Tuscany

Tips, stories, and questions about travel-related topics
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Paul Flynn
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 321
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 2:17 pm

Tuscany

#1 Post by Paul Flynn » February 23rd, 2019, 10:11 am

Hi,

I'm planning my first trip to Italy. There are 4 of us going. We have 2 of three legs of the trip planned and I'm looking for recommendations for the 3rd.

The first part of the trip is Florence and we plan to spend 4 days there.

The last leg of the trip is Chianti. We've rented an apartment in a villa in the Classico region.

We're trying to decide where to go for the intervening 3 days. My wife wants to go to Sienna and I'd like to go someplace like Perugia in Umbria.

Does anyone have experience in either of these cities? I know that Perugia is smaller but that's why I like it as a choice.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Paul
Paul

“I have to have the most expensive thing, not because it’s the most expensive but because it costs more”

Cordelia Chase

User avatar
Jim Stewart
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 691
Joined: July 31st, 2018, 9:49 am
Location: MA / FL

Re: Tuscany

#2 Post by Jim Stewart » February 23rd, 2019, 10:39 am

We’ve been to Tuscany a few times, most recently in 2017. The overwhelming memory that I have of the larger cities, such as Florence and Siena, is of the hordes of other tourists. Florence of course has so many compensating pleasures and attractions that I would still recommend, but I would hesitate to recommend Siena (perhaps its charms become evident in the evening when many of the tourists have gone away?) For the 3 day gap that you are looking to fill, I would suggest taking a look at the Val d’Orcia, a region just to the south of Sienna. The landscape is very different from the rest of Tuscany and a joy to take a walk or a drive through. There are small towns to visit, or to stay in. Lots of wine in that area too. Good luck in your planning and have a great trip.
P.S. We liked the Chianti region.

geoffpm
Posts: 218
Joined: April 23rd, 2010, 6:45 am
Location: Wayland , MA

Re: Tuscany

#3 Post by geoffpm » February 23rd, 2019, 10:56 am

I agree that the cities in Tuscany are over run with tourists.

We spent a week on the Tuscan coast in the Maremma. We stayed in Talamone which is a particularly cute town on a peninsula jutting into the sea. We did not see or interact with a single American, Canadian or Brit during the entire week.

You need a car but there is a lot to do in the region including visiting Bolgheri, the Maremma and tasting the next generation of interesting winemakers.

We had the best meal in Italy at small outdoor plce just outside of Talamone callled Ristorante dell'Agriturismo Buratta. Set inside a horse farm, you order at a counter and find a picnic table outdoors and watch the horses train. Right below the restaurant are vineyards that the owner said were owned by Batali and Joe Bastanich. The wines are supple and amaxingly cheap. We paid about $30 for 3 people with 2 bottles of wine made within a few miles of the farm .

Coincidentally, the ship that sunk a few years ago was right off the coast from Talamone .
Geoffrey P Miller

User avatar
Paul Flynn
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 321
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 2:17 pm

Re: Tuscany

#4 Post by Paul Flynn » February 24th, 2019, 7:31 am

Thanks for the information on Sienna. We're checking out options in Meremma now. I think she likes the idea of being on the coast for a few days.
Paul

“I have to have the most expensive thing, not because it’s the most expensive but because it costs more”

Cordelia Chase

User avatar
Ian Sutton
Posts: 5211
Joined: March 6th, 2014, 2:19 pm
Location: Norwich, UK

Re: Tuscany

#5 Post by Ian Sutton » February 24th, 2019, 3:18 pm

Hi Paul
I must admit that Perugia jumped out as somewhere to give a glimpse of Italy without the tourist hordes. If your wife likes chocolate, then that might help influence her towards Perugia.

FWIW I didn't enjoy Siena, as whilst we found it reasonably easy to escape the obvious tourist concentration (the campo and the old pedestrianised street leading to it), the rest of the city just didn't excite.

Tuscany certainly is typically welcoming to 1st time tourists, without any experience in the Italian language.

