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“We loved Villa il Castellaccio!!!”

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Villa il Castellaccio
Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“We loved Villa il Castellaccio!!!”
Reviewed 31 October 2013

This was my second trip to Italy and our first trip to Villa il Castellaccio. We were travelling to celebrate my 50th birthday and I researched endlessly trying to decide where to stay in Tuscany. I decided to book three apartments with Villa il Castellaccio and am so happy I did. We loved our week at Villa il Castellaccio! Leondardo was wonderful with the booking and answering all my questions promptly by email (booking about 10 months in advance of stay with ongoing questions). We booked Apartments 1,2 and 3 for the week of Sept 14-21, 2013. We were given great directions to reach the property in our rental car that we picked up in Pisa and were greeted by Leondardo's lovely young english speaking helper (I'm so sorry I forgot to write down her name). She gave us a tour of the apartments and provided a folder with local information and detailed info for each apartment. The property is just as it looks in the photos and is very well taken care of. The pool was lovely for swimming and the area by the pool was nice to sit and enjoy the views. Leonardo was also onsite to greet us and answer any questions we may have. There is a wonderful couple on site during the week taking care of the property and assisting guests if needed. We were a group of 8 so having three apartments gave us plenty of space. Each apartment had a charm of its own...

Apartment 1 is on the top floor and has the best views. Although there are many places on the property to sit and relax and enjoy the views if you stay in the other apartments. As it is on the top floor there are stairs to climb, so if stairs are an issue you may want to choose another apartment. The kitchen is smaller than Apartments 2 and 3 so if you plan to do a lot of cooking and only booking this apartment it may not be the right one for you. It was perfect for us as we had access to the other apartments so only used the fridge (1/2 size) and sink and stove to heat water but not oven. There are 3 bedrooms, 1 double spacious room with shudders that open to a view of the pool, 1 smaller but lovely single with the best view of the property and Tuscan countryside and a spacious twin room with a view of pool as well. We slept in the double bed and found it very comfortable. All rooms were lovely and the only comment I will make is that the twin room backs onto the double so may not give complete privacy to either room if needed. The twin room was empty for us as we had plenty of space but it might be a concern with more people that are looking to share the space that want privacy. There were two bathrooms with showers and they were spotless and spacious. There was a washing machine that challenged us a little (I say this with a smile ), but with the help of the caretakers had a happy ending. Probably the only recommendation I would make for Leondardo would be to add english directions for the washing machine with interpretations of the Italian buttons to assist with use for future guests. Favourite for this apartment is the views.

Apartment 2 was spacious with 2 bedrooms and a loft. We loved to gather in this kitchen. It had a great long counter to allow a few people to work at and help with dinner and big table to sit around and enjoy meals and conversation. The living room looked cozy although we did not sit there as a group. The living room opens onto a small patio but we were either by the pool or enjoying the patio at Apartment 3 so we didn't use it this trip. In case it is an issue for you, there are a few stairs in this apartment, up to loft and to the bathroom off the main bedroom. The rooms are not as bright as it is on the lower level so no views, but I think if it was extremely hot out you would welcome this as it would keep the apartment cooler (not sure as temps were only around 24 celcius while we were there so not too bad) and as I mentioned you can zip up to the pool to relax and enjoy the views if that is what you like. Favourite for this apartment was the kitchen.

Apartment 3 was the largest apartment. It's living room, dining room and kitchen area was very spacious. We gathered in this apartment for a cooking lesson one evening and it was one of the best nights we shared while in Tuscany. This apartment is on the lower level and would have the best access for anyone that has trouble with stairs. The bedrooms were dark but cozy. There is a huge covered patio to sit out and enjoy and as mentioned the pool is near too. Sorry I don't have too much to add about the bedrooms for this apartment as I only peeked quickly at the rooms but I know that all the bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, etc were spotless in all 3 apartments. Favourite for this apartment was the covered patio.

In addition to enjoying the property, pool and apartments there are a few other highlights I will add:

Pizza Oven- There is a wood burning pizza oven available to guests, with wood and directions supplied. It was fun to gather ingredients during the day as we explored local villages and then create our own dinner back home. Highly recommend this if you stay (we used the pre-made dough from supermarket and it worked well and was less mess than making dough from scratch).

Cooking Lesson with Jacopo - we booked this in advance and as I mentioned it worked well in Apartment 3. As there were 8 of us Jacopo was kind enough to come to Villa il Castellaccio to provide the lesson. Jacopo and his sister Susie showed up with a car full of food, recipes and plenty of patience for a room of mostly non chefs. After reviewing the recipes to make...Chicken Cacciatore, Ravioli with spinach and ricotta, gnocchi, salad, tiramisu (is your mouth watering yet??)...we were all assigned tasks. Chopping, kneading dough, building tiramisu, sauteing vegetables, etc. It was a fun atmosphere and as we sipped wine the stress of wondering if we would be able to eat what we made faded as we were coached and assisted by the amazing Chef Jacopo and his sweet sister Susie! After 2-3 hours of fun in the kitchen we were served an amazing meal (yes the one we helped create) while Jacopo and Susie cleaned up the mess we made. I felt badly they did not join us but I know they had about an hours drive back to their home so they wanted to pack up and get going. I would highly recommend this experience if you have the chance to attend a cooking lesson with Jacopo. My group made a few noises about the cost of the lesson but I can tell you that after the lesson and the wonderful meal we all felt it was worth the cost...go ahead and splurge..you won't be sorry.

