Pienza or Montalcino

Old Sep 28th, 2004, 02:20 PM
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Pienza or Montalcino

Hello all

I am having a pickle of a time choosing between these two towns. My wife and I are travelling in December and January and will be staying 4 to 5 days in one of them. We are considering the Hotel Il Giglio in Montalcino and the Hotel La Citta Ideale in Pienza. Any thoughts or recommendations?

Thanks a bunch!
Jason
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Old Sep 28th, 2004, 02:49 PM
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Pienza is the more attractive town in my opinion. Also a bit easier to drive in and out of for day trips. Easy access to Montelpulciano. Many good restaurants such as Latte di Luna, La Pergola, Buca della Fate, and Rosellini's. I am not familiar with the Hotel La Citte Ideale. Is it right in town?
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Old Sep 28th, 2004, 06:57 PM
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I would pick your location based on the best heat options being offered by the hotel. Montalcino is the more interesting town, but Pienza is flatter with better parking. Take a tennis warm-up to sleep in.
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 03:48 AM
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I would vote for Pienza. Liked it much better than Montalcino. To each his own, I guess ...
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 05:00 AM
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Another vote for Pienza. We have always felt at home there and as Boulder said many great restaurants.
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 05:12 AM
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Another vote for Pienza. My kids are still raving about over a year later!
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 06:05 AM
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Never been to Pienza, darn it. But we really enjoyed Montalcino in March, especially Hotel Il Gilgio (room 7).
Great dinner with a wine tasting menu.
Very cozy. Unforgettable.
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 07:16 AM
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Like them both. My personal favorite is Montalcino.
Montalcino will have great views and also has great food.
It depends on what you plan to do.
Pienza is a little better located for day trips.
Montalcino will also most likely be a bit chilier (if winds are blowing.
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 08:21 AM
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Been to both but haven't stayed the night in either. I always thought I'd like to return to Pienza...it is flatter, (but beautiful views down over the valley) and easier to get around and a wonderful,friendly town. Montalcino is a little larger I think, VERY hilly,tight streets, but so interesting...very curvy road getting in and out .but either would be lovely. My vote is Pienza. We had friends who stayed a week and based in Montalcino, and they did fine.
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 09:14 AM
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We stayed at Il Gilio in June of this year. Hotel was what you would expect for the money. I would vote for Pienza over Montalcino. I would stay next time, in Montalpuciano (sp?) over Pienza or Montalcino. It is flat lots of shops and cafes with a great medival feel. Also, easy in and out with lots of parking.
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 09:35 AM
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Another vote for Pienza. We just returned from our first visit to Tuscany and loved Pienza. It is much easier to drive into than Montalcino and also alot prettier little town IMO
Enjoy your trip!
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Old Sep 29th, 2004, 09:41 AM
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We also stayed at Hotel Il Giglio. The hotel is small and easy to get to once you learn the way. The folks who run it are very helpful. They were kind enough to park the car for us...which really did enhance our experience. We enjoyed breakfast because of the varied selections and the lovely view.

As said above, Montalcino is very steep while Pienza is flatter...a factor which could make a big difference to many folks. Both towns have a good selection of restaurants which is great because you don't have to get in the car again, especially at night on unfamiliar roads.

Don't fret over this decision. Toss a coin, and you will be happy with the result either way.
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Old Sep 30th, 2004, 04:36 AM
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Just got back from the area. My vote would be for Montepulciano, but that wasn't one of your choices.
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Old Oct 1st, 2004, 11:29 AM
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I would choose Pienza, and plan to go back after staying at a house and visiting Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza and several other places in the area. Pienza was charming, but I'm not sure about visiting this area in December and January. It was mighty cold in several buildings (the Cathedral in Pienza was bone chilling) in March.

Dress warm. Have fun. Pienza has great food... I loved the Pecorino Fresca.
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Old Oct 1st, 2004, 12:27 PM
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Can you get to Pienza from Florence by public transportation and how far a trip is it?
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Old Oct 1st, 2004, 04:32 PM
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Stineri,
Please tell us more about the Hotel Citta Ideale in Pienza.
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Old Oct 1st, 2004, 04:51 PM
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As others have said, Montepulciano would be my pick in the area. It's a bit larger for a 4-5 day stay.

But, between the two you mentioned, consider that Pienza smells like pecorino and Montalcino smells like Brunello.

Both are nice small towns. I'd choose the one with the nicer hotel.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 06:14 AM
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Jason,
Pienza and Montalcino are only about a 20 minute drive from one another, it would seem easy to visit both. I would pick the hotel you like best and go with that.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 07:29 AM
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For JeanneB:

http://www.idealpienza.com/en-accommodation.htm
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Old Oct 2nd, 2004, 11:45 AM
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Josh, you make it even harder to decide. I'd like to go to bed where it smells like wine, but wake up to the smell of Pecorino -- not Brunello! So how can you go to sleep in Montalcino, but wake up in Pienza?

But by the way, my vote would go for Pienza over Montalcino, regardless of the smells.
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