Lucca appeals to many, so worth reading up to see if it appeals. It also lacks the endless slopes in Siena that can become draining. Colle val d'Elsa also impressed us, and it has smaller scale charm without excessive tourism and a thriving glass making industry that might appeal.

Nearer the border with Umbria, Montepulciano might also be worth a look. Much smaller than Siena, but with steeper slopes, but at least here the slopes offer the chance of lovely rural views. Very easy place to taste wine, with plenty of drop in tasting rooms, and genuinely historic cellars, including huge ancient barrels.

Plenty more besides, but I'm trying to find that balance between touristy enough to make it feel ok, but not so touristy it gives a false (and IMO poor) image of the country.

Regards
Ian
Normal for Norfolk

RCarbain
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 10
Joined: January 27th, 2017, 8:24 am
Location: NJ

Re: Tuscany

#6 Post by RCarbain » February 25th, 2019, 1:38 pm

You'll be quite close to Siena so it's an easy day trip. Montalcino is about an hour away, and if you wanted to book some wine tours/tastings, Altesino in is quite accessible. We found Montalcino to be less flooded than many of the cities we visited and really enjoyed dinner at Hotel Giglio. Perhaps the best meal we had on our trip.

User avatar
T Klonoski
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 230
Joined: July 10th, 2010, 3:20 pm

Re: Tuscany

#7 Post by T Klonoski » February 26th, 2019, 3:31 am

If you do end up going from Florence to Perugia, a worthy detour along the way is Abbazia di Monte Oliveto Maggiore, where you can hear Gregorian chants in a medieval abbey. This is in a region called the Crete Sienese, with rolling hills and rows of cypress trees.
Another good detour along that route is the Felsina winery, just east of Siena.
T0m

Riccardo Campinoti
Posts: 92
Joined: May 16th, 2011, 10:02 am

Re: Tuscany

#8 Post by Riccardo Campinoti » February 26th, 2019, 8:51 am

if it's your first time you have to do Florence and Siena. They are the two most beautiful towns and full of people for a reason. Also San Gimignano , Volterra and Arezzo are a must see
ITB Brunello Producer

User avatar
Andrew Kotowski
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4156
Joined: February 7th, 2012, 1:42 pm
Location: Sammamish, WA

Re: Tuscany

#9 Post by Andrew Kotowski » March 4th, 2019, 4:03 pm

It’s funny to read your note - I’ve never been to Tuscany, but just spent the evening holding up the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz in Paris. I randomly sat with a nice, older gentleman who runs the bar program at Il Pellicano in Porto Ercole... and could not stop talking about me visiting his hotel in Tuscany. So, I feel compelled to post, in the event fate is trying to intervene.

Hotel is https://www.hotelilpellicano.com/en/ and the bartender was Federico Morosi. Take it for what it’s worth, but we spent an hour talking about making negronis, living in Tuscany and bartending life. I’m totally trying to find an excuse to visit now :)
You can find me at the grill! Https://www.facebook.com/akgrill

Barry L i p t o n
Posts: 2702
Joined: November 8th, 2009, 8:59 pm

Re: Tuscany

#10 Post by Barry L i p t o n » March 4th, 2019, 4:25 pm

I’m a huge Sienna fan. Yes, it’s more charming after the day trippers leave.

The key, besides it’s beauty, is there are no cars allowed inside the city walls. For me, that helps balance the crowds. Plus the times I went, I was out of town during the day at wineries.

I’ve been to Perugia and Sienna and prefer Sienna significantly.

If you are going to the coast, you’ll have a great time but not much of the history that makes Italy unique.

User avatar
jan.brekke
Posts: 258
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 12:42 pm
Location: Appleton, WI

Re: Tuscany

#11 Post by jan.brekke » March 4th, 2019, 5:46 pm

We had a similar itinerary on our first Italy trip. I would recommend Siena as well. The city of Siena is quite nice, but more importantly it is an easy drive from there to San Gimignano, Montalcino, Volterra, etc. If you go to Siena, dine at https://www.tavernasangiuseppe.it/. Simply amazing meal!

