Tuscany Wine Country

Old Apr 27th, 2005, 01:53 PM
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Tuscany Wine Country

My Husband and I are planning a trip to Italy this summer. A couple days in Rome and then a week on the isle of Ischia. We're huge wine lovers and would like to take a day trip to Tuscany and see wine country. Can anyone recommend a staregy? Should we rent a car, drive, and spend the night or go with a tour?

Desperately looking for advice.
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Old Apr 27th, 2005, 02:24 PM
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hi dsemmel

You'll probably find a lot of Italian wine lovers here.

A pretty easy day trip from Rome for Tuscan wine would be to go to Montalcino, the epi center of wines made primarily from Sangiovese grapes. There are numerous tours available or you can go it alone and just wander. I would recommend a car.
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 04:08 AM
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If you only going to do one day & you want to taste as much vino as possible, here's what I recommend. Select one town, either Montalcino, as mentioned, or Greve.

Montalcino is the center of one of the best Italian wines, Brunello. There is a very good enoteca(wine store) in a fortress at the top of Montalcino. The people know their wines very well, speak many languages and arrange very good tasting selections. Plus you can walk around the ramparts of the fortress overlooking the Val D' Orcia. There are also several other enotecas and caffes in Montalcino, and the town is nice with great views. You can visit local wineries nearby, set in very pretty settings.

Greve is in the heart of Chianti. Greve isn't as attractive as Montalcino but has a great enoteca to taste nearly 100 types of Tuscan wines. It's set up in a automated dispensing system that allows a small taste, for a fee, of a variety of Tuscan wines, not just Chianti. If your trying to taste a wide range of Tuscan wines this is THE place. Greve has a lot of shops and caffes with a few other enotecas. You could travel anywhere around Greve and be surronded by what I think is the shear beauty of Tuscany. Any direction from (and to) Greve is surronded by vineyards and the beauty of Chianti.

Can't advise on tours as I've always used a car. That realy helps to see the beauty that surronds you.

Both towns have plenty of vineyards & wineries to explore nearby. If the Tuscan wine experience is your goal either of these should fit that objective.
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 04:44 AM
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If anyone orders merlot, I'm leaving. I am NOT drinking any f'ing merlot!
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 04:48 AM
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aaawww Edward, friends don't let friends drink white zin... now merlot as well?

Dsemmel? Whatta trip your planning.
Sounds terrific.
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 04:59 AM
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Thank you for all the suggestions...it gives me something to look forward to. Do you suggest staying the night in Tuscany or heading back to Rome?
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 05:02 AM
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Lorenzi, you sound like a pro...when was your last trip to Italy?

After Rome we're heading to the isle of Ischia, any suggestions?
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 05:09 AM
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Hi ds,

I suggest renting a car and spending one night before returning to Rome.

Have a nice visit.

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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 07:11 AM
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No where near a pro, just love it like so many of us here on the site.

I would stay overnight in Tuscany for a few reasons. You can drink as much as you'd like without worrying about driving back. You could experience a good Tuscan dinner, and pair your wines if your inclined. Tuscan cucina is different from that of Roma/Lazio and the predominance of seafood on the coast.
Dinning on a terrace overlooking the Tuscan hills / vineyards will be diferent experience then siting out in the piazzas of Roma or the coast of Ischia.

You may rise in the morning with a fog or that particular Tuscan haze rolling over the Tuscan hills.

Should I go on ?

Sorry can't help with Ischia... yet.

October, ask me in a month and I'll be able to say , just a few weeks ago.

CIAO

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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 07:57 AM
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I would suggest a couple of options, recommending an overnight stay for both.

