo. He kept me well supplied w my morning eggs too. How cute that last evening when he put Bocelli's time to say goodbye on the boombox and danced w me and the other ladies. We just might try to make pici at home. And Carlotta she is just fantastic!!!! I think it would be easier than trying to make the tagliatelle Bolognese we were shown (not participating) in a class by a hotel chef in Bologna. All the slicing seemed too complicated to me.
We listened to your advice and tried not to run all over Italy but enjoy Val d'Orcia while there. Your book was fabulous and indeed we would consider a return stay w you, Carlo, Carlotta and Luciano!
Love to you all and I will send pictures when I get them downloaded.
Posted on 14/06/2013
Name: Priscilla Lee
Thank you Isabella,
I am very grateful to stay with your family and it was everything that we hope for. We will definitely stay with you guys again in the future once Madeline is a little older.
Question for you, are there any activities around the area during the truffle season (October to February)? We would like to come during the truffle season next time.
Posted on 13/06/2013
Name: Robert and Miffy Hogan
Hi Isabella, Carlo, Luciano, and Carlotta
Thank you for your email, and yes we had a wonderful time at Cretaiole. Miffy's sister, Bronwen and her husband Ken, had told us it would be great and it was. It was sad for everyone that Isabella's father was ill and Isabella away for some days, but the rest of the family and Carlotta made everything so enjoyable.
We found the valley d'Orcia very beautiful and the towns like Pienza fascinating.
We will recommend Cretaiole very highly to our friends. Special thanks to Luciano for creating a community bond and new friendships between half a dozen disparate groups of travellers from all over the world.
Love to all at Cretaiole.
Robert and Miffy Hogan
Posted on 11/06/2013
Name: James Schofield
We had a lovely honeymoon in Italy, and we can't stop talking about how much we enjoyed our time at Cretaiole! Please send our thanks to Carlotta for helping us plan out a great week! She did a fantastic job filling in while you were with your father. Please also send our thanks to Luciano for many nice evenings enjoying his grappa over broken Italian/English conversations. :-)
I hope your father is recovering, Isabella. We were sorry to hear that he was in hospital. Kyla and I send our best wishes to you and your family.
James and Kyla
Posted on 28/05/2013
Name: Kathy Holland
We had a wonderful time! We loved our apartment and the area is just beautiful. I'm just sorry I didn't get to visit the farm, but I was out-voted.
I would definitely recommend Cretaiole to anyone that wants to stay at an agriturismo.
Carlotta is a keeper. I really enjoyed her.
I wish you all the best!
Grazie mille! Kathy
Posted on 24/05/2013
Name: Mike, Laurie and Sandra
Isabella, it is good to hear from you. Thank you for
the Pici and Ragu recipes! I’m sure we’ll practice
your special technique sometime this summer.
We all had a fantastic time at Cretaiole and will remember your family with great fondness. I have attached a few pictures from our time in Tuscany (sorry for the email size) – I hope you enjoy them. The first picture is of the three of us (so you can remember which guests we are). The other two are pictures of Cretaiole taken with my camera. I used a special ‘watercolor filter’ and I think they show Cretaiole in a nostalgic light. I hope you enjoy them.
Best wishes to you and all our friends at Cretaiole!
Mike, Laurie and Sandra
Posted on 24/05/2013
Name: Cathy and Stephen Shortridge
It is so nice to hear from you. We loved our visit!! The only problem was that it was much too short. I have told everyone that if they visit your area they MUST stay with you. I literally got tears in my eyes when Carlotta showed us our "chicken coop". It was so charming and yes, everything I had envisioned and more. Grazie, grazie! I certainly hope we can return one day. I am sorry I missed the pasta making!
Thanks again for all of your hospitality,
Cathy and Stephen
Posted on 22/05/2013
Name: Doug and Brenda Rice
We had a great time and will try to come back soon.
In the mean time, we have already started telling everyone to go visit you. I don't know how many people we can send your way, but we're trying.
Doug and Brenda
Posted on 22/05/2013
Name: Jan Ware
We had such a wonderful week at Cretaiole!! Everything was perfect and Carlotta did such a great job of filling in for you. We are all so sorry we didn't get to meet you and I certainly hope your Father's health has improved. Your attention to detail was just incredible and those GPS coordinates saved our lives many times. It was one of our favorite vacations and we hope to do it again in the near future. Thank you again for creating the perfect spot from which to enjoy Tuscany.
