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Intinerary advice, please!

Dongducheon, South...
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Intinerary advice, please!

Planning a trip to Italy June-July, 2019 and need help finalizing itinerary, please. Our dates on the outbound are flexible but we must be in Venice by 4 July. Looking for culinary adventure and authentic experience. So far, we have 5 nights in Bologna w day trips to Parma and Modena by train. Should we plan a full day in each city?

Tuscany region has me in a quandary. We will have a car to tour the region. While we do appreciate history/architecture, we are more about experiencing wineries, etc. Is it better to stay just outside Siena at Aria Mattonata for 10-12 days and do day trips? Or, option two with a stay 5-6 days at Locanda LePiazze in Castellina in Chianti and then another 5-6 at Podere Brizio in Montalcino? Or, option three to be determined? I am especially fond of the reviews for Aria Mattonata, yet all three properties have great reviews and great air conditioning, I have read.

Next consideration is the horse racing event on July 2, Il Palio...we will be there during that time is it worth experiencing?

We will do the touristy experience of Rome either before or after all of this, 4-5 nights.

Only thing I can’t figure out is Cinque Terre in this puzzle. Would love to see it by boat. But maybe needs to be omitted given the distance, time commitment.

Thank you so much for your consideration and advice wise ones! Shari

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7 replies to this topic
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1. Re: Intinerary advice, please!

I think you have enough time to split your Tuscany stay. I would do one leg around Chianti/Siena and one leg in Val D’Orcia. Both regions are beautiful but very different. In two separate visits to Siena we have been there during Palio and debated what to do. It is very, very crowded and hot. You will spend much of your time waiting for a very short race. Unless you want to book private viewing balconies which are very expensive and you will still wait. We ended up not going to Palio but alternatively spent the day and evening before the Palio in Siena which was wonderful. The day and night before is very festive with all the Contradas marching and singing in their finery throughout the streets. They set up huge outdoor dinners in all of the different neighborhoods and it is an exciting and special time to be in Siena. And after watching the race on tv, we were glad to have avoided race day crowds.

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Siena
Siena
Province of Siena, Italy
Eagle River, Alaska
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2. Re: Intinerary advice, please!

Ohhhhh, Locanda Le Piazze is one of our most favorite places in the world!! Guido is the absolutely most amazing chef ever!! We have been fans of his since 2003 and would follow him wherever he is, but Locanda Le Piazze is such a special place, romantic, tranquil yet easily accessible from all over the Chianti area. Just so you know we spend a week every year in Siena as a piece of our hearts remains in that amazing city, and as well as in the Val d'Orcia area of Tuscany.

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Locanda Le Piazze
Locanda Le Piazze
422 Reviews
Castellina In Chianti, Italy
Siena
Siena
Province of Siena, Italy
Val d'Orcia
Val d'Orcia
317 Reviews
Tuscany, Italy
Dongducheon, South...
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3. Re: Intinerary advice, please!

Thank you, Bonniebelle, this is exactly the type of advice we needed! We want to enjoy the festivities- mainly the food, but the crowds and waiting do not appeal for the actual race. Does one pay for a ticket to sample the food selections? I can’t really envision that part. Could you please elaborate a bit? Thank you!

Dongducheon, South...
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4. Re: Intinerary advice, please!

Thank you so much, Bonnie for your affirmation on Locanda Le Piazze! You offer quite an endorsement for their Chef, which I greatly appreciate! Do you have a favorite dish prepared by Chef Guido? I will be celebrating a milestone birthday while we’re there. For your annual trip do you tend to stay in Chianti or do you have some other towns to suggest? Thank you so very much!

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Locanda Le Piazze
Locanda Le Piazze
422 Reviews
Castellina In Chianti, Italy
Eagle River, Alaska
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5. Re: Intinerary advice, please!

Absolutely EVERYTHING Guido makes is fantastic and we have eaten many meals of his. Put yourselves in his hands and use my name - let him know he has to live up to our expectations ;-) He is an absolute sweetheart and incredibly gifted chef using local, seasonal ingredients with a creative twist. Oh and let Salvatore, the sommelier pair the wines for you!!! He is also awesome!!!!!

We actually spend our time in southern Tuscany, a small village south of Montalcino as well as a week every year in Siena. We like to day trip when we are in Sant'Angelo Scalo and explore the surrounding towns, take a visit to the coast, etc. We go up to Chianti to visit and eat. We also love the little town of San Donato which has a wonderful Trattoria La Topa. The "historic center" is small but quite lovely and the view from the park may be my favorite one in Chianti.

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Montalcino
Montalcino
Province of Siena, Italy
Siena
Siena
Province of Siena, Italy
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6. Re: Intinerary advice, please!

There are tour companies that offer tourists various Palio packages. I believe they also offer opportunities to dine with the locals at these outdoor tables in the various neighborhoods. At the time we were looking into it via www.tickitaly.com but we did not end up doing it so I cannot vouch for their services but worth looking into if interested. I will say that while the dinners looked festive, we were glad to have decided to have dinner on our own in a restaurant - we wouldn't have known anyone and while I am sure the food was delicious, the tables were cramped and it was certainly not looking to be a fine dining experience of which there are so many in Siena!

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Siena
Siena
Province of Siena, Italy
Dongducheon, South...
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7. Re: Intinerary advice, please!

Ladies, your input is so very helpful, thank you! Shari

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