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Debbie Jun 5th, 2001 06:37 AM

*** TUSCANY/UMBRIA- most memorable/non tourist spots ***
As I have been to Tuscany and Umbria on business where would you advise <BR>lovely, "hidden" spots that perhaps not mentioned on this forum. Of those well-know towns mentioned on forum, where most folks would visit, which would you consider the MOST memorable and why? Trying to plan a trip a bit off the beaten path. Any advise is truly appreciated. Grazie!

topper Jun 5th, 2001 07:13 AM

Yes, help her please!

dick patterson Jun 5th, 2001 08:05 AM

I really enjoyed Pitigliano in southern Tuscany. Besides being a very nice little town, if you approach it from Manciano, the sight of the cliffs on which it is built and which appear to be part of the houses is amazing! Between Pitigliano and Saturnia is another thing which stands out in my memory, the Cascate del Mulino. This is a waterfall whose source is the sulfur springs, but you don't have to stay at one of the area spas to use it. Everybody just strips down to their swimsuits, leaves their clothes on the grass, and bathes in the spring. I had a little trouble finding it -- there's just a "parcheggio" (parking lot) along the road which doesn't say what it's a parcheggio for.

Joe Jun 5th, 2001 08:33 AM

Gubbio, a small hilltop town about 30 miles north of Perugia, doesn't get much play on this board or in thr guide books. It is a lovely, very intact, medieval town. The countryside is beautiful (farm country); sunflowers, grain, vinyards, etc. Gubbio has been noted for it's porcelin for hundreds of years. There are more independent little shops than you can visit in a day. The hike to the top of the town is glorius. What views of the countryside. <BR> <BR>You will come close to/pass through Perugia and Assisi on the way to Gubbio. These are certainly worth a stop with Assisi being a major tourist attraction as you know. Orvieto, Todi and Spoletto are not far. Also, very worthwhile stops. The area around Orvieto is fantatsic; Etruscan Ruins and Burial Sites, first rate wineries, the little town of Bastardo (yuk, yuk). Civita de Boregno has been made famous by Rick Steeves, but it was not at all crowded when we were there. And, it is a wonderfully preserved old hilltop villiage. Oh Italy! So much to see, so much to do.

Joe Jun 5th, 2001 09:51 AM

Of course, the "old hilltop villiage" I referred to in my reply above is Civita di Bagnoregio. It is an easy drive from Orvieto and really worthwhile.

BOB THE NAVIGATOR Jun 5th, 2001 09:53 AM

Debbie, There are many, but you would have to make some choices of regions. My favs off-the-path would include: <BR>Castelnuovo Garfagnana <BR>Volterra <BR>Bagno Vignoni <BR>Montepulciano <BR>Spello <BR>Todi <BR>Civita [ although not in either] <BR> <BR>Why these ?--in a word, "authenticity". <BR>Try to go where the tour bus chooses not to venture---Tuscany has gotten too crowded---Umbria less so but gaining. <BR>

Lexma90 Jun 5th, 2001 09:54 AM

It's hard to find a place that doesn't have any tourists! <BR> <BR>I would second Gubbio; it's a small town with fewer tourists. We ate in a great place that was entirely made of stone. There aren't many hotels in the old city (only one is 3 stars), but it's definitely preferable to the newer part of town. <BR> <BR>Also, Civita di Bagnoregio (Rick Steves' village) is magical; the geography of the area was interesting, with the tuffa cliffs making the village look like its located in the middle of nowhere. <BR> <BR>I like Volterra, which definitely gets its share of tourists, but is a beautiful, somehwat austere town. The Etruscan museum there is very good. <BR> <BR>In northern Tuscany, the hills around Collodi are beautiful. <BR> <BR>There's a tiny walled village called Monteriggioni north of Siena. There's not much there, but it's a picturesque village and several restaurants, each of which have tables in beautiful gardens at the back of the restaurant - we went out of our way to have lunch at one. <BR> <BR>Just drive around Tuscany with a detailed map, and stop at any town or village that catches your fancy.

dale Jun 5th, 2001 09:58 AM

as long as we are in umbria, i nominate four little hill towns between assisi and spoleto. from north to south: spello, bevagna, montefalco and trevi. all not 40 km apart. ciao.

