Umbria/Tuscany.. one stop or two?

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Aug 30th, 2006, 10:33 AM
  #1
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Umbria/Tuscany.. one stop or two?

We have 2 open nights in early October between landing in Rome and starting our stay in Florence. We finally made our decision to fill these nights in Umbria and possibly Tuscany. For sure we are spending the first night in Orvieto at Locanda Rosati. We are trying to decide whether to spend both nights there, and make it a bit more leisurely, or spend one night there, and the 2nd night either in Montefalco at Villa Pambuffetti or in Spello at Palazzo Bocci. Any thoughts on the virtues of spending 2 nights in Orvieto vs. experiencing two places for a shorter period of time. Thanks
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Aug 30th, 2006, 11:24 AM
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I suggest staying either in Orvieto two nights or Spello two nights. If you think you might prefer Montefalco, I would suggest someplace other than the Villa, because it is not inside Montefalco but a short drive away and it sort of defeats the purrpose of staying overnight in Montefalco, which is that wine is so strong you don't dare drive home.

If you don't need a 4 star, I can recommend the charming and homey Frantoio Brizi in Montefalco. It has a B&B.

It sounds like you will be arriving in Rome and heading straight to Orvieto. Have you considered renting your car in Orvieto after your two day stay there? Orvieto is reachable by train from Rome.

nessundorma is offline  
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Aug 30th, 2006, 11:24 AM
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To me it is not about the accommodations but always about the location. Locanda Rosati is fine but is 6 miles the other side of Orvieto from the other Umbrian destinations. But, I also hate one niters. I would stay in Spello both nites.
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Aug 30th, 2006, 11:29 AM
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I too would probably go with Spello. Its fairly close to Montefalco so you can easily visit.

Tracy
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Aug 30th, 2006, 12:53 PM
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We spent two nights in Orvieto during our first trip to Italy and fell in love with the place - so I'd vote for Orvieto. You don't mention a rental car but if that's the case, you can drive the area quite easily. As an example, we left Orvieto one morning and did a circuit through Todi, to Spoleto, past Assisi and Perugia, with a stop for shopping in Deruta, and back to Orvieto by early evening. It was a wonderful day.
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Aug 30th, 2006, 01:16 PM
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Usually I try to avoid one-night stays, but sometimes they happen. If the rest of your trip is somewhat stationary (i.e., one hotel in Rome, and one in Florence), then two hotels in two nights is not so bad. You will be able to see more if you stay two places. On the other hand, Orvieto is a very nice town as well.

On Spello and Montefalco, you may find that either or both of those hotels are fully booked - we couldn't get the nights we wanted in Spello when we booked rooms there for early October, and that was several months ago.

To hijack this thread just a tiny bit, a question about Villa Pambuffetti's location. I know that it's outside of town, but my notes show that someone, somehwere, said it's a 10-min. walk from the center of town. Is that the case? I'm fine with 10 minutes, but if it's miles outside of town, that is a concern...
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Aug 30th, 2006, 02:06 PM
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The thing is that Montefalco is a hilltown, nicknamed "the balcony of Umbria" because it is one the higher hilltowns. I can't recall exactly how far from the town wall Villa Pambufetti is, but if you consider Piazza del Comune the center of town (the town is tiny) it's a *healthy* walk.

If you plan a stay at the villa, I would plug in the address of the villa on mappy, then plug in the address of, say, Enoteca Federico II Piazza del Comune, 1 -- and see what you get. Then realize that is all uphill.
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Aug 31st, 2006, 01:37 PM
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Thanks for the info. One of the many good things about living in Colorado is that hills are not a big deal to us. But it's good to know in advance just the same.

Nessundorma - You sound very familiar with Montefalco. What restaurants would you recommend (we're leaning toward Il Coccorone)? We like homemade pastas, food that's typical of the area (though not necessarily totally traditional), and any white truffles that are available in October!
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Sep 1st, 2006, 06:18 AM
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Lexma90,

We had two wonderful meals in Montefalco. I'm just going to cut and paste our dinner experiences from my trip report (http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...t=0&searchText).

