What turned out as a 10 year wedding anniversary for me and my wife became a memory of a lifetime. There are now words to describe the joy we experienced in this beautiful part of Tuscany. Isabella, Carlotta, Carlos and of course Luciano gave us a really authentic experience. They can't do enough to make you feel at home. They even arranged for a photographer on the evening we recommitted our vowes to each other overlooking their beautiful valley-it was magical and we are forever changed because of this experience. Thank you so much, we WILL be seeing you soon!
A Magical, Enchanting Trip to Val D'Orcia! Cretaiole was recommended by a dear friend who stayed there a few years ago. This trip was the best trip my husband and I have ever taken anywhere in the world. Cretaiole is a magical, enchanting experience from the charming apartment outside Pienza in a restored stone farmhouse circa 1500, to the concierge-like expertise offered by our hosts. The views are spectacular, set amidst 500-year old olive groves and looking out over a lovely valley and up the adjacent hill to the hilltop town of Pienza. Isabella and Carlo Moricianni were the perfect hosts, assisted by lively and knowledgeable Carlotta, and efficient Marta. Luciano, the family patriarch, made us feel so welcome and offered us wine and vinsanto and grappa every evening. We took advantage of many of the activities and excursions they offered, including pici pasta cooking class and dinner, truffle hunting, olive harvesting, olive oil tasting, wine tastings, tours of the family farm in Pienza, hiking, cheese factory tours, visit to an organic farm with lunch, roasting chestnuts over an open fire, 5-course dinner prepared by Giancarlo, more local cooking classes, and on and on. All enhanced by the beautiful accommodations with fireplace and friendly cats. The location is perfect to see the most picturesque area in Tuscany, and probably in all of Italy. We visited in November to experience the olive harvest (and we were given a can of oil from the olives we helped to harvest). We have already booked 2 weeks in the spring of 2019 and cannot wait to return!
To your family, from Cheryl and I, we send the best wishes for a great holiday season. We only wish the our visit was sooner, but May is coming. We are doing our best to introduce our guest, Judith and Mac, to the Cretaiole experience. We realize each time we meet with them to discuss our upcoming trip, that no matter how hard we try to express our feelings about our love for Cretaiole, we fail. We try pictures, reviews, visitor's comments, and even drop the name of Rick Steves, but we cannot recreate the warmth and friendship of theMoricciani family. Only when they are enveloped by all of you face to face, will they understand Tuscany and the Val d'Orcia. Maybe then they will see how the dirt becomes embedded in ones soul.
Isabella, What an enchanting stay we had at Cretaiole! It couldn't have been more perfect...the accommodations, our hosts, the guests, the area, the food, the wine, and the cats! Mille grazie for making this the trip of a lifetime for Joe and me! We would like to visit Cretaiole in the spring of 2019 so we can experience that season there. Can we reserve the L'Oliviera apartment for two weeks starting 27 April through 11 May in 2019? Do you have prices for that at this time? We are also curious to know what the 3-bedroom upper floor would cost at that same time, as we have a little interest from friends for that. Your father-in-law Luciano was such a gracious host for Joe and me, always stopping by to offer us some vino or help. Please send him our love, and these photos to remind him that we are the couple that will return to see him soon! We felt a very special bond with him. (And with Carlotta, and Marta, and Carlo!!!) Let me know on the pricing, and we will give you the credit card number to secure it. Love you and miss you and Cretaiole, Isabella.
Dear Isabella, We head home to Texas early in the morning and I just wanted to write and thank you and your family and staff for your hospitality. It made our introduction to Italy a wonderful experience and specifically, beautiful Val d'Orcia! We also did all the things you suggested in Florence! I know that there is a great deal of sacrifice involved in running such a family business and we truly thank you for the wonderful way you do this. God bless you and yours,
We're home finally and very jet lagged but always feel better if we think of Cretaiole and all of you. We had an absolutely wonderful, amazing and relaxing time at Cretaiole and we just can't thank you enough. I can't even begin to describe all the activities you had planned to friends and relatives so we decided to give them only the bare minimum and keep most of it our secret*:) happy. We will be back so we don't want you to get too crowded. Isabella, please tell everyone how grateful we are for all the planning and help you gave us. I know you all work incredibly hard and we appreciate your hospitality and your knack for taking us under your wings. Cretaiole is an amazing experience and the memories will keep us happy until our next visit. Tell Luciano we miss his Grappa and dancing.
