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Where should we stay in Tuscany for our Honeymoon?

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Jan 3rd, 2003, 08:09 AM
  #1
Lisa
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Where should we stay in Tuscany for our Honeymoon?

It is our first time there are we are not sure what is the best area to stay in .
 
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Jan 3rd, 2003, 08:16 AM
  #2
BOB THE NAVIGATOR
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Lisa, It really depends. Tell us if you will have a car, what time of year, and your interests/expectations. You will likely want to be somewhere near Siena, but the specific location is also important. Tell us more.
 
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Jan 3rd, 2003, 08:17 AM
  #3
colleen
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Check out slowtrav.com for great Tuscany tips. Have fun planning!
colleen
 
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Jan 3rd, 2003, 08:34 AM
  #4
meg
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I think San Gimignano is so-ooo romantic. Cortona would be my second favourite.
 
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Jan 3rd, 2003, 09:06 AM
  #5
Lisa
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Thank you for your help. We are planning on renting a car and are coming September 15, 2003. Do you have any hotel recommendations? I found a great one called Terme di Saturnia which is in Marenima but have no idea how the area is?
 
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Jan 3rd, 2003, 10:04 AM
  #6
paul
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Lisa, Congratulations and good choice (Tuscany). My wife and I spent part of our honeymoon there three years ago. I'm sure you'll hear from some of the more experienced Tuscany experts, but I have a couple of thoughts:
We stopped by Saturnia to bathe in the waters, and it was interesting and fun, but I'm not sure it's the best area to make your home base in. It's in a region called the Maremma, which has its attractions (a beautiful national park by the sea being one of them), but it's a bit away from some of the more traditional Tuscan spots (Siena, Florence, Chianti, San G., Lucca, Montalcino, etc.). The area around Saturnia also is good for investigating Etruscan cemeteries and constructions, and some of the towns are attractively ancient and not overun by fellow tourists (Sovana, Pitigliano). In short, it's an atmospheric and beautiful area, perhaps more suited to make a drive through than a home base.

We stayed in a farmhouse outside of San Gimignano; and on subsequent trips have stayed in a farmhouse in Chianti. We found both of these locations perfect for driving to the places we wanted to go.

Whatever you decide, have a great trip.
 
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Jan 3rd, 2003, 10:25 AM
  #7
Lisa
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I appreciate your input. San Gimignano looks great. Would you recommend staying in a farmhouse or hotel? Did you rent a car in florence? Any other suggetions of places we should visit?
 
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Jan 3rd, 2003, 11:55 AM
  #8
paul
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The question of farmhouse/hotel is a matter of preference. Obviously, the agritourism gives you more of a rustic feeling, but a hotel can be very convenient if you want to explore one of the larger cities. (If you plan on exploring Florence, I would recommend staying in the city. There’s so much to see that the ability to stop in your hotel for a quick rest to freshen up can make all the difference.) On our last trip, we stayed in two farmhouses and one hotel. We try to stay in each place for at least four days so we’re not rushing around, but we do switch the home base to make exploring different areas easier.

We rent our car in Rome, since that’s where we fly into. Of course, if you’re spending any time in Rome, either at the start or end of your trip, you do not want the car for those days. I’ve found driving in Italy in general to be less intimidating than people say; but driving in Rome is indeed a nightmare. So if you were thinking of training to Florence and renting a car there, I’ve never done it but it sounds like a good idea. Get a good map.

San Gimignano is certainly beautiful, but be prepared for it to be overun with your fellow tourists. I wouldn’t plan on spending more than a day or two actually IN San G (it’s pretty small and quickly digested). I mention it as a possible base because the surrounding country is stunning and well-positioned, and we enjoyed our stay.

Some of our fondest memories were of:
1. Volterra, a dramatically situated hill-town west of San Gimignano
2. Driving through Chianti and stopping at vineyards. We particularly enjoyed the grounds of Castello Uzzano.
3. Parco Naturale della Maremma (http://www.parks.it/parco.maremma/Eindex.html), the park I mentioned. But only go here if you feel like doing a lot of walking; the rewards are breathtaking views of the Tyrrhenian sea and an umbrella pine forest.
4. Boboli Gardens, Florence.
5. Cathedral and Campo in Siena.
6. Monte Oliveto Maggiore, a peaceful abbey set among cypresses and winding paths. It’s in the Crete, a region of smooth brown hills topped by cypresses and farmhouses, south of Siena. Inside the cloister a series of frescoes on the life of St. Benedict by Signorelli and Il Sodoma.
7. Art, everywhere.
8. Just driving and looking.
Enjoy.
 
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Jan 3rd, 2003, 12:22 PM
  #9
BOB THE NAVIGATOR
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Lisa, Forget Saturnia--too far off the path. There are dozens of great places within 30 miles of Siena--that is where you want to be. I prefer south in the Val d, Orcia that time of year. We do not know your price range, but start with these. A villa rental usually means a week rental--is that feasible?
Go to www.slowtrav.com and find my budget article to get an idea of prices.
Look here for an idea of cute small places: www.palazzodelcapitano.com
www.montalcinoitaly.com Or, if you want to spend more, search and find the best for a honeymoon in Tuscany named
Locanda della Amorosa. There are dozens of others, but it depends on you.
 
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Jan 3rd, 2003, 04:19 PM
  #10
Gabriel Rossetti
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My family & I have stayed in San Gimignano twice. Once we rented a farmhouse within walking distance of town, and the 2nd time we stayed at a hotel for 3 days in the city. It can be overun with tourists, but they arrive late morning and are gone by the end of the day.
If I were to stay there for our honeymoon, check 2 web-sites:
www.sangimignano.com
www.labellatoscana.it
There is an apartment in the towers near the duomo that if we ever go back, will be the place that we would stay. Search around both web-sites and see what looks interesting to you.
 
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Jan 3rd, 2003, 05:47 PM
  #11
Joyce
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Lisa, last year we stayed one week in Castello di Montegufoni, a restored 12th century castle about 20 mi outside of Florence. It doesn't get any more romantic than this! We felt like Romeo and Juliet! Beautiful grounds and views, terraces, balconies, plus a great location. If you're interested, e-mail me and I'll give you their private website. Joyce
 
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Jan 3rd, 2003, 06:17 PM
  #12
cathy
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Please reconsider staying in San G. We couldn't wait to get out of there. It is a total tourist trap. We loved Siena, and would stay there. We stayed in Castellina in Chianti last year, and enjoyed it. There are many small villages you could stay in, and see the whole region. Would you rather stay in a city or in the country? I think that is the determining factor.
 
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Jan 4th, 2003, 11:41 AM
  #13
Lisa
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Thanks for your help. We would want to stay in a small town right outside a city
 
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