Florence, Montalcino, more?

Feb 3rd, 2008, 08:43 AM
  #1  
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Florence, Montalcino, more?

My wife and I will be travelling to Florence and Montalcino in April. Our trip is 11 days (10 nights). Currently our itinerary consists of 3 nights in Florence, 4 nights at an agriturismo in Montalcino, then the final night back in Florence. This leaves two nights unaccounted for. We'll have a car in Montalcino.

We've tossed around ideas as drastic as taking a train to Naples/Amalfi or Rome for those two nights, or adding two more nights in Montalcino. Or staying in a different Tuscan town or even going to Cinque Terre or Venice.

We could reduce the number of nights in Florence to add to a third spot, but I don't want to cut into our Montalcino stay.

Any input is appreciated.

Thanks!
Aja
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Feb 3rd, 2008, 08:51 AM
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I suggest 2 in Florence, 3 somewhere outside Siena and the 4 in Montalcino.

No Naples or Rome.
TuckH is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 10:18 AM
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WHATEVER you do, do not drive through the gate around from the church...it's a steep dirt road to nowhere and we nearly didn't make it back up the hill!! lol
sheri_lp is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 10:36 AM
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You might enjoy a couple of nights in Umbria. We stayed in Spoleto, but there are many pretty small towns to base yourself. We enjoyed having the opportunity to see Assisi while in the area. Umbria is a bit more rugged looking than Tuscany. Or you could drive to the coast for a few days. Don't know that I'd stay in the Cinque Terre (though certainly it's fun for a day trip), but there are lots of options on the coast. annie
sweetannie is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 10:59 AM
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Thanks all! Other than cinque terre are there other coastal towns that you would recommend? I like the idea of at least seeing the coast.
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Feb 3rd, 2008, 11:06 AM
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Hi Aja

It sounds like you're flying in and out of Florence?

If you haven't been to Venice or Rome, I would definitely add the 2 nights there. I always feel it's better to have a taste of a place with a short stay than not go at all!

Since I've been to Rome and Venice, if I was flying in and out of Florence, I would consider adding 2 nights in Umbria, Cinque Terra, or Bologna.

We love Montalcino, by the way, and are going for the 3rt time this summer! We had amazing dinners at Grappolo Blu and Il Grifo.

Have a great trip!!

Dina
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Feb 3rd, 2008, 11:07 AM
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Aja1,
Send me an e-mail and I will send you itineraries to keep you busy around Montalcino for a week. It is too long to post.

Henry
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Feb 3rd, 2008, 11:09 AM
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I'd maybe opt for a trip over to Orvieto or Todi in Umbria. Beautiful countryside also and some of the towns are fabulous. Spello is beautiful and not usually crowded.

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2Italy is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 11:39 AM
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Dina, I mapquested Grappalo Blu and it said it was an hour from Montalcino...does this sound right?

Henry, thank you I emailed.
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Feb 3rd, 2008, 11:41 AM
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Aja,

Grappolo Blu is right IN Montalcino. Highly recommend. Fabulous traditional Tuscan food!
Dayle is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 11:44 AM
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Aja,

One other suggestion, upon arrival, go straight to one of your chosen destinations. Since you have to return to Florence anyway for the last night, put all those nights together and save yourself a hotel change.

I would choose either a second Tuscany town, or Spello for your additional nights.

Buon viaggio
Dayle is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 11:56 AM
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Personally I think there is plenty to do in and arounsd Tuscany. Naples would, in my opinion, just be folly - you would spend 4-5 hours travelling each way to a city which is notouriously unfriendly to cars.

Rome Might be possible as a day trip, but again it is some hours drive into a very congested city.

Possibly choose one from any of the following. Cortona, Pienza, Montepulciano, Siena or even Lucca.
willit is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2008, 01:14 PM
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Dayle is right. Grapolo Blu is IN Montalcino.

Also a good idea to have all your nights in Florence at the end.


dina4 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2008, 07:09 AM
  #14  
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Thanks again for all the input. We are still seeking a third place to stay.

What is set:
4 nights Montalcino
3 nights ??
3 nights Florence

New thoughts on the middle three nights:
Perugia
Assisi

Beyond exploring those two towns, it also seemed plausible to take a day trip to the East coast. I haven't read much about people doing this, is there not tons to see there?

Thoughts?
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Feb 10th, 2008, 07:16 AM
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We stayed a week in an apartment in San Quirico (near Montalcino) after the first 3 days in Florence. Tuscany is so wonderful. I suggest the extra days be added to Montalcino. Plenty to do and see with a car. A week is not too long by any stetch..

carolsc
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Feb 10th, 2008, 07:27 AM
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Are you married to the idea of a third destination? I would be inclined to just split my time between Montalcino and Florence, five and five (I want to say, please don't forget about Florence, please give it enough time, but I do understand you may want a primarily rural holiday)
Apres_Londee is offline  
Feb 10th, 2008, 08:33 AM
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I think you're on the right track in adding a coastal town like Cinque Terre? Or Venice.

You've got the city with art/architecture, the tuscan countryside and adding a coastal spot will round out your trip.

You can train in easily and spend 2 nights.

We loved the CT town of Vernazza..so picturesque and idyllic. The inn we'd highly recommend is La Mala. http://www.lamala.it/en/index.html The CT is so incredibly beautiful and charming. ...And the hiking is spectacular. The Ligurian food is also in a class by itself: pesto, focaccia and seafood.

And then there's Venice...but truly I'd recommend at least 3 FULL days there to truly savor it.

This past October we did 3 nights in Florence, 7 nights in Tuscany and 3 nights in Cinque Terre and 4 nights in Venice. It was our perfect trip with a little bit of a different flavor in each town. I have to say that if I had to do it over again, I would've just done 4 nights in Tuscany.

Happy planning!
adventureseeker is offline  
Feb 10th, 2008, 11:51 AM
  #18  
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Wow such compelling arguments both ways!

I do wonder how easy it would be to do CT as we'll have a car. But I wonder the same about staying in another town like Assisi.

We like to take day trips, but we also like the option to spend evenings close to "home" without worry of night driving after some wine. I gather that Montalcino will provide this kind of setting, but with limited restaurants.
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Feb 10th, 2008, 12:00 PM
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> without worry of night driving after some wine. <

This is a rule that I've tried to adhere to on our vacations, even wihout the alcohol.

"Do not drive after dark on strange and narrow hilly roads."

This is one reason why we like the early summer - longer daylight hours...
TuckH is offline  
Feb 10th, 2008, 12:07 PM
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Aja1,
What do you consider as limited restaurants? See http://www.castellobanfi.com/pdf/Montalcino.pdf
for some ideas.

Henry
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