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“Charming rustic property”
Review of Castellare

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Castellare
Reviewed 29 September 2012

My husband and myself stayed at Castellare in September, and had a wonderful time. We stayed in the Stalleta house, a one bedroomed property with sitting room/kitchenette, bedroom and spacious bathroom. There was a satellite TV (limited english channels) and a DVD player (no DVDs so bring your own). The setting was beautifully quiet, high up in the Tuscan hills. Florence was a 20 min train ride away, and easy access to the motorways made Siena, Greve, San Gimignano etc within easy striking distance. The weather in September was glorious.

Catina, who lives in the large farmhouse on the property, and her husband, were absolutely charming, and nothing was too much trouble for them. Homemade cakes and biscuits on arrival were a lovely touch, as was a midweek tiramisu and farewell chocolate cookies!

We had a very relaxing holiday and would love to return one day, perhaps trying one of the other properties. We would recommend this property to anyone wanting peace and quiet away from the hurly burly of city life.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank essexgirl89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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12 - 18 of 24 reviews

Reviewed 25 November 2011

My fiance and I stayed for a week in Castellare this November. I was a bit worried when picking the place, that it could be too remote and we might be a bit bored, but there was no need for that at all.
From the very first email from Catina (the owner and a fantastic host) I knew we will be well looked after. Unfortunately the house we have picked originally wasn’t available for our dates, however Catina was able to offer a bigger house (Stella) for the same price. She emailed me directions to the property few days later and, as we discovered later, they were absolutely spot on. Driving in Italy isn’t easy, so having directions to hand took away a lot of unnecessary stress!
The place itself is fantastic. There is a great feel of peace in and around the property! The house was clean and cozy (the atmosphere not the size). The closest town, Molino del Piano, was about 10 minutes drive. There isn’t much to it, but you’ll find there all you need there: small supermarket, few shops, butcher, bakery, few restaurants. Florence and Siena are only short drive away.
To sum up, I highly recommend Castellare to anyone who is looking for peaceful holiday in Tuscany. If you are a writer or an artist, it’s a fantastic place to get an inspiration for your work. If you think of the French cottage where Colin Firth was going to write in “Love Actually” - it’s a perfect example what the Castellare is like (except Castellare is much tidier :)
Elina

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Elina C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2011

Castellare is a remote place locate about 25 minutes drive by car from Firenze. The place is dated back to the middle ages and run by Catina and her family. Catina is a perfect host. She loves people and it shows in the way she welcomes her guests. The place itself is a very big ecological farm and Catina's husbend is growing olive trees, fruits and vegtebels. The place is using its own water system and solar system for electric. They also use wood that fell in the forest for heating. The rooms are self contained. We stayed at a nice room with a bedroom placed above the living room. There was also a good kitchen and a well made bath.
The area is very quiet and peaceful and we even saw some deer. Catina is very nice and we had a wonderful time there.
Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank niro12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2011

We stayed here in sept in the 2 bedroom apartment, staletta? The location is stunning, set uP in the middle of the woods (this is definitely for people looking for a quiet, relaxing time) not good if you would like to be in the hustle and bustle of a city.

The cottage is run by a lovely lady called catina who was very helpful but also kept her distance if you like you privacy.

The rooms were excellent and we did not expect the level of facilities provided- Sky tv/wifi/iron, even a guitar! The swimming pool was beauifully situated, and was almost deserted every day.

He kitchen is fully equipped with free coffee/machine and there is a private area to sit outside each apartment (3 all together).

A couple of points- make sure you get some food to take with you, we arrived on sat night and didn't realise the local shop would be closed on Sunday. Luckily we had booked the castle for dinner on the Sunday (castello del trebbio) for a seven course meal and had managed to buy some frozen pizzas from a local bar for lunch. But I'd reccomend you to buy a few essentials before arriving. Also, all the restaurants in the area were closed on Monday's although im not sure if it's the same everywhere!

A car is a definite requirement and we managed to hire one from Pisa pretty cheaply.

Florence is easily accessible from the train station a few miles away.

I'll put some pics up,and definitely recommend this beautiful farmhouse!

  • Stayed: September 2011
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Thank beachbunny0101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2011

We would highly recommend this place to anyone staying in Toscany. Me and my family (wife and our 1 year old child) stayed here for 4 nights in June 2011 while we were exploring the nearby area. It was very important for us to be close to the places we came to visit because of our child and we easily went on one-day tours to Sienna and Firenze. Castellare is situated, I believe, in one of the most beautiful places in Toscany on a small hill completely surrounded by forest. The drive there from Molino del Piano is among green hills and wineyards and we could have been driving around for hours just enjoying the views. The house is an ancient building with an interesting history which Catina writes about in her "welcome-book" which gives a lot of information about the apartment, the area, what to do, where to eat and more - a great idea. In this book Catina also recommeds a wine tour at Castello del Trebbio which is a small beautiful fortress situated in Santa Brigida very close to Castellare. Of course, we went and we would recommend this interesting tour to anyone. The apartment (we stayed in the Stalla which is a two-story apartment) is very spacious, clean and ideal for a family as Catina provides everything needed such as baby chair and cot. The kitchen is well equipped and we could easily cook food when needed. Catina has keept the apartment in its medieval spirit and made it cosy and comfortable. In the garden there's a big swimmingpool, unfortunately, the weather wasn't that warm when we were there and we didn't use it although it looked so inviting lying in the green field below the house. It is such a quiet and peaceful place and we spent much time just relaxing at the terrace listing to the birds sing and drinking our coffee. Our child loved to explore the nature around the house and was very happy. We want to thank Catina very much for her hospitality and good spirits. She was helpful and answered any questions we had and when we had to call a doctor one evening she was so understanding and helpful and made it all very easy for us (she also went to the farmacy the next day to get the medication). We would highly recommend this place to anyone looking for a quiet and romantic vacation in the heart of Toscany.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled with family
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Thank Ezino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2011

We have just returned from a 2 week holiday in Tuscany, the first week of which my family spent at' 'Castellare'. We were sad to leave and feel that this place was the highlight of our holiday, thanks to the wonderful setting and the kindness of Catina, the owner.

