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Help w/ Italy Itin - 3 nights open. Riviera or N. Tuscany?

Help w/ Italy Itin - 3 nights open. Riviera or N. Tuscany?

Aug 16th, 2011, 02:31 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 12
Help w/ Italy Itin - 3 nights open. Riviera or N. Tuscany?

Ciao Fodorites -

My wife, 18-month-old daughter, and I will be in Italy for a few weeks at the end of the month and have a blank spot in our itinerary that we would love to fill with a beautiful villa, fantastic scenery, and amazing food. These forums were amazing for me when I planned our engagement trip almost 7 years ago and have been very helpful as reference on several trips since - thanks!

Current itinerary is as follows:

Day 1: Fly into Nice, rent car, lunch in Menton, overnight in Genova (had a free stay with points)

Days 2 - 4: Open

Days 5 - 9: Montepulciano Villa, dinners, daytrips

Day 10: Overnight in Cortona, dinner where I proposed to her 7+ years ago

Days 11 and on: Visit Italian family in Emilia Romagna, return car

We've been lucky enough to do several trips to CT, visited Florence and Siena, and stayed at an Agriturismo in Chianti - we love them all. On this trip, we're looking for a jump off point in either Northern Tuscany or the Riviera where we can be based and explore Chianti, Siena, San Gim, etc.

Does anyone have an idea for a fantastic place to stay in either of these areas to spend some time exploring (with toddler)? Thanks!
davemuni is offline  
Aug 16th, 2011, 04:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,514
Look at Fattoria Tregole near Castellina---nice rural setting.

You do know you will have a big drop charge on the car?
bobthenavigator is offline  
Aug 16th, 2011, 04:02 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 63
What a sweet trip you have planned.
My recommendation would be for Santa Margherita Ligure. It is such a special spot. You can take the ferry to Portofino or walk and see the house that Dolce and Gabbana bought on the cliff. You can go to private beaches depending on the hotel you stay at and it is extremely family friendly (very important to us).
You can also take a day trip via train to Cinque Terre if you want.
Whatever you plan I wish you a safe and happy trip.
Bougainvillea is offline  
Aug 16th, 2011, 05:35 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 12
Hi guys - thanks for the feedback thus far!

Bob - I've been following your posts for some time as we've been planning trips over the years - I'm honored to have your feedback. Fattoria Tregole was our first choice and unfortunately they're booked. As for the drop charge on the car - we thought about taking the train to Alassio and renting from there, but given that this is our first post-baby Italian adventure (and our oversized packing list), we opted to pay an extra fee to not have to manage the bus/train transfers (sans car seat) with a cranky and overtired (though likely still adorable) toddler.

Have been looking at SML - but haven't found that perfect villa just yet. Also looking at Lerici, San Gim, Greve, and elsewhere in Chianti.

For this trip we're trying to find a great base location (location, location) where we can maximize our flexibility. We're still not entirely sure how our little one will travel internationally...
davemuni is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 10:36 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 12
OK - I think I have it narrowed down to two options.

1) One of the apartments at Palazzo Squarcialupi in Castellina in Chianti
2) An apartment at Torraccia di Chiusi in Montauto outside of San Gim

The former is in a location that Bob and others deem a great jumping point, but is less well reviewed. The latter is very well reviewed, but the location is less well known to us.

davemuni is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 10:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 363
Montauto is not particularly close to San Gimignano; as I recall it's just as you start to get into the greater Florence area. It's probably fine if you want to make your way into Florence, not so good for Siena, San Gimignano, Volterra, Monteriggioni, Colle Val d'Elsa, etc.
Midnightsun is offline  
Aug 17th, 2011, 11:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,514
Tough call. I like the latter for charm and location , but it is a bit isolated in the country. The former is much closer to the village and more options to eat and shop.
bobthenavigator is offline  
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