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My husband and I visited this property the last week of July 2009 and stayed for one week. Where do I begin...The apartment was perfect! It contained everything that you would ever need for your stay including laundry facilities and a dishwasher. We shopped in the local market and prepared most of our meals. We typically ate out once per day depending on where our travels took us. This property is located in perfect proximity for day trips to Pisa, Florence and Siena (which we did). We did a day trip every other day and just hung back at the little villages nearby on the off days. Rita offers cooking classes at an extremely inexpensive price and we used the vegetables and herbs fresh from her garden. And let me assure you...the meal was delicious. The view from the back garden is magnificent. We ate overlooking the rolling hillside of vineyards and olive groves. The village is a 2 minute drive and could be walked (it’s just a bit hilly). Nice village with an internet cafe/coffee shop if you didn’t bring your computer.
Rosita, Rita and Faustus not only welcomed us into their home, but also into their hearts. We flew into Rome on a Sunday morning where we picked up our rental car and drove straight to the castle for our first week (of a 2 week trip). Of course, nothing is open on Sundays so Rita prepared a wonderful dinner for us and we enjoyed it in the back garden with a bottle of wine from Faustus' vineyard. We also chose the option for breakfast the next morning as we had yet to get groceries. When we left, we went to Venice for 3 nights where we rented an apartment that seemed so cold to us after having stayed at Castello di Colognole. If they had not had our apartment already rented for the next week. I would have much rather stayed there longer.
They have two dogs who are very playful and well behaved. As we lost our puppy early July, we felt so blessed to be around Bacco and Jemma.
There is no air conditioning, however, there are fans and we did not have any trouble sleeping. They do have misquittos but so do we here in Canada. Rosita speaks english with minimal difficulty. Rita is learning and we really didn't have any trouble communicating.
If you are looking to enrich your life by experiencing the authenic life in Tuscany, this place is a must! It was truly like a second honeymoon for us! We will definitely return...but next time, for a longer period of time.
Corrinne & Stephen
We travelled to Greve in July on a family vacation, and stayed in the Bacco appartment. Travelling with our 2 teenagers (12 and 14), we wanted to take in the Tuscany region, while still keeping them entertained! It was a wonderful stop of 3 nights and a highlight of our vacation. After a very warm welcome from Rosita, we enjoyed meandering around the grounds and a glass of chianti (which was waiting for us on arrival) while sitting in the shaded courtyard. The valley views of the surrounding olive groves and hillside are no less than stunning. This is a perfect retreat after a big city adventure. We had just arrived from Venice and were about to embark on Rome. During our stay, we travelled to Florence on the city bus. Well worth the ticket price and very easy day trip.
The accommodations were clean and comfortable. One bedroom has a bed and sofa bed so the apartment is most suitable for 5. I can't agree more with previous reviews that the character of this 12 century castle is complimented by all the modern amenities. The kitchen is well stocked with anything you may require to cook. Laundry is available. There is lots of space to spread out and relax!
One of our most memorable evenings was a Tuscany cooking class with Rosita's sister Rita. The kids (and us) enjoyed learning now to make ravioli and tiramisu, among other items, from scratch. This included a trip into Greve for some groceries with Rita. They mostly enjoyed spending time with Rita and taking in a truly "Tuscan" evening.
Lovely place, warm memories...hope we can go again one day.
We just returned to Toronto, Canada, from two weeks in Italy. We are three adults (one aged 85) and two kids (7 & 9), and we all agreed that out 5 night stay with Rita & Rosita stands out amongst our best experiences.
The building, grounds and wider surroundings are stunning, and Rita & Rosita’s hospitality and warmth greater still.
The details to consider:
We were in the “Bacco” apartment, which has two bedrooms. This worked for us, as my father-in-law had the lower (double) room and we four occupied the large upper room (double and sofa-bed). Walking around any of the rooms, with the ever present stonework, you cannot help but feel the history of the place. That said, the kitchen adds some modern appliance touches with a lovely 5 burner stove and dishwasher, which we put to good use for some fine meals at in the cavernous dining room. If you like to cook, you will enjoy yourself here.
The garden, accessible through the glass doors of the kitchen, is large and lovely. Our children would disappear into it at any opportunity, visiting Rita & Rosita’s tortoises, looking at plants & flowers that do not grow at home, etc. Given they were in a walled garden, we did not give them a second thought until it was time to call them in. We also went for evening walks in the forest behind the Castel, where we saw deer and wild pigs (thankfully they ran away from us).
