At Cretaiole we offer all of our guests a stay full of services and amenities as you see listed just below at no extra charge.
Personal assistance, customized planning, and reservations service (in English)
Before you even arrive we will assist you planning your vacation with useful details regarding your options and with our best recommendations.
We will meet you upon your arrival at Cretaiole, making your introduction to your stay in Tuscany relaxed and worry-free! Your check-in will be complete with full information about your apartment, the surroundings, the weekly calendar, maps and brochures, and answers to all the questions you may have. If you would like help planning day trips, with directions, suggestions on how to find places "off the beaten track", interesting activities, or places to go with the children, or any other little thing, just give us a call. We are happy to assist you with reservations for restaurant, museums, and special events.
“Cretaiole Handbook” with reference material and restaurant reviews
Isabella has written a comprehensive reference book that gives a full orientation to your stay at Cretaiole, many restaurant reviews in many of local towns and villages with her specific food recommendations, and tips for enjoying your stay.
“Discover Hidden Tuscany” travel guide book written by Isabella
To help you better explore the area each apartment has a travel book of over 180 pages offering detailed day trip itineraries, GPS coordinates to places you will want to go, directions to wineries, restaurants, villages, sporting and leisure activities, etc., and other information you most likely won't find anywhere else. Upon arrival, you will be given a calendar that we prepare every week for special events, concerts, exhibitions, and local fairs going on during your stay with us.
Cell phone with an Italian Sim Card to use during your stay
You may borrow a cell phone at no charge. You can easily purchase minutes from the bookstore in Pienza to make outgoing calls. You will find this to be very inexpensive and extremely convenient.
Free Wi-Fi internet connection
Complimentary breakfast basket for your first morning
Complimentary staples in the kitchen (coffee, tea, salt/pepper, sugar)
Kitchen towels, detergent, paper goods, and grocery staples (coffee, teas, sugar, salt, pepper, spices, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, wine vinegar). And, of course, the kitchen is complete with cookware, flatware, dinnerware, wine glasses and decanter, and serving pieces
High quality towels and sheets
Luxurious fresh linens, including extra pillows and blankets, and large fluffy terrycloth towels of a fine quality and superb condition.
Mid-week change of towels and sheets, mid-week light cleaning, and final cleaning (for weekly stays)
Free use of washing machine, including detergent and drying racks
Enjoy the convenience of home when it comes to taking care of your laundry with the free use of a laundry room complete with washing machine, utility sink, liquid detergent, iron, and ironing board. Dry your items quickly in the fresh Tuscan sunshine using the drying racks on the backside of the property.
Liquid hand and bath soap, paper products for bath and kitchen
We have cribs, high chairs, small tubs, a stroller, a sterilizer, and a bottle warmer available for our “youngest” guests
Vegetable and herb gardens and farm fresh eggs
An enormous vegetable garden is beautifully tended by Luciano, and guests are welcome to pick any of the mature vegetables for their use. Of course, the vegetables will vary by the season–but something is usually available from May until December!Spring water from Monte Amiata
While staying at Cretaiole, you will not need to buy bottled water to take on your day trips. The purest water is piped directly from Monte Amiata to Cretaiole. It is safe and delicious!
Free firewood for your fireplace or for grilling
Enjoy the cozy fireplace in your apartment with an abundant supply of firewood and fire starters. Also, use the firewood in the outside barbecue and wood-burning oven!
Barbecue grill and comfortable lawn furniture
You can cook outside using the outdoor grill, and then dine outdoors at a picnic table or under the roof of the open-air veranda.
Lending library of books to use during your stay
A collection of books about Italy is available for your use while you stay at Cretaiole. These books may be checked out while you are here. Another feature is our “take-one, leave-one” book exchange. If you bring a paperback book and finish it while you are here, leave it with us and take another one that suits your fancy.
Binoculars for wildlife sightings
There is a pair of binoculars in the veranda that will allow you to spot animals in the fields below Cretaiole: early in the morning and at dusk you can easily see entire families of roe deer, rabbits, and pheasants! If you look higher up on the hill you can also get a closer look at Pienza.
Games and playground equipment for your children
Families will enjoy a lively game of volleyball or ping-pong on the lawn, or a stimulating game of foosball, card games, and board games on the veranda. Children will find the yard an exciting one because they will be able to run around free of danger, play in an area designed for them, and meet our adorable kitties.
Hop on the mountain bikes, provided for your pleasure, and ride down the road to wonderful places such as Pienza, San Quirico d’Orcia, Bagno Vignoni, Cappella Vitaleta, Monticchiello, or any of the many white roads (gravel) out into the countryside. We have a few bikes available that you can use free of charge (after signing a responsibility waiver), but these are well suited for easy rides only. We do not recommend taking them on longer or more difficult routes. If you do intend to go on a more challenging ride, we will be glad to arrange for quality bikes rentals at both daily and weekly rates.
Additional Services and Amenities Provided Upon Request
Tuscan food and wine
Our family produces many delicious Tuscan foods and they are available for purchase. Complimentary tastings of our products for purchase are available. We have Orcia DOC wine, table wine, extra virgin olive oil, sausage, prosciutto, jam, pecorino cheese, and eggs. All of these delicious items are available for you while you are staying with us, to take home with you to remember your trip, or to give as gifts upon your return home.
Italy values the family over everything else; but we also know that occasionally the grown-ups want to do something by themselves. When this is the case we will arrange for one of our experienced babysitters (all mothers themselves) to watch over the children in your apartment. You can be assured that your precious ones will be well taken care of!
Shiatsu massages and yoga classes – min. 2 people
Please let us know if you would like to have a relaxing (or stimulating!) massage from a professional massage therapist. It is also possible to schedule a yoga session to keep your mind and body in harmony.
Additional bed sheets and towel change
A full mid-week change of linens can be obtained for Euro 10 per bed.
If you would like a mid-week cleaning, we can provide this service for a minimum of 2 hours.
Utilities in Italy are quite costly, but fortunately, for many months of the year, heating is not required. However, if you find a need for heating, you will be charged based only on actual consumption.