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Montepulciano, Montalcino, Pienza, or San Quirico...

Edwardsville...
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Montepulciano, Montalcino, Pienza, or San Quirico...

If you had to choose one town to stay in a hotel, which would it be? We would like to stay IN a small-ish and scenic town in this area - do some driving in the day, find our hotel, have a nice meal in town, walk for a bit, and go back to the hotel. any suggestion for hotels in your preferred town?

sangio2006
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1. Re: Montepulciano, Montalcino, Pienza, or San Quirico...

Hi Dana:

We've stayed in Montepulciano and Pienza on two separate trips. Both were wonderful. I think Pienza is more centrally located for touring the Val d'Orcia, but distances are not that great and any of those towns would be fine if you have a car.

In Montepulciano we stayed at the Hotel Marzocco. The staff don't speak much Engish, but the rooms are clean and spacious, and our room had private terrace overlooking the countryside. I'd stay there again. One of our favorite restaurants in all of Tuscany, also called the Marzocco but not related, is right next door.

http://www.albergoilmarzocco.it/hotel.en.php

In Pienza, we stayed at a B&B called L'Antica Locanda. For breakfast, you'll get a voucher for coffee and a snack at any of the local cafes. Some rooms have a great view over the countryside, but ours didn't. Still, it was spacious with a very large bathroom. I would stay here again as well.

www.tuscany.net/anticalocanda/index.html

If I had to choose one over the other, I'd have a slight preference for Pienza.

This is a spectacular part of Italy. We stayed for one week during each of our visits, but I wished we could have stayed longer.

An excellent website with a huge amount of information on this part of Italy is Slow Travel. They have a lot of good hotel, restaurant and day trip information.

http://www.slowtrav.com/

regards

Sangio

Edwardsville...
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2. Re: Montepulciano, Montalcino, Pienza, or San Quirico...

thanks for your info - i'll definitely look into both of these. i think we're leaning towards montepulciano - did you feel that it was extremely touristy or not too bad? i read someone else's post that said it was filled with tourists during the day but in the evenings and mornings, it was quite peaceful.

sangio2006
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3. Re: Montepulciano, Montalcino, Pienza, or San Quirico...

Of the towns you mentioned, Pienza and San Quirco are the quietest.

Miontepulciano is a bit larger than the other towns, and it is closer to the Autostrada, so it is somewhat busier. There's also more car traffic in and around the town. There's one main street that runs the length of the town and it's busy with cars at certain times of the day. However, we were there in early May on both visits and it didn't seem overly touristed at that time.

This would make a good base if you plan to explore other nearby areas such as Umbria, or for a quick trip to Florence and Siena.

There are more restaurants and shopping in Montepulciano than in the others, and there are a number of wine stores where you can sample their products. The Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is every bit as good as the Brunello from Montalcino, in my opinion.

Here's a great link for more information about Montepulciano and the souronding area.

http://www.montepulciano.net/

Be sure to check the section on La Foce, an estate owned by the late author Iris Origo.

If you want to read up on some history from this area, I highly recommend "War in Val D'Orcia" by Iris Irigo. The book is her personal diary of events in the valley during WW II.

Don't forget your camera, and bring twice as much film, or digital memory cards, as you think you'll need.

If you have any more questions, I'll try to answer.

regards

Sangio

QQ2
New York City, New...
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4. Re: Montepulciano, Montalcino, Pienza, or San Quirico...

Agree with the previous poster. I think San Quirico is the quietest of all -- few tourists, so quiet even during the day. By the way, the last name of the author mentioned is I believe spelled "Origo," not "Irigo." I haven't been there, but I have been told that the gardens of her former home in the Val d'Orcia are open at certain limited times.

West Sussex
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5. Re: Montepulciano, Montalcino, Pienza, or San Quirico...

Definately Montepulciano. It's a splendidly located and has plenty to see. From there you can easily visit the others on your list. There's a reasonable number of hotels - an inexpensive, good value, one is Il Riccio (www.ilriccio.net). It's a medieval building in the heart of the town.

6. Re: Montepulciano, Montalcino, Pienza, or San Quirico...

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