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First Time Visit to Tusacany- Stay in Chianti area or Southern Tuscany?

First Time Visit to Tusacany- Stay in Chianti area or Southern Tuscany?

Jul 18th, 2004, 09:13 AM
  #1  
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First Time Visit to Tusacany- Stay in Chianti area or Southern Tuscany?

We will be visiting Tuscany, Italy for one week next June. I cannot decide whether we should stay in the Chianti region or Southern Tuscany.

We want beautiful scenery and nearby hillside towns to visit. I would prefer that the area is not too terribly crowded but I do understand it is Italy in the summer, so there will be other tourists, like us. We will rent a car.

My friend loves wine, so we would like to visit some nearby wineries.

Which area sounds best for us? Can you make any suggestions for apartments or agritourisimos that are moderately priced?

Thanks for your help! Laurie
Laurie is offline  
Jul 18th, 2004, 09:23 AM
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We could not decide either because both areas are terrific and not very far apart. So we opted to split the time between Castellina in Chianti and Montalcino.

We were very happy with that decision because we were able to spend time in a hilltown and also have the experience of staying smack in the middle of a vineyard in Castellina.

All the scenery is beautiful. I thought Southern Tuscany was the most beautiful and my husband's loved the Chianti country terrain better.

As for wine, this area is the heart of Chianti and Brunello country...and if your friend loves wine, you can't ask for more than that. If you do a search on vineyards or wineries, you will find lots of information. Here are two previous threads where I posted information on two tours we took as well as others:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=2

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=2

Recommendations for a place to stay would depend on what you are looking for: an in-town experience, a B&B, a hotel, etc. as well as the cost. Try looking through the Fodor's recommendations and also try www.Tuscany.net which I found helpful because it gives a nice overview of what types of accommodations are available by star category and by location.

Hope this helps getting you started.
Lorac1127 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2004, 04:11 AM
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Both offer what your looking for in the ways of wine & hilltowns. Possibly the biggest difference bewteen the two is the terrain. Chianti has stepper slopes & grades on the hills, more winding roads. Much of the land that is not planted with vines is wooded. Souther Tuscany is more of a rolling hill terrain, allthough the area around Mt. Amiata , is much steeper & wooded. The farm land not planted with vines, which is a large amount, is typically grasses/wheat of some type and grazing land. If your going in early June, the fields will be a lush green with wildflowers, late June , the grasses begin to change to brown. My personal preference for scenic beauty is the Chianti region. You could also stay on the border between Chianti & southern Tuscany. You could even rent farmhouses on the southern slopes of Chianti overlooking the plains to the south. If my spelling is any where close, the town of Castello Nuova Bergadana, is situated
at the southern end, you'll be in the southern hills fairly quickly and still be in Chianti, not far from Castlello Brolio and San Felice.
Or do what I am planning for this October, 1 week in Chainti & another week in Val D' Orcia.
Lorenzi is offline  
Jul 19th, 2004, 06:12 PM
  #4  
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Thank you both for your help. I wish we had more time to spend here so we could visit both areas.

Lorenzi, your description of each area is helpful. I tried to google the Castello Nuova Bergadana but I couldn't come up with anything. This sounds like a good solution for us.

I have a large map of Italy. Could you tell me more about this area so that I can locate it on my map? Did you stay at an agritouismo in this area? Would you mind sharing the name of it?

Thanks again for your help! Laurie
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Jul 20th, 2004, 03:23 AM
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Try googling Castelnuovo Berardenga.
We stayed in an agriturismo just a few miles from there in a very small village of Villa A Sesta.
I'm sorry I can't remember the name as its been 3 years but you may be able to google it also.
Having said that, my husband and I both preferred the Val D'orcia region though I think a visit to both areas is ideal.
grimmy is offline  
Jul 20th, 2004, 03:58 AM
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Grimmy's about got it. It's Castelnuovo Beradenga. Another town that is close to the the Chianti hills & Val D'Orcia is Monte San Savino. It's on a hill surronded by low areas. You can go northwest to Chianti or south to Dal D' Orcia. The farmhouse I stayed at was Le Puppile (trying to recall spelling )at Monti In Chianti. It was idealy situated for fantastic views, clean, nice owner, lives nearby. Four apartments in the main house and a another in the former barn, I stayed in the barn apartment, sinple but clean and a private terrace. It's about 20 minutes from Beradanga, further into Chianti. You can view Castello Brolio from it also the fortress of Cacchiano, the second highest mount in Chianti, both belong to the Ricasoli wine family. If you do a searh for " farmhomes Beradanga" you should find a few in that area. I remember seeing quite a few listed around there when I was searching earlier this year. If you need something else, chime back in.
Lorenzi is offline  
Jul 20th, 2004, 04:11 AM
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Woops, just remebered ! It's not Puppile, but Le Trappoline, Monti In Chianti.
Lorenzi is offline  
Jul 20th, 2004, 05:12 AM
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We stayed near Castenuovo Berardenga last September. Accomodation was an apartment in a converted monastery - Il Borgo Monastero. Absolutely fantastic location, 20 mins from Siena. They have a great restaurant AND it is also a vineyard so it's heaven for wine fans. You do need a car though, but the scenery is beautiiful...plenty of rolling hills.
sabrad is offline  
Jul 21st, 2004, 09:07 PM
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Thanks for all the information! I will try to do some more research on this when we return from our trip to Chicago.

Thanks again for your help! Laurie
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Jul 22nd, 2004, 09:53 AM
  #10  
Iza
 
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We just came back from Italy a few days ago and faced the same dillemma - so we split our week in Tuscany between Castellina in Chianti (4 nights) (actually a hotel in a little hamlet near Castellina - Belvedere San Leonino) and Montepulciano (3 nights - Hotel Villa Cicolina right outside of town). It was a great decision to split the time and ending the trip in southern Tuscany reduced the time needed to get to the airport in Rome by an hour or so.
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Jul 22nd, 2004, 10:08 AM
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iza, we did the very same thing and split the time between Montalcino and then the Belvedere.

I'm curious about how you enjoyed your stay at the Belvedere since it is July and they had no air conditioning. Were you comfortable?
Lorac1127 is offline  
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