a trip to Tuscany

Dec 8th, 2009, 10:22 AM
  #1  
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a trip to Tuscany

I just used our UA miles and booked a flight to Rome next October, Business Class (wife's demand, eh, suggestion). What I am interested in is a one week stay in Tuscany in a villa, preferable in a wine area (Montepulciano, Montalcino, etc.) and day trips to medieval cities. (I HAVE to go back to Florence).

Having listened to the forum, I believe we need to rent a car and I don't mind driving in Italy. Since I am an amateur race car driver, I think I can handle the traffic. Should I rent at FCO or take the train to Florence and rent there?

I am looking for recommendations on towns and villas, or apartments. We love renting apartments and living like locals, even if our Italian is horrible.

I look forward to your help, as always,

Racer042
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Dec 8th, 2009, 10:46 AM
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Hello Racer, Sounds like fun---I wish you had more than a week. I would train to Florence on arrival day and spend 2 or 3 days there, and then get the car as you depart to Tuscany. The car drop would depend on takeoff time from FCO.
Here are some of my favorite places in Tuscany--all are good location ot explore south Tuscany. Have fun !


BOB’S FAVORITE DIGS IN TOSCANA

A. RURAL LOCATIONS: All have parking and good food options nearby

1. Relais La Saracina www.lasaracina.it 230 to 300E
Fabulous country home near Montepulciano—helpful owners

2. Cretaiole Agriturismo http://www.cretaiole.it/ Good value for families

3. Terre di Nano www.terredinano.com 100 to 155
Both rooms and apartments at rural Agriturismo near Monticchiello

4. Hotel Pescille www.pescille.it Good value at a rustic hotel only 3 km from famed San Gimignano with great views---100 to 130E

5. Fattoria Tregole www.fattoria-tregole.com 110E to 180E
Has both B&B and apartment accommodations. Near Castellina in Chianti

6. Agriturismo apts. near San Quirico— www.poggiolo.info/ About 110E


B. IN-TOWN LOCATIONS: For walking convenience to shops & ristorantes.

1. Palazzo del Capitano www.palazzodelcapitano.com 130 to 180E
Very nice small hotel in center of San Quirico—perfect location to explore.

2. Vecchia Oliviera www.tuscany.net/oliviera/ 130 to 180E
Nice 4 star hotel at the gate into lovely Montalcino---has pool.

3. Palazzina Cesari www.montalcinoitaly.com 80 to 110E
Lovely small B&B in heart of Montalcino—great value—2 night stay minimum.

4. Locanda di San Francesco www.locandasanfrancesco.it 180 to 200E
New boutique B&B in a lovely location in Montepulciano—great reviews !

5. Palazzo Ravizza www.palazzoravizza.it 130 to 180E
Very nice & popular hotel in Siena with parking.

6. Fattoria Vignale http://www.vignale.it/eng/ Four star hotel in Radda in the heart of Chianti. About 230E for double
bobthenavigator is offline  
Dec 8th, 2009, 11:16 AM
  #3  
 
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Racer042,
I have a large file on towns in Tuscany. It is too big to post but e-mail me and I will send it. [email protected]
Henry is offline  
Dec 8th, 2009, 11:40 AM
  #4  
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Thanks bobthenavigator, great information. I am a little weird, 9 days is perfect for me, but the super saver awards worked out to 7 days on the ground. I love Montepulciano wines, so that is attractive.
Racer042 is offline  
Dec 8th, 2009, 12:20 PM
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I say listen to Bob, especially about Locanda di San Francesco in Montepulciano!!! Great base of operations.
rbnwdlr is offline  
Dec 8th, 2009, 11:45 PM
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I can also strongly recommend www.appartamentialpoggioplo.it in lovely Montepulciano Good luck!
Peteralan is offline  
Dec 8th, 2009, 11:46 PM
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Sorry that should have been www.appartamentialpoggiolo.
Peteralan is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 03:03 PM
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Hi Racer, I just booked at Terre di Nano after a few weeks of research. You can do a B&B room or a self catering apartment.

We're going October also, see you there!
wrenwood is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 03:33 PM
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sounds like a great trip!

