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Fine tuning our CT and Siena Itineraries

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5 more weeks!!!

In case you haven't seen my other posts, DH and I are headed to Italy for the first time for 19 days (including travel, so 17 nights total). We leave in exactly 5 weeks, and I think we finally have everything sorted out. At this point, we're pleased with the number of nights in each city, accommodations and some MINI Fares are booked so I'm not looking back.

These are segments 4 & 5 of the 6 segments of our trip. I realize from searching other posts that it would be easier to follow if I separate my itinerary into smaller segments (and I tend to be quite wordy, I'm sorry in advance). This post will focus on our 2 nights in Monterosso and 3 nights in Siena.

I think I've pretty much organized our daily itineraries, but that is the area where I'm looking for the advice and comments for the wise Fodorites :)

And yes, I know that no matter what I do there will be days that don't go according to my plan. That's perfectly fine, I can handle that. I just like to be planned and organized because IME its been easier to get back on track when things go wrong, or when we decide to deviate from "the plan".

Also, any dining recommendations are welcome, and wanted, as well. DH and I enjoy all types of food (I dislike the term, but I suppose we're foodies), but we like to try to find food that is authentic to the areas we're in.

Ok, here we go:

May 21st - Train from Florence to Monterosso

Initially we were going to take the 10:30am train that got to CT around 1:00pm, then we realized that we could take the 7:30 train to Pisa and catch the same connection to CT at 11:30. That would give us 3 hours to store our bags - see the tower - retrieve bags, etc.

Unfortunately, there is a train strike schedule for the 21st at 9pm - 9pm on the 22nd. I think that means the trains between the CT towns may be limited. Does anyone know how a strike may affect those trains?

If they won't be running, I'm thinking it may be better to take the 7:30 directly to CT and get there before 10:30 instead of closer to 1pm. With my luck the trails will be closed and ferries won't run on the 22nd either, so at least we can visit the other CT towns on the first day, lol.

We don't have any real "set" plans for CT. We'd like to visit Santuario della Madonna di Montenero hike the trails, taste some wine, relax, maybe read by the water - whatever we're up to doing.

I've heard Milky's is a good restaurant for dinner, any other suggestions for lunch or dinner?

May 23rd - Train Monterosso to Pisa
Assuming the strike isn't cancelled, we'll store our bags at the Pisa station, see the tower, retrieve our bags and then pick up our car to drive to Il Canto del Sole outside Siena (Cuna).

We're hoping to explore Siena a bit before and after a wine tasting with the Tuscan Wine School from 4pm - 6pm.

My aunt keeps telling me about a restaurant she loved just off the main piazza that looks like a library, but she can't remember the name, lol. So if anyone has any clue what she's talking about please let me know ;)

May 24th:

Cooking class at Il Vicario (San Gimignano)
San Gimignano
Volterra

May 25th:

Winery tour and lunch at Castello di Verrazzano ("The Food and Wine Experience")
Greve in Chianti
Panzano in Chianti
Castellina in Chianti

Dinner at Il Canto del Sole

May 26th:
Leave for Rome

All comments and suggestions are appreciated.

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