We stayed at the Stalletta cottage which was apparently the smallest property of the 4 available, but it was perfect for my husband, myself and 17 month old boy. We had a peek at all the cottages and they were all beautifully and thoughtfully furnished, with an elegant simplicity and striking artwork on the walls. We even had satellite TV and a dvd player which was great for entertaining our son in the evenings.

The location is pretty remote so you definitely need a car if you want to explore; Catina has put together a useful welcome pack with tips about where to go and how to get there; we were glad she told us to get the train to Florence as it would have been hard to drive there. There is a fantastic castle 10 mins away where they have wine tasting tours and we had one of the best meals of our lives there; a 7 course tasting menu for 35 euros, it was delicious! There's also a great family-oriented pizzeria 5 mins away in Doccia.

It was really the warmth of Catina and her family and her kindness to our little boy that 'made' the experience so special for us. We would love to come back and hopefully will one day soon.

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  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank pippav05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2010

We (two adults and our son) stayed for two weeks in late June early July 2010 for our summer holiday and I feel I could not have chosen better. This is a quiet and genuinely 'Italian feeling' countryside location with beautiful art adorning the historic (but very nicely renovated) and welcoming accommodation (my photos do not do justice). The woods are stunning and create a feeling of safe seclusion within the wilderness. Lying next to and swimming in the fabulous pool (that my two year old adored! and which we had to ourselves nearly every time we used it) listening to bird song was relaxing beyond belief. (The pool was essential as we had a heat wave of temperatures up to 38C) Catina was so warm and welcoming (my little boy loved her and she babysat for us a few times) and really knows how to make her guests feel at home. There are three accommodations and despite this and a family home the place feels very private and I felt like there was absolutely no pressure-in fact the whole atmosphere is one of complete relaxation. As the previous review says -Catina is a wonderful person to have created this. Florence:-the art, the architecture, the ice cream (!) is literally 20 minutes away-we took the train and it was really straight forward getting there. Sienna and other Tuscan towns are within easy reach by car and definitely worth a drive to. If you're more adventurous, the mountains; Apennines are stunning and the seaside resort of Porta Venere (next to La Spezia) is within reach for a day trip on the Autostrada and a very beautiful med. setting with beaches.
The best restaurant I have been to is a short 10 minute drive away from Castellare and feels like Michelin ** -with dining al fresco with mountain views- but at a fraction of the cost. Altogether if you are looking for the authentic, peaceful Italian holiday in Chianti with access to all Tuscany has to offer this place is perfect and I am already planning my return!

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank fificush
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Additional Information about Castellare

Address: Via di Parga 23, 50065 Molino del Piano, Pontassieve, Italy
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Pontassieve > Molino del Piano
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Molino del Piano
Price Range: £48 - £97 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Castellare is an ancient building on the high hills that surround Florence (just 20km away). It is set on top of a private hill, invisible from the public street, and completely surrounded by nature. We offer 4 accomodations, and with the recent renovations we think they are even more warm and inspiring. The Stalla is our larger one, and is displayed on two floors. Upstairs two spacious bedrooms and a bathroom; downstairs a big open space with a fully equipped kitchen and a comfortable living room area. The Stalla house is perfect for a family or a small group of friends. In restructuring it we tried to maintain its medieval flavour, so you will find an original stone floor and family pieces of furniture. And lots of art pieces, from well known artists we worked with. Music, films and books are at your disposal for more inspiration. Outside the living room door there is a private garden with table and chairs for romantic outside dinner. The Loggia has an indipendent kitchen, that we decided to paint a lilac, a happy colour. There is a large window that offers views of the olive trees and woods, so breakfast can be a truly peaceful moment; The livingroom with a stone column has also a very nice window, and a sofa, that in seconds becomes a combortable queen size bed; the bathroom is also on the ground floor, and the bedroom is up on the loft, under the ancient woodden beams of the ceiling. The Loggia too has a small private garden, in a shady area, precious in summer hot months.The Stalletta has been renewed just months ago, and now has a new kitchen and a new bathroom, of soft colours. The shelves are antique, and some of them have been made from 17th century restored wood, with the original decor. The Stalletta has a bedroom, a room with the itchen, a dining area and a relaxing area, and a spacious bathroom. There is a window door that opens on the little privategarden with the table and chairs of wood, right near the stone wall always full of flowers. The Capanna is a small detatched cottage that has been renovated last year with a new kitchen and with a white coat of paint of the original stone walls and ceiling. Even the old wooden chandelier made from a tree root has been freshly painted of a lighter colour to offer a more relaxing atmosphere. There is a bedroom, a bathroom, and a room with a kitchen, a dining area and a living room. Two window doors illuminate the Capanna, the entrance one, and the one that opens on the outside dining area, with woodden table and chairs.In the main lawn there is a swimming pool with a wooden deck that runs around it. It's in a lovely spot, surrounded by plants and flowers, with open view of the sky and nature all around. WIFI connection is free and available in every accommodation. ... more   less 
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