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Day trips heading south from Chianti region

Ottawa
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Day trips heading south from Chianti region

Hi, We are going to Tuscany for 5 nights next May. We'll be staying in the Chianti region at a resort called Borgo di Colleoli that is half way between Pisa and Florence, just a bit south. We want to take some day trips - Lucca one day, San Gimignano and Siena another day. Not interested in Pisa. We do have the option of staying overnight somewhere further south near Montepulciano. Is it worthwhile doing this or should we just stay closer to our home base and enjoy the region up there? We could also spend a day in Florence - we've been but didn't spend much time. We could always go back. We don't want to feel like we are rushing around. Any suggestions? thanks!

Shari

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Roswell, Georgia
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1. Re: Day trips heading south from Chianti region

With five nights and staying in the area you noted I am not sure I would take the trip down to Montepulciano, even though I believe that is one of the most beautiful areas in all of Italy. You noted you have 5 nights, so presumably that is 4 full days with a half day. One day in Lucca, one day in San Gim and siena, leaves you two full days. I would use at least one to visit Florence, and I would use the other to take a drive (or guided tour) to some of the wineries and towns in Chianti south of Florence (which is much closer to you than Montepluciano). We recently spent a day touring wineries and having lunch in Panzano at one of Dario Cecchini's restaurants and then taking a porchetta from his butcher shop home for dinner. We visited Castello di Verrazano and Vicchiomaggio for our wineries, and stopped in Greve briefly as well. The drive from east of Florence to Montepulciano could easily take you over 2 hours and as much as 3 hours depending on the path you take, so driving there and back would eat up the whole day, and even if you stay the night you would eat up parts of two days traveling. I would stay more in one area and take it slow in the area you are staying. Volterra and Monterregioni, as well as Certaldo are other possible stops near the area you are staying.

Edited: 10 December 2012, 18:08
Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: Day trips heading south from Chianti region

I agree with Max....5 days isn't a lot and althought the area around Montepulciano is gorgeous you will eat up a lot of time getting there. I would do San Gimignano and Volterra in one day (heavy on Volterra...light on San G) and as Siena is much larger...I would do a whole day there.

Make sure that you don't just hit the "big" spots...it is the little "gems" of Tuscany that hold the most charm. Places like Civitella in Val di Chiana.............

http://www.val-di-chiana.com/civitella.htm

Florence, Italy
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3. Re: Day trips heading south from Chianti region

To tell you the truth, Borgo di Colleoli isn't in Chianti. Which is great news for you because instead of schlepping all the way to Montepulciano (easily 3 hours) you can spend a great day in... nearby Chianti! Also, Volterra is within striking distance!

But don't neglect your own neighborhood. For instance, Vinci. I think someone famous was born there. The Medici villa at Cerreto Guidi is very cool. Montelupo Fiorentino for ceramics, Empoli for its exquisite Collegiata, the enormous wildlife sanctuary of Ficecchio..!!

Ottawa
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4. Re: Day trips heading south from Chianti region

Oh my. I had meant to reply ages ago and didn't. Thank you everyone for your suggestions. This is great info. Yes, I have heard that Volterra is beautiful. I had no idea about Vinci. I think we are going to take your advice, everyone, and enjoy the area further north near where we are staying. Like the idea of the wineries too!!

Shari

Florence, Italy
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5. Re: Day trips heading south from Chianti region

You'll have a grand time! And you've given me the opportunity to see that I mispelled Fucecchio!

You *will* be coming to Florence, won't you?!?

Ottawa
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6. Re: Day trips heading south from Chianti region

We are now back from our trip. It was amazing!! I hate to say this, but we didn't go to Florence because we were there last year, so decided to visit other places. but will go back one day for sure! Our place was certainly remote - in a tiny little town called Colleoli, next to an equally tiny town called Palaia. We spent an afternoon north of our place in Lucca, riding bikes around the wall of the city. loved it. The next day we got up very early and headed to San Giminiagno and had the town to ourselves before the tour buses arrived. We climbed the tower, visited the Collegiata basilica and couldn't believe the magnificent frescos that depict the stories in the Old Testament. After San Giminiano we headed to Rada in Chianti and had lunch at La Vigne - a beautiful little farmouse / restaurant overlooking the vineyards. We also managed to visit the Barone Ricasoli Winery and the castle. All in one day. We are crazy for sure, but it was terrific. The next day we headed to Volterra. Marvelous place. Came in from the north so we saw the cliffs that make the town famous. Made our way down towards Montepulciano, and stopped in Monte Oliveto Maggiore - just beautiful, and then made our way to Montepulciano, with a quick stop for some wine tasting in Montelcino. Unfortunately we ended up just using Montepulciano as a stop over to sleep since it was absolutely pouring when we got there (had a fabulous meal there mind you), and made our way back up north the following day. We headed towards Sienna, but first stopped at the San Galgiano Abbey earlly in the morning - amazing,and then spent the day in Sienna. Loved the Duomo in Sienna. Spent the next day roaming around near our place up north, and visited San Miniato which was lovely. I think we covered a lot of ground due to the weather, which unfortunatelly was not great, but nonetheless we loved every minute of it. Thanks for all your good advice everyone ! p.s we wanted to get to Vinci, but ran out of time!

cheshire
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7. Re: Day trips heading south from Chianti region

Hi, we are heading to a friends wedding At Borgo Colleoli in August, and have around 5-6 days after the wedding to do a bit of traveling around, I am intrigued to how you did your travels around Tuscany, did you hire a car? If so is that expensive? And. Also did you head towards the coast at all?

Many thanks

Matt

8. Re: Day trips heading south from Chianti region

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