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Need suggestions for our week in Panzano

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Mar 16th, 2014, 04:25 PM
  #1
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Need suggestions for our week in Panzano

I'm sharing a villa in Panzano with a group of friends active 60 year olds. Some of us have visited Tuscany before and for others it's a first visit.
I want to share some of my favorite experiences and try some new things. So far we are planning day trips to Siena, Orvieto, Southern Tuscany including ( Montalcino, Pienza, St Antimo can we fit in Bagno Vignoni?) and maybe Cortona. That would fill 4 days. I would love some suggestions of activitiesor places to visit closer to Panzano.
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Mar 16th, 2014, 05:28 PM
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I think you will find Orvieto too far for a day trip---I would see it coming or going. And, Cortona will be a long day as well. Closer to home, I would look at a day to Volterra and San Gim., and read about Badia Coltibuono near Gaiole.

The day to St. Antimo and Montalcino can easily include Bagno Vignoni, but I would drive to the Abbey first and spend :30 at Bagno Vignoni on your way home.
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Mar 16th, 2014, 05:59 PM
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Don't miss Montefioralle, a small and charming hill town just a few kilometers from Panzano. We visited a couple of years ago when we stayed outside of Panzano and had a really delicious lunch at a restaurant on the hill entering the town. Sorry, I don't remember the name of the restaurant but there are only a vouple in the town.
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Mar 16th, 2014, 06:17 PM
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Sorry. Vouple = couple
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Mar 16th, 2014, 08:37 PM
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San Gimignano sometimes gets a bad rap because it is a main tourist stop and has a lot of tourist shops. But it also has great food and the interior frescoes of the Duomo are breathtaking and memorable.
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Mar 16th, 2014, 08:54 PM
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When we stayed in Panzano in '00, we did trips to some pretty hill towns, Radda and Castellina and to Greve, which was touristy but very pretty. None of these really could be considered day trips to me as they were not far and did not necessarily merit spending a whole day, but they gave us nice destinations and beautiful scenery along the way. We also did a day trip to Siena but it was SO hot that day, that it was hard for me to appreciate it as it deserves to be enjoyed.
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Mar 17th, 2014, 09:18 AM
  #7
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Thanks so much for all of your ideas. I plan to alternate day trips with things closer to Panzano. Will certainly do Greve and Montefioralle as well as Radda. I've never seen Gaiole, is there much to see there? What about Strada? I thought I might do Badia Coltibuono the day we saw Gaiole. Has anyone done a wine tasting there?
Thanks Bob with the San Gim, Volterra suggestion. I may eliminate either Cortona or Orvieto and do that.
I did a wine tasting at Verranzano on a previous visit. It was a lot of fun; but, would love to try another winery. Any suggestions?
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Mar 17th, 2014, 09:44 AM
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We have also rented a villa in Panzano and were so happy that we chose this location. You will want to eat at Enoteca Baldi on the main town piazza.The owner is Chef Mimmo Baldi and we also hired him to prepare a spectacular meal at our villa. Our real estate agent arranged this for us. The food at his restaurant is also wonderful.
We also liked Il Vinaio up at the top of the hill in the older part of the village, right before you get to the church. They also have WiFi for patrons which was helpful when the villa's WiFi went down
Of course you'll stop at the famous butcher shop owned by Dario Checchini. He also has a few places to eat, meat focused of course. Going into the butcher shop is a real happening and you'll be offered wine and snacks. He has been on Food TV as well as others. Google Dario Cecchini and you'll see lots of links.
Wineries: They surround the town. We took off and drove down rural roads and stopped at several. Not much English spoken but we were able to communicate and enjoyed tastings and bought a few bottles.
Recently, I saw one of them for sale in Whole Foods. All we visited were small family owned wineries
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Mar 17th, 2014, 10:31 AM
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Thanks for the restaurant suggestions, Happy Trvlr. I had read about Dario's, but, not the others. Great idea about getting the chef to come to our villa. Do you mind telling me the approximate cost?
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Mar 17th, 2014, 10:03 PM
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Chef Mimmo brought a helper along they cooked in the villa's kitchen. We had nine people dining and they served a four course meal, 40Euro each. They served and cleaned it all up. Everyone thought it was a great bargain and the food was incredible. My daughter and I sat down with him a few days before and chose the menu from several suggestions he offered. Everyone, adults and teens, is still talking about it.
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Mar 18th, 2014, 05:47 AM
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We visited the Vignamaggio winery and garden very near Greve so not at all far from Panzano. You will need reservations. The tour is very detailed and the tasting after is very nice. Vignamaggio is reputed to be the birthplace of Mona Lisa and you will hear some about that, probably not true. It is also the place where Kenneth Braugnah's "Much Ado About Nothing" was filmed.

www.vignamaggio.it/index-english.html
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