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Tuscany- scenic accomodations within walking distance to town?

Tuscany- scenic accomodations within walking distance to town?

Old Mar 14th, 2005, 11:25 AM
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Tuscany- scenic accomodations within walking distance to town?

We are in the process of revising our itinerary for this June, adding a few days in Tuscany instead of spending all our time in Florence. I have searched the forum for hotel ideas, but I'm wondering if anyone has a suggestion for a great hotel (we love the looks of Locanda Amorosa and La Suvera) that is walking distance to a pretty town. We really don't want to rent a car. We'd rather hire a driver to take us to some of the sites and winetasting, and spend some time relaxing around our hotel (preferably enjoying a wonderful view of the countryside). However, we do enjoy walking into town for lunch or dinner. We really want something upscale and romantic, and in a good position for visiting wineries and hill towns. Any ideas on a place that fits the bill? Or, any ideas not within walking distance to a town but scenic and romantic and a good base for southern tuscany?
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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 01:10 PM
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europhile,

I can make a recommendation for central Tuscany, but not southern. Last August, we stayed in Radda at Relais Fattoria Vignale, a gorgeous small hotel that looks out over acres of rolling Tuscan countryside and olive groves. There is a lovely pool at the back of the hotel which looks out on even more unbelievable scenery.

Like you, we didn't want to drive on vacation, so we hired Luca Garapa of Hillsandroads.com, who arranged wine tastings and daytrips for us. We really enjoyed his company, and found him very reasonably priced and knowledgable.

Radda is a very small town-- only a couple of streets- but there are a handful of wonderful restaurants, ( and stores) as well as an amazing pizzeria (Pizzeria Michele) which is cheap and features an owner who needs his own Italian comedy show!

Radda is very well located for visiting many other towns and cities. Florence is only 40 minutes away, so is Siena. San Gimignano is a little over an hour.

Anyway, I would highly recommend this hotel which had beautiful rooms and excellent service, as well.

Good luck, and have a great trip!

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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 04:53 PM
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Good question ! I do love both places you mention but not without a car. While not quite in the same class, here are 2 good 4 star places that are right in 2 of the best hill towns:
In Montalcino--Vecchia Oliviera
In Pienza---Il Chiostro

Both would be good bases for south Tuscany. And, hire Alessandro as your driver at www.montalcinotravel.com
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Old Mar 14th, 2005, 08:29 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions! Actually, we wrote both Allesandro (booked) and Luca (he will be our guide). Another question- are any of these (lovely) hotels within daytrip distance of the cinque terre? Or is this pushing it a bit? We'd love to see the villages and hike a bit, but would rather stay in Tuscany than move again.

Weadles- the website for Relais Fattoria looks great, but doesn't show any rooms. What were the rooms like?
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 05:18 AM
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europhile,

I think you'd be pushing it to take a daytrip to Cinque Terre from Radda. I'm guessing it would be between a 4-6 hour drive.

As for the rooms at Relais Fattoria Vignale, we stayed in the annex, which is across the street from the main building. We had two beautiful, simply decorated rooms ( tile floors, dark wood bed and armoire), and small but nicely appointed bathrooms with very good showers. Our windows ( one of the rooms had a small terrace) faced an enormous valley.

I really can't recommend this hotel enough. It's small enough so that you almost feel like a houseguest, and yet offers incredible service, as well as an outstanding breakfast with freshly baked pastries, every kind of cheese, and freshly grown fruits. We also had dinner by candelight at the hotel, which was very good, but expensive!

My only fear is that they're probably already booked up for the busy June season, but definitely give it a try!

And as for Luca, I hope that you enjoy him as much as we did. We had a fabulous lunch with him at La Bottega in Radda, and talked about everything from his years as a student in Spain, to recent Italian politics. It was really great.

Have a good trip!
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 07:00 AM
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Do you know if there are bus routes in this area. Or is a car, or driver absolutley needed. Also, I keep getting conflicting info on the international driving permit. Is is 100% needed, or just recommended? My plans keep changing based on the to drive or not to drive question. Thanks for any response.
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 07:43 AM
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Bus travel is possible but limiting in Tuscany. You would need to base in Siena for best connections. See the web site Turismoverde.com for schedules.
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 07:47 AM
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Thanks bobthenavigator. My head is swimming with all of the options. My first time to Italy. Sienna sounds great. I am checking into some placed there now, any suggestions?
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 07:47 AM
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Hi ssp--there are public buses that travel between Florence and some of the hill towns. We stayed in Panzano and the bus went right by outside on the little mini-highway that winds its way to Florence in one direction and to towns like Radda and Castellina in the other direction.
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 10:20 AM
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Ok- having looked at the websites again, we are thinking we might give in and rent a car for one day, drive around with Luca one day, and relax at our hotel one day. There is no availability at Frattoria Vignale, but there is availability at Locanda Amorosa (a 3 level Tower Suite) and at La Suvera (in the Papal Villa). Which would you choose?
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 10:27 AM
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One day rentals can be expensive, and where did you plan to rent it? It would be better to hire Luca or Alex. Why not stay in a village if you want to wander, shop, and try different places to eat? I vote for Montalcino.
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 01:06 PM
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Too bad about Relais Fattoria Vignale. I would vote for Locanda Amorosa, but only baesd on what I've read in previous posts on the forum. You might want to check those.

As for the one-day car rental idea, I had looked into it myself and nixed it right away. I think you'll find it prohibitively expensive!
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Old Mar 15th, 2005, 08:49 PM
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La Suvera for sure! Everything about it was wonderful.
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Old Mar 17th, 2005, 04:06 PM
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Lisa- more information, please! What was so great about it? Which building did you stay in?
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Old Mar 27th, 2005, 09:40 PM
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We were 3 couples so we all had different rooms. I think one couple was in the main building with a very elaborate suite with the most incredible bed. I can't remember what building we were in. The pool is lovely & we had an excellent dinner in their restaurant. It is definitely upscale & romantic! We recomended it to our friends who stayed there on their honeymoon.
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