Dear Isabella, Carlo, and family, It has been two weeks since we have come home to the United States! And, Keith and I cannot even to begin to tell you how much we miss Italy and more specifically Tuscany and Casa Moricciani. Our two weeks in Italy is one we will NEVER forget. Our trip with Diane was one of pure excitement, relaxation, learning about passion, being amazed at what we saw each day, loving the food and for the first time in our lives....drinking wine!!!! When Diane stayed with you 2 years ago, she shared all of our memories through pictures and memories....BUT NEITHER PICTURES NOR TALKING ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE CAN COMPARE TO THE BEAUTY, PASSION, AND AWE INSPIRING VIEWS THAT WE EXPERIENCED!!! Our week in your family villa was just beyond words. Spending time with your family each day was just wonderful. Your warmth, compassion, love, and desire to make your guests happy came through in everything you did. We TRULY miss all of you!!! From our walk with Carlo to the wine tasting, olive oil tasting, tour of Pienza, etc. we were able to become a part of your family and learn to love your home as you all do. Luciano was wonderful....so caring and loving and full of fun and the girls were such a big help. Dinner with Giancarlo was AMAZING and tons of fun!!! And, of course, the villa was the most beautiful place I have ever been!!! To wake up to that view each morning....to taste the wonderful food each morning, and to drink the wine each day was just beyond words. I could go on and on Isabella....I am sure you have heard it before. Keith and I were able to walk through the village on the tour you suggested on our last day there and stopped by that beautiful old church by the olive grove. We spent a lot of time just thanking Jesus for giving us this extraordinary experience!!! And we want to thank you, Carlo, and your entire family for the beautiful memories forever etched in our hearts and minds!!! We are already talking about coming back in a couple of years and staying at your lovely villa again!!! God Bless you and your family......we will carry all of you in our hearts!!! Sincerely
Ciao Isabella, Carlo, Luciano, Marta and Shelby, Our stay in your villa was a dream vacation and even more than we had expected. You all made it so wonderful and memorable. We have told a couple others about our time and they have asked how to reach you, so I’ve passed your information on to them. If you ever come this way please let us know, for we would love to see you again. Thank you for the recipes, and arrivederci to you
We had a truly wonderful time and thank you so much for making our vacation special!! As discussed, you are welcome to come and visit us in Reno/Lake Tahoe area in Nevada. We have a business associate/ friend that lives in Thailand who is interested in the same Villa we stayed in. I have copied Scot on this email, so that he can do an email introduction to you and our friend. Thanks again!!
Buongiorno Isabella! I am so excited to hear from you and to receive your recipes. Thank you for sending them to me. I have been dreaming about the ragu we had for dinner our last night with you and of course, about the panna cotta (which I asked you about, remember? I don’t even like panna cotta)! I cannot wait to give them a try. I do not expect they will taste as good as yours but I hope to come close. :o) We have been home for one week and honestly it’s been really hard getting back into the swing of things after having such a wonderful vacation, especially in Tuscany. We miss waking up in the morning to the sound of water running in the pool outside, to an amazing view, and to finding delicious goodies on our patio table, not to mention having our clean laundry delivered, tied in a ribbon with flowers attached! I just can’t imagine anything better. When we first arrived at Castelmuzio I texted our kids saying I thought I’d died and gone to Italian heaven, and it was truly that. I just cannot say enough good things about our stay with you. Thank you for all the love and attention you pour into the smallest of details. In all sincerely, it was the best experience of our lives. We hope to see you again in the not so distant future. Many blessings to all!
Ciao, Isabella! We hope that you’ve had a good week with the new guests. We are already missing Casa Moricciani and we sincerely wish we could have stayed another week. We want to thank you for making our time in Italy so memorable for our family. We so appreciate all you did for us and we’ve submitted a Trip Advisor review that we hope you find helpful. Grazie mille!
Hello Isabella, We are back home going to school and work but we often reflect back on our wonderful memories. Leaving the tranquillity of Castelmuzio and going to very busy Taormina was very difficult at first. Everyone truly enjoyed Tuscany and sharing time with other guests and being spoilt by great hosts. Yes, we want to come back... Until then bye for now
Isabella, I can’t begin to tell you what a wonderful time we had in Italy. Gino and I both loved everything about the trip. Being able to renew our vows and you and Carlo giving us the photography gift was something we will never forget. We will definitely be back. Can you send us the pici recipe. Hoping the sauce recipe is part of it. Gino has downloaded his 1300 pictures and will be sure to send you many. Thank you again for the most memorable week of our lives.
Ciao Isabella, We certainly did enjoy our 3 weeks in Italy, with special memories of Tuscany. You, your family and staff made for a unique, authentic, educational and fun week. We loved Castelmuzio, the many wonderful tours and local events, making new friends while also having our “old friends” join us, and comfortably feeling that this was our home for the week. Shelby and Marta were great assistants, always available, professional, friendly and so very helpful. Antonella was a knowledgeable and wonderful guide and Giancarlo a superb and very entertaining chef. Thank you for the recipes. I will definitely make the ragu and maybe the pici I do hope you will keep us updated on the renovation of the new property as I am anxious to follow it’s progress and see the final result. My thanks to you and to ALL involved in making our Tuscan week a wonderful one. Please tell Marta I say hello and that the black bag she chose/purchased was perfect for all the extra space I needed for the trip home. If I were to order it, could I get this season’s olive oil in time for Christmas? I may submit one or two photos for the contest too. Ciao,
Hi, Isabella, Thank you for sending the recipes for pici and for your ragu! We haven’t made them yet, but we will, I am sure. Just thinking about how delicious dinner was at your place makes me want some right now! Mark and I had a wonderful trip to Italy, and especially our stay with you guys. We absolutely loved Il Nido in Castelmuzio! It was the perfect fit for us. We enjoyed meeting many of your other guests at Cretaiole, but the peace, quiet and beauty of the apartment was so nice! By the way, a highlight of our trip was the balloon ride over Tuscany that you recommended. Thanks for the recommendation, and all the tips you gave us while we were there. We do hope to return to Italy one day, and we’d love to stay with you guys again. We so enjoyed meeting you, Carlo, Luciano, Marta and Carlotta. What a lovely group of people! Please give our best to all, and we look forward to seeing you again! Ciao!