Tuscany Logistics - What do you think ?

Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 04:46 AM
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Tuscany Logistics - What do you think ?

We start with three days in Florence then train to Siena for two full days / three nights locally. Therafter we pick up a rental car and travel to Hotel Pescille near to San Gimignano for four nights.

Thank you to Bob the Navigator for this car friendly well located suggestion. From there we will take in the local area and radiate out into Chianti and elsewhere.

We then plan to travel down to San Quirico d' Orcia or Pienza for another 3-4 days focused locally and around Montalcino, Montepulciano etc.. Hotel Palazzo del Capitano in San Quirico has been recommended, but we would really like to find a beautiful place with an outdoor pool as it will be close to the end of June.

After San Quirico or Pienza, we have two full days left before droping off the car and taking the train to Rome.

Should we visit Chiusi or Orvieto ?

Have we made any noticeable mistakes ? Thank you for any ideas and help generally.
Good_Will is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 04:58 AM
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Looks like a good plan. I stayed a week (May 2007) in San Quirico in an apartment and absolutely loved the town. There weren't a million tourists there, especially in the evenings when we'd take a stroll after dinner. It also was an ideal base for visiting the southern part of Tuscany.

carolsc is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 06:33 AM
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Well, it strikes me that that is slow travel at its most extreme. Siena is only about an hour and a half away from Florence, and San Giminginano is close by also. If you are using each as a ``base'' to tour an area by car, then there is a lot of overlap in your areas. Why not just stay in one hotel or apartment the whole time and avoid the schlep of moving? ( Of course, it is your choice -- I just want to help make it an informed choice )

Another point: The Florence to Siena bus stops in the center of Siena, while the train stops a ways ouside of town center. There may be a convenience factor involved.
capxxx is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 06:34 AM
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Looks good.

I think that you will find it easier to take the SITA bus (station is on Via Santa Caterina da Siena near the SMN) directly into Siena, instead of to the train station outside of town. You won't have to schlep your luggage on/off the train, either.

Haven't been to Chiusi. Liked Orvieto very much.

ira is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 07:12 AM
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Thank you Ira and capxx- a very good tip.

capxxx, the idea of going to Siena by train ( now definately the bus - thank you ) after Florence is to walk the area - take in the local and cultural side for a few days without using Siena as a base.

It is at Siena that we then hire a car for a week to cover generally the north commencing from around San Gimignano/Siena region into Chianti etc and then on by car to south eastern areas covering important towns, wine producers etc. Then we favour a few nights in Orvieto which has much to recommend it. Then of course a one hour direct train trip into Rome.

Generally we tend to move quickly and cover a fair bit of territory.

Thank you for your suggestions.
Good_Will is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 08:53 AM
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If you are very interested in Etruscan culture, then you should by all means visit Chiusi, because it's museum is fantastic.

Where are you dropping off your car? Orvieto is a good choice.

While in southern Tuscany, I would suggest you pay a visit to the abbey at San Galgano, which is spectacular. Look it up on the web.

And I hope you will visit the Crete Sinese area of Tuscany, which is backtracking a bit from Montalcino, but well worth. A destination to consider there is the abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore, which has a marvelous fresco cycle.

Another place I find quite interesting in Buonconvento, which is a perfectly flat valley town not far from Montalcino, which has marvelous art and charm as well as very dynamic museum of the history of the farmworkers of Tuscany. Hardly anybody goes to this town, so if you are sick of tourists, have lunch there!

But do you have any particular interests other than art and history -- like antique shopping (Arezzo) or hot springs (Saturnia, or even near Montepulicano) or Judaism (Pitigliano).
zeppole is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 03:27 PM
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We enjoy all things and will follow up on your tips zeppole. There is a lot to study between now and departure in June. We would also really like to cover some of the better wineries/vignerons and will probably need to communicate with them well in advance. While wine tasting is generally gratis and commonplace in Australia, I suspect the pressure of tourism have impacted to create challenges in Tuscan wine-tourism. Thanks again.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 03:37 PM
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Do you have any plans to visit the Enoteca Italiana di Siena?


They do a wine week in June, and it's one of the major wine events of Italy.

I also understand that a certain times of the year wineries have open houses, and the Enoteca can send you a list.

You should probably get in touch with them.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 04:16 PM
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Very nice trip, but I am not sure you need to have 4 hotels in that scenario. I would see Siena as a day trip from either San Gim. or south Tuscany--no need to stay there. Yes, you want Orvieto--much more impressive than Chiusi.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 05:02 PM
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Thanks for the very important link zeppole. My studies had not taken me to it yet.

Bob, the idea of train or bus to Siena first was on the basis that I did not want to pick up a car in Florence and have the hassle of it while spending 2 days in the streets, art venues etc. of Siena.

I guess that the perception I have is that Siena has many residents and tourists whereas everywhere else has many tourists. Therefore I treat Siena as a standalone place like Florence with lots to see and now with Enoteca Italiana di Siena there will be even more than lots to see.

Then to a Pescille room with balcony in San Gimignano 4 days (thank you for the tip) and on to San Quirico/Pienza region. We like the look of Le Traverse and thus an exposure to Agriturismo and have requested accommodation there. Orvieto is good for us as there is much to see and we can drop the car off earlier when we get there. The short train 1 hour train ride into Rome on the main line is also a plus. Thanks again.
Good_Will is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 07:22 PM
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If you plan to spend 2 days in Siena then I concur.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2009, 07:44 PM
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Before you drop your car at Orvieto, you might want to venture a little past it to Civita Bagnoregio.
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Old Apr 24th, 2009, 05:21 AM
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Thank you kybourbon.

We will go to the very fragile Civita di Bagnoregio. When we get through finalising the accommodation we will get into the detailed navigation around Orvieto.

Now, Siena appears to be a challenge to achieve good value for money accomodation. I thought Palazzo Ravizza was a good value benchmark to achieve a king size bed (letto matramoniale) but at 230 Euros per night entry point in the middle of June I think we need to do better. Any ideas greatly appreciated. Athena ? Il Chiostro del Carmine ? Santa Caterina ? Chiusarelli ? Thanks for any further guidance you may be able to provide us newbies.
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Old Apr 24th, 2009, 08:41 AM
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I stayed 7 nights at this Siena B&B a few years ago and loved it. My room was large and had a skylight and views overlooking the town. The atmosphere was very Tuscan. The people were warm and friendly. The location is very central. I think I payed 70 euro a night. Highly recommended.

zoecat is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2009, 08:49 AM
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We liked Santa Caterina--but also not cheap.
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Old Apr 24th, 2009, 04:32 PM
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Thanks again. We have contacted both hotels and will see what is on offer.
Good_Will is offline  
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