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The Lowes Oct 12th, 1997 09:53 AM

Culinary Tour thru Tuscany
Am beginning to plan fall '98 trip to Tuscany. Would like to encorporate villa lodging, culinary adventures, and occasional side trips to Florence, etc. Want to avoid the beaten path but no desire to rough it. First hand info or suggestions would be welcomed! Thanks!

Tom Oct 12th, 1997 03:44 PM

In addition to Florence, Plan on seeing Sienna and neighboring San Gimignano - furhter off hte beaten path. Pisa has some interesting sights (beyond the tower) as well. Lastly, if time permits, consider seeing Lucca or Arezzo.

Rob Oct 12th, 1997 06:57 PM

Try staying at Locanda Amerosa in Sinalunga, its striking distance to lower Tuscany, (Sienna, Montalcino, Montilpulciano and more) and it has a great retaurant. Then for the Chianti region 2 nites at Castello Spaltena in Giolle in Chianti. Nearby also in Giolle is Badia ColtoBuono. (Vinyard and Restaurant).Both hotels strategicaly located 4**** hotels with fine cuisine.

Mary Oct 13th, 1997 06:42 AM

Hi Lowes--I just returned from Tuscany and wanted to offer some suggestions; I don't know if this would interest you but we just took a Backroads walking tour of Tuscany which had an emphasis on great food and terrific places to stay; it was a wonderful combination of seeing the countryside by walking and indulging at night (many companies offer these tours). We are not "organized tour" people by any means but we had a fabulous time with this group and recommend it highly. We stayed at the Castellina mentioned above--it was wonderful (the town is spelled Gaiole, fyi). Another fun place we stayed (with great food at their restaurant) was Vescine which used to be a medieval village and is now a hotel with rooms in what were the houses of the village). In San Giminagno, we stayed at L'Antico Pozzo which was lovely (it only has 3 stars but it was as nice as the 4 stars we stayed in later). Besides touring around Chianti, I would also take a day and drive down to Siena and the surrounding hill towns (Montalcino,etc.)

Even if you have no interest in a walking tour, the catalogs and web sites of these companies list the hotels they stay in and they were all great with an emphasis on great food.

anabel Oct 14th, 1997 07:12 AM

We were in Tuscany this past summer. It was glorious. Driving around the smaller towns, the fantastic sunflower fields, the food, etc. In Florence, we stayed at Torre di Bellosguardo which is a gem of a place. Medieval, historic, refined & gorgeous. Ask for a room of Firenze and you will never want to leave. Firenze. About 20 minutes away in Cerbaia, eat at La Tenda Rossa! Magnificent food and service. If you stay at Locanda della'Amorossa, please go to La Chiusa in Montefollonico and have the best dinner or lunch of your life! After your meal, step outside and admire the valley below with a view of Montepulciano, and you will start planning your next trip.

BOB THE NAVIGATOR Oct 20th, 1997 03:06 AM

Boun giorno Lowes, Wow, we just returned from
our 5th trip to Italy and did the " farm villa in Tuscany" thing for the first time. Loved the experience of not having to move around. Location is the key. Tuscany is a large area and
is best seen from more than one location---so the
choice of a north or south orientation will decide
your day trip options. If you want some specific
advice then contact me directly. I have planned
more than 30 trips for people like you, and this
area calls for good planning.

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