Tuscan/Umbria Recommendations

Old Oct 26th, 2004, 09:00 AM
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Tuscan/Umbria Recommendations

My husband and I are planning to travel to Tuscany/Umbria in late June for approx. 10 days. Is it feasible to stay in one town and drive out daily to visit the various hill towns? If so, which is the best "homebase"? Any B&B or inn recommendations?
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Old Oct 26th, 2004, 09:08 AM
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Tuscany and Umbria are big areas, so it would be helpful for you to prioritize your "must-sees".

A friend and I just got back from a trip including 5 days in central'ish Tuscany. We spent one night outside of San Gimignano at Tenuto Quadrifoglio, one night in Siena at Palazzo Brucchi, and three nights in Montefollonico (a few minutes away from Montepulciano) at "La Costa".

In hindsight, we wished we'd spent the two nights at Tenuto Quadrifoglio and kept the three nights at La Costa. We strongly recommend both of these accommodations.

Our "must-sees" were San Gimignano, Volterra, Siena (which Tenuto Quadrifoglio would have been perfect for) and Montalcino, Pienza, Montelpulciano, Cortona and various abbeys. La Costa was perfect for these towns.

Hope the above helps,

Linda
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Old Oct 26th, 2004, 09:17 AM
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We were in Tuscany a year ago and loved where we stayed-Frances Lodge--it's a b & b in Siena but outside the walls-it has a gorgeous view of Siena at night and was a great location for travelling all over as long as you have a car. From there we easily travelled through Chianti, to San Gim., Montelpulciano, Montalcino, Cortona, Pienza and of course Siena. There is also a bus route (a 10 min ride) into Siena from close by so you don't have to worry about parking. There website is Franceslodge.it.
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Old Oct 26th, 2004, 10:36 AM
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While I understand many who love one base for a long period of time,I also understand the desire to see as much as possible.
IMHO,if you want Tuscany and Umbria, you will need at least 2 bases to maximize your stay.
A car is crucial.
We based in Assisi last year for Umbria and was able to reach all the towns we wanted.There are other bases that also work well there.
When I think of Tuscany, I think north and south. To best see them both, you really need 2 different bases.We did Montalcino this year and Buonconvento last for the south.
In the north we stayed in Greve both years.
While we are still planning next years,I expect our Tuscany part of the trip will be close to the same.
If you fly in and out of Florence, you can do a circle.Umbria,then south,then north Tuscany.
Have a great time planning!
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Old Oct 26th, 2004, 05:16 PM
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We stayed in Spoleto for 2 nights at Hotel San Luca. We enjoyed our stay..not a B&B, but we liked the hotel and the town was not touristy at all. It was easy to take a day trip to Assisi from there and Orvieto. Another place we wanted to stay in the Orvieto area I think was called La Badia. It looked very interesting...12th century cloister type of place. I read a great review on their restaurant too. I looked into that property a while ago...I think it was right outside Orvieto, but it could be somewhere in Tuscany...I can't remember for sure. It had a website. Check it out in case.

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Old Oct 26th, 2004, 05:53 PM
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I agree with two bases. However, if just one try something like Cortona...easy access to Florence, Siena, Chiant, Assisi and near the A1 to get to Orvieto pretty quick. For two bases, best would be perhaps Pienza and Spello or Speleto.
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Old Oct 26th, 2004, 07:41 PM
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If you have ten days to work with, I'm in agreement with everyone that it's really more practical to use two bases. Otherwise you'd be doing so much driving!

We visited Umbria last year with the intent of seeing Tuscany as well, but found so much in Umbria that we never left its borders. Perugia makes a very good Umbria home plate. Beside being a wonderful town in its own right, it's very easy to visit the towns of Gubbio, Todi, and Assisi. (There, I've just given you my favorites!) Bear in mind that distances may not be far in terms of mileage, but you're dealing with mountainous roads with lots of hairpin turns. You'll love the scenery but you won't go very far very fast! This alone makes a very good argument for dividing your trip up between the two regions.

 
Old Oct 26th, 2004, 10:32 PM
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We stayed in one of the agriturismos outside of Pienza. It was an ideal location for us. From there, we visited Siena, San G, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Chianti, Pienza, and San Quirico. Then we visited Orvieto on the way to Rome. We didn't get to visit Lucca or Pisa, but we fully intend to return to Tuscany for a relaxing Tuscany-only vacation in a couple of years.

The agriturismo we stayed in was Castello La Grancia, which we booked online through italyby.com. You can stay in the actual castle, but there is no a/c., or you can stay in one of the farmhouses where there was a/c. We opted for air conditioning, but it was pretty weak. The accommodations were fabulous, however. Our room was beautiful and opened up right into the garden. We paid only 85E/night, and it was worth many times that. One warning, however - Carletti, the owner, speaks no English. The few phrases of Italian I knew were embellished with lots of hand gestures and referencing to my Italian for Travelers book, and we did just fine. I can't imagine a more perfect place!
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