User avatar
M.Kaplan
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 4761
Joined: April 18th, 2009, 9:10 am
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Tuscany

#12 Post by M.Kaplan » March 4th, 2019, 5:49 pm

Andrew Kotowski wrote:
March 4th, 2019, 4:03 pm
It’s funny to read your note - I’ve never been to Tuscany, but just spent the evening holding up the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz in Paris. I randomly sat with a nice, older gentleman who runs the bar program at Il Pellicano in Porto Ercole... and could not stop talking about me visiting his hotel in Tuscany. So, I feel compelled to post, in the event fate is trying to intervene.

Hotel is https://www.hotelilpellicano.com/en/ and the bartender was Federico Morosi. Take it for what it’s worth, but we spent an hour talking about making negronis, living in Tuscany and bartending life. I’m totally trying to find an excuse to visit now :)
I adore Il Pellicano. Go when it’s warm and don’t plan on leaving the property often during your stay.

And I agree with Barry; Siena is best at night after the day tourists leave.
---Mark

User avatar
Alan Rath
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 17756
Joined: April 24th, 2009, 12:45 am
Location: Bay Area, CA. Sometimes out to lunch.

Re: Tuscany

#13 Post by Alan Rath » March 5th, 2019, 7:34 am

Well if you're thinking of getting a place there don't bother. There's really nothing available.
I'm just one lost soul, swimming in a fish bowl, year after year

User avatar
Alan Rath
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 17756
Joined: April 24th, 2009, 12:45 am
Location: Bay Area, CA. Sometimes out to lunch.

Re: Tuscany

#14 Post by Alan Rath » March 5th, 2019, 7:43 am

Here's an old post I wrote a few years ago, some may be out of date:

viewtopic.php?p=1421283#p1421283
I'm just one lost soul, swimming in a fish bowl, year after year

User avatar
Ramon C
Posts: 3478
Joined: October 23rd, 2010, 6:34 am

Re: Tuscany

#15 Post by Ramon C » March 5th, 2019, 8:35 am

I’ve been to Umbria a few times, based in Perugia. Also, in Tuscany many more times, and have been based everywhere.

First major difference you will notice when driving from Tuscany into Umbria is that the latter is not nearly as manicured, and without the clean lines, as the former’s prettied-up countryside. Umbria will be much more rugged, with (yes) less tourists. Perugia is actually quite a big city, but is also a great one to use as a base to do your day-drives around the region. No, chocolates is not what we’d go there for, we get Perugia’s chocolates products here (and everywhere) and ignore them for others that are better.

In addition, the contrast in wines (sagrantino-based wines are good if you carefully choose producers) and foods, where Umbrian foods are terrific with more “soul” and rusticity, make the case for us to try for a few days stay whenever we plan for Tuscany. Pork products are better in Umbria than in Tuscany, imo. Plus, Perugia only a 2-hour drive (or train) from Florence.

edited to add: Have stayed at Orvieto a couple of times before, too. A good base, too.
@brera

Dav1d S@wyer
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 187
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 10:23 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Tuscany

#16 Post by Dav1d S@wyer » March 7th, 2019, 2:16 pm

Great thread. I'm going to Tuscany the last week of May - doing Florence for a few days, Bolgheri for two days, then 4-5 days in Tuscany.

Does anyone know how to get an appointment at Biondi Santi? I thought it was open to visitors but got an email from them today rejecting my request. They said they only host tastings through their partners.....

User avatar
Michael O'Brien
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 844
Joined: August 21st, 2009, 8:27 am
Location: Plano, TX

Re: Tuscany

#17 Post by Michael O'Brien » March 7th, 2019, 2:29 pm

Any one tasted or planned tastings at wineries in Bolgheri that I should visit?
PlanoWino

Riccardo Campinoti
Posts: 92
Joined: May 16th, 2011, 10:02 am

Re: Tuscany

#18 Post by Riccardo Campinoti » March 8th, 2019, 1:30 am

Dav1d S@wyer wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 2:16 pm
Great thread. I'm going to Tuscany the last week of May - doing Florence for a few days, Bolgheri for two days, then 4-5 days in Tuscany.

