Agriturismo Florence, Verona areas?

Jan 4th, 2015, 12:15 PM
  #21  
 
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wrenwood, sorry for sending your thread into a detour and wanted to ask you if had contacted Villa Campestri directly or just look on the web to determine if they were full? I would contact them directly if you haven't already.
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Jan 4th, 2015, 03:01 PM
  #22  
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I did contact them directly via email, I always do that when possible. I love the personal contact and I like getting a feeling of the people working there.

I think we are booking here, it seems to tick all the right boxes, and they kindly offered a 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment for my brother and his family, even though we are only staying one night. Trip Advisor loves them, and their email correspondence has been prompt, thorough and friendly. It's almost exactly half way to Seefeld.

http://www.villabelpoggio.it/en/

Now I just need to figure out a great place to stop for lunch (outside dining with view) Montepulciano is obvious, going to see if I can find some other possibilities.

Sandra, you are a wealth of knowledge, were you born in Italy?
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Jan 4th, 2015, 03:38 PM
  #23  
 
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Place looks great and in a tranquil little corner of Tuscany.

For lunch, if you are willing to swing west, Boccon di Vino in Montalcino has spectacular views from its terrace.

http://www.boccondivinomontalcino.it/boccondivino/

I was born in Queens, NYC and have not a drop of Italian blood.
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Jan 4th, 2015, 03:43 PM
  #24  
 
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bookmarking
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Jan 4th, 2015, 03:52 PM
  #25  
 
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We had a wonderful experience at the Villa Dianella, outside of Vinci (http://www.villadianella.it/country-...r-florence.php). We did our dinners in Vinci with a spectacular view of the Tuscan country side. Villa Dianella does a brisk wedding reception trade, so I suggest avoiding weekends.
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Jan 4th, 2015, 03:57 PM
  #26  
 
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Also take a look at reviews for La Locanda della Chiocciola in Orte for a lunch spot. People say the views are lovely, and it has a terrace restaurant -- which I am not certain is open for lunch on Mondays. However, it right off the highway and a shorter drive from Ravello than is Montalcino, so you could leave later in the morning and not feel pressured about possibly missing the lunch hour if you hit traffic enroute.
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Jan 5th, 2015, 12:49 PM
  #27  
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Have emailed several places to confirm they serve lunch on Tuesdays.

At the moment I'm thinking La Grotta outside the walls of Montepulciano. Anyone know what the views are? The pictures that I have see show a lovely shaded terrace. Of course just driving towards Montepulciano is impressive enough.

I am getting a little freaked out by the thought of Tour Busses in the most popular spots. We have only been to Italy in September and October. Will Tuscany be mobbed the end of June?
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Jan 5th, 2015, 01:36 PM
  #28  
 
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>>Will Tuscany be mobbed the end of June?<<

Yes.
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Jan 6th, 2015, 05:05 AM
  #29  
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So, any suggestions for Hill Towns that would give my family a taste of Tuscany that would be less popular for the tour busses?
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Jan 6th, 2015, 09:59 AM
  #30  
 
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Certainly the one in Orte that I suggested is not a tourist mega-hot spot, but one of the things that makes your question tricky is that you never know if the "out of the way" agriturismo you book for lunch also serves bus tour groups. It is very common.

Don't know if Boccon di Vino is one of the restaurants you contacted to find if they are open on Mondays, but it actually sits almost a kilometer outside of Montalcino, down a semi-private road, and its price structure and history makes it not the kind of place typically on the agenda for bus tour groups.

Il Falconiere in Cortona -- despite Cortona's immense popularity with tourists -- might also be the kind of restaurant that isn't interested in tour group arrangements.

But I think what you might do is instead give your crowd a choice: Offer them the chance to drive thought the famous, iconic landscape of the val d'Orcia and warn them it might be dotted with coach tour busses and caravans, and that your restaurant-with-a-view-for-lunch might have loads of tourists at the other tables --

or

you can offer to find an easy, off the highway spot that is really not on the tourist radar (like Orte or other unknowns) that will dishing up simple food outdoors, and maybe the view won't be "calendar ready" and who knows who might be eating with you, but you will be on your way to a grander dinner and wine with a view later on at the place you are staying.

By the way, I think your choice of lodgings is a bit off the typical tourist track, and in a quiet, relatively unknown corner of Tuscany.
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Jan 6th, 2015, 10:32 AM
  #31  
 
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I would certainly second Il Falconiere.

Beautifully restored, great restaurant, wonderful views and excellent wine produced by the proprietor. It is not cheap although in October it did do a deal on the Groupon Italian site.

I have been a number of times but I have been told not to rely on Satnav to get there as the directions are unreliable. Look out for the hotel signposts.
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Jan 6th, 2015, 11:41 AM
  #32  
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Yes, we like quiet and out of the way. Two of my favorite memories are from Soglio and Tarasp, waking up at night and looking out the open window at the moon and stars and hearing nothing but the rustle of leaves in the breeze, and the occasional Owl.

