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Tuscany

Posted: February 23rd, 2019, 10:11 am
by Paul Flynn
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

Re: Tuscany

Posted: February 23rd, 2019, 10:39 am
by Jim Stewart
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.

Re: Tuscany

Posted: February 23rd, 2019, 10:56 am
by geoffpm
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 .

Re: Tuscany

Posted: February 24th, 2019, 7:31 am
by Paul Flynn
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.

Re: Tuscany

Posted: February 24th, 2019, 3:18 pm
by Ian Sutton
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

Re: Tuscany

Posted: February 25th, 2019, 1:38 pm
by RCarbain
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.

Re: Tuscany

Posted: February 26th, 2019, 3:31 am
by T Klonoski
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.

Re: Tuscany

Posted: February 26th, 2019, 8:51 am
by Riccardo Campinoti
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

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 4th, 2019, 4:03 pm
by Andrew Kotowski
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 :)

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 4th, 2019, 4:25 pm
by Barry L i p t o n
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.

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 4th, 2019, 5:46 pm
by jan.brekke
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!

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 4th, 2019, 5:49 pm
by M.Kaplan
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.

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 5th, 2019, 7:34 am
by Alan Rath
Well if you're thinking of getting a place there don't bother. There's really nothing available.

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 5th, 2019, 7:43 am
by Alan Rath
Here's an old post I wrote a few years ago, some may be out of date:

viewtopic.php?p=1421283#p1421283

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 5th, 2019, 8:35 am
by Ramon C
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.

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 7th, 2019, 2:16 pm
by Dav1d S@wyer
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.....

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 7th, 2019, 2:29 pm
by Michael O'Brien
Any one tasted or planned tastings at wineries in Bolgheri that I should visit?

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 8th, 2019, 1:30 am
by Riccardo Campinoti
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

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 9th, 2019, 5:27 am
by Lonnie F.
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!

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 9th, 2019, 11:58 pm
by Tim Heaton
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.

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 10th, 2019, 6:23 am
by Kaitlyn K.
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

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 10th, 2019, 1:16 pm
by Michael O'Brien
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.

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 10th, 2019, 1:26 pm
by Jim Stewart
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 !!!!

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 11th, 2019, 8:03 am
by Michael O'Brien
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

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 23rd, 2019, 4:48 am
by Dennis Atick
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.

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 23rd, 2019, 9:46 am
by Kaitlyn K.
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.

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 23rd, 2019, 11:15 am
by Dennis Atick
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!

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 23rd, 2019, 12:12 pm
by dcornutt
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.

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 24th, 2019, 8:09 am
by Paul Flynn
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!

Re: Tuscany

Posted: March 28th, 2019, 5:04 am
by bradkaplan
(following - I'll be there a couple weeks after Dennis, a bit northeast of Montalcino, near town of Bettolle)

Re: Tuscany

Posted: May 8th, 2019, 8:53 am
by m_macdonald
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!

Re: Tuscany

Posted: May 13th, 2019, 3:12 pm
by LoriMcLaughlin
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.

Re: Tuscany

Posted: May 13th, 2019, 8:47 pm
by Dav1d S@wyer
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.

Re: Tuscany

Posted: May 15th, 2019, 4:50 am
by Kaitlyn K.
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.

Re: Tuscany

Posted: May 15th, 2019, 9:53 am
by Dennis Atick
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.!

Re: Tuscany

Posted: May 15th, 2019, 1:20 pm
by Dav1d S@wyer
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.

Re: Tuscany

Posted: May 22nd, 2019, 9:08 pm
by Sean McK
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!!!

Re: Tuscany

Posted: May 28th, 2019, 2:43 pm
by Dav1d S@wyer
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.

Re: Tuscany

Posted: June 3rd, 2019, 3:50 am
by Dennis Atick
David- Am interested in further updates, especially Montalcino as I'll be there in a few weeks. Hope you had a good trip!