Posted on 22/05/2013
Name: Jim and Shirley Lake
Dear Isabella, Carlo, Luciano and Carlotta,
Thank you for a wonderful week. Your hospitality alone made our trip quite wonderful. And the scenery and activities will remain in our memories.
Isabella, thanks for helping us get our lost luggage in such a short period of time.
Posted on 20/05/2013
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
Posted 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!
Posted 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!
Posted 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 without them!
I honestly can’t recommend any changes – it was a perfect trip.
I will send some of our photos through to you and also make sure we do a Tripadvisor review and post our photos there too.
Thanks again for a perfect piece of paradise! It was one of our favourite parts of our trip.
Jade and Adam
Posted 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 memories.
Ciao Bob Pointon
Posted 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.
Posted 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.
Posted 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
Posted 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 certainly return.".
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.
Posted 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
Posted 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
Posted 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 experience.
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 local activities.
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 countryside.
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!
Posted 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 been converted!
Posted 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
Posted 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
Posted 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,
Posted 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 reaction!
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 special.
Heather & Gordon
Posted 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.
Regards Tracey Polson
Posted 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 an expert.
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!
Posted 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
Posted 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
Posted 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
Posted 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 using it!
Posted 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 loving hospitality.
We have ALREADY made your ragu and pici - it's the BEST ragu EVER.
Be well and we are sending back BIGGER hugs to you and your family.
xxoo Beth & Joel
Posted 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!!!
Posted 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.
Posted 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.
Posted 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!
Posted 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
Posted 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
Posted 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
Posted 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 meal ever!
Sheila and Mike
Posted 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!
Posted 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
Posted 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 there.
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, Love,
Jeannine and Arne Berger
P.S. Thank you for the recipes!! YUMMMMMMMMMMY!
P.S. We miss Luciano too……
Posted 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 found it on your website) and we drank wine from Castello Banfi.
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) in a few years!
Grazie mille and arrivederci!
Posted 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
Posted 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,
Posted 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!
Posted 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 all!
Kendra and John, Kerry, and Brooke
Posted 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 special.
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
Posted 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.
Posted 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
Posted 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.
Posted 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. Ciao! Jo Hanny
Posted 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 lifetime!
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!
Posted 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 our stay.
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
Posted 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!!!
Posted 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 and Luciano.
Posted 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?
Posted 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, Bonnie
Posted 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 to everyone.
Linda and Bob Anderson
Posted 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 about Cretaiole.
P.S. thanks for the recipes. We are looking forward to Pici night with our family.
Posted 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
Posted 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
Posted 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 again.
Jan and Richard
Posted 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 too!!!
Thanks again for everything you do and all your wonderful plans you make - that what makes it all so special.
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 trip.
Jerry and Susan
Posted 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
Posted 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
Posted 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 Cretaiole!
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, Barbara McCulloch
Posted 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.
Diane (and John)
Posted 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.
Posted 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!
Posted 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 appreciate everything!
Posted 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 'country life!'
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 the guidebooks!
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 evening!!
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 of fun!!
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
Posted 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... Jillian
Posted 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
Posted 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 - the mail!!
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
Posted 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,
Posted 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
Posted 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 again!
Sincerely, Wendy and Scott Stewart
Posted 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.
Posted 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 and Luciano!
Lynn and Vic Johansen
Posted 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 email.
All the best to you and your family,
Michele (and Tim)
Posted 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
Posted 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 maps,directions,pictures of 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
Posted 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
Posted 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.
Posted 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.
Posted 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 and family.
Want to touch the heart of Tuscany? Cretaiole. We love it. So will you!
Posted 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.
Posted 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
Posted 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,
Posted 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 naturale.
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 avete dato.
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 giganteschi.
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 vita.
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.
Posted 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
Posted 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!
Posted 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 website.
Thanks for all of your help!
Posted 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 near future.
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 family.
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
Posted on 02/08/2011
Name: Ewoud Duvenage
I wanted to send this mail a long time ago, but I somehow hoped a miracle would happen and I would be able to fly back in July and thank you and your family personally. Sadly it will only remain a dream.
From the three of us, thank you very, very much for the week we spent at Cretaiole. Initially I wanted to stay only three or four days and then move on to our next destination. I am so glad that your minimum stays are a week. It was still too short to really explore your beautiful part of Tuscany.
The three of us saw each other yesterday and we again talked fondly of how you gave a lot of yourself to us during the week, as we know you do every week. You never interfered in our daily lives, but you were always available to assist us with anything. All of us loved gentleman Luciano and we also feel that maybe Carlo should be more involved. But then, as you said, he is farmer by heart and if he is happy doing that, then that is what he should do.