We had picked the Greve area as it is a central point for Chianti. We made daytrips to Florence, Sienna, San Gimignano, Castelina,and local wineries (you could walk through the woods to Castello di Verrazzano (http://www.verrazzano.com/en/), or take a short drive). Rosita recommended taking the bus to Florence, which we are glad we did. The ticket was inexpensive, the trip hassle-free, and the traffic that the driver negotiated horrible. Free parking in Greve was a two minute walk from the bus stop.
Finally, food options nearby. Macelleria Falorni on the main square is a must see and their products are delicious. There is a ‘Coop’ grocery store, with parking underneath – ask the cashier for a parking token. Better still, have at least one dinner prepared by Rita – it remains a multi-course memory, and their wine is tasty too.
If you are wanting to enjoy Tuscany and all the wonderful experiences it has to offer – warm country ambience, sweeping valley views and unique rustic charm - look no further than Castello Di Colognole! This 12th century castle, one of the original castles built in the Chianti region, is ideally located to all the places you will want to visit in Tuscany and beyond, has just about all the modern conveniences you may need and is managed by two sisters, Rita and Rosita, who want to make sure your Tuscan experience is perfect in every way.
We are two traveling widows who stayed in the Bacco apartment. How delightful to wake up in the morning and have coffee in the kitchen looking out to the beautiful gardens and the hillsides beyond. We had plenty of room in our apartment; in fact we never used two of the living areas other than to walk through them! The apartment was very clean and outfitted with fresh flowers when we arrived. However, what makes Bacco so special is it has all the modern conveniences one needs, yet some of the very old castle remnants – the large fireplace, the original sink - remain, giving the apartment that wonderful character of a bygone era.
Castello Di Colognole sits atop a hill just above Greve and when we were first driving up to the castle, our thoughts were WOW, is that where we’re staying? The castle is large and now consists of multiple apartments, three of which are vacation rentals. We rented Bacco and another party rented the other apartment. What makes it nice is the grounds are large and organized such that parties are not in each other’s way.
Lastly, there is so much to be said about the hosts, Rita and Rosita, and all they do to make your stay and your Tuscan experience special. They will be glad to suggest the most charming villages to visit, how to catch the bus to Florence, where to shop for groceries and more importantly, where to park! Before you arrive, Rita will ask if you would like for her to make you a traditional Tuscan meal on the day of your arrival; or any day you might choose. Absolutely do take advantage of this offer because you will NOT be disappointed! Rita prepares a delicious meal using fresh vegetables and fruits from her garden down the hillside, and they include a bottle of their estate wine. Having this wonderful dinner with wine, sitting out in the garden under the HUGE tree, looking out to the fabulous views of the countryside, you will know you’ve arrived!
Nous avons passé une superbe semaine de vacances dans le gîte "Bacco". Le gîte est très agréable, beau, confortable et parfaitement propre. La grande chambre, comprenant un canapé convertible, était parfaite pour nos 3 enfants. L'accueil des deux soeurs, Rita et Rosita, est très agréable et chaleureux. A notre arrivée, nous avons trouvé des fleurs fraiches un peu partout dans le gîte, ainsi qu'une excellente bouteille de Chianti et d'Huile d'Olive, produits par Rita et Rosita. Rita nous avait même proposé de faire quelques courses pour notre arrivée.
Rosita nous a préparé un excellent repas toscan (tellement copieux que nous en avons mangé pendant 2 jours!)
Le jardin est très beau et la vue superbe.
L'emplacement du gîte est parfait pour visiter les différentes villes et villages de Toscane (Florence, Sienne, Volterra, Saint Gimignano....)
Our stay at the Colognole Castle was absolutely wonderful. Upon our arrival, Rosita gave us a warm welcome, and tour around the castle. In the kitchen, she had stocked it with some food essentials that was greatly appreciated. We also cooked a couple of meals during our stay and the kitchen had all the kitchen utensils we needed.
The apartment is charming, very clean, and maintained well. Rosita also keeps it stocked with extra blankets, umbrellas, and is more than happy to accommodate anything else that one may need.
Customer service is the best I've had, you'll feel as though it is your home while staying there.
Definitely a 5 Star!!!