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Wagon Wheeling from home base in Montepulciano

Tampa, Florida
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Wagon Wheeling from home base in Montepulciano

My husband and I will be staying in a self-catering apartment in Montepulciano for two weeks in late September / early October. We will have a rental car and want to make some day trips to other places. We are in our late 40s and physically fit, so we can walk or climb to our destination if that is required. We are big fans of history (the Etruscan museum in Orvieto is on our list) and architecture, and enjoy the path less travelled. We are also big fans of wine and will quickly make ourselves available for any and all wine tastings, festivals, or any other occasion involving the nectar of the gods. With that said, we are looking for day trip suggestions. Thanks all!

Mississauga, ON
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1. Re: Wagon Wheeling from home base in Montepulciano

For last year's visit, I picked up a fantastic book Back Roads Italy. It has great suggested driving routes and we found we used it every day. We stayed quite near Montepulciano and found some wonderful routes using the book.

We are back to Chianti and Umbria this fall and we will use the same book again.

Tampa, Florida
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2. Re: Wagon Wheeling from home base in Montepulciano

Oh fantastic! I will pick up a copy right away! Any food suggestions?? I probably should have mentioned we a kind of food oriented....maybe obsessively so!

New York City, New...
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3. Re: Wagon Wheeling from home base in Montepulciano

You may want to look over the thread below, started by a poster who also has a food blog - for his trip last month. There are some terrific recommendations and descriptions of restaurants and foods:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187893-i67-k66264…

Tampa, Florida
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4. Re: Wagon Wheeling from home base in Montepulciano

OH MomCat! There you are! I know, I know. I am reading through that thread now - it was my first introduction to you! I'm up to page 9. I'm also reading through some of Ziggy's other threads leading up to his trip. Ironically, we are doing the same thing (sort of) that he did - Flying into Florence and out of Rome. Anyway, I'm taking in so much information that I'm getting overwhelmed! All I can think of is going from one food event to the next....meal to snack to meal to more food. This is not a bad thing, mind you.... Outside of our food issues, we really were hoping for some unique off-the-beaten-path kind of places to see at our leisure when venturing out of Montepulciano.

Mississauga, ON
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5. Re: Wagon Wheeling from home base in Montepulciano

We also had a fantastic lunch at Da Roberto's which Ziggy mentions in his TR. We found Da Roberto's using the book I previously recommended.

Don't miss the gardens of La Foce. Only open Wednesdays.

And the pecorino from Pienza!

Edited: 19 July 2013, 20:49
Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Wagon Wheeling from home base in Montepulciano

You might get some ideas from our stay there a few years ago: http://www.nickbooth.id.au/Europe09/Monte.htm

Tampa, Florida
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7. Re: Wagon Wheeling from home base in Montepulciano

Why thank you, sydneynick! The pictures are lovely!

Tampa, Florida
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8. Re: Wagon Wheeling from home base in Montepulciano

TravelBug - yes! I saw Ziggy's write-up on Da Robert's. It's definitely making the list.

Delaware USA
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9. Re: Wagon Wheeling from home base in Montepulciano

My wife and I based ourselves in a self-catering Montepulciano apartment last October; we only had a week. We had originally thought we'd take day trips to Siena, San Gimignano, even Assisi and/or Perugia, but ended up going to none of them because the area close to Montepulciano was so rich in places worth spending time in. We gave priority to food and wine, and made it a point to be back in Montepulciano by sunset each day. There are plenty of nice restaurant choices in town for dinner, and a couple of nights we just bought fresh homemade pasta at a local market and cooked it with olive oil and washed it down with lovely local vino.

For day trips, Monticchiello is a tiny gem of a town about 30 minutes away, with a very worthwhile restaurant (La Porta -call ahead and ask for a table on the balcony if the weather is nice.) There is not much else to do there but wander around the charming streets.

Pienza is another fun town and well worth seeing (30 -40 minutes away). Trattoria Fiorella had a nice lunch and the Palazzo Piccolomini had a very good audio guide. The Duomo and another church are also worth visiting; we spent most of an afternoon there. There is a wine shop (Enoteca di Ghino) that sells older vintages (as well as current) of fine Tuscan wines - we bought a nice bottle there to bring to dinner at Acquacheta in Montepulciano for our last night in town.

We devoted most of a day to Montalcino (an hour away) and set up a visit it to the highly-regarded winery outside town, Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona. Nearby we visited the Abbey Sant Antimo but the winery visit timing meant we missed the Gregorian chant. We drove to Orvieto one day and also enjoyed it, but it was probably 90 minutes drive in each direction and that convinced us to stay closer to our base.

If we'd had time we would have visited Bagno Vignoni and Cortona. We dropped our car off in Chiusi and took the train to Rome, and we thought Chiusi would be worth a visit too.

You'll get a workout walking in Montepulciano. There is a little bakery at the foot of the hill just off the bottom of the Corso - I went many mornings to buy bread or rolls and then hiked back up the hill to our apartment (near the Gesu church) - I burned a lot a of calories! We walked down to San Biagio on Sunday, and had a fabulous lunch on the outdoor terrace at La Grotta next door. The hike back up the hill to town was arduous!

I think you will love Montepulciano and surroundings!

10. Re: Wagon Wheeling from home base in Montepulciano

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