I will email Boccon di Vino after January 12, they have a note on their website that they are closed until then.

Sorry, I wasn't very clear about the tour busses. Tentative plan is to eat at La Grotta or Buccon di Vino, and then I was looking for suggestions for an interesting (but not too many tour busses!) place to stop on our way to Villa Belpoggio.

I thought of Arezzo, we haven't been there. Don't know if it will be packed with people.

Thought of Monteriggoni, and then driving through Chianti on the way to Belpoggio. We have been to Monteriggoni, and we stayed in Castellina in Chianti, but it might be interesting for them.

One of my nieces would love a Castle, my brother would love an old Monastery or Abbey.

Still have some towns/ideas to research, but would love any suggestions!
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Jan 6th, 2015, 12:05 PM
  #33  
 
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If you eat at Boccon di Vino you can go up the road to the impressive abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, with its beautiful frescoed cloisters.

Maybe Barone Ricasoli (castello di Brolio) is not too far out of your way, although maybe too time consuming and expensive for a guided tour. You could check their website. (I think they are too far to drive for lunch if you are starting in Ravello. You should plan to go after lunch).
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Jan 6th, 2015, 12:41 PM
  #34  
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Monte Oliveto Maggiore is a possibility.

What about Civita in Val di Chiana? Ruined Castle in town with great views, anyone know what the town is like?

Sandra, your thoughts on Arezzo?
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Jan 6th, 2015, 01:11 PM
  #35  
 
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Kind of an aside, but it was interesting to see Villa Belpoggio come up in a thread. About 10 years ago, I wrote an article about it for an internal corporate publication of the company for which I worked at the time. The owner was a retired executive of that company who had purchased the property a few years earlier, restored it and had recently opened it for business at the time I interviewed him. The photos looked lovely and I’d mentally bookmarked it at the time as a place I’d like to visit someday, but it eventually fell off my radar—until reading this thread. I’m not sure if it has the same owner today, but the reviews look terrific. I hope you’ll share your experience after you visit!
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Jan 6th, 2015, 01:40 PM
  #36  
 
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I think Arezzo is too difficult to get in and out of in general, but especially since you will already have had such a long drive. It is surrounded by a lot of modern sprawl you would need to navigate, and you'd probably need to find parking fairly far from the center, and on a hot day, trudging around might not be so much fun. It is a marvelous town to stay in for a night or 2 or 10, but as a day trip with a car, not easy.

I don't know what your niece's idea of a castle is because, as you know, just about every town in Tuscany has a castle. Is a ruined castle okay with her? There is an impressive military-type castle right in Montalcino, right up the road from Boccon di Vino (but definitely "up", and walking is all uphill), but I believe it is closed on Mondays. Still, she can gawk. There is also another defensive castle in Trequanda, with an an outstanding small church associated with it (that is not far from Montalcino). Don't know if you can easily get in.

http://www.castellitoscani.com/italian/trequanda.htm

You can just do a google search for "beautiful castles in Tuscany" and probably get long lists and pictures, and find one convenient to your ultimate lunch choice. The most storybook castles are likely to have bus tour presence.
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Jan 6th, 2015, 02:12 PM
  #37  
 
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Castello di Gabbiano is quite near your hotel and has great views, and really looks like a classic Tuscan wine castle. It's a b&b, but it is also a highly regarded winery with a tasting cellar, so you should be able to go inside at least part of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_qXK9bxP7w
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Jan 6th, 2015, 04:41 PM
  #38  
 
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"Monte Oliveto Maggiore is a possibility."

Note the open/closed hours:

http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/tuscany/monte_oliveto.htm
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Jan 7th, 2015, 12:06 PM
  #39  
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Thanks Jean, I guess our timing would not be very good for Monte Oliveto Maggiore

Ms_go, I just got my confirmation from Belpoggio, so I emailed them your comment. I cannot believe that we won't be thrilled with Belpoggio, they have been excellent on correspondence, and as you said, the rooms all look lovely. We will be eating dinner there also.

Sandra, my niece LOVES ruined Castles. When we were in England the ruined ones were the favorites, she and her sister were exploring everywhere.

However an extensive, unshaded uphill climb at the end of June, in the afternoon, would definitely not be appreciated by the "older folks"
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Jan 7th, 2015, 02:45 PM
  #40  
 
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Why can't you go to Monte Oliveto Maggiore? They are open for 3 hours after lunch in summer, and the abbey is quite easy to get to from most of southern Tuscany.

http://www.monteolivetomaggiore.it/o..._apertura.html

If your nice likes ruined castles, then Civitella is no doubt the easiest. It's an hour's drive beyond the abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, so you could see both on the way to Belpoggio.
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