Debating Tuscan, Umbrian Hotels

Mar 18th, 2013, 06:52 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Debating Tuscan, Umbrian Hotels

This posting is a bit premature as our May 2014 trip is in the early planning stages, but I have been trying to piece together a plan and am having a hard time choosing between various accommodations.

A little background... My husband and I are in our late 30s/early 40s and have limited time available for vacation. Years ago, we visited Florence and Sienna, but have not spent time elsewhere in Tuscany and have never been to Umbria. When we travel we enjoy experiencing/exploring art, history, great food and local culture (and just getting some R&R).

Generally, we look for small accommodations that have a sense of local character, great food, an informal feeling, and warm and helpful owners (preferably Italian owners on this trip). While we do sometimes stay at places that are a bit upscale, we try to avoid ones that have a sterile luxurious feel and prefer ones with character.

Sadly, we can only spare about 6 nights in Tuscany/Umbria. I'm considering basing ourselves part of the time in Val D'Orcia and part of the time in Umbria (but I'm not wedded to that idea). I know it would probably be best to just stay put in one hotel for those 6 nights, but I do like to move around a little and experience different areas and the hospitality of different hosts. At this point, we're considering...
Il Locando di San Francesco (in Montepulciano),
Il Fontanaro (in Paciano),
La Palazzetta del Vescovo (near Todi), or
Casa Fabbrini (in San Casciano dei Bagni).

All of them have strong appeal -- but each also has some drawbacks. Would love to hear (read) thoughts on any of them in particular or on any of the locations as a base. I apologize for writing such a long-winded post!

Thank you in advance for sharing your opinions and insights!
ah123 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2013, 07:26 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We stayed at Genus Loci in Bevagna, Umbria. Very easy to get to Assisi, Spello, Montefalco and also Todi and Spoleto. We loved the hosts, American married to an Italian but the inn is run by their son, Michael. We arrived at night and were speechless upon seeing the view in the morning, mist over rolling hills. Their delicious breakfasts are out on the patio with the same view. We thought we'd enjoy staying in a hill town, but this area just kept drawing us when we were planning and could not have selected a more perfect location and inn. A perfect start to our 2 week vacation.
gailscout is offline  
Mar 18th, 2013, 07:31 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I agree---the combination of Locanda San Francesco and Genius Loci would be perfect for me. Both are well managed upscale B&Bs in great locations. The contrast on in-town versus rural makes it even better.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Mar 18th, 2013, 07:54 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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SInce you have an interest in the Val D'Orcia, you might read War in Val D'Orcia: An Italian War Diary, 1943-1944 as you plan. It really gave an historical perspective to that area. While we stayed in Bevagna for 4 days, we did day trips to Assisi, Norcia, Spello as well as driving over to Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoregio one day. Looking back, I would have stayed 3 days in Bevagna and 3 days in the Val D'Orcia. Don't miss 'storybook' Civita near Bagnoregio. The 360 degree views at sunset are unforgettable! Thanks for the names of the 4 places you are looking at as we are planning to stay in the Val soon as well.
gailscout is offline  
Mar 18th, 2013, 08:25 PM
  #5  
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Thank you both for the wonderful suggestions. I hadn't considered Bevagna because I had thought it wouldn't have the views of some of the hill towns. I'll have to reconsider. So many decisions... but all good ones to have to make!
ah123 is offline  

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