To this day, I cannot look South African ham in the eye after having eaten your prosciutto and all those other wonderful meats at your family’s house. I honestly wish I can get some here.
We have not tried doing the Pici yet, but I think this weekend is the right time, so hold thumbs!
Again, from our hearts, thank you so much for the week. We will promote Cretaiole to our friends as far as we can.
Maybe we will be lucky enough to someday do this trip again.
Posted on 25/07/2011
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 recommendation.
We also both really enjoyed Cretaiole, both because of the place and the wonderful hospitality all of you provided.
Dave Drews/Lauri Reeder
Posted 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
Posted 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
Posted 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 Casa Moricciani.
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
Posted on 28/06/2011
Name: Sharon and Jeff Koppel
We are sending you some pictures since we aren't so good at "posting" 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 the cover picture...we love it so much!! Here are also our comments about the trip:
Isabella: Our trip to Cretaiole was awesome! Your farm and accommodations were perfect. Though the farm itself and the apartment 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 life in 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 was priceless. 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 didn’t need to plan anything for our week inTuscany until we arrived…every day was a new adventure! The dinners planned through Cretaiole were excellent also and gave us a taste of Tuscan food that was authentic. I can’t think of a single recommendation which would have made this trip better.
Isabella – Ditto everything from Sharon. We loved everything from the location - Pienza surprised us with its charm, to the moka coffee makers, to the wine, meat & olive oil tastings, to the feelings of relaxation throughout the grounds. But Sharon understated our linguistic abilities – I felt ours were pretty much nonexistent. I 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. EVERYTHING else – wonderful, a highlight of our first trip to Italy!!
Sharon and Jeff Koppel
PS: We will be posting comments on Trip Advisor too! We are recommending your lodging to everyone we talk to who is considering a trip to Italy.
Posted 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
Posted 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.
Posted 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 we can.
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!
Posted 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
Posted 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 Luciano.
Thank you again for being such a good hostess.
Lin & Mark
Posted 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.
Posted 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!
Posted 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 Cretaiole. 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
Posted 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
Posted 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!
Posted 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 computer.
Buon Anno, Cheryl
Posted 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 to do!
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,
Posted 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 come back!!! 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. Thanks again. Until we meet again...arrivederci
Darrell and JoAnn
Posted 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!
Posted 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 Magazine.
Best regards to you and your family,
Mary and Eric and our traveling friends, Karen and Corby Sandee and Ron
Posted 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
Posted 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
Posted on 11/11/2010
Name: Len Rudolph
Dear Isabella, 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. Best regards, Len Rudolph
Posted 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
Posted 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 Tropo.
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 for dolci.
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!
Posted on 29/10/2010
Name: Pat Barratt
Hi Isa, 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, Pat Barratt
Posted on 26/10/2010
Name: Jocelyn and Steve
Hello Isa, 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 the family. 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, Jocelyn
Posted 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!
Posted 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
Posted 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
Posted on 29/09/2010
Name: Vera and Richard Siegel
Dear Isabella, We have been home for two weeks by now but we think and talk about our vacation in Val d'Orcia all the time. It is hard to imagine anything more beautiful and lovingly cared for than Val d'Orcia. 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 . Please thank Carlo and Luciano for us for their hospitality. We look forward to coming back to Cretaiole. Best regards to you and your family, Vera and Richard
Posted 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
Posted 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 very special andthe enthusiasm you perform your job with is amazing!! Keep up the good work!! Diane Fitch
Posted 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!
Posted 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
Posted 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 like it!
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 countryside.
Posted 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
Posted 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 bonus.
Your family is great and Grappa with Luciano is the unexpected treat.
Thanks again for a great week.
Spud & Jeanie Newton
Posted 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
Posted 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 and welcoming!!
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
Posted 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 provided and the Val d'Orcia in general. In addition, we loved your cheese, wine 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 Agrlturismo Cretaiole was, it still exceeded our expectations. She still talks 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 little rest.
Eric Shrode Nancie Plum
Posted 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
Posted 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.
Posted 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.
Posted 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
Posted 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.
Posted 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 them).
Hopefully we'll be back again soon.
Amelia, Justin & Lochie
Posted 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 too!)
We would not hesitate to highly recommend Cretaiole to anyone.
We miss the good wine!
Barry & Linda
Posted 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 check.
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!
Kindest regards, Renee, Ian, Carol and Graeme
Posted 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!) Ann
Posted 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
Posted 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!
Posted 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
Posted 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
Posted 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.
