Montalcino or Orvieto?

Feb 8th, 2002, 11:45 AM
  #1  
Jackie Ellis
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Montalcino or Orvieto?

My husband and I will be travelling to Italy for the first time this June. We are staying 3 nights in Florence, 2 nights in Siena, and then have another 2 nights to spend at either the Oliviera hotel in Montalcino or the Duomo Hotel in Orvieto. Any advice on which one to stay at? Any help would be much appreciated.
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 12:30 PM
  #2  
Jackie
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I should add -- we will have 3 nights in Venice before Florence, and 3 nights in Rome after Montalcino/Orvieto. Any advice would be very much appreciated.
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 12:37 PM
  #3  
Wayne
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You have a difficult choice between two lovely spots. Montalcino is a very pretty hilltop village with all the character that kind of setting implies. Orvieto is also a hilltop village, a little less "homey" in my opinion and maybe a little less fun for wandering -- but very enjoyable. Also Orvieto is (or seems) much bigger than Montalcino, and it of course has the incredible cathedral. It will have more shops and probably a lot more tourists because it is such a well-known place. All I'm doing is offering considerations; I've been in both and have wandered around both. After 2 days in either place, you will have learned about all you want to know. One thing you might consider is to stay in Montalcino and then see Orvieto on your way to Rome, which you can do in a 2 to 3 hour side trip. At least if you do that, you get a flavor of both villages. No matter which you do, you can't go wrong.
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 12:47 PM
  #4  
lisa
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Having stayed at Vecchia Oliviera in Montalcino, I heartily recommend it. Montalcino is much smaller than Florence and Siena and I think it would make a good contrast to get the feel of the pace of a small Italian town. I can't compare it to Orvieto, but I know Orvieto is quite a bit larger. Vecchia Oliviera had a delightful little pool which we enjoyed taking a dip in after a long hot day of sightseeing.
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 01:11 PM
  #5  
bessie
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I've also stayed in Montalcino at the Vecchia Olivera - nice hotel but not much in Montalcino - stay in a town like Spello or San Gimignano - more restaurants, etc. at night to go to after the crowds disperse. You'll always have to leaving Montalcino
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 01:11 PM
  #6  
jackie
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Thanks for the advice! We'll be taking the train into Rome, so I'll check the train schedules from both places.
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 01:50 PM
  #7  
ron
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I also recommend that u split your time between the two. One day and nite in each is enough. Their close by no more than a hour and a half by car. Orvietto should be your last since it takes 2.5 hrs. to get to rome airport. There's a great restuarant at the end of Orvietto. Forgot it's name but it's underground(like acave) great pizza and wine
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 02:25 PM
  #8  
fran
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Having spent time in both places several times, I'll agree you'll be fine which ever you choose. Montacino is quite small--though definitely has enough restaurants that you won't have to leave to eat, some very good restaurants indeed. Montalcino was an outpost of the Sienenese and is very much of a flovaor with Siena. So, for something "more different" you might choose Orvieto: it's larger and generally more bustly (though not really big or bustling) and it's Umbria after all that Tuscany! (joke)
I also think it would be easier to take the train from Siena to Orivieto; definitely easier to take the train from Orvieto to Rome. Hard to believe how much I adore Montalcino with this sales pitch for Orvieto!
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 02:40 PM
  #9  
coco
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Jackie,
I agree with what Fran says, including how much I like Montalcino (tho not my tippy-top favorite, but close). Given your surrounding plans, I think Orvieto would be a nice addition. Also, you can't actually take the train TO Montalcino. Seems like we used Buonconvento for a couple of runs into Florence (via Siena). That's probably 20+ miles from Montacino. If that matters, then Orvieto will be the easy choice. Happy choosing!
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 02:57 PM
  #10  
Jackie
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Thanks for all the help! We will actually have a car for a week to see Florence and Siena and until we leave either Orvieto or Montalcino - intend dropping it off and taking the train into Rome.
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 03:39 PM
  #11  
dean
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we ahve not stayed in orvieto so this is not a one versus the aother suggestion. There is plenty to do in Montalcino especially if you are a wine lover. Montalcino is home to one of Italy's greatest red wines, Brunello di Montalcino. There is the enotecca in the Fortezza Medici which also is a wonderful old castel to wander thru. You can go up on the battlement for a great view.

Montalcino also has great churches and lots of public art. It is a very good city to just wander about in. Also, you can go to San Antimo which is a wondrerful old church about 15 minutes out of town.

As for restaurants, we have had Grappolo Blu reccomended to us by many of our friends int he wine business. You can have wonderful wine and cheese and salumi at the enotecca fortezza.
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 03:49 PM
  #12  
Jackie
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Thanks for all the advice! Must say, I'm now leaning towards spending one night in each town. We'll have had plenty of time to recover from our flights, and had longer stopovers in Florence and Siena, so maybe two one-nighters won't be too hard to take.
 
Feb 8th, 2002, 09:48 PM
  #13  
Dayle
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Hi Jackie! We stayed in Orvieto for 3 nights im May and loved it. The only time there were a lot of tourists (in addition to ourselves) was around mid-day at the duomo. Rest rest of the time it was just us and the locals and some Romans over the weekend.

We found Orvieto to be a wonderful combination of ancient & modern. Beautiful stores for shopping along ancient, narrow streets. The town seems to be kind of an artsy town - with the work of resident artists everywhere. Food & wine (Orvieto Classico) are incredible - the restaurant at the end of town nearest the parking garage is in a cave & is fantastic. Sorry can't remember the name!

We toured the Estruscan tombs outside the city & the caves under the city! Very interesting & just a short time investment. Of course the duomo is beautiful!

the main shopping street is charming & the people were extremely nice. Definitely stay at least a night in Orvieto. If you can also visit Civita di Bagnoreggio before you drop your car - do. My friends loved it & were really glad I put that on our itinerary.

Buon viaggio!
 

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