Patti Jun 5th, 2001 12:20 PM

HI, <BR>I recommend Gubbio as well--a lively city with friendly people. You have to take the funicular to the top of the town. It's this tiny basket you stand up in--not for the faint of heart! <BR> <BR>I also loved Norcia, on the border between Umbria and the Marches. It's a surprisingly affluent town--they are the truffle capital of Italy, lovely shops, a nice little museum, interesting churches, gorgeous surrounding countryside, very few tourists. However, we did meet a brother at St. Benedict's church who was from Michigan! Try the chocolate biscotti at the sweet shop behind the church. I still dream about them! <BR> <BR>Have fun! <BR>Patti <BR>

Diane Jun 5th, 2001 01:58 PM

Chiusi. Of course, there may be more tourists there in season, but we were there the May 10-12 and saw very few. It is a town were people seem to live everyday lives -- high school kids doing homework in the park, Grandmas watching little kids in the evenings, local stores that cater to locals rather than tourists. There is a lovely Etruscan Museum and a beautiful Opera Theater there. We stayed in a great B&B (Residenza re Porsenna) and dined at a fabulous restaurant (I'll have to go home and get the card.)

kam Jun 5th, 2001 02:50 PM

In Umbria, Trevi, Montefalco, Narni and Todi. In Tuscany, all the little towns in the Garfagnana (our favorite is Barga), Camaiore, Montecarlo, Certaldo, Artimino for the Medici villa and Poggio a Caiano for another Medici villa. Prato, although pretty industrial, has a beautiful duomo with frescos by Filippo Lippi--his Madonna--and Donnatello's dancing putti. Finally, a part of Tuscany that is rarely visited by tourists is the Maremma, south of Siena along the coast. One lovely town is Massa Marittima(after you get past the small industrial part)and another is the little seaside resort of Castiglione della Pescaia--fairly nice beach and walled town on the hill.As someone suggests above, just rent a car and wander.

Diane Jun 5th, 2001 03:26 PM

The restaurant in Chiusi: La solita Zuppa (traditional Tuscan cuisine) One of the top meals we had in three weeks all over Italy. An excellent value, a lovely dining room, and terrific, personal service. You have a full meal, with several choices for each course. (The owner walks you through your choices.) Wine is matched to the courses. Sweet white wine with antipasti of pears/cheese/nuts, house red(a Montepulciano) with the next two courses we had Tuscan onion soup and pici w/duck ragout for primis, and wild boar and lamb for the secondis. For dolce we chose mixed berries, and a cooked coffee-creme, served with a glass of a terrific Sicilian "Zibbibo". THEN coffee. Total dinner for two was under 120,000 lira. This meal beat any we later had in Venice, Florence or Rome.

Steve the Guide Jun 5th, 2001 10:36 PM

Hi Lady. A place not only a 'bit' off the beaten path in Tuscany ?? <BR>Rent a car from Florence or somewhere and go to Santo Stefano (south-west) and so catch a bot (with your car) to Isola del Giglio Isle (about one hour trip).Here there is an Hotel called PArdini Hermitage. You can reach that small wounderfol house by boat, or by horse ....See <BR>Some nices Hotel, with no Americans tourist at all... are at Giglio Campese, on opposite side of the Giglio porto. In the evening, at last you are togher with 50 persons. Im speaking in June and July, not is August, Ciao Steve

italyfan Jun 6th, 2001 01:16 AM

For Italy off-the-beaten path lovers, <BR>the area west of Florence offers some lovely options. For example, Casciana Alta, a small village with a geothermal spa. Some pictures and more info can be found at the web site of a small new <BR>restored historic villa project where one can also rent an apartment or villa. <BR> <BR> <BR>

ingrid Jun 7th, 2001 06:00 AM

check out and follow the links to Italy, Tuscany, Marco. He mentions several little towns that I've never come across in my guidebooks. And please report back!

debbie Jun 8th, 2001 12:04 PM

Grazie a tutti!! Thank you all!! <BR> <BR>Great places mentioned. Appreciate you giving me the big start to reasearch further. I trust all the fodorites who have the same love of traveling.

Jen Jun 8th, 2001 02:58 PM

If you stop in Assisi, there's a wonderful path at the top of town, on which (over the several days we were there) there were no tourists, just the quiet monks and nuns, who nodded to us as we strolled by. Very wonderful walks above all the activity in town proper.

Don and Linda Jun 8th, 2001 05:33 PM

Ciao Debbie, <BR> <BR>In our newly-posted travelogue of Italy, we described many of the towns that Fodorites have suggested in this thread. <BR> <BR>You can read our the travelogue online at and there are a couple of other Italy travelogues (from previous years) on our site as well. <BR> <BR> is non-commercial

Rex Jul 22nd, 2001 07:27 PM

Here is (at least) one of your posts - - over a month old, and nothing added to it for over six weeks. Not sure how you tried searching for it. I found it with a search for "Debbie", with (the)Italy (country indicator) highlighted. <BR> <BR>Are there more? <BR> <BR>Best wishes, <BR> <BR>Rex <BR>

Helper Jul 23rd, 2001 10:49 AM

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