Posted 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.
Posted 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
Posted 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 amazing.
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 Ohio.
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
Posted 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
Posted 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 life!
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
Posted 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 description.
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 Japan.
Posted 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 Italy trip.
Colleen and Kevin Flanigan
Posted 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.
Posted 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 follow soon.
Deborah and Harold
Posted 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
Posted 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 fall.
Kindest regards to you, Carlo and Luciano
Ieva and Mara
Posted 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 wonderful spring/summer.
Grazie mille! Allison, Jaimie, and the girls
Posted 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
Posted 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
Posted 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!! Talk soon. Cher
Posted 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.
Ciao, Jan and Bill Douglas
Posted 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!!
Posted 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!
Posted 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
Posted 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 Hardy, AR
Posted 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
Posted 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 Petersen
Posted 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
Posted 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
Posted 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.
Posted 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
Posted 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
Posted 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.
Posted 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!
We have 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
Posted 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!
Posted 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! Victoria
Posted 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,
Johanna and Brad
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 your family.
Johanna and Brad
Posted 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 dream.
Thanks again for the wonderful week in Tuscany!
Nancy and Rob
Posted on 03/12/2009
Name: Maureen Shotts
Dear Isabella, 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. Maureen
Posted 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 Thanksgiving.
Posted 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!!!
Warmest regards, Dan and Lucy Neely
Posted 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
Posted 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
Posted 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
Posted 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.
Posted on 16/11/2009
Name: The Richters
Dear Isabella, 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 miss Halloween! 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 de suite. Thanks again and please say hello to all of your lovely family.
Posted 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 lifetime.
Thank you again, warmest wishes, and---Ciao!
Posted 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 cabbage(cavolo)!!
Posted on 28/10/2009
Name: John and Sandy
Hi Isabella 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 very few. 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 return visit
Posted 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 Italy.
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 non-existent).
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.
Best Regards, Sandra & Ben
Posted 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 crossed yours.
Much love. health and blessings to you and your precious family, Cynthia
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.
Posted 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 be true.
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 d'Orcia.
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
Posted 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
Posted 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 interested too.
Much love and good fortune to you all, Bonnie Bain
Posted 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 our way.
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
Posted 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.
Posted 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!!
Posted on 19/09/2009
Name: Amy Farcas
Hello Isabella, 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 favorites was pici-making. I'd like to try it on my own; can you remind me of the proportions of ingredients please? Thanks again
Posted 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.
Best regards, Mel, Sally, Lily and Lev
Posted on 27/08/2009
Name: Kadi Rahuoja
Hi Isabella! We had most wonderful time in Cretaiole with you and your family and with all the other guests. 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! Ciao!
Posted on 25/08/2009
Name: Pat West
Isa, 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 with 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 have to take the other back to Cretaiole? This sounds 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 a bonus. Also your wine and olive oil, pecorino and 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 but 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 return. Regards
Posted 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 you.
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. again, GRAZIE!
Sincerely, Linda Gallmeier
Posted 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 and grandchildren.
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, Amatsia Raanan
Posted 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 you.
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.
Posted on 31/07/2009
Name: Nancy and Andris
Hi, Isabella: We were so sorry that we didn’t' get to see you on the day we left. We must have passed each other on the road. We did stop by to pick up the 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 little round table while surrounded by the cats. We would love to have the pici recipe, as we plan to invite friends over to make the pasta and enjoy 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 night 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. Take care...
Posted on 25/07/2009
Name: Cherry Joh
Dear Isabella, I just arrived home a day and a half ago and wanted to thank you for a wonderful experience at Cretaiole. The time we spent there was amazing and truly memorable. The events you planned, your warmth and passion for Val d' Orcia made our trip really special. From the vegetable garden to the lively dinners to grappa & wine with Luciano, we enjoyed every moment. Thank you again for everything. Warmest Regards
Posted 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.
Posted 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
Posted 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 delicious.
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!
Warmly, Connie & John Morris
PS - La Portal restaurant was a wonderful recommendation for our last night. The food was fabulous!
Posted on 11/07/2009
Name: The Ryan Family
Dear Isabella, We're back home from our wonderful trip to Italy. We absolutely loved the time we spent at La Cretaiole and touring the beautiful Val d'Orcia! 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 were both fun and educational, even for the kids. We especially enjoyed learning to make pici and can't wait to make it again at home. Would you please 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 find her alone. Please give our love to Carlo and Luciano. With Warmest Regards,
Posted on 09/07/2009
Name: Gary Pon
We thoroughly enjoyed meeting you and your family and our time at Il Cretaiole. The best advice 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 will send a few of the best when finished. Thanks for all the hospitality. Ciao!
