Pienza - Val d'Orcia - Siena - Tuscany

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  • Assistance and Special Services

  • Reservations, Payment, and Travel Insurance

  • Planning Your Trip

  • During Your Stay

  • Living in the Castelmuzio

  • Assistance and Special Services

    Which languages are spoken?
    Do not worry if you do not speak Italian! Isabella is pleased to speak with you in English, German, French, or Italian. Her husband, Carlo, speaks French and Italian, and a little English. Carlotta speaks fluent English, Spanish, and Italian.

    How will we find Castelmuzio?
    In your confirmation notice, we will provide directions to reach Casa Moricciani. If you have a cell phone, call us to let us know when you arrive. If you do not have a phone try to call us from the car rental agency from which you are picking up your car.

    Is it possible to have some grocery items purchased and stocked in the apartment upon our arrival?
    We provide a personal grocery shopping service the day of your arrival and stock the pantry and refrigerator with items you select from a handy grocery list. This service is really convenient for guests who will arrive late on Saturday because grocery stores usually are not open on Sunday. The fee for this personal service is €20,00 plus 15% of the total grocery bill.

    Does your family live at Castelmuzio?
    No, our family lives on our family farm in Pienza (called Podere San Gregorio), a 10-minute drive from Castelmuzio. Let us know how we might be of assistance to you, we are always available by phone and email.

    I will be celebrating a special occasion (anniversary, honeymoon, birthday, etc.) while staying at Casa Moricciani. Can you help me celebrate by providing flowers or a gift basket?
    We would be delighted to work with you to make your special day as beautiful, fun, and/or creative as you would like. Just let us know!

    Is Casa Moricciani a B&B, and will breakfast be available each day?
    Casa Moricciani is a private villa rather than a bed and breakfast. Upon arrival you will find a bountiful gourmet Tuscan food basket full of delicious things to enjoy during your stay with us. In addition,you will find a grocery store a few meters’ walk away and everything you need in your apartment to prepare and enjoy your breakfast and other meals.

    Are any staples provided?

    You will find ground coffee, tea, sugar, salt, pepper, dried seasonings, and balsamic vinegar for your use in the kitchen. If you run out of these items, please let us know and we will bring more. In addition you will find a lovely welcome basket in your room which includes several items for your breakfast and other meals.

    Are the bathrooms supplied with soap and shampoo?
    Each bathroom suite is stocked with Swiss high quality facial and body creams, soaps, lotions, toners, and cleansers. Also provided are shampoo and conditioner, liquid hand and body soap.

    Are linens and towels provided?
    Yes, linens and towels for both kitchen and bathroom are provided.

    Is wi-fi available?
    We have a free Wi-Fi Internet connection. All you need is your laptop or or other smart device.

    Will the apartment have a telephone?
    We will be happy to provide you with a cell phone to use while you are here. Also, if you have a laptop computer with you and Skype, you may make extremely low-cost calls internationally using the wifi connection at the villa. Casa Moricciani does not have a landline phone.

    Is satellite TV available? Do you have an MP3 docking station?
    Yes, Casa Moricciani has satellite TV including stations in English. The villa also includes Bose speaker systems to which you can connect your iPod/MP3 player.

    Do you have a swimming pool at Casa Moricciani?
    We do not have a regular swimming pool; however, we do have a refreshing, fountain-fed pool to cool-off in after sunbathing in the garden. In Italy we call such a pool a "vasca refrigerante"—it is a lovely shallow cool plunge pool, where inside there are seats for as many as 8 people. The stones that line the top perimeter are from an ancient Roman road, and the views from the pool are outstanding. On a hot summer's day it is extremely relaxing to sit inside the cool water. In addition to this, we recommend to our guests that they go to the gorgeous natural thermal water pools—some cold, some warm and some very hot—that are eons in the making and part of the natural territory (and so much more exhilarating and interesting than concrete swimming pools!). We think it is almost a sin not to take advantage of them. In less than an hour you can reach several thermal area such as Bagno Vignoni, Bagni San Filippo, and Rapolano Terme with the most beautiful pools.

    Is it possible to barbecue outside?
    Yes, you will find a barbecue grill for your use.

