Help with itinerary: Chianti region

Oct 17th, 2007, 04:05 PM
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Help with itinerary: Chianti region

We fly into Florence Thursday, November 1. We had thought to visit Florence that day, but it's a holiday and may be overcrowded. So we'll drive on down to Chianti. Will be there 2 nights before we head to the Val d'Orcia area.

Here's what we're thinking. Please tell me what you think.

Thursday: Drive from Florence to Greve, lunch. Head toward hotel in Castellina. ***Any suggestions for our route? Dinner in Castellina.


Friday: Drive 20 min to Poggibonsi, catch 9:09 train to Florence. Whirlwind tour, including The David. Take the 3:10 train back to P--, arrive 4:15pm. Drive to San Gim for dinner. Return to Castellina.

Saturday: We need to end up in Pienza b/4 dark. We thought to drive toward Siena, stop in Monteriggioni. Spend the day in Siena, then drive to Pienza.
***I could really use some help on the best (prettiest) route Sienna-Pienza and how long we should allow.

We will have 4 nights in the Val D'Orcia and have lots of notes on that region. But I seem short on notes for the Chianti portion. Any help will be most appreciated!
JeanneB is offline  
Oct 17th, 2007, 04:21 PM
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It should take about an hour to drive from Siena to Pienza, but I always allow a little extra time to get out of Siena. Look at http://www.viamichelin.com/
it looks like the most direct route is the best.
Marycang is offline  
Oct 17th, 2007, 04:36 PM
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Sometime a few years ago, someone posted an appealing route that I've long since surrendered to the computer gods.

I seem to recall that it ran along a ridge (?) to Asciano, then down to the Val d'Orcia.

Sound familiar to anyone?
JeanneB is offline  
Oct 17th, 2007, 04:50 PM
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We stayed in a villa east of Pogg. recently and drove to Greve. I seem to recall it taking more like 40 minutes. If you're staying only 2 nights and going into Florence, I suggest just staying in Florence. Pleny to see in 4 days so I'm sure you can fill the time. Even if things are closed you can wonder the city, perhaps see churhes, etc.
Tuni01 is offline  
Oct 17th, 2007, 06:29 PM
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We aren't certain we'll go into Florence. (I've been, my sister hasn't.) We may just stay in Tuscany that day.

JeanneB is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 02:32 AM
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Driving from the Florence airport, we want to drive down SS222.

It looks like the easiest route is to pick it up near Impruneta and continue down to Greve. Or--- we could drive around to Grassina where SS222 starts. Is the section from Grassina to the Impruneta area worth the extra effort? (We will not be in a hurry).
JeanneB is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 07:22 AM
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Like another poster mentioned, just be careful of the driving times in Italy. We found that we needed to almost double what we expected for some of the roads! Personally, I wouldn't go back into Florence on your second day - way too much too see elsewhere to be dealing with driving to Poggibonsi, catching the train, etc. My husband and I had to drive thru Poggibonsi on our way to Castellina and it was not fun. We got directions from our hotel to avoid that town when we went to San Gimignano the next day!

The driving itinerary you were looking for is probably the one written by Stu Dudley. Just type his name in the search box and you'll find it. I used parts of his itinerary and it was great!

Where in Castellina are you staying? We stayed at Hotel Belvedere and I highly recommend it.

sherhatfield is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 07:42 AM
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Jeanne,

I would not try to do Florence and a drive to SG for dinner on the same day. Too much!

Maybe go to SG on your first day. Then do your lunch there. Combine Greve with your next day in Chianti.

Do you have particular restaurants already chosen in these towns? One we really enjoyed was La Badia di Coltibuono east of Castellina, if I remember correctly.
Dayle is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 08:30 AM
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We've noted some restaurants, but suggestions are welcome! We are staying at Palazzo Squarcialupi in Castellina.

We, too, concluded it's probably too much to try to do Florence this trip. Why make it rushed when we're already in such a lovely area?! We will probably stay with the plan to drive down the SS222 the first day, stopping in Greve for pizza lunch, dinner in Castellina. Friday we will visit small towns and enjoy the countryside. Perhaps end up in San Gim that afternoon and stay for dinner (everyone says it's magical at night).

Sher: I do, indeed, have Stud Dudley's directions to take with me. But I also found the Siena-Pienza route I mentioned above. It was on Slow Trav ("Cypress Lined Roads") and describes the drive through the Crete Senese to Pienza. We may leave Siena too late for it, though.
JeanneB is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 09:20 AM
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I second the suggestion of Dayle's above for Badia de Coltibuono's restaurant. It is in Gaiole in Chianti.
Marycang is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 10:40 AM
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Jeanne, You want to avoid that road between Pogg. and Castellina and especially at nite. It has bad switchbacks as you approach Cast. and you may lose your dinner.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 11:42 AM
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Is there another way to go (coming from San Gim)?
JeanneB is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 12:53 PM
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Jeanne
Look at SS130 through the little town of Casastieri.
Marycang is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 05:59 PM
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That is a long drive that time of night---are you sure? Look at the map---I do not know of any better route.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 06:14 PM
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Hi, bob. You and I have talked about this before (driving after dinner). I now recall your wisely counseling against it. I'm sure you're right. Better to stay nearer "home" at night---and feeling free to imbibe! Any suggestions for dinner elsewhere that wouldn't involve a bad drive home?

We'll just have to join the daytime "bus hoardes" in San Gim. Maybe if we hit it after lunch they'll all be back on the bus.
JeanneB is offline  
Oct 19th, 2007, 05:33 AM
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Stay in Castellina--there are several very good places. Look at www.divinacucina.com
bobthenavigator is offline  
Oct 19th, 2007, 06:12 AM
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LOL. If we make this trip any more "relaxed" we'll never leave the hotel. Just kidding. We'll want time to explore in Castellina as well.

Staying there and walking to dinner sounds like a fine idea. Those two days will give us a good chance to get our land legs back before moving on.
JeanneB is offline  
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