Posted 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
Posted on 06/07/2009
Name: Robin Clark
From: United Kingdom
Thanks so much for fantastic stay. We really had a great time and especially enjoyed the extra effort to have veal at the BBQ which was unforgettable. We will always recommend people to your place.
Kind regards Robin Emma and Oscar Clark
Posted on 21/06/2009
Name: Derrick Vargason
Isabella, 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. The accommodations 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 some day. Thanks for all you do to bring a little magic into peoples' lives.
Posted 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 hospitality and wonderful facilities. The views from Cretaiole were marvelous. 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 warm lifetime memories - and I long now for a lunch of the fennel prosciutto, pecorrino 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
Posted on 18/06/2009
Name: Derrick Vargason
Isa, Thanks for your kind response. It's so nice to see 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 and Val d'Orcia. We hope to be there for harvest next time! Be well and the best to your family from Chelsea and I
Posted 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! Ciao- Jennifer and Geof
Posted 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! Gratefully, Dan and Bev
Posted on 26/05/2009
Name: Unni & Dag
Dear Isabella, I just wanted to say thanks for a wonderful time at Cretaiole! The week was just what I hoped for. The tour to the Romitorio, the dinner at St Anna, and the pici making with the following dinner exceeded my expectations! It was also a great pleasure that my 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 and Luciano. The farewell present from Luciano, with 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
Posted on 05/05/2009
Name: Christie, Jerry, Ben, and Gracie
Ciao Isabella 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 two kids and older parents. In the US they call people 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 words of Italian. And a kiss on his little nose for Filippo (I don't expect Niccò would accept a kiss on the nose, but you can try!)
Posted 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, Allison and Jack keeping talking about Luciano, which I think they feel is their Italian Grandpa! Thanks for all you do....We hope to return. Fondly
Posted on 04/04/2009
Name: Linda Parysek
Hi Isabella, We have arrived home safely, but we really want 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 and 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. Regards,
Posted 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!
Posted on 04/02/2009
Isabella, 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 Mitchell
Posted 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 pecorino.....
Posted 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 day.
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!
Posted 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
Posted 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! :-(
Posted 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
Posted 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 area.
Posted on 17/11/2008
Name: Richard and Toby
Isabella- 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 USA
Posted 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 Moricciani family…However, 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 so grateful! Sincerely, Robert & Michelle Kennedy
Posted on 14/10/2008
Name: Karen and Jeff
Dear Isabella, 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 wonderful family. Karen and Jeff
Posted 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 all well. Again thank you for a delightful vacation.......Donna & Paul Irwin and the Keisters and Dana
Posted 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 return trip.
Posted on 08/10/2008
Name: Walt and Christine
Thank you so much for the wonderful time that we had at Cretaiole mid-September. 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
Posted 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
Posted on 31/08/2008
From: Moscow, Russia
Dear Isabella, 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 touch. Please pass my best wishes to Luciano and Liliana!
Posted on 23/07/2008
Name: Rita Mantone
Dear Isabella, 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 to him. 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!
Posted 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!!! ... Amazing!! indescribable!!
Posted 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 with us. ... Isabella made several calls for us to verify our train reservations and to obtain information about the rental car return. ... 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.
Posted 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, Petroio, Montefollonico. ... 'A super way to spend a week in a beautiful part of Italy. Wonderful towns, wonderful food and wine, and wonderful people!'
Posted 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.
Posted 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 check out. ... A chance to absorb the Tuscan surroundings. Well located, close to an attractive town. Friendly people, guests and hosts.
Posted 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 experience. ... A place where you would experience the true Tuscany; a little bit of heaven in another wise hectic world.
Posted 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 experience. ... 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.
Posted 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 towns.
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 amoretti cookies.
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.
Posted 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 return.
Posted 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!
Posted 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 family. 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!
Posted on 29/04/2008
Name: Vija and Alissa
Dear Isabella, 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. Thank you, Vija and Alissa
Posted 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 time.
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 while visiting.
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.
Posted 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.
Posted 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 own cats.
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.
Posted 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 place.
Posted on 28/02/2008
Name: Kevin and Connie
From: Michigan, USA
Without a doubt the highlight of our trip. Cretaiole is spectacular. 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 everything needed. 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 disappointed. The best way to say this simply is, if you can stay here you should it is a little bit of heaven on earth.
Posted 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!
