|Minimum Stay||7 nights|
Castellare is a small farm in the high hills near Florence.
It is a magical place, in a natural environment, intact and unspoiled. The
buildings are made of stone and date back many centuries. It is said that,
at one time, a small community of nuns lived here.
4 apartments are available, for 2 to 4 persons, each one tastefully
furnished and decorated, that can be rented all at the same time for family or friends gatherings
In the large meadow a swimming pool is at our guest's disposal.
Only half an hour from Florence, it is suitable for those wishing to get
away completely, yet are unwilling to go without modern conveniences.
Castellare is an ancient building complex 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 four accommodations, warm and inspiring, and a swimming pool is in the main lawn.
The Stalla is our larger accommodation and is displayed on two floors. Upstairs two spacious bedrooms (a double and a triple) and a bathroom; downstairs a big open space with a fully equipped kitchen and a comfortable livingroom area. The Stalla house is perfect for a family or a small group of friends. In restructuring it we tried to maintain its rustic and antique charme, so you will find an original stone floor and family pieces of furniture. Outside the livingroom door there is a private garden with table and chairs of wood.
The Loggia has an independent kitchen with a pretty view, a livingroom, a bathroom, and a bedroom on a loft under a roof of old beams. There's a private patio with table and chairs just outside the kitchen's door.
The Stalletta is a charming small accommodation with a bedroom, a spacious bathroom, and a room with a kitchen, a dining area, and a lovely relaxing area with a sofa (that can be used as a day bed) that has been custom made with parts of antique wood. Just outside there is a private little garden with table and chairs and a stone barbeque.
The Capanna is a small cottage of stone, with a bedroom, a bathroom, and a room with a kitchen a livingroom and a dining area. It's walls have been maintained in stone on the inside too, whitewashed to give more light and brightness. This retreat too has a small private patio with table and chairs.
All accommodations have sofabeds for one or two extra people to be welcomed. We also have cots and high chairs for babies, at guests disposal.
For a few years we had an etching workshop on the premises, and we have enjoyed the experience of welcoming artists for long stretches of time. Writers too embraced the inspiring nature of Castellare to come and work on their writing projects. This is why, although we have moved the etching workshop to another location, we still have special rates in the winter for those who wish to come and dedicate themself to art; may it be writing, painting, or even the exploration of oneself.
Many of the pieces of art you will see in the houses have been produced here.
My name is Catina, and my family and I (my partner and my son) also live on the spot. This property was bought by my grandparents, and it has always been a holiday home for family and friends while I was growing up. I have been the first permanent resident though, for now almost twenty years, and I adore living immersed in nature in close proximity with the wildlife. Expecially deers. The restructuration of the house took some time during which I started really enjoying all things "home", from furniture to textiles to ceramics. Offering guests a holiday retreat with the warmth and care of a home , in the peace of nature, has become a passion as well as my job.
Ms. Catina Cecioni purchased this farmhouse in 1959
Castellare's unique feature is it's location, completly sorrounded by nature. A driveway of about 700 meters connects the buildings to the main road, a charming winding street called Via di Parga with some breathtaking views. Then the driveway in the woods, where one feels the strains of contemporary life stay behind as the transformative power of nature takes over. Every time I come back from the center and the driving in traffic , I feel restored.
The house appears after the last curve as the most cherished retreat, a place where I have always felt welcomed, from the day I moved in, and it was just the cat and I. Although Castellare really conveys the feeling of being out of time, the neaby village of Molino del Piano (about 5 km away , downhill), embraced me like family. The people have something magical about them, as they are open and friendly and kind, and we easily bonded. To try and participate to local life, like going sometimes for breakfast or a coffee at the local bar ("bar" in Italian is a caffetteria), play tennis in the village courts, or even try the weekly appointment at the free cinema, may give a glimpse to what it means to live in the area. It's a life of simple pleasures, lots of smiles, friendship and all the inspiration one can wish for in perfect reach, may it be the opera , art to last for a lifetime of awe, the discovery of surprising corners of nature, the wandering in one of the most beautiful regions of Italy.
The benefit I try to offer guests if the comfort of a cozy home, where it's a joy to return to after a day of adventures. I like that we are small, with just four accommodations. It's not luxury that I love, but the uniqueness of handmade things, silence, and the stories of people from the world. There are many mega resorts in Tuscany, but very few settings like this, unspoilt, and a bit magic.
The price is for a occupancy of 10 people in three different units: the Stalla house (4), the Loggia house (2), the Stalletta house, and the Capanna house (2). Castellare can sleep a maximum of 13 people using the sofa beds, and for each extra person we ask for €10 per day.
