A wide variety of services and amenities are available to you during your stay at Cretaiole, many of which are included in the basic rate, others are provided upon request.
If you need anything, please don't hesitate to ask—we will try to arrange for whatever you need!
Services and Amenities Included in the Basic Rate
Personal check-in service
We will meet you upon your arrival at Cretaiole, making your introduction to your stay in Tuscany very easy, relaxed, and worry-free! Your check-in will be in English, complete with full information about your apartment, the surroundings, the weekly calendar, maps and brochures, and answers to all the questions you may have.
Assistance in English throughout your stay
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.
The Big Book and Weekly Events Calendar
To help you better explore the area each apartment has a guidebook of over 130 pages written by us (in English) offering information on restaurants, museums, suggested itineraries, 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.
Free Wifi connection in the veranda
Cretaiole has a free wireless Internet connection. Our router is located in the veranda where the reception is strong. The walls of the farmhouse are very thick, and for this reason, many of the apartments cannot receive the signal. But everyone staying at the farm may bring their laptop, iPhone, iPad, BlackBerry, etc., to the veranda and enjoy the free wifi connection.
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.
Pack lightly - Leave things at home
Guests may travel lightly because everything needed for a comfortable stay is provided at Cretaiole! Such as:
- Luxurious fresh linens, including extra pillows and blankets, and large fluffy terrycloth towels that are of a fine quality and superb condition.
- Clothes hangers—you will have all you need to hang up your travel clothes in roomy wardrobes.
- Kitchen towels, detergent, paper goods, and grocery staples (coffee, tea, sugar, salt, pepper, spices, extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, wine vinegar, and liqueurs). And, of course, the kitchen is complete with cookware, flatware, dinnerware, wine glasses and decanter, and serving pieces!
- TV (Italian channels only)
Travelling with Infants
We have cribs, high chairs, small tubs, a stroller, a sterilizer, and a bottle warmer available for our “youngest” guests, free of charge!
The property of Cretaiole is beautifully landscaped, and you will be tempted to spend hours napping, reading, sunbathing, or sipping wine outside on the hammock, chaise lounges, lawn chairs, and gliders.
You can cook outside using the outdoor grill or wood-burning oven, and then dine outdoors at a picnic table or under the roof of the open-air veranda. Picnic-ware (plastic plates, glasses, and eating utensils) is available for eating outside. Walk a few steps to the vegetable garden and pick whatever you would like to grill or make a beautiful salad to go with your bruschetta, steak, veal, or pasta.
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 cats and adorable guinea pigs.
Guests and/or their families will enjoy a lively game of volleyball or ping-pong (table tennis) on the lawn, or a stimulating game of foosball, card games, and board games on the veranda!
Mountain bikes and helmets
Hop on the mountain bikes (and don't forget to wear the helmets), 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.
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.
Reading library and book exchange
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.
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 vegetable garden and fresh farm 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!
The Moricciani family lives on their working farm just outside Pienza, a short five-minute drive from Cretaiole. You are welcome to enjoy their fresh farm eggs! Just ask if you would like some.
Enjoy the cozy fireplace in your apartment with an abundant supply of firewood and fire starters. Also, use the firewood in the outside barbeque and wood-burning oven!
Courtesy laundry facilities
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.
Final cleaning is included in your rental rate. Additional cleanings may be requested for a fee (see below).
Services and Amenities Provided Upon Request
Tuscan food and wine
Our family produces many delicious Tuscan foods and they are available for purchase. Naturally, 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! The rate is Euro 10 per hour, minimum of 3 hours.
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 Euro 9 per hour 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.