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umbersnana Feb 11th, 2008 12:00 PM

Need Help in Rome & Tuscany
We will be traveling to Rome first of April then to Tuscany. First time in Italy and am totally lost...hope not to be when I get there! Are there any nice places to stay in both places for around $200-250USD/night. Also don't know where to go in Tuscan area. Am thinking of taking train from Rome. Do we need a car? I want to see vineyards and olive orchards (not sure that is what they are called). Also, my husband doesn't like any "exotic" foods (pretty much American food!!!). Would like more time to plan, but this may be our only chance. Thanks for any info and appreciate any and all responses!

Grinisa Feb 11th, 2008 12:35 PM

Since you don't have much time to find hotels, check for hotels in your price range with availability on your dates. Try to find a hotel in Rome that is near the Pantheon/Piazza Navona/Campo di Fiore; that way, walking to the major sights will be very easy. Yes, there are nice places in your price range. Also check for hotel reviews. In Tuscany, most people go to Florence. You can base there and take tours to the Chianti area to see the vineyards and olive groves. If you want to explore on your own, you could base in Siena, rent a car and drive around Chianti and also down to the Val d'Orcia. Not sure how much time in total you have.

By "American Food" do you mean your husband won't eat pizza and pasta? He should try the Italian version of pizza if he eats it back home. He may really enjoy it. In cities like Rome and Florence, you can find American chains like McDonald's and Burger King and KFC. There is a Hard Rock Cafe in Rome. It will be difficult to eat "American" type food in smaller towns in Tuscany.

umbersnana Feb 11th, 2008 12:58 PM

Thanks Grinisa!
We will arrive in Rome 3/31 leave 4/4 then in Tuscany 4/4 leave 4/8. Don't have lots of time, but have always wanted to go.
He will be happy to know about McDonald's, Burger King, etc in Rome and Florence and we will deal with the Tuscan area food! I am eager to try different things. Thanks again for your info.

tyedye33 Feb 11th, 2008 01:19 PM

I would suggest staying in Florence for the 4 nights and taking this day trip it is run by Rebecca. She is wonderful, we went on the Brunello de Montalcino tour. we toured a vineyard, went to a monestary and heard the Monks chant, went to a small house in the middle of nowhere for a fresh from the garden homemade lunch (including the wine) it was capped off by shopping and an inpromptu cheese run. You may consider staying in an apartment as opposed to a hotel it worked well for us!

zootsi Feb 11th, 2008 01:32 PM

I agree that the best area in Rome is the 'old' section, which includes Piazza Navona, and the Pantheon. In Tuscany, you might want to rent a car and stay in a small town such as Montepulciano, which is just big enough to be interesting, but small enough to be relaxing and easy to get in and out of. You could stay in Florence, but you may want something a little more quiet after Rome. To really appreciate Tuscany, you should rent a car - driving is not really that difficult. Tuscany is a big area, and the area around Montepulciano, and the Chianti area between Florence and Sienna are perhaps the most beautiful.
As for the food, it's hard to imagine someone not liking something like fresh pasta with wild boar and mushrooms along with a glass of house red, or other such Italian treats. Pizza is found everywhere, but the the typical spaghetti and meatballs is really a an American dish. Tuscany is also famous for it's steak, so I'm sure everyone will be happy with the food.

umbersnana Feb 11th, 2008 02:07 PM

Thanks tyedye33! The wine tour sounds interesting.

zootsi-have considered renting a car and drive around, but was afraid the driving would be difficult.

This is the kind of inside info I need. Thanks all!

SusanP Feb 11th, 2008 02:22 PM

You can certainly find wonderful Italian food without eating anything exotic! Wild boar is no different than eating beef or pork. Please encourage your husband to eat better food than American fast foods!

I also like the Piazza Navona/Pantheon area in Rome. Very central, lots of great restaurants.

jansenke Feb 11th, 2008 02:30 PM

Check out the Accidental Tourist Website... it was the highlight of my trip. We did the cooking class, it was fabulous :)

We also stayed at Relais Cavalcanti - a cute little B&B it was also perfect... a lot of modern conviences.

Vttraveler Feb 11th, 2008 02:52 PM

Here is a link to suggestions for restaurants in Rome for people who wanted "American" food;tid=35043655

I think my son is a very picky eater and he does not like pasta, but he found quite a lot to eat in Rome--chicken, lamb, steaks, etc in addition to pizza.

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