One, staying in Montalcino as others have recommended. If you do, go to Il Paradiso di Frassina. They make two great wines and are experimenting with the effect vibrations of music have on the growing of grapes. First of all, the wines, Gea and Do ("Do" is pronounced like the note), are fantastic. Secondly, hearing the music played throughout the vineyard during your tour and tasting engages all your senses and is very dramitic with the backdrop of rolling Tuscan hills. They also have rooms, so you can stay the night there at a reasonable price. It's just a couple minutes from the walls of Montalcino by car. If you do not overnight there, be sure to call in advance to arrange for a tour and tasting so they will be expecting you. (tel: 0577 839031, web: www.alparadisodifrassina.it, email: [email protected])

Two, stay in Siena at Piccolo Hotel Oliveta (just a block outside the walls with parking). It's proximity to Chianti, Montalcino, and Montepulciano, make it a great place to base for wine tasting. Also, Antonio, the proprietor of the hotel, is not only a wonderful host with a wealth of knowledge and love for Tuscany, but he also has a touring company called Country Tours. This is a fantastic option for getting the most out of your winetasting day without getting lost, trying to arrange tours and tastings with wineries on your own, or worrying about partaking too heavily in the grape and having to drive. You can go on a full day tour - I believe that Fabio is the guide. If you stay overnight at PHO, you should try the restaurant Osteria la Sosta di Violante, the best meal I have ever eaten in my life! ("When Harry Met Sally" good!)(Country Tours web: www.country-tours.com; Piccolo Hotel Oliveta tel: 0577 283930, web: www.oliveta.com; Osteria la Sosta di Violante tel: 0577 43774)

Have a great time!
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Old Apr 28th, 2005, 08:31 AM
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Mamma Love - our group is spending a night at the Piccolo Hotel Oliveta in September at the beginning of our bike tour. We are very excited about it. If you have any other suggestions or comments about the hotel we would love to hear them. Where is Osteria la Sosta di Violante located? Is it within the walls of Siena or closer to the hotel? Thanks alot!
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 07:20 PM
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Dsemelle, you are wise to include a visit to Tuscany in your trip to Italy. I would recommend spending a nite in Siena. We stayed at Hotel Ravissa and loved it - beautiful views of Tuscan Hills. Like Mama Love, we also engaged Country Tours out of Siena for a full day tour to wine county - Montepulciano, Montalcino (sp?), and Pienza. Fabio was also our guide. Country Tours can be tailored to your needs. We had a car but found it hard to follow signs and get around so we decided to take the tour at the suggestions of other guests at the Ravissa. In any case, you will love Tuscany - enjoy!
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 08:09 PM
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to helenbreen, do you have a website for the Hotel Ravissa? We will be in Tuscany in June and are looking for a place to stay. Thanks!
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Old Apr 29th, 2005, 08:18 PM
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I say definitely rent a car if you want to get out into the countryside, however do you need to go as far as Tuscany or good wine? My only question, there's great places within a much closer reach of Rome, Sabine Hills are peaceful and untouristed. Do spend the night wherever you go, who wants to worry about drinking and driving as someone else mentioned.

Happy travels.
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Old May 1st, 2005, 04:18 AM
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Smanon, sorry I spelled the name of the hotel incorrectly. It is:

Hotel Palazzo Ravizza * * * *
Pian dei Mantellini, 34
53100 Siena - Toscana - Italy

If you put the name of the hotel in your browser, you will find many hits. I notice that they have a new website since last year. The place and staff were charming. I also found a card I had from County Tours who give wine tours tailored to your needs.
www.country-tours.com. My friend and I found touring on our own a bit daunting so it was well worth it to have day with a professional. Enjoy Tuscany.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2005, 05:42 AM
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The Chianti region is a great place and there are plenty of excellent wineries.I suggest you hire a driver who knows the area and will save you many of the car-renting hassles.That's what my wife and I did this winter. You might want to check with the driver we used. His English is excellent and he is easy going and friendly. We highly reccomend him. His e-mail is [email protected]
Hope this helps,
Nick
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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 09:24 AM
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Hi Nick, thanks for your suggestion. I just got back from a weekend in Florence. We used Marco as our driver. He was very nice, his English perfect and cost the three of us 80 Euros each for a whole day tour of the Chianti region. We loved it! He took us to some incredible wineries and little towns like Greve, Castellina and Siena. We wouldn't have been able to find our way if we had rented a car (not to mention DWI issues!).We also had a great meal in Siena just off Piazza del Campo (the main square, which by the way isn't square). I'm really loving Europe!Italy and Spain are my favorites for now.
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Old Jun 16th, 2005, 08:39 AM
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I know this posting is old, but if you find it.....just a suggestion....when you arrive on Ischia there are many wineries there. Very good wine and you can visit them. Just ask your hotel for recommendations.
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