Central vs Southern Tuscany

Aug 5th, 2011, 01:58 PM
  #1  
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Central vs Southern Tuscany

We are planning a trip to Italy next May. We'll be in Tuscany for ~3.5 days. We are trying to decide where is the best location for us to base ourselves in, so we don't need to spend a lot of time driving. It sounds like a lot of people like central Tuscany in the Chianti region, there is also a big group that favor southern Tuscany, like Montepuciano. Where are the major differences between the two areas, and which area would you guys recommend for first timers? Also, we'll be looking for lodging, preferably in rural areas, so i welcome any recommendation.

FWIW, we like exploring local sites & sounds, enjoy wine and photography. We are in good physical condition and don't mind the hills or long days to get around. It would be nice to sit down and relax in a square somewhere, but we also get bored easily sitting around for too long.

Thanks!
bkyp79 is offline  
Aug 5th, 2011, 02:12 PM
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We much prefer the area south of Siena and the Val d,Orcia, but parts of Chianti can be OK for a first timer. If you are serious about the photography then most of the coffee table books you have seen for Tuscany are mostly south Tuscany.

Here are some places to stay--note I do have 4 of them in Chianti as well.

BOB’S FAVORITE DIGS IN TUSCANY
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
Isabella also has 2 apts. in Castelmuzio for rent—wonderful—see her site.

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

4. Casanova di Pescille http://www.casanovadipescille.com/ 100E
Rural B&B 3 KM from famed San Gimignano—we loved the views of San Gim.

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

7. New historic B&B north of Pienza. http://www.camprena.it/index.htm
Site of filming for THE ENGLISH PATIENT About 90E for double

8. http://www.borgoargenina.it/index.html A special rural B&B in Chianti.
The lovely owner, Elena, will make you feel like family. 170E for double

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

1. Palazzo del Capitano www.palazzodelcapitano.com 170 to 210E
Very nice small hotel in center of San Quirico—perfect location to explore.

2. Vecchia Oliviera www.vecchiaoliviera.com/ 150 to 200E
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. Politian apartments http://www.politian.com/ Good value apts. with
minimum stay of 3 nights in Montepulciano---helpful host---85E

6. Palazzo Ravizza www.palazzoravizza.it 170 to 250E
Very nice & popular hotel in Siena with parking.

7. Fattoria Vignale http://www.vignale.it/eng/ Four star hotel in Radda in the heart of Chianti. About 230E for double
bobthenavigator is offline  
Aug 5th, 2011, 02:27 PM
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bkyp,
This might help http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/tuscany/hs_planning.htm
Henry is offline  
Aug 5th, 2011, 03:37 PM
  #4  
 
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Here are some images in Tuscany and most of Italy.

http://www.slowphotos.com/photo/show...y.php?cat=3827
bobthenavigator is offline  
Aug 5th, 2011, 04:55 PM
  #5  
 
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Both areas of Tuscany are beautiful, but have a different feel. In general, the Chianti area has lots of rolling hills, forest, and winding roads. Southern Tuscany is more open, with long vistas and less traffic. The area around Montepulciano and Pienza is (IMHO) one the most scenic places in Europe. I would be happy with either part of Tuscany however!
zootsi is offline  
Aug 5th, 2011, 08:30 PM
  #6  
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Thanks for inputs! Bob, those pictures are breathtaking, I hope we are lucky enough to see some of those views on our trip.

Given we are in Northern California and have easy access to winery and rolling hills, I am thinking we try the southern Tuscany route this time. I'll check out the places Bob suggested this weekend. It seems like there are a number of great places, so it'll be difficult to narrow it down for sure.
bkyp79 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 02:57 AM
  #7  
 
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I would definitely go with southern Tuscany - the Val d'Orcia is breathtaking. Bob, your accommodation choices are wonderful!
txtree is offline  
Aug 6th, 2011, 06:01 AM
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Mille grazie !
Click on my name to find a trip report from last May when we spent a week in south Tuscany--note the La Porta sojourn.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 12:12 PM
  #9  
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I am debating between Terre di Nano and Fonte Bertusi. It looks like both are pretty highly recommended on the board and similar in price.

Any first hand experience between the two you guys are aware of?

Thank!
bkyp79 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 02:05 PM
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I've stayed at Fonte Bertusi 5 times and I will continue to return. The location is fantastic- beautiful views all around, easy access to the road between the nearby towns of Pienza and San Quirico d'Orcia, and very central for exploring the region. The hosts are lovely. Great pool area, breakfast room, and wine room. The only meal they serve is breakfast, which is well done with lots of choices and served in a beautiful room with a view. Each apartment has a private porch and the apartments are well maintained.

I have not stayed at Terre di Nano but I have driven past the driveway leading to it. The location seems good, but not as quick and easy access to the road as Fonte Bertusi. It looks very nice. I could be wrong, but it looks like the apartments have more interior and patio space at Terre Di Nano than at Fonte Bertusi.

I don't think you can go wrong with either. I hope this helps!
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