    Is there a golf course nearby?
    Yes, there is a golf course in Bettolle very nearby or a larger and beautiful one, near Perugia, the Antognolla Golf Course (1 hour 15 minutes drive)

    What other sports activities are available nearby?
    There are tennis courts in Pienza and San Quirico; outdoor swimming in San Quirico d’Orcia, Buonconvento, Chianciano, and Montepulciano; horseback riding in Sinalunga and Trequanda and mountain bike tours starting at Bagno Vignoni or directly at Casa Moricciani.

    Is parking available? When you arrive, you may drive directly to the front of the villa to unload your belongings. Afterwards you will park in a private space only 30 meters away for the rest of your stay free of charge.

    Are pets allowed?
    We love animals, and have some ourselves at our home. However, we do not accept pets at Casa Moricciani, and in this way we keep the villa perfect for those guests who have allergies.

    Is smoking allowed?
    Smoking is allowed only outside. The majority of our guests do not smoke, and some are very allergic to smoke. Therefore, we ask that the villa remain totally free of all cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoke. Grazie!

    How does the heating and air conditioning work?
    Most of the time you will find the villa very comfortable without the use of heating or air conditioning. If the weather makes heating or air conditioning a necessity, you will be charged only for time you use it. Utility costs in Italy are extremely expensive, and for this reason, it is necessary for us to charge for these services.

    Is it possible to take part in the Dolce Vita activities if I’m not staying at Casa Moricciani?
    Only our guests at Casa Moricciani, Le Casine di Castello, and Cretaiole are able to take part in the Dolce Vita activities. We want our guests to enjoy our special activities in a small group and with people they have come to know during their stay. We find this creates a warm, friendly climate full of relaxation and fun.

    Reservations, Payment, and Travel Insurance

    How far in advance should I make a reservation?
    The answer to this question is one of basic economics—when demand is high you must make reservations farther in advance. The months that are most in demand are late April, May, June, September, and October. For these times, we highly recommend that you begin to make reservations 10-12 months in advance to be certain you obtain the apartment you want for the week you want.

    Is it possible to book the villa for a stay shorter than one week?
    Due to our Dolce Vita program (which begins in early April and runs through mid-November) we offer the villa on a weekly basis (from Saturday to Saturday). However, please contact us to see if we are able to meet your lodging needs whenever you are planning to come to Tuscany and we will do everything possible to assist you. In off-peak times (November – March) the minimum stay is 3 nights. Please feel free at any time to inquire about any length of stay—especially if your travel is imminent—to see if we have last-minute availability or if you would like to be put on a waiting list.

    Many vacation rentals require a deposit paid ahead of time. Do you require a deposit?
    Yes, a deposit is required at the time of booking. In addition, we will need your credit card details and your acceptance of the cancellation policy as a guarantee.

    Should I purchase travel insurance in case I need to cancel my reservation?
    Every year we have a small number of guests who need to cancel their reservation, and the major reason they must do this is for illness or death of someone in the family. These are things that can happen to any traveler—and often they happen with little warning. In order to protect your travel dollars—for lodging, airfare as well as other travel expenses that you will incur—we urge you to purchase travel insurance in a sufficient amount that will cover all of your out-of-pocket expenditures. In this way you can anticipate your upcoming dream vacation without any worries or fears of what might happen if you should have to cancel.

    Is it possible to pay for my stay with credit card so I can get travel points?
    Unfortunately, we do not have any relationship with any airlines or credit cards that would allow you to obtain "points" for your stay.

    In the United States travelers checks are treated same as cash. May I use travelers’ checks to pay?
    It is not the same in Italy. We do not accept travelers’ checks.

    How do you recommend we obtain cash euros for our stay?
    The very best way to obtain cash with the smallest bank fees is with a debit card that accesses your checking account. Use this card in any ATM (called a "bancomat" in Italy). There is a daily maximum limit as to how much money you can withdraw per account—and this amount is established by your bank. You will find an ATM only a few meters away from the villa, just within the ancient archway inside the historic center of Castelmuzio.

    PLEASE NOTE: It is extremely important for you to notify your bank and your credit card company that you are traveling to Italy. If you do not, the bank's security software often will close down your account when the card is first used in Italy because the software suspects someone is using your card in a fraudulent manner in a foreign country.

