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Critique my day driving tour in Chianti area?

Critique my day driving tour in Chianti area?

Old Feb 26th, 2006, 05:23 AM
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Critique my day driving tour in Chianti area?

Hi all

any comments, suggestions, places to not miss out on the drive... would be fabulous.

I am going to rent a car one day during my time in Florence. I will take the S222 south to Montalcino, stopping many times along the way (your favorite places to stop - both for wine and views, bring em on!)

I'll make my way back by heading east to Pienza. gotta see many cypress trees - apparently south of there are villages with many tree lined roads such as Monticchiello (found this on slowtrav). is this appreciably south of Pienza?

then from there continue on, and if time permits hit up the outlets or the Mall. if I start at 9 AM in the morning, is it possible to fit this all in during one day? (and hit up the malls on the way back?)

thanks everyone!
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Old Feb 26th, 2006, 05:32 AM
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flygirl,

Sounds like a lot to me..maybe leave off the malls..but then, we may travel slower because the scenery in that area is just so beautiful..we keep stopping!! I would guess from Pienza to Monticchiello is about 15-20 minutes..again, longer for us as we drive it SLOWLY to take in every moment...favorite restaurant in that area is Osteria La Porta in Monticchiello..lunch or dinner on their terrace is a must..you won't soon forget the view OR the food!!
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Old Feb 26th, 2006, 05:44 AM
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That is really 2 day trips. You start in Chianti but then you go to south Tuscany---not easy. Of course, S-222 does not go to Montalcino or even close. Yopu need to make a choice. Either see Chianti, and add San Gimignano, or see south Tuscany. If the latter, then hop on the superstrada and get south of siena in a hurry. You have 2 days here not counting the mall, which is a waste of time.
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Old Feb 26th, 2006, 06:20 AM
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thanks both of you! I should have said "along the S222 first" then off to Montalcino. Definitely to Siena, then further down. according to mappy a straight drive to Montalcino is an hour and a half and of course I'll take a lot longer than that.

But you think it's too much in one day?

how about just down to Siena and back then? (with a visit to Monticchiello as well, and that area).

I am especially interested in this area:

http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/tuscany/cypress_roads.htm
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Old Feb 26th, 2006, 07:04 AM
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Bob, here is a crazy thought. you got me thinking...

I am arriving in Florence Tuesday morning. Leaving for Rome Friday morning.

I could well take off Thursday morning with the car, go down the S222 to Siena and environs... stay overnight in the area (a big WHERE? a place with views, etc etc). and get up Friday morning, continue the trip, and drive to Rome versus take train as I had planned to.

I know a train trip is roughly an hour from Venice. Given where I'll be in Tuscany, am I adding a lot of aggro to my itinerary by bagging the train and driving to Rome from that part of Tuscany? or just drop the car in Tuscany on Friday at some point and train it then...

any scenic advantages to driving to Rome? I'd drop the car immediately upon arrival.

the only hitch is that it could well rain on Thursday or Friday, so doing it the other way gives me more flexibility against a possible rain day.
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Old Feb 26th, 2006, 07:23 AM
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We did a day long drive in this area in 2004 and it was one of the highlights of our trip. We were staying near Greve in Chianti. We followed the "Souther Tuscany" drive featured on the slowtrav website. I really wanted to see Sant Antimo abbey and we times our trip to get there to hear the monks chant. We drove down past Siena, went south through Asciano toward Montalchino. We did not stop in Montalchino or Maggiore Abbey due to time. If we had started earlier, we could have.

We headed back north through some very hilly territory toward Pienza. On the way we did stop in that tiny village Monticchiello and saw the view of the cypress lined road.

This could indeed be several days if you wanted to stop at all of the places mentioned and others. We also went to Montepulciano on another day and loved that as well.

The day we had was in the 70s and brilliantly sunny. It was like a dream and I would highly recommend seeing this area of Tuscany (south of siena, the crete)

Keep in mind my husband LOVES to drive. Some of the roads south of the abbey heading back up to Pienza were very hilly and narrow.

I purchased a local map in advance from the INintaly site. They have regional maps that i followed religiously and marked in advance. Fodors also has a series of books "Best Loved Driving Tours of Tuscany and Umbria" that has this route described.

I would say no to the malls but that is because we arent big shoppers and for me, it would ruin the mood.

I hope you have fun.

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Old Feb 28th, 2006, 11:09 AM
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I don't recommend trying to go all the way from Florence to Montalcino and back in one day. It's easy to do if you don't stop or look out the window much, but is that the aim? You could do Florence to Sienna and back - the halfway point is Panzano www.panzano.com and one of the most spectacular panoramas may be enjoyed from the Ristoro di Lamole www.lamole.info - their food is unusually good - and believe me there are lots on cypresses on the road leading from SS 222 to Lamole. I wasn't sure what you meant by Mall - the big Coop supermarkets (there's a big one in Montevarchi and a smaller one in Figline). Well, everyone to his own taste. By all means keep the car and stay over south of Sienna. The drive from there to Rome is spectacular by any number of routes - Orvieto for example www.orvieto.ch
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Old Feb 28th, 2006, 12:07 PM
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Constant - thanks - I've already extended this portion of the trip to 2 days/2 nights.
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Old Mar 4th, 2006, 09:27 PM
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recommendation for where to stay in Sienna (its not cheap)-special!
http://www.certosadimaggiano.com
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Old Mar 4th, 2006, 10:09 PM
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flygirl -

I'm curious about the car rental agency you're using. The couple I checked had 3 day minimum's and we may be interested in a one day car rental as well. Can you share agency and cost?

Thanks!
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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 01:48 AM
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erm, well, I hadn't actually secured the car yet. try expedia though, I imagine you can get a 2 day rental!
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Old Mar 6th, 2006, 10:03 AM
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flygirl -- Thanks for posting back. I also see the other driving thread you posted on as well, thanks for watching out for me I think we've decided to hire a driver for the day and set our itinerary according to our interests. We've specifically chosen a smaller family owned vinyard as well as larger estate to visit and none of us wants to volunteer to be designated drivers Buon viaggio!
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