Posted 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 choosing Cretaiole. 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 chancing. 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.
Posted 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 great stay.
Posted 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!
Posted 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! Cyrus Moore
Posted 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 die for. 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 go back. 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.
Posted 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 Romans. 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 family.
Posted on 20/07/2007
Name: Carole Marshall
From: United States
Dear Isabella, 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
Posted 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 September. 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 earth. 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. Your friend, Julia
Posted on 03/07/2007
Name: Dan and Jody Hacker
Hello Isabella, Sorry this is coming so late but Dan and I wanted 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 about 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 with 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 at Cretaiole meant to both Dan and me. Your family is kind, warm, and so giving and we can't thank you enough for making our trip to Italy one that we will never, ever forget. Take care, Dan and Jody Hacker
Posted on 20/06/2007
Name: Jeanne and Denny
Ciao Isabella! 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 beautiful part 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 to the 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. Thanks again. We are passing along the information and our strong recommendations 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)
Posted on 20/06/2007
Name: Janet Garner
Dear Isabella, 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
Posted 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 Paul Crump
Posted on 04/05/2007
Name: Rob and Chris Inouye
Dear Isabella, 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 family, Rob and Chris Inouye.
Posted on 30/04/2007
Name: Glenn Westerfield
There have been many comments on the Cretaiole Agriturismo and none that I have read have been over stated. We were their guests in early November 2006 for one week. Isabella, her husband Carlo, his parents Liliana and Luciano, were wonderful representatives of the warm and friendly Tuscan people. We wanted to learn how the Tuscan people lived everyday life and did we ever. What a wounderful family full of life and 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 guest 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 place and the warmth of her and her family. I told her to never change what they were doing, they have something very special. The location is perfect to see many towns and other sites in Tuscany. We hope to have a chance to return someday soon. Glenn Westerfield
Posted on 31/01/2007
Name: Jack and Toni Matthews
Dear Isabella, 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. Love, Jack & Toni Matthews/ Texas
Posted on 06/01/2007
Name: Lynn and Brian Pelly
Dear Isabella, 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 your family for making Brian and my first trip to Europe so wonderful, and one that we will never forget. Our stay at Cretaiole was by far, the best part of our holiday, and we enjoyed every minute of it. We can't thank you enough for all of the effort you put into the activities to give us such a wonderful experience. Tuscany is absolutely beautiful. I have told many friends of your place, and you will probably be hearing from some of them over the next couple of years. Again, thank you. We hope that someday we can return and again enjoy your wonderful hospitality. We are finally getting together with Nigel and Cynthia to share our pictures and memories. We wish all of you well. Sincerely, Lynn and Brian Pelly
Posted on 30/12/2006
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)! Fondly, The Brodie Family (Kevin and Valerie....)
Posted on 29/12/2006
Hello Isabella!!!! 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 your 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 part of our trip. We already started on the olive oil as soon as we got home, 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
Posted on 22/12/2006
Name: Christie Brown
Ciao Isabella 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
Posted 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 written about it. My husband and I have traveled throughout the world, and I can 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 culture. We participated in and enjoyed all the activities. One of our fondest memories is the Pici pasta making class and dinner with the entire Moricciani family. Liliana's ragu sauce was the best. Carlo grilled delicious sausages and meats, and it was pure delight watching Luciano (with the twinkling eyes) slice his prosciutto. We finished the meal with Luciano's Vin Santo and 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 (our favorite) minutes from Montalcino and Montepulciano, and just a short drive to Siena, Chianti,etc., If you are intrigued with the idea of staying at an agriturismo in Italy, we highly recommend Agriturismo Cretaiole. It is an experience you will always remember. Judy White Scottsdale, AZ USA
Posted on 06/12/2006
Isabella: 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 with you. 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. Fondly, Kim Jacobson 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"
Posted on 22/11/2006
Name: Crystine and Brian
Isabella, Carlo, Luciano, Lillian, and Laura~ 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 won't leak. We are loving the oil and eating it with gusto, practically drinking it really! 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. Cheers Crystine, Brian, and Rowan
Posted on 21/11/2006
Name: Christopher Molinari
Dearest Isabella, and all of Famiglia Moricciani, I'm finally getting around to sending you a Thank You email. We stayed with you this past September 23-30, and wanted to thank you for a wonderful time. The apartment, the food, wine, scenery, location, family, the whole experience, was magnifico, eh? Thank you so very much, for making it a 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"). mille grazie, cristoforo
Posted 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
Posted on 29/10/2006
Name: Tersia Bower
Ciao Isabella! 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 friends. 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 Tersia Bouwer South Africa
Posted 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… la bancaria. 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!
