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hanabilly Nov 20th, 2010 03:25 PM

Umbria Lovers - what do you think about Todi as a base?
In my last post I was bouncing around the options between southern Tuscany and Umbria. Thanks again, Bob, Zeppole, and Lexma for your input. After Zeppole mentioned the Maremma area I started some reading, and found it VERY intriguing...the wilder, less populated aspect. I was leaning for some days toward Pitigliano, but found myself concerned about being a little more cutoff than even we like to be. And, when it came right down to an examination of what I was really looking for, I can't give up on a week in Italy's green heart.
So, it looks like Umbria it will be for the last week of our 19 or so days.

I am drawn to an Agriturismo I found located near Todi. What do you think of the locale? Before you ask me where we will want to visit from there, I am not really sure. I know we will want to visit Assisi and Spello - looks like those are about an hour away. If it looks reasonable, I still think I would like to go to Pitigliano for a day. (Found the information about the Etruscan sites fascinating - I think now I might be hooked.) Other than that, I expect we just hope to toddle around the hill towns. We are hoping to find excellent restaurants for mid -day meals. We will choose a place to stay with a restaurant on site, so we won't be driving at night and/or after our wine-laced dinner. I am looking at Casale dei Frontini. It's reasonable, it has uniformly positive reviews, and it looks pleasant enough so we would be happy staying in place going nowhere for at least one or two days out of our stay.

Looking for your expert takes on this location. Also interested in any of your particular favorite towns/restaurants.

bobthenavigator Nov 20th, 2010 04:21 PM

I am partial to the area around Bevagna, Montefalco, and Spello for a centro base. My son loved Genuius Loci, a rural B&B,last year. And, this place always gets good press.

You could see Pitigliano coming or going to FCO--certainly worth your time.

bon_voyage Nov 20th, 2010 05:08 PM

We rented a home for a week about 10 km outside Todi a few years ago and loved our time in Umbria which offers a variety of experiences in a relatively small geographical area. Todi is a charming town with an upmarket feel. We daytripped to Perugia, Assisi/Spello/Montefalco, and Orvieto and explored Todi and tiny Montecastello di Vibio on other days. One of the pluses in Umbria is that you typically have the option of the straight, speedy highways or the more picturesque (though the highway scenery is by no means bad)typically windier smaller roads. I did also very much like the area around Bevagna/Spello/Montefalco, but at the time we were there (about 6 years ago), I preferred the selection of rentals near Todi.

Michael Nov 20th, 2010 05:40 PM

If you go to Todi, look for the little man behind the pillar of a church:

SAB Nov 20th, 2010 06:13 PM

We rented a villa 3km from Todi this past September-went to Orvieto, Assisi, Spoleto, Spello, Perugia, Lake Trasimeno, Gubbio, and even Sienna. As bon voyage has posted you have the option of a straight highway going N and S and the option of taking smaller roads.

Michael Nov 20th, 2010 06:23 PM

I should have written: ... behind the exterior pillar ...

zeppole Nov 21st, 2010 03:11 AM

Todi was once voted by the people who do such things to be one of the most livable places in the world. Once you are in Umbria, you will see that much of the core of it is essentially a basin surrounded by low mountains, and there is a wide modern ring road available that circles the basin -- making Umbria one of the easiest places in Italy for getting around quickly. So if you find an agriturismo near Todi or Assisi or Bevagna or Spello or Perugia -- you are less than an hour's drive from any other place you'd like to visit.

So pick on the basis of what kind of ambience you want for lodgings and food. Casale dei Frontini looks very inviting. Did you see this artcile that raves about the experience?

And this website for the town of San Terenziano recommends the food. (The tiny town of San Terenziano looks like it might be worth visiting, just to get off the beaten track.)

True story is that I was once driving through Umbria after a rainstorm and came around a bend just as the sun broke through the downpour and bathed Todi on its hill in a golden light. It was so incredibly beautiful, that I turned off the road to take a picture. It was a dirt road -- a private driveway, actually -- and as I pulled up to a shed to step out with my camera, I realized both I and the car were sinking into mud. I jumped back in and tried to back out -- in the end, I had to be dragged out by two farmers with a tractor. So I enjoyed meeting the locals!

The picture I was trying to take was this view, but after a rainstorm

Have a wonderful time.

RJD Nov 21st, 2010 05:44 AM

Todi in my experience is a pretty place and a wine center but it has also been discovered by an upscale American crowd. Fine by me but be aware that it can be a bit expensive.

hanabilly Nov 21st, 2010 07:57 AM

Thanks, all, for the input and especially for the links. If I have a hard time deciding, it won't be for lack of choices, but for the abundance of them! It looks, though, like it will be impossible to make a wrong choice. SO looking forward to this!

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