Does anyone know how to get an appointment at Biondi Santi? I thought it was open to visitors but got an email from them today rejecting my request. They said they only host tastings through their partners.....
the new ownerships stopped doing tastings and only does them for press or trade. If you are ITB you might want to reach out to their US importer
ITB Brunello Producer

Lonnie F.
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 76
Joined: November 26th, 2017, 12:26 pm

Re: Tuscany

#19 Post by Lonnie F. » March 9th, 2019, 5:27 am

Florence is wonderful. Lots of tourists including my wife and me. So much to see. David and the Duomo are worth it alone. Get an apartment with a terrace. A light dinner of wine, cheese and salami is wonderful in the warmth of sunset.

San Gimignano is fabulous after the tour buses leave. Magical at night. Reservations start at 7:30 PM. Had a great dinner at La Mangiatoia, Via Mainardi, 5, phone +39 3479699414.

There's a great little hotel in Montalcino - Il Giglio Hotel and Restaurant. Run by an older husband and wife. Excellent dinner there too.

Enjoy!
Lonnie Fuller

User avatar
Tim Heaton
Posts: 1059
Joined: September 8th, 2011, 4:11 pm
Location: Castle Rock, Colorado or Piemonte

Re: Tuscany

#20 Post by Tim Heaton » March 9th, 2019, 11:58 pm

Michael O'Brien wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 2:29 pm
Any one tasted or planned tastings at wineries in Bolgheri that I should visit?
Hi, Michael
as with all things, it depends what you like. My personal highlight last week was a visit with Michela at Grattamacco. Full transparency, I've been a fan of Piermario for decades, and simply had to see where it all started.

Also, depending on when you will be visiting, I recommend Biserno, just outside the village of Bibbona, my base for 4 days, and just 15 minutes from la strada del vino in Bolgheri.
ITB
CT: Wine-Strategies

Kaitlyn K.
Posts: 41
Joined: September 1st, 2017, 8:06 am

Re: Tuscany

#21 Post by Kaitlyn K. » March 10th, 2019, 6:23 am

Riccardo Campinoti wrote:
March 8th, 2019, 1:30 am

the new ownerships stopped doing tastings and only does them for press or trade. If you are ITB you might want to reach out to their US importer
I had the same issue last March when I tried. But I cannot speak highly enough about the hospitality we received from the folks at Le Ragnaie. We stayed there during our time in Montalcino and Riccardo's team was great. Fabulous wines for sure! And the torta della nonna as part of the breakfast spread was flirtysmile
Kaitlyn Kacsuta

User avatar
Michael O'Brien
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 844
Joined: August 21st, 2009, 8:27 am
Location: Plano, TX

Re: Tuscany

#22 Post by Michael O'Brien » March 10th, 2019, 1:16 pm

Tim Heaton wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 11:58 pm
Michael O'Brien wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 2:29 pm
Any one tasted or planned tastings at wineries in Bolgheri that I should visit?
Hi, Michael
as with all things, it depends what you like. My personal highlight last week was a visit with Michela at Grattamacco. Full transparency, I've been a fan of Piermario for decades, and simply had to see where it all started.