Posted on 30/08/2006
Name: Fiona and Stephen Irwin
Hi Isabella Safely back in Ireland now, sadly! We came home via Lucca and Pisa, and enjoyed 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 holiday. The 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 seemed 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 weather. In Ireland we usually can't count on the weather so we're not disappointed! The pici were great, and many thanks to Carlo and Luciano for the lovely meats 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. Best regards, Fiona, Stephen and Sadhbh
Posted 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! Ciao.
Posted 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 to miss. 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." Lan
Posted on 01/08/2006
Name: Scott and Nozomi Dineen
Isabella, 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
Posted 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 from Carlo. 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
Posted 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 our entire "familia" to your entire "familia" and comes with sincere appreciation for a most memorable week in our lives. Your generous welcome breakfast and wine sampling, the amazing "pici" making and dinner, the fabulous daily activities available, the olive oil demonstration/tasting and most importantly the spirit with with each one of you shares your passion for the Agristuro Cretaiole. It is difficult to express the magnitude of our life-long memory of our shared time in Italy. Our other guests were terrific companions as well. The final icing -on-the-cake was the victory of Italia in the World Cup!! Vivi Italia!!!... I hope you are feeling much better , Isabella, and back to your high energy attitude. Your spirit is definitely contagious and uplifting. We loved the Abbey dinner , the Brunello winetasting, and the organic farm luncheon. The bike tour was fabulous and so were the thermal baths. Il Porto restaurant in Montechiello was a lasting, unforgettable memory with a view of the d'Orcia that is imbedded in my mind's eye. Such BEAUTY! 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 anxious to share their experiences. We will NOT give away the many surprises that await their vacation time in Cretaiole.
Posted 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
Posted on 13/07/2006
Name: Lino and Chiqui Bautista
Greetings Isabella, 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
Posted on 23/06/2006
Name: Nigel Potts
Isabella, I just wanted to write a quick email to thank you and Carlo and your family for a truly wonderful week at Cretaiole. I can say for Cynthia ,Brian,Lynn and me that it was the highlight of our three weeks in Italy, due in no small part to your enthusiasm and generosity in planning so many interesting things for all of us to do. Given the numerous positive guest comments on 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 much the interaction with fellow guests from Germany,Australia,US and western anada -it is always a great part of travel to meet people from other countries. While we can't be like our fellow guests Claudia and Gary and book a year in advance, we will certainly be back, hopefully in the not too distant future. I have kept your website bookmarked and will recommend Cretaiole to friends and family planning a visit to Tuscany. Mille Grazie, Nigel
Posted on 16/06/2006
Name: Hans and Maja Vervoort
Dear Isabella and Carlo, Luciano and Liliana 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 very good. Thank you for your enthousiasm and hospitality, for us it was a very special vacation! Amsterdam, Hans and Maja Vervoort
Posted 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 restaurants, monasteries, 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. Toni
Posted 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
Posted 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
Posted on 05/05/2006
Name: Stephenie Andrews
Isabella, 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-- Bravo! Many thanks to all. See you soon. Stephenie Andrews and family
Posted 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 agriturismo. 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 giorni...sigh sigh 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 pici(buoniiiiii),ringrazio Carlo per la breve ma intensa chiaccherata alla nostra partenza e ringrazio Liliana per il suo ragu'(uno cosi' buono non l'avevo mai mangiato) 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
Posted on 11/03/2006
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 conversation. It was a night to treasure, we will hold Italy close in our hearts. Patti, John, Mary & Bill
Posted on 04/03/2006
Carissima Isabella 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
Posted 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 Zahnschmerzen...) ;-)
Posted 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 family. 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 experience.
Posted 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
Posted 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 d'Orcia. Barbara and I look forward to our next visit to Cretaiole! Kindest regards, Steve Hopkins
Posted 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 welcoming hostess. 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, and laughter. 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 picking. 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. Laurie
Posted on 13/08/2005
Name: Doug Boate
Isabella, 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! Thanks again Doug Boate
Posted 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.
Posted 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 that sentiment. 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 Best wishes, Nic,Mike, Morgan and Finlay Tadman.