You're probably right that you won't have a problem with the Italian driving style but you may want to brush up on road signs since there are some that are quite different

http://bit.ly/xVVbQ

Also if you enter the cities of Florence or Pisa or Siena with a car be very careful of the "Zona Traffico Limitato", limited traffic zones that take a photo of the license plate and send you a ticket in the mail.

http://bit.ly/CteND

With a car you can hit lots of towns - some of my favorites are Monteriggioni, Siena, Montepulciano as you mentioned, Pienza, Radda in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti, and if you can get over to Cortona, it's worth it. That would be a lot for a week though if you are also doing Florence
MadelineJ is offline  
Dec 9th, 2009, 03:55 PM
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If you plan to spend a night or two in Florence, then I would train there first. Rent your car when you are ready to leave Florence and return at the airport.
kybourbon is online now  
Dec 15th, 2009, 01:20 PM
  #11  
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Madeline and kybourbon, I agree. I am thinking of taking the trains from the FCO airport to the Rome Termini and then Eurostar to Florence. I know a car would just be a hassle in Florence.

I found car rental agencies around the train station.

Thanks for all the tips, I know we are going to have a great time. We are just recovering from our trip to London and Paris!
Racer042 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 01:55 PM
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As far as villa/apartment rentals in that area www.italiancollection.com has some great properties, and offer excellent, personal service. I stayed at Le Macchie last summer and it was just fantastic! They can arrange olive oil tastings there because they make their own, and there are lots of lovely towns nearby for the wine/food/etc.....And I've stayed in some of their Florentine hotels with success and friends recommended them to me, so that's a nice place to look.
Dobermina is offline  
Dec 17th, 2009, 03:00 AM
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There is a nice and growing list of villas and apartments to rent, direct from owner, on Tuscany Rent Direct - worth checking out if you are still looking - http://bit.ly/1CdF9

Where to rent from depends on how much you want to drive. I love tooling around Tuscany and could do so forever - but the highway part from Rome I can easily skip. I think getting the car at the airport though, thus avoiding taxis, buses, trains etc. with your bags - makes it a compelling option.
InFlorence is offline  
Jan 4th, 2010, 06:33 PM
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InFlorence, that 's going to be a hard decision, whether to take the trains from Rome to Florence, or rent the car at the Rome airport. We have used the train from the airport to Florence and have taken Eurostar from Rome to Florence and loved it. Thanks for the Tuscany Rent Direct suggestion.
Racer042 is offline  
Jan 4th, 2010, 06:41 PM
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Racer,

Bobthenavigator always has wonderful places to stay and I would go to one of his recommendations.

If you have a strong desire to go to Florence then you should. I personally don't care that much for Florence because of the crowds, so if it were me I would rent the car at FCO and just go to Tuscany. Take A1 up to Orvieto (see the town) then take S2 up toward Siena until you find your destination.
jnjfraz is offline  
Jan 4th, 2010, 07:01 PM
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We are thinking of staying at Meuble Il Riccio in Montepulciano and I have read that you can rent a car through the hotel for a short term rental.
macdogmom is offline  
Jan 4th, 2010, 07:54 PM
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I would go with the recommendation of someone who has actually stayed, themselves, in the place they claim to recommend, and find out how long ago they personally stayed there. Places in Tuscany have changed rapidly -- and your desire to "live like a local" is getting harder and harder to come by as more and more places in Tuscany gear themselves toward meeting the preferences and expectations of American tourists and their ideas of what "Tuscany" is rather than what Italians know it to be.

Ask for a recent review about when a poster stayed there before you book.

Here are some good websites with very good search filters for accommodations in Toscana. If you want to "live like a local" (or at least like they did before mass foreign tourism) live for a week in an agriturismi that serves you food, preferably with the farmhands!

http://en.agriturismo.it/tuscany/ind...&ristorante=1&

http://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/

http://www.borghitoscani.com/en/farm...ys-tuscany.asp

http://www.bella-toscana.com/agriturismo.htm
stepsbeyond is offline  
Jan 10th, 2010, 10:14 AM
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To macdogmom: I stayed at Meuble Il Riccio last May and I am looking forward to going back this coming May with my husband. The owners, husband and wife, were welcoming and helpful. Expecially when I got there. I was a bit dazed and confused from my drive and a little lost. I stopped at a wine bar just outside the walls, and they were nice enough to call the hotel for me. The owner drove down on his vespa and had me follow him to the hotel. It's small but comfortable and they make you feel at home. I definitely recommend!
rebroc1 is offline  
Jan 10th, 2010, 04:59 PM
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Thanks so much, recbroc1. Just heard back from them and I think I am going ahead and book with them. May stay 3 nights since the room rate is only 100 euros--cheap compared with the other places we will be staying. We are taking the bus, so hopefully we will be dropped off in the town.
macdogmom is offline  
Jan 10th, 2010, 05:06 PM
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>>>We are taking the bus, so hopefully we will be dropped off in the town.<<<
No, you will be dropped at the bus station which is not in town. From the bus station you will need to catch another bus (more like a local shuttle type bus) that runs up to the hilltown.
kybourbon is online now  

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