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TUSCANY by car - romantic and epicurean holiday

TUSCANY by car - romantic and epicurean holiday

Apr 5th, 2005, 04:08 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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TUSCANY by car - romantic and epicurean holiday

My girlfriend and I are at a conference in Florence between the 10th to 14th of June. Thereafter,we wish to drive around Tuscany for 5 to 7 days before heading off to Rome.Our interest lies in romantic, luxurious inns/hotels in pretty, small towns/villages which stress on good food and wine. Since this area is totally unknown to us ( apart from the movie we have seen - " Beneath the Tuscan Sun " ), would be much obliged if we received suggestions on places/itinery/hotels/restaurants in this area. Is it possible to do Lake Como or Verona as part of our itinery ? Thanks and best wishes, Poe Roy
PoeRoy is offline  
Apr 5th, 2005, 04:43 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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How many times are you willing to move? This is a pretty fundamental choice.

As you want luxurious inns or hotels, I will not suggest an apartment rental, despite my own recent highly satsfactory experience in a glorious rental in Montepulciano. But I can observe that I found it a pleasant change NOT to move every couple of days (a definite damper on "romance").

With 5-7 days you could have 2 centres or at most 3, say.

Como and Verona are possible additions to your itinerary -- but then you really ARE spending a lot of time in the car, on Italian roads or motorways -- the antithesis of romance.
tedgale is offline  
Apr 5th, 2005, 05:02 AM
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Thanks, Tedgale.
2 or 3 centres as suggested by you would be ideal. From your mail it seems that Lake Como and Verona would be out of the way - hence droppable for this trip.
As time is short, you are correct in assuming that apartment rental would not be suitable. However, quaint, romantic villas or inns, off the beaten path would be great.
Look forward to your inputs.
PoeRoy is offline  
Apr 5th, 2005, 05:05 AM
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Hi Poe,

Some suggestions for when you are in Florence:

Il Ritrovo, 4 via dei Pucci, opens at 7:30. Closed Monday
This is a MUST. We ate there twice and were hard pressed to spend 100E for two with wine for a meal that was well prepared and beautifully presented.

Cantinetta Antinori, 3 Via degli Antinori
Great ambience, perfect service, excellent wines, VG+ food. About 125E with wine.

Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco, 43 Borgo San Jacapo
Very pleasant atmosphere. Good, but not outstanding, food. Interesting local wines.

ira is offline  
Apr 5th, 2005, 05:12 AM
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Thanks, Ira.
I have noted your suggestions for Florence. Any advise for Tuscany ?
PoeRoy is offline  
Apr 5th, 2005, 05:43 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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The town choices for Toscana are numerous. We like the small towns throughout the Chianti region, Greve, Panzano, Gaiole. Also, Cortona, San Gimignano, Montalcino and Montepulciano. Siena and Arezzo are very nice larger towns. The drive between Greve and Siena on the S222 is especially beautiful.

Our favorite restaurant in Toscana is Osteria Il Canto del Maggio in the small hill town off the A1 near Terranuova.
buongiorno is offline  
Apr 5th, 2005, 06:11 AM
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Here is a start. I would stay near Siena as your base location:

Here are some of the best places to eat in Tuscany based on feedback from my clients. Reservations are mandatory for most:
* inexpensive ** moderate *** expensive
__________________________________________________ ____

FLORENCE: Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco ** Across the Arno & good.
La Giostra *** 12 Borgo Pinti Superb, but must reserve

SIENA: Osteria le Logge ** Just off the Campo—great for lunch
Cane e Gato *** A fixed menu feast—allow 4 hours.

LUCCA: Buca di San Antonio ** Near San Michele—very pleasant
Il Giglio ** Piazza del Giglio—a favorite with locals

COLLE VAL D’ ELSA: Arnolfo *** Excellent gourmet cuisine

SAN GIMIGNANO: Le Vecchie Mura * Good Tuscan fare—not fancy

MONTERIGGIONI: Il Pozzo ** Rustic taverna in ancient fortress

CASTELLINA : Al Gallopapa** Varied menu in heart of Chianti

MONTEFOLLINICO: La Chiusa *** Remote, but best in Tuscany.

MONTEPULCIANO: La Grotta ** Excellent—near San Biagio Church
Caffe Poliziano * Great for lunch

PIENZA: Latte du Luna ** Best choice in this lovely village

SAN QUIRICO: Trattoria al Vecchio Forno * Authentic Tuscan fare

MONTALCINO: Boccon di Vino** Excellent—fixed menu at lunch
Grappolo Blu * You will find the locals here

BAGNO VIGNONI: Osteria del Leone* Good choice in this spa hamlet

bobthenavigator is offline  
Apr 5th, 2005, 07:10 PM
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Well, everyone agrees that Siena must be seen.

Maybe one centre in the north of Tuscany and one in the south would suit you. So Siena could be your more northerly base.

I am sorry I cannot personally recommend a hotel, as we did not stay in one. However, we dropped in at the Locanda dell'Amorosa near (but thankfully not in) Sinalunga.

Very accessible to the main A1 motorway and to the toll-free Siena-Perugia motorway.

It is NOT CHEAP, repeat NOT CHEAP. But check out the website: www.amorosa.it

If you are looking for romantic I shd think this wd leave your girlfriend very "amorosa" indeed.

BTW: Slowtrav.com is excellent for reviews of all kinds and you may get additional ideas there.

On this board I have recommended Montepulciano (where we spent a week in a rental apartment last month) as a must do in southern Tuscany.

Bobthenavigator recommends the Montepulciano restaurant La Grotta but in fairness there have been mixed views about that restaurant on this board.

My personal favourite in the town is Le Logge del Vignola and no-one here has yet dissented.

The Montepulciano area pulls in the following towns that bob mentions: Montefollonico, Pienza

A little further: San Quirico, Montalcino

And to the east of MP: I wd add Torrita di Siena and Lucignano, 2 of the prettiest towns you will find. BOth are very close to the unlovely Sinalunga, if you chose to stay at the Amorosa (which we initially mistook for a small village set among open fields).
tedgale is offline  
Apr 5th, 2005, 11:15 PM
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Thank you buongiorno, thank you bobthenavigator and specially to you tedgale.
All your advuse is very well appreciated and I think that we have enough to start our planning.
Anything else would be also appreciated.
PoeRoy is offline  
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