"Dinner that night was at the Hotel Ristorante Righera Umbra in Montefalco, and our meal was just delicious. We parked at the parking lot just outside of the gates, and the restaurant isn’t too far of a walk from the inside of the gate. We ate in what looked like an old vaulted wine cellar. I knew the meal was going to be great when it started out with a free glass of prosecco! My husband had the “menu touristo” which included a pasta (ravioli pomodoro), a secondi (veal with a lemon sauce), a salad and an espresso at the end. I had a tortellini limone that was to die for. The tortellini isn’t like anything I get at home; they were very large, about the size of wontons, and filled with a sweet creamy cheese. But the best part was the lemon sauce. Very light and not too sweet or lemony. Incredible! Then it was on to my beef stracato, a tender, thin piece of beef in a wonderful pepper/olive oil sauce that was so flavorful. We shared a bottle of Montefalco Sagrantino that was very good, and the meal ended for me with a cappuccino and then free shots of lemoncello. Everything was just delicious."

"Dinner this evening was in Montefalco again. We ate at a Pizzerie that I believe was actually owned by the same people who owned the Hotel Ristorante Righera Umbra that we ate at a few days earlier. This was the Enoteca Pizzeria Ringhiera Umbra and it was right next door. Again, we had free glasses of Prosecco before our meal. DH had a pizza with mozzarella and spicy sausage, and I went with the pizza margarita with onions. Both were divine. We were in the mood for a bottle of wine, so we asked the waitress to recommend a sweet red wine, and she brought out a non-labeled bottle of Montefalco Rosso that was just superb. It smelled heavenly and tasted even better. We finished our meal off with the free shots of limoncello and were on our way."

Tracy
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Sep 1st, 2006, 06:48 AM
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Lexma,

It's not hard to know Montefalco well. You can walk the entire circumference of the town in 30 minutes!

Il Coccorone is the white tablecloth, upscale choice with formal service and some superbly prepared dishes like the risotto made with the local Sagrantino. They also serve a dessert of biscotti that you dip is a vin santo made from Sagrantino, and that is superb too. They have many truffle dishes, although when I was there in very early October last year, only black truffles were available, and they are far less flavorful than the white, even though they are pricey too.

You might also check out the homey and charming, family-run Entoteca Frantoio Brizi, for dishes made with extra virgin olive oil pressed two doors away in the basement of the owners' house, but I am not sure they are open for dinner. It is located in a somewhat hidden corner of Montefalco, among the convents of silent nuns.

I am very glad to hear that Tcreath had such a good experience of Righeria d'Umbria and its pizzeria, easily found on Montefalco's (steep) main street. I didn't eat there but I certainly would were I going back to Montefalco because the entire ambience is extremely friendly (and the prices are too).

All of these places have rooms to stay in should you be unable to walk uphill or downhill after drinking the local wine. It is very strong.

I hope you will visit Montefalco's small museum, formerly a church and filled with beautiful pastel frescoes by Gozzoli.


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Sep 1st, 2006, 06:54 AM
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Sorry, I need more coffee this morning. Tracy's spelling of Ristorante Ringhiera Umbra di Montefalco is the correct one.
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Sep 1st, 2006, 09:12 AM
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nessumdorma, its always fun to think about Montefalco...makes me want to return! I loved the little town, and it certainly is a hike but worth it. We always parked at the parking lot right outside of the wall. The town is a joy to stroll through at night, especially when you need to burn off some of the superb wine from dinner!

Tracy
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Sep 1st, 2006, 09:24 AM
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I'd opt for both nights in Orvieto and Locanda Rosati is only a ten minute drive from the city.

We stayed at Locanda Rosati for a few nights a couple of years ago and found it not only well furnished but the evening meal was, every night, excellent. The proprietor held sway until the last grappa was gone.

And the lunch at I Sette Consoli is my favorite in all of Italy.
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Sep 1st, 2006, 10:21 AM
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tcreath,

After the wine, I felt the joy but wasn't capable of stolling. I vaguely recall needing to think very, very hard about placing one foot directly in front of the other.
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