Wine tour with Leonardo on my 50th birthday was truly a highlight of my week at the Villa and I know the whole group enjoyed it too. For a small fee of only 5 euro per person Leonardo spent about 1-2 hours sharing information about the vineyards, wine making process and history of the property. I'm not sure if every tour is this long but we were a group of 8 and asked tons of questions. At the end of the tour we were served generous samples of his wine, which we absolutely loved!! Oh yes and their Olive Oil was fantastic too and I'm so happy we were able to purchase wine and olive oil to bring home and enjoy...delicious! Leonardo is super busy with a young family and a business in Florence and we are extremely happy we booked this time with him and were able to learn about the property and enjoy his company - Grazie Leonardo!!. The group photo he took at the end for us was the best group photo from the trip - Grazie again!

Lucolena - if you have a few hours take a wander up the road to Lucolena, it is tiny but on a sunny day is a lovely walk and you can look back and see the rolling Tuscan hills and a great view of the Villa and property. We walked up early one morning and had a coffee at the general store and then an icecream just for fun because they were so nice and we wanted to give them business. As we sat out front of the store on the bench sipping coffee, two locals pulled up in their truck and parked in front of the no parking / towing sign and wandered in for their morning coffee. There were lots of buongiornos and smile flying around...very nice way to start our day.

Driving in Tuscany - Easy day trip to Florence. It was so easy to travel by train from Filgine Valdarno (8 kms from Villa il Castellaccio). Parking near the station in Filgine Valdarno was free and there were many trains to choose from. We took day trips from Villa il Castellaccio each day to: Greve, Panzano, Siena, San Gimignano, Montepulciano, Florence. Loved all but San Gimignano and Montepulciano were favourites.

My recommendation to you is stop searching and just book the Villa or one or more of the apartments, you won't be disappointed and will have a true Tuscan experience!

Thank you Leonardo for making our stay and my 50th birthday so wonderful!! Grazie Millie!!!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
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2 Thank Canadiantraveldiva7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Berlin
Level Contributor
29 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 September 2013

We (two adults and our 17-year-old son) thoroughly enjoyed our two week stay at Villa Il Castellaccio. We are definitely considering returning again soon — although we do feel that there is room for improvement in the apartment we stayed in, Castellaccio 4.

The complex’s owner, Leonardo, was a charming and extremely helpful host. Right from the very second we got there we felt welcome: Leonardo was ready to make dinner reservations for us and explain all about the different routes to the best towns with the most beautiful vistas. He went out of his way to be obliging during our stay, even magically producing a DVD player and a reading lamp for the living room when we asked if he happened to have them somewhere on the grounds. He’s tops!

We were thankful for many things that came with the rental: from a dishwasher to a washing machine (including tabs and detergent!) ; straw hats hanging on the coat racks; terracotta floors that always felt cool despite the heat; a lovely outdoor private gazebo with a terrific view; train schedules; an amazing pool big enough to swim laps in; details about how to tend to your mosquito bites (including a cool garlic remedy); screens on the bedroom windows to keep out insects during the night; interesting prints in the long hallway depicting Florence during various historical floods, and lastly: amazing views at your doorstep, lovely Tuscan countryside down the road, and the close proximity to all important Tuscan hillside towns from Florence to San Gimignano.

Despite all the things we liked about this vacation rental, there were some things that we felt need to be improved upon.

The shower in the second bathroom was practically unusable, as it is absolutely too small. You can’t move around without banging your fanny or your chest against one of the walls. And once you’re finished showering, the bathroom floor is flooded because the door doesn’t close properly. Leonardo would be advised to get rid of the shower and put in a larger one. Period.

In the kitchen, the oven and its inner tray were FILTHY (the stove was clean). We wanted to bake something, but couldn’t because of the grease and week-old, perhaps month-old, ick accumulated on the oven's walls and grid. I’m sure Leonardo would have gotten someone to clean it if we had said something, but we decided we just wouldn’t bake. Yuck!

The cutlery and kitchen aids were of poor quality, plus there were only four wine glasses, four cereal bowls and four coffee cups, so we had to wash up (instead of using the dishwasher) every night. The apartment needs more of these things! And of better quality!

The beds were uncomfortable, as the mattresses were way to soft and dented in the middle from use. Leonardo would be advised to get GOOD mattresses.

