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Montepulciano to Monticchiello -- Driving at Night

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Aug 24th, 2014, 07:26 PM
  #1
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Montepulciano to Monticchiello -- Driving at Night

Considering a dinner at the Osteria La Porta in Monticchiello next month. Will have a car and staying in Montepulciano. Although the distance is short not sure about driving at night in this area. Interested in any comments about driving at night in the small villages / hill towns around Montepulciano / Monticchiello. Thank you.
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Aug 24th, 2014, 07:43 PM
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That's a short drive (about 15 minutes or so). Roads are curvy, but speed limits are low and there really isn't all that much traffic out in the countryside.
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Aug 24th, 2014, 07:49 PM
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It depends on the weather. One evening in late September, we drove back that way around 8pm. It was a stormy night with heavy rain, fog, and pitch dark on this narrow winding road. It was a tiring, slow drive back to Montepulciano. There is not much traffic in the area even during the day.
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Aug 24th, 2014, 08:28 PM
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I would find the biggest "problem" being that the driver can't have more than a half glass of wine with dinner (unless you plan to hang around Monticchiello for a couple of hours after the wine). Drunk driving laws in Italy are stricter than in many countries (including the U.S., if that's where you're from) and the penalties are stiffer. It's not likely you'd be 'caught,' but I myself wouldn't risk it.
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Aug 24th, 2014, 10:00 PM
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We have done this many times, and will do it this week! It does get really dark and the roads are curvy, but there really isn't much traffic. I think it is helpful to have the GPS on to help navigate.
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Aug 25th, 2014, 03:15 AM
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I often find it easier to drive at night on rural roads that have lots of blind curves because it is easier to spot oncoming cars or people coming up behind you due to their headlights. Of some concern on some roads in Tuscany is the extremely narrow or non-existent shoulders because the roads run alongside drainage ditches and they are harder to see at night.

Agree it gets stressful in heavy rain or in foggy conditions at night. If I had a dinner reservation and the forecast was for storms or fog I'd probably cancel and rebook.
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Aug 25th, 2014, 07:00 AM
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You should probably be on the lookout for deer at the beginning of the return drive...
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Aug 25th, 2014, 07:38 AM
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You might change and do lunch instead so you can enjoy the wonderful view from their terrace.

Driving at night won't be a problem. Enjoy!
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Aug 25th, 2014, 11:16 AM
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In addition to the deer that Jean mentions, the woods were full of wild boar when we stayed in a villa near Montichiello. You don't want to hit either. And our friend drove into one of the drainage ditches mentioned by Sandralist while trying to avoid one. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.
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Aug 25th, 2014, 03:24 PM
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No problem.
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Aug 25th, 2014, 03:45 PM
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I know you did not ask but....last year we stayed for a week in the town of Montichiello. It was wonderful, absolutely beautiful scenery, towns and people. We ate at Portia twice and both times it was full to capacity. I felt like I was constantly being squeezed. The food was quite good. However, right up the street on the left, is La Taverna di Moranda. Much more space to relax, and surprising to me, never as crowded. The food and service, comparable to Portia. I was able to relax and enjoy the food and wine...and then walk 200 yards home.
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Aug 26th, 2014, 06:10 PM
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Thanks for the feedback and advice. Decided to combine lunch in Montichielo with our drive to La Foce. Will have dinners in Montepulciano. Thanks again.
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Aug 26th, 2014, 06:34 PM
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Even for lunch, you need to make a reservation at La Porta especially if you want one of the few tables on the outdoor porch overlooking the valley. The drive around Montichielo goes through tree lined zig-zag Tuscany country roads you have seen many times in promotional photos.
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