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Base in Tuscany for Foodies with Young Kids

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Hi there,

I trying to figure out where to base my family during the Tuscany portion of a trip to Italy. We will probably visit Italy for 2-3 weeks, stay about a week in a city (Venice, Florence or Rome) and then head to Tuscany for a week or so. We'll probably go in September 2010 and will be traveling with our twins, who will be around 3 1/2 at the time.

I'd like a base In Tuscany that is in a beautiful setting in or near a town that is not too big, and that is well situated to exploring the area. I've never been to Tuscany (except Florence) and want to both relax and explore at a leisurely pace. However, my husband and I are foodies and one of the things we love the most about Italy is the food and eating out. So, I want to stay someplace close to good restaurants. We will probably rent an apartment or villa. Any suggestions on where to base?

Also, if there are any guidebooks that you think would help me, I'd appreciate that information too.

Thank you!

Daria

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