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“Castle Experience in Tuscany”

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Castello delle Serre
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 February 2012

This is perfect place to stay when visiting the Tuscan countryside. The property is magnificent and a wonderful place to return to after a day of sightseeing. We were so impressed with the attention to detail in the restoration of the castle. We were even more impressed by the family who runs the B&B. Antonio, Shelley, and Sal were so helpful with offering suggestions on how to plan the day, where to go to eat (even making our reservations for us), and just enjoyable to talk to while enjoying a glass of the local wines that they sell. It was interesting to hear about all of their backgrounds and how they ended up (or returned to) in Italy to convert a historic castle into one of the most amazing B&B's. My advice is to go when you can use the pool...we went in August and spent a few late afternoons in and next to the pool. Our only regret was that we didn't stay longer. Just means that we have to return! Already trying to plan for another visit this August.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank AlessiaMP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 February 2012

Ditto to all of the previous stellar reviews. We generally do not stay in bed and breakfast hotels so this was a unique choice for my husband and I. We didn't know that B&B's could be so charming and high class. This property takes the cake. This was our fifth trip to Italy and I just wish we would have known about the Gangale family property before. We were personally greeted by name upon arrival, the rooms were elegant and spacious, and the location was ideal for all of our daily plans. We really enjoyed speaking to the owners as they were so hospitable and helpful with planning our days and recommending local restaurants. Thank you for a most memorable stay!

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Michelle S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 February 2012

My husband and I stayed here in late August for our honeymoon and I honestly couldn't think of a better place in the world.
The hospitality of Salvatore, Antonio and Shelley is incredible, like nothing we have ever experienced on a holiday. We hired a car from Florence and drove the hour and twenty minutes to the Castello thanks to helpful directions from Shelley via email beforehand. Arriving at the Castello we were greeted by Shelley who took us to our fantastic suite (they had very kindly arranged for an ungrade as it was our honeymoon which we were so grateful for). Antonio brought our cases over to our room and then parked the car for us round the corner in their parking area.
A glass or two of wine sat in the sunshine by the gorgeous pool was followed by a lovely meal in the farmhouse resturant just down the road which you must try if you stay here.
At breakfast each morning, Salvatore or Antonio would come and sit with everyone in turn and discuss plans for the day giving great suggestions and tips for places to park, best place for lunch etc. These were invaluable as we didn't know that much about the area before we arrived apart from the tourist attractions so it was brilliant to visit all the gorgeous places we wouldn't have otherwise seen.
We were lucky enough twice to have dinner at the Castello cooked by Salvatore, a fantastic chef, and be entertained with his stories long into the evening, enjoying the beautiful sunsets. We will also never forget Antonio's homemade Limoncello, the best we have ever tasted!
Without a doubt we will return to the Castello and have already recommended it to as many people as possible.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank JennyM_IOW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2012



My husband and I stayed at Castello Delle Serre for the first week of our honeymoon.  We reserved the top portion of the castle tower (with a private roof deck and 360 degree views of Serre di Rapolano).  The “tower” was large, welcoming, CLEAN and the bathroom was spacious with really strong water pressure and plenty of hot water.  The towel heaters were a huge plus, especially in mid-October.  Staying in the castle tower was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, with breathtaking views of the Tuscan town.  The grounds of Castello (the pool, courtyard area are so pretty and relaxing), the main house (dining area) is unique and cozy.  The main “hotel” area is accessed by walking across the “walkway” of the guard tower that over-looks part of the town.  Here you have Wi-Fi, a piano, and books.  It was all so fascinating because you are literally in a castle.   Everything was restored, the windows, drapery, stone fireplace, wall papering, etc.  This was also a great area to do some internet research on places to see or to look at their books while sipping on a nice bottle of Brunello from La Fortuna Vineyard (wonderful vineyard near Castello). 
 
