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Apartment in small town or village in Tuscany recommendation

Apartment in small town or village in Tuscany recommendation

Old Nov 1st, 2009, 01:10 PM
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Apartment in small town or village in Tuscany recommendation

Looking for recommendations for an apartment (actually two) for a week in June 2010 in a small town or village in Tuscany. We will need four bedrooms so it looks more likely, given my research so far, that we will need two 2-bedroom apartments.

We want to be in a small town, small enough that we feel comfortable sending our teenagers (13, 13 and 16) out on their own sometimes but large enough for us to have a selection of restaurants and shops. We will have a car but don't mind parking it and walking/taking the bus/taking the train. In fact, we'd like to be close to a train station. A couple of places we are thinking about so far are Cortona and Lucignano. Any thoughts or suggestions?
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Old Nov 1st, 2009, 02:12 PM
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If you are wanting to visit small towns, you will need to use your car. While you may find a few towns with train stations (not many), the connections will be mostly to cities such as Florence or Siena. Many of the small towns are served only by bus, but connections are not such that you can easily get around the hill towns because there will be gaps in their schedules and leave you stuck at times. Siena Mobilita has the bus schedules for much of Tuscany.
http://www.sienamobilita.it/EN/index.html

I was going to suggest some apartments in Pienza as the town is small enough to let the kids wander and it's easy to drive in and out. There is no train station though, but a few bus connections.
http://www.ilgiardinosegretopienza.it/
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Old Nov 1st, 2009, 03:37 PM
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Thanks for the reply, kybourbon. I guess I wasn't clear in stating what we have planned. We will have a car, and certainly plan to use that when/if we visit other towns in the region. But we'd like to be near a train station for arrival/departure, and in case we want to make a day trip to Florence or similar. Bus is something we probably wouldn't use, unless to/from the train station.

I like the look of the apartments in Pienza - that's what we're looking for, just something more convenient to train.
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Old Nov 1st, 2009, 04:02 PM
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Go to slowtrav.com and look at reviews in south Tuscany---there are dozens of good options. Get your car in Chiusi.
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Old Nov 1st, 2009, 04:17 PM
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Thanks, bobthenavigator - I have looked at Slowtrav and inquired about a couple of places I found there; it's always nice to hear from you folks here about your experiences, many of which are more recent.

Last time we were in the region, we got our car in Arezzo - do you have someone in Chiusi that you like?
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Old Nov 1st, 2009, 04:43 PM
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I would suggest Montepulciano as an option as well--small and safe enough to allow your kids independence but still has a variety of options for restaurants. It is also located well for exploring the surrounding areas. Check the Politian or Polizano apartments.
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Old Nov 1st, 2009, 04:54 PM
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Hi Penny,

Consider apartments in Montepulciano or an agriturismo within walking distance (parking will be easier). You will be 30 minutes by car from Chiusi where you can take the train.

This agriturismo is located on a hill within walking distance of Montepulciano-

http://www.montorio.com/uk-home.htm

Check autoeurope.com or kemwel.com for cars to rent in Chiusi. Be sure to consider deductables as well as the price.

Where will you be coming from before arriving in Tuscany?
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Old Nov 1st, 2009, 04:56 PM
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Sorry--Polizano should have been Poggiolo. These are in Montepulciano.
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Old Nov 1st, 2009, 05:52 PM
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Pienza is only a few miles further than Montepulciano (8 miles apart).
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Old Nov 1st, 2009, 06:30 PM
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We stayed at an agritourismo just outside Montalcino and had a wonderful experience. They have a pool for the kids and an onsite restaurant as well. We did drive into Montalcino nearly every day for coffee and did a walking tour one day, a day or so touring vineyards, a visit to San Antimo abbey, etc. Our boys were 15 and 17 when we were there.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 12:46 AM
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Agree with lovely Montepulciano and specifically www.appartamentialpoggiolo.it.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 05:11 AM
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Arezzo is fine--depending what direction you are coming from. Just use Autoeurope or Kemwel as your broker.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 06:34 AM
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I think you need to rethink your prejudice against buses. Long distance buses in Italy, and in Europe in general, are very modern and comfortable. And sometimes more convenient than trains. For example, if making a day trip to Siena from Florence, it's better to take the bus because it drops you in the historic center of Siena -- whereas the train leaves you outside the walls looking for a taxi.

For southern Tuscany, the train isn't of much use. Buses do go around this area, though not necessarily on a tourist-friendly schedule.

So, yes, look for a car rental near a train station, but after that you can stay in a trainless small town. Sounds like you don't want to be in an agriturismo, out in the middle of the countryside.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 12:23 PM
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Thanks, everyone, for the replies - much appreciated - esp the great links! Montepulciano seems to keep popping up, doesn't it? I have looked at the Apartmenti al Poggiolo before - will keep that in mind if we don't find something we like in Cortona or similar.
Zoecat, we'll be arriving from France - no plans yet on whether we're going to fly or take the train, thus one of the reasons we'd like to be relatively convenient to a train station. Getting into the city center of Florence by train seems quite convenient, and that will probably be our main train day trip...
But we definitely want to be in a small town rather than near a town. No prejudice against buses, just don't think we'll use them much this trip.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 01:26 PM
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I must say we preferred Montepulciano to Cortona but that may not be everyone's opinion.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 02:09 PM
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We want to be in a small town, small enough that we feel comfortable sending our teenagers (13, 13 and 16) out on their own sometimes.>>

perhaps we were a little lax but when we stayed in Rome, our DS, then 14, took it upon himself to go out every morning to get the breakfast from the cafe opposite. he knew virtually no italian but got by by pointing and smiling a lot.

I'm sure that your teens will be fine.

Pienza loks like a very nice place for a family stay.

have a great trip,

regards, ann
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 02:09 PM
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I agree---I think Montepulciano is a great location.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 04:14 PM
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Appartamenti al Poggilio seem to be booked up during our time frame - any other specific apartment recommendations for Montepulciano? I've googled and done a search here but found nothing exactly like what we're looking for - two 2-bedroom apts, in same bldg or nearby, in town only, 700-800 euros per week.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2009, 05:30 PM
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Too bad and actually quite surprising RE Al Poggiolo being booked up. Elena and Margherita have done an exceptional job of converting those properties. We stayed circa 2005 and loved it.

We have also stayed in this 2 bed 2 bath 2 storey apt in Montepulciano and can recommend it highly:
http://www.vrbo.com/33620

As for your preference for Lucignano or Cortona:

I don't quite see either as a great staging point for visiting S or E Tuscany. Cortona holds my interest for about 2 hours -- and it's on the top of that damn hill, accessible only by driving through the rather sordid community below "old" Cortona. And it's not really on the road to anywhere -- though not far from Arezzo, Trasimeno, Perugia.

Lucignano is a gem but like real gems it is very small. You can exhaust its possibilities in an hour.

Have you checked out La Foce (www.lafoce.com)? It is in the country, not in a town, but there is at least a decent restaurant within walking distance, called Oasi la Foce.

It may not be suitable for you if you want to be in, rather than near, a town (Chiusi and M'pulciano are each about 6 km). But the place is so romantic and special that you might consider it.
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Old Nov 9th, 2009, 01:40 PM
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Well, after more research, emails and phone calls, we have a couple of options. The two apartments we have found in Montepulciano are lovely and so is the town. We have also found two apartments in San Quirico D'Orcia, which are nice (though not AS nice!), and about half as expensive as the Montepulciano ones. The company in San Q is one I have never come across - Verdidea - anyone out there deal with them before?
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