    How much is the maximum ATM cash withdrawal per transaction?
    Usually Euro 250,00. In the large cities of Rome, Florence, Milan, etc., you may find the upper limit per transaction to be much higher particularly at the airport and train stations.

    What extra costs will I have connected with my stay?
    Our offer and confirmation will include all costs such as the rental rate, bed tax, and the optional Dolce Vita stay activities. Heating and air conditioning will be charged on a daily basis, if used. While you are here, we will tell you about and arrange for other activities that you may wish to participate in, such as wine and cheese tastings, special dinners in the local vicinity, massage therapy, watercolor classes, guided hikes, cooking classes, etc. These are not part of the rental rate, but will have a very reasonable fee, and are totally optional.

    Can you provide your rates in other currencies, such as U.S. Dollars, Canadian Dollars, etc.?
    All of our prices are in Euros. Here is one website that is useful to make a currency conversion to your country's currency: http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/

    Planning Your Trip

    How close are the various airports and train stations from Casa Moricciani?

    Airport KM/Miles Drive time Closest train station
    Rome – Fiumicino 236/146 2.5 hours Chiusi
    Florence – Peretola 137/85 1.5 hours Arezzo
    Pisa – Galileo 221/137 2.25 hours Siena or Arezzo
    Milan – Malpensa 468/290 4.75 hours Arezzo
    Venice – Marco Polo 379/235 3.75 hours Arezzo

    I would prefer to use public transportation. Is it necessary to have a car?
    You will definitely need a car to stay in our area, otherwise it will be impossible for you to explore the towns and villages and the beautiful countryside around here. The nearest railway station is a 50 minute drive.

    What car rental company should I use?
    The car rental business is extremely competitive, much like the airlines. What is the best/cheapest today may not be the best/cheapest tomorrow. We offer you a strategy more than a name. Obtain bids from as many companies as you want. Our guests frequently use AutoEurope, Europcar, Hertz, Thrifty, NOVA, and many others. Even after you have made your reservations, keep checking on rates from all the companies—you may find a rental special or rate drop has occurred since you made your reservation. Be certain you are comparing apples with apples as you compare the rates you obtain. Often you will find a company’s bid does not include all the costs and will seem much lower, but in the end it really is not. Be certain to include in your request additional drivers, a car return in a city other than the one where you picked up the car, GPS unit, etc.

    I'm arriving at Rome Fiumicino airport and I want to take the train to another city (for example, Chiusi) to rent a car. How do I do this?
    From the airport you can take the "Leonardo Express" train to the main train station in Rome (called "Roma Termini").
    With trains departing every 30 minutes Leonardo express non-stop train service takes you—every day of the year—from Leonardo da Vinci Airport to the center of Rome in only half an hour.

    The train departs from platforms 23/24 in Termini Station, and is guaranteed year around, even in the event of strikes. For passengers with disability or reduced mobility trains are equipped with dedicated seating and equipped restrooms.

    You will need to change trains at Roma Termini, and continue to Chiusi (or other city of your choice). When you purchase your train ticket for the Leonardo Express at the airport, also purchase your ticket to Chiusi (or other city) and in this way you do not need to waste time at the ticket counter at Roma Termini.

    Note: BE SURE TO VALIDATE YOUR TRAIN TICKET BEFORE BOARDING THE TRAIN. You will see machines close to the train tracks. Insert your ticket into the machine and validate it. You will receive a large fine if you fail to do this and are found on board with an unvalidated ticket. This is true for all trains in Italy—not only the Leonardo Express.

    We will be arriving by train into Chiusi in the afternoon, and the car rental agency is closed in the afternoon? What do I do?
    If your travel plans will not allow you to get to Chiusi before the car rental agencies close, you can do one of several things.

    • Contact the car rental agency directly and ask them to meet you during off-hours (even on Sunday). Often they will do this for a reasonable fee.
    • Pick-up the car at the airport and drive from there directly to Casa Moricciani.
    • Rent your car from an Italian car rental company. Contact them to negotiate a rate, and, ask them to meet you at the railway station at your arrival time. They are usually able to do this until 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and even on Sunday as well.

    Is it possible to reach Castelmuzio by bus or train?
    It is very difficult to reach Castelmuzio by bus; and it is not served at all by rail.