Castello Delle Serre is in my opinion, a prime location to stay while exploring Tuscany.  You get that “true” Tuscan experience, yet you are not completely isolated.  Siena, Pienza (my favorite citta), Montipulciano, Montalcino, Montieri (for horseback riding) and many more towns are a short drive (Florence, Rome).  Not to mention, there were two fabulous restaurants to eat dinner in the town.  San Rocco (you can walk there from Castello), a family style restaurant, with all locals (we met a nice man by the name of Stefano), served food to die for (think pounded chicken, grilled with lemon, breaded veal) you will not be disappointed with anything here.  The best is, after a long day, you can eat to your heart’s content, drink a bottle of wine (or two) and walk back to your accommodations.  The other recommended restaurant is Ischito (the Farmhouse).  This is a little more “trendy” and upscale, but again so convenient (4 minute drive from the Castle) with mouth-watering food.  Salvatore (the father), Antonio (the son) and Shelley (Antonio’s Wife) were so hospitable and knowledgeable.  Before we even arrived they made recommendations when we asked the best way to get to Serre di Rapolona from Roma.  We didn’t want to drive from Roma, so they recommended the train from Rome to Chiusi to pick-up a rental car from Hertz Chiusi, and drive 30 minutes to the Castello.  However, we opted to splurge on a car service from Roma to Chiusi (from Danielle Conti-a father/son car service, we still speak with Danielle). It was WELL WORTH IT because it allowed us to do a small group tour of the Colosseum and the lower dungeons (only offered by TicItaly), without rushing to catch trains or missing the Hertz rental car hours.  The return trip from Chiusi to Rome on the train was fast (we needed to get to Naples, yes, there is a direct train from Chiusi to Naples DO NOT TAKE THE DIRECT train, get off in Roma and take the Frecciarossa ).  Shelley, Antonio and Salvatore were very aware of time constraints for people, so we were always given recommendations when we asked for them. As an example, the night before we were leaving the Castello, and we told Shelley our itinerary, she immediately recommended a better way of doing it so we would not have to spend our only full day in Capri leaving the island.  It turned out to be a blessing, it rained the entire day in Capri and we would not have been able to get to Pompeii in those conditions and walk around.  Their recommendation was expensive, but WORTH EVERY penny.  We took the ferry leaving Capri to Sorrento and had a private driver take us to Pompeii (Angelo waited) while we had a private tour of Pompeii (with Maria of Mondo Tours, she was amazing). When we were finished, Angelo took us to the train station in Naples so we could get the train back to Roma on our last night.  Shelley and Antonio put that together for us (in 15 minutes), had they not, we may not have seen Pompeii and I imagine, all that stressful travel would have dampened our honeymoon bliss just a little.  Another advantage that staying at Castello Delle Serre provides is Salvatore being a former chef understands the importance of serving delicious food.  A few hours before arriving our first night, Shelley called to see if we would be interested in eating Salvatore’s meal.  He made a chicken rollitini of sorts, sautéed mushrooms, with freshly baked bread and wine flowing throughout the meal.  It was delicious, reasonable and convenient (Sal does not offer this every night).  Breakfast was satisfying and tasty as well, served from 8-10 (perfect timing).  Every morning we were offered fresh blood orange juice, coffee, brown hard boiled eggs, croissants, Italian meats and cheeses, granola, fruit, yogurt.  It got us through the day until our 2:00 pm lunches when we usually ate light and had wine, (I miss Italy right now).  After breakfast, Antonio and Shelley would ask if we needed recommendations and provided us with hand drawn maps, (at first I thought it was crazy to hand draw maps), but they nailed it!  GPS isn’t very accurate from what we have heard, car rental companies don’t have a large supply to rent (maybe one or two) and traveling through Tuscany, you are going to get lost or not be able to find places, these hand written maps SAVED US so many times.  Driving through Tuscany you have to be a little adventurous to begin with, like I said, you are going to get lost, you are going to get side tracked with food and wine (all part of the experience), however, you want to see as much as you can without running yourself ragged.  Shelley and Antonio proved invaluable in this regard, especially with their maps.  We felt like we relaxed, yet still visited so many places because we were guided as to what were “must-sees”.
 
Castello Delle Serre is a gem in Tuscany, so much so that we will return again.

  • Stayed: October 2011
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2  Thank monkey615
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 January 2012

If you have ever dreamed of visiting Tuscany or staying in a castle, look no further. My boyfriend and I stayed at the Castello just a few months ago and we are already planning our trip back! The reviews here are right on. The location is unbeatable, the structure is not only a real deal castle but the decor and details are done with the best of taste and the family is one of a kind, truely warm and welcoming hosts. Thank you for an unforgettable stay!

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Isabella P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2012

We stayed at the Castello in December and what a convienient, fun and immaculate place to stay. Admittedly, December is not the best time for pleasant temperatures, but the owners made it a warm place and the Castello exceeded expectations.. Sal, Antonio and Shelley were great hosts with perfect advice and directions (most important, learn about roundabouts!). The meal Sal fixed for Christmas dinner was fabulous. The history of the castle and the surrounding are is very interesting.

The warm months would be a perfect time to visit with the pool and outdoor kitchen area a popular place, we heard.

if you are in the area and want a perfect place to stay while doing daytrips, this would be it

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Brian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 December 2011

My husband and I returned to Castello Delle Serre for the October 'Living the Dream' tour. We stayed there in 2007 and enjoyed ourselves so much we decided to return and join the tour. This visit was everything we remembered and more. The stunning setting, the elegant suites, and the great group of people on the tour, made this a perfect week. If you are considering a trip to the castle, do yourself a favor and go. You won't be sorry.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Ayaa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Castello delle Serre

Address: Piazza XX Settembre 1, 53040 Serre di Rapolano, Rapolano Terme, Italy
Region: Italy > Tuscany > Province of Siena > Rapolano Terme > Serre di Rapolano
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Serre di Rapolano
Price Range: $360 - $411 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Castello delle Serre, a historical castle converted to B&B Hotel is located in the heart of Tuscany. The castle is just a short drive from all major points of interest, such as Chianti, Siena, Montalcino, Pienza, Arezzo, Cortona and Florence. The property functions as an upscale B&B, offering luxurious accommodations, all with a private bathroom, air conditioning, swimming pool, pool bar, stunning views and private parking. Breakfast is served daily and occasional dinners based on a minimum head count. We welcome you to come and experience sophisticated elegance. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Castello Delle Serre Hotel Serre Di Rapolano

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