Price includes: linen, towels, all utilities, taxes and final cleaning.
A 50% deposit is requested at the moment of reservation. Deposit is refunded in case of cancellation, with at least 90 days of advanced notice.
We stayed in Catina's Castallere for two weeks in July and could not have been happier that we did so. We rented the Stalla, Stalletta, and Capanna, and when we were all present there was 11 of us.
Firstly, Catina is the most wonderful host; she truly goes above and beyond to make her guests feel welcome. She is such a kind, warm person -- I immediately felt like I wanted to be her friend lol. She is very attentive to every need, and truly went above and beyond to make our stay enjoyable and easy. She is just such a genuine, compassionate, and welcoming person, and it was our whole group's consensus that she made our stay unforgettable.
The property itself is remarkably stunning. It is about a 15-20 minute drive from the Sieci train station, and it essentially all uphill -- you really climb a mountain. It is so quiet, and so peaceful -- such a nice break from the busy-ness of Florence. In fact, one of the most memorable days of our vacation was when we all stayed home and napped and swam and ate and napped and swam some more; the place engenders relaxation, and we ended up spending a lot more time at the house than I thought.
There are a few towns within short driving distance from the house, and also a cooking school where we did a lesson -- a lot of fun. It's a relatively easy half hour drive to a huge supermarket, and a much shorter drive to a smaller market in Molina del Piano. Catina had a binder of information at the house that was very useful -- we consulted it a number of times. Overall, I will definately be back to this place -- just a lovely retreat -- perfect for relaxing and enjoying the stunning beauty of Tuscany.
- Janeen (and Marg, Neil, Cori, Marc, Michelle, Holly, Ash, Stacey, Maurita, and Molly!)
There are not enough words to describe the Paradise of this Place.... First of all, the owner its a wonderful and very familiar person, called Catina. She is always there to help you in anything you need, and shows you the really way of Tuscan people living. We are a young couple of Spain, that used to go there every year, because there you can relaxed and disconnect of everything.
The apartments are full equipped, with all the details you can imagine in Tuscan design. When you arrive to the apartment, a very good surprise is waiting for you there....a home made cake done from Catina that welcomes you in the great Tuscan cuisine!!! Also the surrounding of the property is fascinating with a swimming pool and a very cared garden full with flowers and plants.
Its really a secret Paradise in the Tuscan forest ideal for families or for couples.
Teresa y Pablo
We had a wonderful time.
Florence is near - but far away enough to make ist possible to appreciate the peaceful place at Molino del Piano. The farmhouse is furnished so tastefully, there are gas cookers so the meals we cooked tasted so well and last but not least the warmhearted and kind personality of the host made us fell in love with the place. We recommend the ancient farmhouse and we love to come back next year.
I had booked a two week stay at castellare in july, it was absolutely fantastic , romantic wooded setting gorgeous property.The villa I stayed in had a fabulous renaissance ambiance giving me an experience of the tuscan lifestyle I had always imagined, the owner was most gracious and warm , and they made themselves available to our every need, I would definitely reccomend staying here to anyone I know, I had a truly wonderful stay, and plan to return as soon as I can..Vincenzo
We spend two times three splendid weeks at Castellare. We love this place so much and Catina and Giacomo are great hosts, always helpfull, friendly and charming. The little lodges have a lovley interior decoration, the beds are confortable and in the kitchen you find everything you need to make yourself a propper dinner- we both bake and cook a lot there and realy nothing is missing. And if it is realy hot, a swimming pool is there also.
The property of Castellare lies peacefully surrounded by olive trees. With a car you are just mintues away from good restaurants and a little grocery. The City of Florence ist just 30 minutes away. For us Castellare is the perfect mix between a vacation on the countryside and a city trip at the same time. We are really looking forward to our third visit in october 2015.
What a find! I was looking for an inspiring place to write and explore Tuscany from - I couldn't have found a better launching pad. Catina is a premium hostess, with superb English and so many helpful suggestions. Nothing is too much trouble. The building development is very sensitively done - it has a strong eco feel, in sympathy with the forests, but with only a short train/car ride you're in central Florence. Furnishings are modern and more than comfortable. There are castles to explore nearby, vineyards, forests and olive groves (you can even help harvest!) and village life isn't far away and full of real characters. This was the best start to my love affair with Tuscany - and I'll be returning this year to explore some more, it's thanks to Catina's 'homeaway' hospitality and the very special Castellare.