Posted on 09/07/2005
Name: Ulli und Elli Voegele
Liebe Isabella, 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 haben Cretaiole, 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 Cretaiole planen. Bis dahin viele liebe Grüße an die ganze Familie, Eure Ulli, Elli & Marie
Posted 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 Senesi. 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 every night. 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 beauty! Betsy
Posted 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 your place. We promise that when we will come again we will stay at Cretaiole for sure . Meanwhile we are recommending Cretaiole to our friends in Israel and as a first gesture we are sending our friends to stay at your place! Thank you very much, Sivan & Izik Hanuka
Posted 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 garden swing. Krissen and Dave Lane
Posted on 20/05/2005
Name: Kiki and Dirk
Wouterswoude, 11.05.05 Dear Isabella and Carlo, Yesterday we left Cretaiole and wanted to say goodbye to you, Isabella. 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 Toscane. 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 Carlo. Many greetings and with love, Kiki and Dirk
Posted on 12/05/2005
Name: Lisa and John Familetti
Dear Isabella, 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 again. 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 and hospitality. Thank you for sharing Cretaiole with us! Ciao! Lisa & John & all the Familettis!!
Posted on 09/04/2005
Name: Stefana, Loeiz, ecc.
Gentile Famiglia Moricciani, rieccoci purtroppo nella nebbia Padana....ma il cuore è rimasto in Val d'Orcia! 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 cremonesi. P.S.Oggi ho fatto i pici e sono venuti benissimo!
Posted 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 da ripetere. Arrivi e trovi le chiavi sulla porta.... una calza con bellissimi doni... Scopri l'oliviera che è una bomboniera accogliente con stanze pulitissime curate nei minimi particolari..... 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 pensavi scomparso, 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 volta..... 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 d'uomo. A presto e grazie da Paolo Wanda Valentina Vicari P.s. Luciano la pancetta era buonissima..... dimenticavamo grazie anche da Luna Bau...Bau... (a Cretaiole accettano cani)
Posted 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". Love, Julia.
Posted 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\\
Posted 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 week. 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.
Posted on 20/12/2004
Name: B.& J. - L. & J.
Dear Isabella, 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 of us. B. & J. L. & J.
Posted on 17/12/2004
Dear Isabelle, 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 the recommendation. 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 bicycling. 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, very kind. 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 friends
Posted 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 pasta "class". We enjoyed the local area, the wine, the food, and the hot springs. This was a great vacation for all of us. I do hope to come back again. 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
Posted 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 both. My love to you and all of yours. XXX
Posted on 25/10/2004
From: Cape Town, South Africa
Dear Isabella 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 come back!! I was thinking of you in August and hope that your wedding day was a wonderful success. 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. Kind Regards Mandy
Posted on 06/10/2004
Dear Moricciani Family, A late thank you for a wonderful visit to a beautiful place in Tuscany. My 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 all thought that the wine was delicious and we also had your outstanding olive oil with a frsh loaf of bread so the dinner was a big success and we told 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 and sunny every day. Thanks again! Sincerely, Candace
Posted on 24/05/2004
Name: Michael and Sandra
Dear Isabella, 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 know. Michael and Sandra
Posted 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!
Posted 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.
Posted 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 Freunden weiterempfohlen! Wir wünschen Euch und Eurer Familie alles Gute und hoffen, dass wir uns irgendwann mal wiedersehen. Viele Grüße aus München, Kathrin & Andreas
Posted 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 up.
Isabella, Carlo, and all other Morriciani, please accept our best wishes and we hope to see you again.
Posted 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 de sympathie.
Posted 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 proseguimento.
Posted 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.
Posted on 04/12/2003
Name: Medini Alessandro
Ciao Carlo sono Alessandro, sicuramente ti ricorderai di me, ti invio una bella immagine del tuo casale. 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 luogo.
Posted 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 passaparola!! Quando tornerò su, verrò a farvi visita anche se non ci sarà posto. Vi prego salutare Liliana, Luciano e Laura. Buon lavoro e... un'ottima giornata!
Posted 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.
Posted on 04/12/2003
Name: Christina und Norbert
Hallo Isabella! Viele Grüße von Christina (Greece) und Norbert (Germany). Die Tage bei Euch haben uns gut gefallen. Wie war die Mille Miglia? Und wer hat den Olivenöl - Test gewonnen? Vielleicht bis nächstes Jahr... NP
Posted 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 Kansas. 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 cordiali saluti.
Posted 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!
Posted on 04/12/2003
Name: Marc Schalow
Liebe Isabella, 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 16.6.2003.Geht das??? 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
Posted 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 Creatiole.
Posted on 04/12/2003
Pienza - Province of Siena - Tuscany
Tel./Fax (+39) 0578-748083 (home)
Cell. (+39) 338-7409245 (Isabella)