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Would Montepulciano make a good lunch stop?

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Melbourne, Australia
posts: 159
reviews: 23
Would Montepulciano make a good lunch stop?

We are driving from Rome to Pistoia in June and a looking for an interesting little Tuscan town to stop in for lunch. Would Montepulciano make a good place to stop with young children? Preferably we would like to be able to park fairly close to the main street, find some interesting places to see/eat at/ visit without having to fight through hordes of tourists.

Can anyone suggest where we should park, eat at, see or do whilst we visit? Or - suggest an alternative?

We are not worried by driving manual cars through small villages - we just don't want to drive into a ZTL zone! Hence choosing this town over the likes of Siena etc.

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
posts: 55,242
reviews: 11
1. Re: Would Montepulciano make a good lunch stop?

You are not allowed to drive inside the walls of any of these hilltop towns. You have to park outside and walk in. Just about every settlement in Italy has a ZTL, although most of them are not policed as rigorously as in Florence.

Montepulciano would be a good place to stop. Look for the signs for a parking area, then walk in.

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
Destination Expert
for Tuscany
posts: 6,793
reviews: 51
2. Re: Would Montepulciano make a good lunch stop?

Depends what time you are setting off from Rome and how far off the main route you want to go. Alternatives en route could be Orvieto or Chiusi Alto.

Montepulciano, Italy
posts: 3,349
reviews: 1
3. Re: Would Montepulciano make a good lunch stop?

No, I don't think Montepulciano works well at all for what you're looking for for a whole host of reasons. Consider instead somewhere nearer the A1, smaller, on the flat with easy parking such as Cetona. Just 10 mins off the A1 with several excellent restaurants including two right on the main square that compete for excellence, Nilo's and the Merlo. Even in August this village sees few tourists, has great walks, incredible views and a very interesting museum with a special section for children. Alternatively, somewhere similar and just as nice is Monte San Savino, one of the most under-rated towns in this area (and then some).

Florence Italy
posts: 1,575
reviews: 2
4. Re: Would Montepulciano make a good lunch stop?

We think La Straniera's suggestions are spot-on. We, too, love Monte San Savino (and Lucignano as well, which would be another easy place to stop at with plenty of parking just outside the medieval walls). There's quite a few good restaurants and a most wonderful gelateria contained within.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 159
reviews: 23
5. Re: Would Montepulciano make a good lunch stop?

Many thanks for such good information. We plan to leave Rome around or before 9am and spend most of the day driving up to Pistoia - through the Tuscan hills. Ideally we would like to arrive at our agriturismo mid to late afternoon! Provided we have plenty of breaks both children are fine with this amount of driving. We don't need to see every town - just one for morning tea break, lunch and perhaps one to do a bit of market/supermarket shopping.(It will be a Tuesday!) But is this feasible? Does walking into these towns take a long time? Should we instead be finding one town - walk in spend a few hours, do our grocery shopping - then drive straight through to our accommodation?

I realise that some of this is subjective - and will depend upon the day/the children/our patience etc etc. - but any thought or ideas gratefully accepted!

Aussieleigh

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
Destination Expert
for Tuscany
posts: 6,793
reviews: 51
6. Re: Would Montepulciano make a good lunch stop?

So what route are you planning to take? If you want to drive through the Tuscan hills, then presumably you won't be taking the A1?

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 159
reviews: 23
7. Re: Would Montepulciano make a good lunch stop?

After consulting google maps - we think we will stay on the A1 until Mon San Savino and from there head across to Sienna and up to Florence via Siena.

Montepulciano, Italy
posts: 3,349
reviews: 1
8. Re: Would Montepulciano make a good lunch stop?

Too many stops can be quite time-consuming and really cut into your day. On the A1, the Autogrills are fine for a break / comfort stop. If I were you I would then head on to your lunch stop, and seeing as though you want to grocery shop afterwards head for Cetona, lunch stop / stroll around / amuse the kids and then stop by the supermarket, PAM, at the Centro Etrusco on your way back to the A1, it's right there by the intersection. It's one of the few supermarkets that's guaranteed open all day every single day even Sundays in summer. (Bear in mind most in June close 13.00 / 17.00 hrs.)

9. Re: Would Montepulciano make a good lunch stop?

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