Also, depending on when you will be visiting, I recommend Biserno, just outside the village of Bibbona, my base for 4 days, and just 15 minutes from la strada del vino in Bolgheri.
Thank you Tim. We will be there in December. Not exactly the best weather but that is how it works out. My purpose is to broaden my interests not reinforce them. Your recommendations are appreciated.
PlanoWino

User avatar
Jim Stewart
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 691
Joined: July 31st, 2018, 9:49 am
Location: MA / FL

Re: Tuscany

#23 Post by Jim Stewart » March 10th, 2019, 1:26 pm

Michael O'Brien wrote:
March 10th, 2019, 1:16 pm
Tim Heaton wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 11:58 pm
Michael O'Brien wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 2:29 pm
Any one tasted or planned tastings at wineries in Bolgheri that I should visit?
Hi, Michael
as with all things, it depends what you like. My personal highlight last week was a visit with Michela at Grattamacco. Full transparency, I've been a fan of Piermario for decades, and simply had to see where it all started.

Also, depending on when you will be visiting, I recommend Biserno, just outside the village of Bibbona, my base for 4 days, and just 15 minutes from la strada del vino in Bolgheri.
Thank you Tim. We will be there in December. Not exactly the best weather but that is how it works out. My purpose is to broaden my interests not reinforce them. Your recommendations are appreciated.
Never heard it put like this before, but that's some real life advice there !!!!

User avatar
Michael O'Brien
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 844
Joined: August 21st, 2009, 8:27 am
Location: Plano, TX

Re: Tuscany

#24 Post by Michael O'Brien » March 11th, 2019, 8:03 am

I contacted Biserno. They are doing their tastings at Relais il Biserno. For those that are interested, this is what they offer. Looks like they have learned a lesson or two from Napa and gone high end. I am finding that they are not alone in Tuscany when it comes to charging a hefty tasting fee.

Tour visit and Standard Wine Tasting Euro 75,00 p.p.
Wines Sof, Insoglio del Cinghiale, Il Pino di Biserno, Biserno
Food Biserno Extra Vergine Olive Oil and Bread

Tour visit and Tasting Lunch or Dinner Euro 85,00 p.p.
Wines Sof, Insoglio del Cinghiale, Il Pino di Biserno,
Food 3-courses meal with a selection of Tuscan food


Tour visit and Tasting Lunch or Dinner Euro 115,00 p.p.
Wines Sof, Insoglio del Cinghiale,
Il Pino di Biserno, Biserno.
Food 3-courses meal with a selection of Tuscan food and cheeses
PlanoWino

User avatar
Dennis Atick
Posts: 6270
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 6:48 pm
Location: East Atlanta

Re: Tuscany

#25 Post by Dennis Atick » March 23rd, 2019, 4:48 am

Jumping into this thread, hope you don't mind, Paul!
Doing a few days in Montalcino in June. Tried to stay at Ragnaie, but they were booked on our dates, so we are staying in town.
Are planning to visit them, Poggio Antico, Fuligni. Any other good visits in Montalcino that aren't long tour commitments?
Good drop-ins- so to speak. Thanks for any tips.
@decaturwinedude

Kaitlyn K.
Posts: 41
Joined: September 1st, 2017, 8:06 am

Re: Tuscany

#26 Post by Kaitlyn K. » March 23rd, 2019, 9:46 am

Dennis Atick wrote:
March 23rd, 2019, 4:48 am
Jumping into this thread, hope you don't mind, Paul!
Doing a few days in Montalcino in June. Tried to stay at Ragnaie, but they were booked on our dates, so we are staying in town.
Are planning to visit them, Poggio Antico, Fuligni. Any other good visits in Montalcino that aren't long tour commitments?
Good drop-ins- so to speak. Thanks for any tips.
Casanova di Neri's tasting room is still free I believe...small pours though. If you want to taste a range of producers on limited time, I would also suggest walking into a few of the wine shops in Montalcino. One had enomatic machines throughout the store and gave you a card to pay for tastings across the spectrum of rosso and brunello-apologies that I forget the name of the shop.
Kaitlyn Kacsuta

User avatar
Dennis Atick
Posts: 6270
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 6:48 pm
Location: East Atlanta

