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tuess Feb 12th, 2002 12:20 PM

Tuscany must sees in a week! HELP!!
I will be in Tuscany (staying in Montecatini) in less than 2 weeks and have only 1 week there. I am trying to squeeze in as much as possible - have already been to Siena and Florece. What's your opinion on: <BR>San Gimignano, Portofino, Perugia, Assisi, Piena, Montalcino and Montepulciano?

GAC Feb 12th, 2002 12:29 PM

Go to San Gimignano, Montepulciano, Pienza and Montalcino. Don't miss Lucca. Skip Portofino (too wintery, out of area, go next time). Time permitting, see Assisi, Perugia and Orvieto.

lisa Feb 12th, 2002 12:35 PM

We stayed in Montalcino and absolutely loved it. GREAT wine, good food, some nice shops, friendly people, charming atmosphere. Taste as much Brunello as you can! We also really enjoyed Pienza -- be sure to sample some pecorino cheese in one of the myriad cheese shops. Montepulciano was quite a bit larger than Montalcino & Pienza and for that reason we weren't quite as enamored of it, although it is picturesque as well.<BR><BR>I haven't been to San Gimi, Portofino, Perugia, or Assisi, but if you only have a week I think I too would give Portofino a miss this time around since it's pretty out of the way.

Michele Feb 12th, 2002 01:01 PM

Lisa - where did you stay in Montalcino? I've heard great things about Hotel Vecchia Oliviera, but I fear they may be booked as they haven't responded yet to my reservation request. Montalcino seems like a lovely town and a great home base for exploring, so I'm hoping there are other really great places to stay!

lisa Feb 12th, 2002 02:43 PM

Vecchia Oliviera is where I stayed, and I posted a trip report about it. We absolutely loved it. If you haven't received a response I suggest trying again. The e-mail I used was [email protected]

Auleen Feb 14th, 2002 06:04 PM

GAC: You said "Don't miss Lucca." I hear so little about it but it sounds delightful. Did you stay there? Could you recommend a pension or hotel? We will be going to Italy in May.

BOB THE NAVIGATOR Feb 15th, 2002 07:08 AM

Michele, Stay in Montalcino if you can.<BR>Search and find Albergo Il Giglio if you want a true Tuscan experience for about $75/nite. You will love it.

Wayne Feb 15th, 2002 08:30 AM

Another really neat hotel on the hillside in Montalcino, with great views over the Tuscan hills, is the Hotel Residence Montalcino. It's also a reasonable price, and since you probably are driving, you might like the fact that they have a place to park your car under the hotel (but you'll need to advise them ahead, as they have space for only about 3 or 4 cars). It's a delightful place, and the cellar restaurant under the hotel is also very good. They have email, but I don't recall what their address is. If you can't find it, post again and I'll dig it up. Have fun. By the way---no elevator, so that might be an issue. Most of the really charming smaller hotels still don't have elevators.

Wayne Feb 15th, 2002 10:03 AM

While passing back by this point, I thought I would include the email address for the Hotel Residence Montalcino. It's [email protected]. They can handle English very well. I might add that we took two relatives on a first-time trip through Italy, Austria, and France last summer, and the Residence Montalcino, and the village of Montalcino, were there favorite.

Michele Feb 15th, 2002 03:25 PM

Thanks for all of the great Montalcino lodging suggestions! We were able to get a room at Vecchia Oliviera using the e-mail address Lisa provided. It's nice to see all the wonderful comments about Montalcino. Hopefully it means we've made a good choice!

scout Feb 15th, 2002 11:35 PM

I spent a week in Montecatini this time last year. Had great weather. Go to San Gimingano for sure, bring home wine from Montepulciano. I would skip Portofino, don't even think about going to Pisa. Lucca is a great day trip from Montecatini and incredibly easy to get there by bus from the station right next the Montecatini Centro train station. The "Eyewitness Travel Guide to Florence and Tuscany" was awesome for info on the sites in these towns. I loved Montecatini...I felt very safe walking to and from the train or bus after dark and the people were very friendly. have fun.

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