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Where to base in Tuscany if we loved the hill towns of Umbria?

Where to base in Tuscany if we loved the hill towns of Umbria?

Old Apr 17th, 2012, 06:36 AM
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Where to base in Tuscany if we loved the hill towns of Umbria?

We chose to stay in Umbria for 10 days in 2010 because we were "saving" Tuscany for a visit with another couple. We will be in Tuscany this October and I'm trying to decide on a base for our week long stay; either an apartment in a town or an agriturismo in the country.

We absolutely loved Umbria. With our base near Assisi we drove to many points from there; Gubbio, Orvieto, Norcia, Spoleto and even a touch into Tuscany at Cortona.

Can you recommend a location to base ourselves in Tuscany that will give access to hill towns and vineyards? Is there a central location you would recommend so that we can visit both the northern and southern hill towns or is the driving distance too much for day trips and we should select either a north or south location?

Thanks for any suggestions or comments to help me find a location. Deborah
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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 07:02 AM
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The Pienza area is good for southern Tuscan hill towns, but there really isn't just one area that is central to all of Tuscany as many roads are two lane and twisty with low speed limits. Have you considered five nights in southern Tuscany and five nights more to the north?
kybourbon is online now  
Old Apr 17th, 2012, 07:38 AM
Join Date: May 2003
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We found Montalcino to be a perfect base. Actually spent a week just outside of it at an agriturisimo and loved it. We made day trips to other hill towns,S'Antimo Abbey, Banfi Winery, etc and found driving to be easy and the scenery and poppies blooming delightful. Piensa would also be a great area to stay in.
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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 07:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Here is my list based on feedback from my clients. Look at San Quirico---there are 2 options there---and look at Politian apartments in Montepulcinano---good value:

A. RURAL LOCATIONS: All have parking and good food options nearby

1. Relais La Saracina www.lasaracina.it 230 to 300E
Fabulous country home near Montepulciano—helpful owners

2. Cretaiole Agriturismo http://www.cretaiole.it/ Good value for families
Isabella also has 2 apts. in Castelmuzio for rent—wonderful—see her site.

3. Terre di Nano www.terredinano.com 100 to 155
Both rooms and apartments at rural Agriturismo near Monticchiello

4. Casanova di Pescille http://www.casanovadipescille.com/ 100E
Rural B&B 3 KM from famed San Gimignano—we loved the views of San Gim.

5. Fattoria Tregole www.fattoria-tregole.com 110E to 180E
Has both B&B and apartment accommodations. Near Castellina in Chianti

6. Agriturismo apts. near San Quirico— www.poggiolo.info/ About 110E

7. New historic B&B north of Pienza. http://www.camprena.it/index.htm
Site of filming for THE ENGLISH PATIENT About 90E for double

8. http://www.borgoargenina.it/index.html A special rural B&B in Chianti.
The lovely owner, Elena, will make you feel like family. 170E for double

B. IN-TOWN LOCATIONS: For walking convenience to shops & ristorantes.

1. Palazzo del Capitano www.palazzodelcapitano.com 170 to 210E
Very nice small hotel in center of San Quirico—perfect location to explore.

2. Vecchia Oliviera www.vecchiaoliviera.com/ 150 to 200E
Nice 4 star hotel at the gate into lovely Montalcino---has pool.

3. Palazzina Cesari www.montalcinoitaly.com 80 to 110E
Lovely small B&B in heart of Montalcino—great value—2 night stay minimum.

4. Locanda di San Francesco www.locandasanfrancesco.it 180 to 200E
New boutique B&B in a lovely location in Montepulciano—great reviews !

5. Politian apartments http://www.politian.com/ Good value apts. with
minimum stay of 3 nights in Montepulciano---helpful host---85E

6. Palazzo Ravizza www.palazzoravizza.it 170 to 250E
Very nice & popular hotel in Siena with parking.

7. Fattoria Vignale http://www.vignale.it/eng/ Four star hotel in Radda in the heart of Chianti. About 230E for double
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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 08:46 AM
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Thank you for the very helpful information. It confirms that unless we want to breakup the stay, like kybourbon suggested, and I'm not sure of how long we will have for this portion of the trip, we will need to pick north or south Tuscany. Thank you nini and bob for the suggestions. Deborah
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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 09:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Please see the 2nd half of my trip report http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...italy-trip.cfm
concerning Montepulciano, the "Strada" linik for the wine tour and comments about driving aroudn the Val d'Orcia, which many posters have said is the most picturesque landscape in all of Europe.
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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 09:29 AM
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If going the end of October this may interest you http://www.montalcinowinetours.com/e...del-tordo.html

This may give you some ideas http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/tuscany/hs_planning.htm
Henry is offline  
Old Apr 17th, 2012, 10:24 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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I also enjoy Umbria and the small towns and like to rotate my visits each year between southern Tuscany and Umbria.

In Tuscany, I like to stay just outside of Pienza at Fonte Bertusi. I'm making my 6th visit to Fonte Bertusi this May for 2 weeks-


The location is beautiful and perfectly located for exploring the area. There are lots of towns and villages within 5-30 minutes and the countryside is lovely. If you want to branch out more, instead of heading north to relocate, I suggest staying put and taking 1-1.5 hour days trips into the Maremma region of Tuscany.

I enjoy the Tuscan food in October. Be sure to eat some porcini muchrooms!
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Old Apr 17th, 2012, 12:14 PM
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We based ourselves in a house located between Montapulciano and Montefollonico and it was perfect. We planned driving tours and took day trips. We were so centrally located that we were able to see lots and lots of Tuscany. Went as far NW as San Gimignano, as far east as Cortona and as far south as Pitigliano. We took in Siena on our way to Florence.
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