Re: Tuscany

#27 Post by Dennis Atick » March 23rd, 2019, 11:15 am

Kaitlyn K. wrote:
March 23rd, 2019, 9:46 am
Dennis Atick wrote:
March 23rd, 2019, 4:48 am
Jumping into this thread, hope you don't mind, Paul!
Doing a few days in Montalcino in June. Tried to stay at Ragnaie, but they were booked on our dates, so we are staying in town.
Are planning to visit them, Poggio Antico, Fuligni. Any other good visits in Montalcino that aren't long tour commitments?
Good drop-ins- so to speak. Thanks for any tips.
Casanova di Neri's tasting room is still free I believe...small pours though. If you want to taste a range of producers on limited time, I would also suggest walking into a few of the wine shops in Montalcino. One had enomatic machines throughout the store and gave you a card to pay for tastings across the spectrum of rosso and brunello-apologies that I forget the name of the shop.
Thanks, Kaitlyn. The place you speak of with enomatic machines is on my list. I forget the name, but we are staying right across the street from it. Looks good!
@decaturwinedude

User avatar
dcornutt
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 9739
Joined: February 12th, 2009, 4:19 pm

Re: Tuscany

#28 Post by dcornutt » March 23rd, 2019, 12:12 pm

Lonnie F. wrote:
March 9th, 2019, 5:27 am
Florence is wonderful. Lots of tourists including my wife and me. So much to see. David and the Duomo are worth it alone. Get an apartment with a terrace. A light dinner of wine, cheese and salami is wonderful in the warmth of sunset.

San Gimignano is fabulous after the tour buses leave. Magical at night. Reservations start at 7:30 PM. Had a great dinner at La Mangiatoia, Via Mainardi, 5, phone +39 3479699414.

There's a great little hotel in Montalcino - Il Giglio Hotel and Restaurant. Run by an older husband and wife. Excellent dinner there too.

Enjoy!
This bolded above is my favorite town in Tuscany hands down. Lots to do for such a small town. So beautiful. Walkable. Florence is worth a week itself. I did Sienna in a day and that was plenty for me. It is nice but nothing like Florence. The small towns like Greve in Chianti and Val d'Elsa (where we stayed) are so charming. The wine areas are nice I have heard. Montalcino especially. Have a great time.
DON Cornutt

"Before you eat or drink anything, carefully consider with whom you eat or drink rather than what you
eat or drink,because eating without a friend is the life of the lion or the wolf." Epicurius

User avatar
Paul Flynn
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 321
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 2:17 pm

Re: Tuscany

#29 Post by Paul Flynn » March 24th, 2019, 8:09 am

We firmed up/booked our plans. Florence, then on to Maremma then back to Chianti. Those travels don't exactly flow but these are the areas that appealed to us. We've never been to Italy so we're trying to take in a lot in our first trip.

Thanks to everyone who made recommendations. It's very much appreciated!
Paul

“I have to have the most expensive thing, not because it’s the most expensive but because it costs more”

Cordelia Chase

bradkaplan
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 476
Joined: September 8th, 2009, 6:30 pm

Re: Tuscany

#30 Post by bradkaplan » March 28th, 2019, 5:04 am

(following - I'll be there a couple weeks after Dennis, a bit northeast of Montalcino, near town of Bettolle)
www.ThirstySouth.com

m_macdonald
Posts: 1
Joined: April 14th, 2019, 1:49 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA, USA

Re: Tuscany

#31 Post by m_macdonald » May 8th, 2019, 8:53 am

Thanks everyone for the recommendations in this thread, particularly those in Montalcino.

I am staying with friends for a week in a villa in Chianti, and then spending a couple nights in Boldheri, and I am looking for additional winery or wine shop recommendations that offer tastings, either by appointment or unscheduled to walk-in. Thank you in advance for any suggestions you may have!
Michael MacDonald, Los Angeles

User avatar
LoriMcLaughlin
Posts: 247
Joined: February 12th, 2009, 6:28 pm
Location: Greer, SC

Re: Tuscany

#32 Post by LoriMcLaughlin » May 13th, 2019, 3:12 pm

Andrew Kotowski wrote:
March 4th, 2019, 4:03 pm
It’s funny to read your note - I’ve never been to Tuscany, but just spent the evening holding up the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz in Paris. I randomly sat with a nice, older gentleman who runs the bar program at Il Pellicano in Porto Ercole... and could not stop talking about me visiting his hotel in Tuscany. So, I feel compelled to post, in the event fate is trying to intervene.