The furnishings were thrown together with little style, nothing matched in the living room, and everything looked tired indeed. The sofa in the living room was gray and frayed, the large (arm) chairs in the living room were EXTREMELY uncomfortable and also frayed. Three people could NOT sit comfortably in the living room to read or watch a video or TV.

There were screens on the bedroom windows, but not in the bathrooms or living room/kitchen. Insects got into the apartment through open windows, including wasps. I wish Leonardo would put screens on ALL the windows. Thanks!

Otherwise, as I say, we really enjoyed our stay and appreciated our host. It’s a lovely property that will make your hearts sing as it did ours.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank H_J_Berlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reigate, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
60 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2013

This was our first visit to Il Castellaccio and it won't be our last. There are 5 villas in total, one of which is huge and is self contained with it's own garden and private pool. We stayed in Villa 3 with the large terrace which we really enjoyed and was of a high standard. We were fortunate to meet other families there from other parts of the world and the pool was a great place for the kids to play and let off steam! The apartment was really well equipped with dishwasher and washing machine and a corkscrew! The beds were very comfortable which is a first for most places we have stayed. There is no air conditioning so I expected the nights in particular to be a problem but I slept well at night with little problem. Trying to keep the inevitable mosquitoes at bay was of course another issue.

In general the estate was very well kept. The great thing about this villa is its proximity to Figline Valdarno station which can take you to Florence in 20 mins if you get a fast train. This is a real bonus because if you are like me and have driven in Florence, it is a nightmare. To quote the owner, Leonardo, going by train really is the 'best solution'. This place is also close to the main chianti towns and would recommend Castellina and Greve in particular for a visit and some wine tasting. In all, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would come back again.

Thank you Leonardo for a very pleasant week and for your hospitality!

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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1 Thank JulietteS934
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St Louis, MO
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 November 2012

Oct 6-13, 2012 was our third trip to Villa il Castellaccio in Lucolena, IT. This trip we had 13 travelers, and used the Villa, and two apartments. This is a lovely facility, regal enough to make you feel special, and comfortable enough to feel right at home. Leonardo and Roxana went out of their way to accomodate our needs and desires. We usually all convene in the Villa kitchen and dining room, even if we sleep in the other apartments. However, our entire group had a pizza dinner in Apartment #3, which we had prepared ourselves in the outdoor kitchen with a wood burning pizza oven! We find this location perfect for exploring all the lovely Tuscan hill towns, close enough to come back home and relax whenever we are tired. Already, we can't stop talking about our next trip.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled with friends
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1 Thank monamietravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saddlebrooke
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 October 2012

Thoroughly enjoyed our stay in apartment 2. Clean, well-appointed, fun layout in centuries-old building. Hosts were friendly and helpful. Close to many wonderful villages and great scenery. Super restaurant in nearby Dudda. Driving nearby roads was challenging and fun; a great way to see some beautiful countryside. Villa is well equipped, rooms are large and very comfortable for three or four people. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Jim N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, NY
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 1 October 2012

Villa Il Castellaccio was a perfect base for exploring Tuscany. We stayed in Apt. 2 and had a great experience. The apartment is huge and very clean. Leonardo and Roxanne were communicative and responsive from start to finish -- and Roxanne gave us great ideas for itineraries while in the area. In fact, she recommended a town off the tourist trail that turned out to be a terrific day for us. The weather was a too cool for enjoying the outdoor space (pool), but the property is extremely well-manicured and gorgeous. The views are incredible. And the apartments and villa are designed in such a way so as to ensure the most privacy possible -- we didn't hear any of the neighbors while in our apartment. I would definitely stay again and recommend the property to anyone looking to enjoy and explore a beautiful area of Tuscany.

Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
Helpful?
Thank TravelGoGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2012

I have stayed at this property several times, with family three times and with friends twice. Four times I have stayed at the large villa, and once in one of the smaller apartments at the back fo the property. Both are comfortable, the location is outstanding, and the hosts accommodating and friendly. I would go back without hesitation.

Room Tip: The villa is great for groups -- five "master" bedrooms, each with their own bathroom. Th...
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  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Zabella10265
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Villa il Castellaccio

Property: Villa il Castellaccio
Address: Lucolena di sotto | Lucolena, 50020, Greve in Chianti, Italy
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Florence > Greve in Chianti
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 59 Speciality Lodging in Greve in Chianti
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Panoramic location in the heart of Chianti at Lucolena near Greve, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves, Villa il Castellaccio makes an ideal homebase for relaxing in the quiet of nature but also being near to famous Tuscan cities: Florence, Siena, SanGimignano, Arezzo it’s great for day trips ,exploring medieval villages along the way. The Structure has a Villa with a private garden and pool and 4 apartments sharing another terrace and pool. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Villa Il Castellaccio Greve In Chianti, Italy - Tuscany

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