Tuscany/Umbria advice needed

May 9th, 2011, 12:17 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2010
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Tuscany/Umbria advice needed

Thanks to all who have been so helpful in providing information for our upcoming October trip to Tuscany and Umbria. Here’s our plan as of today, but we are flexible, so any suggestions are most welcome. Please feel free to let me know if any of it is too crazy, difficult, waste of time.
We will be traveling strictly by bus or train and would love advice on your favorite restaurants in the cities mentioned below. We pack light (no dressy clothes, shoes and all the paraphernalia that goes along with them) and eat light, so we are especially interested in fun, local casual places. I’ve found it’s easier to meet other travelers/locals in those places vs. at a table for two in an upscale restaurant.
First day is Arezzo and it seems that the “Room 180” film at the Centro di Accoglienza Touristico is a good way to start off our trek though the city. Anyone have any reviews?

Next morning we’re off to our Siena apartment, taking the SienaMobilita bus from Arezzo. We’ll be spending 8 nights in Siena and most likely will have dinner in Siena after spending the day visiting other towns. Could use lots of restaurant recommendations! The towns I’m considering include bus trips to San Quirico , Pienza, Montepulciano, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, Montalcino, Castellina in Chianti, and the train to Certaldo Alto( for the Boccaccesca Sagra). I know we can’t get to all. Which ones would you put on the don’t miss list? Which ones would you skip?

Moving on to Assisi for 3 nights & plan to visit Perugia (for the Chocolate Festival) by bus, and Trevi (for the Black Celery and Sausage Festival) by train. From the viaMichelin.com maps it looks like Trevi is a long and arduous walk from the train station. Does anyone have experience with getting to Trevi from Assisi by public transportation or at least how difficult it is to get from the station to the town? Is there a local bus and will it run on a Sunday? I hate to miss what sounds like a fun festival, but if it’s not reasonable, I’ll forego it and consider another city. Any recommendations?

Do the train and bus schedules in Oct change much from the current schedules? Some cities have very few routes and I’m wondering if they have more during the spring and early fall.

As always, grazie mille for your great advice!
Floridacouple is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 01:05 PM
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Good luck! This may help in Tuscany:
GOOD EATS IN TOSCANA
I have never been called “ BOB THE FOODIE” , but here are some of the best places to eat in Tuscany based on feedback from many of my clients. Reservations are suggested for most!

$=inexpensive $$=moderate prices $$$= expensive

FLORENCE:
Osteria del Cinghiale Bianco $$ Across the river & very good.
La Giostra $$$ Excellent, but you must book in advance

SIENA:
Osteria Le Logge $$ Great place for lunch and near Il Campo
Cane e Gato $$$ A fixed price & menu for a true feast—allow 4 hours

LUCCA:
Buca di San Antonio $$ Best in town and near San Michele
Il Giglio $$ In the piazza of the same name---favorite with locals

SAN GIMIGNANO:
Il Pino $$ Very good typical Tuscan fare
Le Vecchie Mura $ Good value for a tourist town

MONTALCINO:
Taverna Grappolo Blu $ Popular with locals as well.
Ristorante Poggio Antico $$ Excellent cuisine 5km south of town at winery location
Enoteca Osteria Osticcio $ Best wine tasting & small meals in town

MONTEPULCIANO:
La Grotta $$ Near San Biagio church & very good
Café Poliziano $ Great place for lunch on shopping street

Osteria Acquacheta Best bistecca in Tuscany

PIENZA: Latte du Luna $$ Best choice in this charming village

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

MONTICCHIELLO: La Porta $ Charming place with outside terrace

SAN QUIRICO: Trattoria al Vecchio Forno $ Good food & fair value
bobthenavigator is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 01:35 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Forgive if you already googled this:

http://www.ktucitywalks.co.uk/436.html

It gives taxi phone numbers from Trevi station and also some bus info. I don't have first-hand knowledge of this poster or the info.