Hotel is https://www.hotelilpellicano.com/en/ and the bartender was Federico Morosi. Take it for what it’s worth, but we spent an hour talking about making negronis, living in Tuscany and bartending life. I’m totally trying to find an excuse to visit now :)
Il Pellicano is my favorite hotel in the world. It's not fancy, but it is exclusive. We were there last May and already planning a trip back.

Dav1d S@wyer
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 187
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 10:23 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Tuscany

#33 Post by Dav1d S@wyer » May 13th, 2019, 8:47 pm

This thread has been super helpful. Many thanks! Here's our itinerary if helpful. Feedback welcome and appreciated!

May 24-26: Florence
Hotel - Palazzo Vechietti
Meals: Osteria dell'Enoteca, others TBD

May 26-28: Bolgheri
Hotel: Relais Sant'Elena (have heard amazing things and can't wait)
Meals: Enoteca di Tognoni, Relais Sant'Elena, Enoteca San Guido. We were devastated that La Pineta canceled on us after confirming our reservation. They're closing the restaurant for an event on Sunday and they're always closed on Monday.
Tastings: TBD. Ornellaia is $100 per person and I was very unimpressed with several we tasted a few weeks ago at a Super Tuscan dinner. Not worth it. Considering Guado al Tasso or Le Macchiole. Masseto said no to visitors.

We rented a car and will drive from Bolgheri to Radda. We plan to stop in San Gimignano and maybe Volterra on the way.

May 28 - June 1: Chianti Classico/Montalcino

Hotel: Hotel Villa Campomaggio (Radda)

May 28-29 in Radda and surrounding areas
Meals: Osteria Volpaia, Casa Porciatti (Radda), TBD
Tastings: Volpaia, Chianti Classico Cantina, others TBD

May 30: Montalcino (my birthday thus as much tasting as my designated driver wife will put up with)
Meals: Trattoria Il Leccio, maybe dinner in Siena on the way back to Radda
Tastings: Le Ragnaie, Lisini, Altesino, various wine shops, rejected at Soldera and Biondi Santi.

May 31: Chianti Classico
Meals: TBD
Tastings: Felsina, San Giusto a Rentannano (Percarlo)

June 1: Radda to Florence for final night then early flight back to Houston on the 2nd.
We are planning to stop by "The Mall" outlet outside of Florence on this afternoon for shopping. My wife will have earned it by this point! I've heard good, if mixed, things. No Florence plans as I'm sure we'll want to hit a few things we missed on the front end.

Kaitlyn K.
Posts: 41
Joined: September 1st, 2017, 8:06 am

Re: Tuscany

#34 Post by Kaitlyn K. » May 15th, 2019, 4:50 am

Dav1d S@wyer wrote:
May 13th, 2019, 8:47 pm

May 28 - June 1: Chianti Classico/Montalcino
If you are in Radda, highly recommend visiting Monteraponi. Fabulous wines, great property.
Kaitlyn Kacsuta

User avatar
Dennis Atick
Posts: 6270
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 6:48 pm
Location: East Atlanta

Re: Tuscany

#35 Post by Dennis Atick » May 15th, 2019, 9:53 am

Dav1d S@wyer wrote:
May 13th, 2019, 8:47 pm
This thread has been super helpful. Many thanks! Here's our itinerary if helpful. Feedback welcome and appreciated!

