Half day trip to a winery

Old Oct 20th, 2005, 09:41 AM
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Half day trip to a winery

Hi,
So I'm off to Florence with my husband in a few weeks and will have three and a half days to sightsee. I have been to Florence before but the hubby has not. We are both interested in spending a half day in Chianti or Montepulciano visting a winery but we are not sure it is worth the price (130 euros or so per person). I have read the other comments regarding driving/mopeding in Tuscany but as we only have half a day I am not sure "winging it" is wise. Should we just stick with a guided half day tour? Are these as good as they sound? Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!
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Old Oct 20th, 2005, 11:05 AM
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I can recommend a private driver/tour guide, Luca Garrapa at hillsandroads.com. If you have a specific winery in mind, he can accommodate you or will suggest itineraries if you don't know where you want to go. I used him last month and, with his associate since he was booked one of the days, went to a winery that he set up. (This was just part of a day with several destinations covered.) The winetasting was free. With him, you can do exactly as you please and it definitely won't cost 260E for a half-day!
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Old Oct 20th, 2005, 03:42 PM
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We will be in Tuscany in a little over a week and are doing a private wine tasting tour with Alex from Montalcino Travel. He is picking up from the train station in Chiusi and has made some appts. for us at several wineries and is also taking us to Montepulicano for sightseeing. He charges 30E an hour. You can reach him at [email protected] Someone else had recommended him on the boards.
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Old Oct 25th, 2005, 08:17 PM
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Forget Montepulciano, and go to Montalcino to taste the Brunello wine! Barbi or Castello Banfi are good ones. There's also a place in Greve where you can go and buy "tastes" of wines, cheeses, foods. It's at the rear in a newer square across the street from where the Thur markets are held.
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Old Oct 25th, 2005, 08:18 PM
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SusanP: Are you from the West Coast? Just wondering if I might know you...
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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 03:41 AM
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Dann - CAF Tours and SITA do excursions from Florence to the Chianti area (- € 35-40 pp.)

www.caftours.com/en/regtoursac.htm

http://www.sita-on-line.it/CentralSI...lSITA-IT.htm#5

Otherwise there's no reason to pay € 130 pp when the going rate for a taxi for a few hours is about € 30-35 per hour - you could plan your own 3-4 hr trip for € 100-150.

Hope this helps ...

Steve
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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 03:54 AM
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There's also a bus group called Lazzi bus that does half-day tours on the cheaper side. I believe I paid around 30USD and the tour was just fine. It's a public tour, so you are with other people. But you visit a family run winery from one of the castles in the countryside. You get the tour, a wine tasting, an olive oil tasting, free time to explore, and then a stop on the way home in one of the countryside villages. It's a very nice way to spend the afternoon and it's cheap, too!

The Lazzi bus group is across from Santa Maria Novella train station. I usually bought tickets the day of or day before and never had a problem with selling out. I went in Sept and Nov and it was great both times. If you face the McDonalds (ugh), it's about a block or so to the right.

Hope this helps!
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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 07:24 AM
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Hi,
Thank you all so much for your helpful advice! I will have a few days to look into this once we arrive in Florence as my husband is attending a conference in the city so I've printed out all this information and will now be able to make a much more informed decision! We're leaving in less than two weeks so I'll be sure to share my experience upon my return. Many thanks to all who took the time to respond!
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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 01:28 PM
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If you want to use one of the private drivers mentioned, I wouldn't wait until you get there. It would be better to book them ahead.

Katerbug, No, I'm from Upstate NY.
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