Montepulciano and Montalcino were two I loved from your list. I'd add Gubbio and Spoleto as well. Hub and I based in Perugia on one trip and Spoleto on another. Easy trains trips from Spoleto to Assisi, Orvieto, Trevi (we didn't go there) and Spello. When we were there, the Spello train station wasn't manned so get round-trip tickets there! At the time, our credit cards worked in the train ticket machines but I don't know if that is still true with the new chip technology.
TDudette is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 01:46 PM
  #4  
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OOOOOOOOOOOOH. Thanks, Bob. Now I'm hungry!

Thanks, Tdudette. I'll research getting from Assisi to Foligno and bus to Trevi from there. I've heard the taxi in Trevi comes from Foligno & is very expensive. And thanks, too for endorsements on M&M. I've heard many great things about Gubbio and Spoleto. We are fanatical about buying round trip tickets. Don't want to get caught by the transportation police!
Floridacouple is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 01:52 PM
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Once again, I happily join the exercise with the Navigator and added a few more. (ain't no foodie either...but none of these will break your bank or send you out begging for €'s)

FLORENCE:
$$ Across the river & very good. AGREE... Used to be a Mama Gina's in the same across Arno neighborhood (Oltarno)

SIENA:

ADD: Trattoria La Tellina (one block from Campo
and Gallo Nero side street next to bell tower.


SAN GIMIGNANO:

Le Vecchie Mura $ Good value for a tourist town Agree Been touting this one for years.
Also, addCiribiri, off the pedestrian main street and Stella's and at hotel La Cisterna, their La Terraze resto. Probably $$.
MONTALCINO:
Taverna Grappolo Blu $ Popular with locals as well.
Agree.
MONTEPULCIANO:

Café Poliziano $ Great place for lunch on shopping street Agree


PIENZA: Add La Buca

BAGNO VIGNONI: Osteria del Leone $ Good lunch choice in this spa hamlet. Agree

MONTICCHIELLO: La Porta $ Charming place with outside terrace
Agree..oh, yes. One of Tuscany's loveliest venues.

Don't know the transportation situation, we've always had a car.

Stu Tower (Bob, invited your kids to my grandson-in-law's Chicago performance with new band. They were going to be out of town.)
tower is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 02:16 PM
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Please excuse all of the "bolds"..must have not closed one of the characters.

While vsiting Perugia..on the very top level, Corso Vanucci ped street, visit the La Fortuna Hotel...interesting ivy-covered establishment..we loved staying there...and for a mom and pop resto off the main top-level piazza, Antica Trattoria del Volte.

Note: If taking pub transportation to Perugia, it's a long way to the top level from the bus staion...take a taxi to parking garage "Partisaner" and then navigate the series of elevators and escalators which, if you're lucky, will speed you to top-level Perugia. Optional, you can take the taxi to somewhere near the top-of-town...or perhaps there is a local bus. I don't know. I always describe getting around the streets of unique Perugia as a "bowl of overdone pasta, spilled on the floor".. but we like the city.
tower is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 04:00 PM
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Great Perugia restaurant: La Taverna.
RonZ is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 06:24 PM
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I've eaten at many of the places mentioned above. My very favorite is Ciribiri in San Gimignano.

Latte di Luna in Pienza is very good for the money.

You'll need to reserve at many of these places, including the two I've endorsed.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 06:28 PM
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Further: I would not try to plan travel from Assisi to Gubbio by public transportation.

There are many closer places to enjoy. Assisi itself has incredible sights. Don't miss the Eremo di San Francesco...St Francis's woodland retreat, just outside the city walls.

Perugia and Spello are both very easy to get to from Assisi.

Perugia is the home of the National Gallery of Umbria, which is a fabulous museum. Fabulous, and I'm not kidding.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 06:42 PM
  #10  
 
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Oh no, more from me. I've not seen nor heard of the film you mention in Arezzo, but I love Arezzo. Of course you will see the Piero della Francesca frescoes, and the huge and imposing piazza at the top of the town.

I have found the upper part of Arezzo a great eating town. Bakeries and sandwich shops all seem to be well worth stopping at. I don't mean near the train station, but above, in the upper more historic reaches of the town.

Passegiata in Arezzo is terrific on the main shopping street. Really a lot of fun to stroll, window shop, snack and people watch.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
May 17th, 2011, 07:22 AM
  #11  
 
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Then place to dine in Perugia is La Taverna.
RonZ is offline  

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