Best "home base" in Tuscany

Nov 6th, 2005, 03:41 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Best "home base" in Tuscany

Just wondering if anyone has any recommendations re: the the best town to stay in the Tuscan region. We are planning on 3-4 days in the area and we figure we may stay in one place and maybe rent a car to see the neighouring sites. Also,any tips on great accommodations would be appreciated. Thanks.
LittleBella is offline  
Nov 6th, 2005, 04:31 PM
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We stayed for 4 days and nights just outside of San Quirico d'Orcia and thought it was ideal. We visited that town, Pienza, Montalcino, Bagno Vignoni, Montepulciano, Siena and the Abbey of San Antimo. Great views, history, art, and food everywhere. We stayed in a largish rental house, but if there are more than two of you, you might like this villa where we were:
tuscanlifeedit is online now  
Nov 6th, 2005, 04:33 PM
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After considerable research, we chose to base near Montalcino in the lovely Val d'Orcia for our one week stay.

We enjoyed the villa at an agriturismo, but on reflection, we'd have been better off locating ourselves closer to Siena and much more centrally positioned.

So that's my recommendation...
TuckH is offline  
Nov 6th, 2005, 04:47 PM
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We also stayed in the general area of the Val d'Orcia. Specifically, we stayed at La Saracina, which is a restored farmhouse on a hill between Pienza and Montepulciano. A spectacular property and a very convenient location for exploring the Tuscan Valley.

Anna Roz
anna_roz is offline  
Nov 6th, 2005, 07:42 PM
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I'm not surprised the Val d'Orcia has alsready gotten the most "votes". It's the most beautiful place in Tuscany and has scenery most identified with Tuscany.

As for which town to stay near, all the suggestions are good. My own preference is toward Pienza, although I just got back from a week at the Sant' Antonio resort right near Montepulciano. We enjoyed it very much.

Also, you might want to check out my own web site which describes several trips to Italy, including of course, Tuscany.
sssteve is offline  
Nov 6th, 2005, 09:39 PM
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Just back ourselves after 9 days in Tuscany and would also highly recommend the Val d'Orcia. In particular, we stayed for two of the nights right in the town of Montalcino at a great B&B called the Palazzina Cesira - excellent accomodations with extremely friendly and helpful hosts. There are some great restaurants as well right in town so you can walk to dinner at night which is nice after driving around during the day...

kevin_widrow is offline  
Dec 5th, 2005, 10:17 AM
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I loved the Palazzo Capitano in San Quirico d'Orcia. I will always use it as a home base for Tuscany.
krissy66 is offline  
Dec 5th, 2005, 05:59 PM
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I thought Siena was incredible and perfect for us as a base. We didn't even have a car last time, but it was still easy to get around. Plus, I thought Siena itself was fabulous and had many terrific restaurants.
artlover is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 03:50 AM
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Try renting a small place in Fiesole, just outside of Firenze. From here, you will have access by public bus to Firenze, and by rental car to Siena, San Gimignano, the Chianti region, and the hotsprings (terme) in the area. You will be out of the traffic of Firenze, but nearby for shopping/etc. if you want to see the sights.
Just a thought!
Dec 6th, 2005, 04:37 AM
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Don't mean to hijack this but what's the best time of year to see pretty plants as well?
donco is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 08:47 AM
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Hi there! The lillies, Firenze's civic flower, comes out in around May/June. The countryside is also full of spring/summer flowers. Towards the mid to end summer, there are lots of sunflowers (in Italian, they are called girifiori, which literally means "turning flowers"!) in the country, and the countryside is often painted with the fields in the background, with either wildflowers or girifiori in the foreground). The fall shows a second sprout of flowers, and the vines are full of grapes for harvest at that time. Not much to report from October-March, except the leaves of the trees turn color. Personally, we are very close to the official start of winter (21 December-31 March), and if you took a picture of the countryside, I would be hard pressed to identify the season!!! But, that's just me. So, in short, for wild flowers, try spring and fall, and the summer/fall is great to see cultivated fields of flowers.
Just my experience!!!!
Dec 6th, 2005, 12:08 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 515
Thanks, freiamaya for flower info. LittleBella, sorry for digressing. I too think Florence is a good "jumping off" point for travel in the area. DH and I are train people so can't say for driving. Have heard that traffic in Florence can be squirrely.
donco is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 12:16 PM
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Palazzo del Capitano in St. Quirico is my favorite hotel. The town makes a perfect base, and the hotel has a wonderful garden in the back to relax after hill town tripping and also has a really good restaurant. Their breakfast is top-notch, also. It cost 150 euros a night, and there are rooms a little cheaper, too.

I can't think of a better place for the buck.
maitaitom is offline  

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