    Is it possible to explore the area just by mountain bike?
    Yes, this is possible if you are a strong bicyclist and are used to using your bicycle as your primary mode of transportation.

    Where is the nearest bike rental?
    You may rent professional mountain bikes in Pienza at E-Bike Tuscany (www.e-biketuscany.com) or at Cicloposse (www.cicloposse.com). They both organize wonderful tours on request.

    What are the temperatures in…?

    Month Day (C/F) Night (C/F)
    January 11/52 5/41
    February 12/54 5/41
    March 15/59 9/48
    April 20/68 11/52
    May 25/77 11/52
    June 28/82 20/68
    July 30/86 21/70
    August 28/82 19/66
    September 28/82 15/59
    October 25/77 12/54
    November 18/64 9/48
    December 14/57 4/39

    What will the weather be like?
    As you can see from the temperatures above, the weather is usually moderate year-round. Some evenings may be cool and breezy, so you may want to bring a sweater or windbreaker. Summer clothing such as shorts, t-shirts, casual pants and dresses are fine for the summer months and are appropriate almost everywhere. A cap or hat is also a good idea to protect your face from the sun. We recommend that you bring clothes that you can layer so you can adjust for your comfort throughout the day or from day-to-day.

    During Your Stay

    What are your check-in/check-out times?
    Check-in at Casa Moricciani begins at 3:00 pm. Please call us if you require an earlier or much later check-in, and we will do everything possible to make things convenient for you.
    Check-out time is by 10:00 am.

    Will my hair dryer and other appliances work at the villa?
    Yes, they will work but you must have both a converter and an adapter to make them work. The converter is necessary to keep your appliance’s motor from burning out, and the adaptor is needed to fit the plug into our European-style, two-prong outlets. Feel free to leave your hair dryer at home, however, because you will find one in every bedroom of the villa.

    I really love to open the windows to let the breeze and sunshine in, but I do not like flying insects and mosquitoes. Is the villa equipped with window screens?
    If you have been to Italy before, you probably know that it is unusual to find window screens—but you may rest easy at Casa Moricciani, because our windows are equipped with window screens.

    We are coming to visit in the summer and I hear that the area can be quite hot. Is the villa air conditioned?
    Casa Moricciani is air conditioned. However, if you prefer, we recommend that you do what we Italians do—when you are gone during the day, be sure to close the windows including the shutters to keep the sunshine/heat out. It will make a tremendous difference in the inside temperature.

    Where is the nearest bank and ATM?

    The nearest bank is in Petroio just 3 km away. It also has an ATM that is available 24 hours a day. There is also an ATM in the village of Castelmuzio, just a few meters away from the villa.

    Living in Castelmuzio

    Must I be able to speak Italian in order to stay at Casa Moricciani?
    Do not be afraid if you do not speak Italian! And believe us when we tell you that striking up a conversation with a local resident, using your hands and body, and flipping through your English/Italian dictionary will be one of the most enjoyable experiences of your trip. The people in Tuscany (and Italy) realize that Italian is not spoken very much in other countries, and they do not expect tourists to be fluent. Learn a few phrases (such as those found here) and use them!

    Is there a supermarket nearby?
    Castelmuzio has its own Coop grocery store that you can walk to from the villa! It is very handy. However, hours of operation are very different in Italy compared to most countries. It is open Monday to Saturday (during certain hours), and closed on Sundays.

    Is it possible to shop on Sundays?
    The Coop grocery stores are always closed on Sunday. You will find other little shops that are open in Pienza, San Quirico d'Orcia, Montepulciano and Montalcino, but not in the very small villages like Castelmuzio.

    Are there restaurants and cafés nearby?
    Yes, Castelmuzio has two very good restaurants within the village.

    Is there a bus stop in town?
    Yes, there is a bus line from Sinalunga, Trequanda, Castelmuzio, Montefollonico, and Montepulciano.

    Where is the closest tourist information office?
    There are two that are very close—in Pienza and Trequanda.

    Is there a doctor, a dentist, a pediatrician?
    All of these are available in Pienza. We will be glad to provide telephone numbers and to call the doctors for you if you need one.

    Where is the nearest hospital?
    One of the very best hospitals in Tuscany is near Montepulciano!

    Where is the nearest pharmacy?
    There are pharmacies in both Pienza and San Quirico d’Orcia.