May 24-26: Florence
Hotel - Palazzo Vechietti
Meals: Osteria dell'Enoteca, others TBD

May 26-28: Bolgheri
Hotel: Relais Sant'Elena (have heard amazing things and can't wait)
Meals: Enoteca di Tognoni, Relais Sant'Elena, Enoteca San Guido. We were devastated that La Pineta canceled on us after confirming our reservation. They're closing the restaurant for an event on Sunday and they're always closed on Monday.
Tastings: TBD. Ornellaia is $100 per person and I was very unimpressed with several we tasted a few weeks ago at a Super Tuscan dinner. Not worth it. Considering Guado al Tasso or Le Macchiole. Masseto said no to visitors.

We rented a car and will drive from Bolgheri to Radda. We plan to stop in San Gimignano and maybe Volterra on the way.

May 28 - June 1: Chianti Classico/Montalcino

Hotel: Hotel Villa Campomaggio (Radda)

May 28-29 in Radda and surrounding areas
Meals: Osteria Volpaia, Casa Porciatti (Radda), TBD
Tastings: Volpaia, Chianti Classico Cantina, others TBD

May 30: Montalcino (my birthday thus as much tasting as my designated driver wife will put up with)
Meals: Trattoria Il Leccio, maybe dinner in Siena on the way back to Radda
Tastings: Le Ragnaie, Lisini, Altesino, various wine shops, rejected at Soldera and Biondi Santi.

May 31: Chianti Classico
Meals: TBD
Tastings: Felsina, San Giusto a Rentannano (Percarlo)

June 1: Radda to Florence for final night then early flight back to Houston on the 2nd.
We are planning to stop by "The Mall" outlet outside of Florence on this afternoon for shopping. My wife will have earned it by this point! I've heard good, if mixed, things. No Florence plans as I'm sure we'll want to hit a few things we missed on the front end.
Hi David,
Nice itinerary. I'm going to PM you a couple questions about Montalcino.!
@decaturwinedude

Dav1d S@wyer
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 187
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 10:23 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Tuscany

#36 Post by Dav1d S@wyer » May 15th, 2019, 1:20 pm

Kaitlyn K. wrote:
May 15th, 2019, 4:50 am
Dav1d S@wyer wrote:
May 13th, 2019, 8:47 pm

May 28 - June 1: Chianti Classico/Montalcino
If you are in Radda, highly recommend visiting Monteraponi. Fabulous wines, great property.
Thanks for the rec! I'll reach out.

Sean McK
Posts: 5
Joined: December 20th, 2018, 2:58 pm

Re: Tuscany

#37 Post by Sean McK » May 22nd, 2019, 9:08 pm

Following this thread. My wife and I are going to Tuscany in October and wondering exactly where we want to hit. Recommendations are welcome as people have them -- thank you all!!!
K e e

Dav1d S@wyer
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 187
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 10:23 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Tuscany

#38 Post by Dav1d S@wyer » May 28th, 2019, 2:43 pm

Michael O'Brien wrote:
March 7th, 2019, 2:29 pm
Any one tasted or planned tastings at wineries in Bolgheri that I should visit?
Just left Bolgheri today. To say I was disappointed with my winery experiences is an understatement. Think about all of the awful things about Napa tasting rooms today and that's Bolgheri......except Bolgheri lacks all of the great Napa restaurants. Very commercialized and sterile. No passion or charm. I won't elaborate here but I'll never go back to Le Macchiole or buy their wines again. They also sell their wines for 40-50 euro more at the winery than wine shops in Tuscany do. This rip off was just insult to injury after a terrible experience.

The only aspects that made our time there worth it were our stunning hotel, Relais Sant'Elena (can't recommend enough), and a fantastic meal at Io Cucina in Bibbona last night. The little town of Bolgheri is actually pretty charming as well but it can fill one day max.

User avatar
Dennis Atick
Posts: 6270
Joined: January 27th, 2009, 6:48 pm
Location: East Atlanta

Re: Tuscany

#39 Post by Dennis Atick » June 3rd, 2019, 3:50 am

David- Am interested in further updates, especially Montalcino as I'll be there in a few weeks. Hope you had a good trip!
@decaturwinedude

Post Reply

Return to “Travel Forum”