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Is Montepulciano like San G.?

Saint Louis...
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Is Montepulciano like San G.?

Last time we visited Tuscany we stayed in San G. and absolutely loved it. Walking thru the medieval town after the crowds went home, the restaurants with views over the beautiful countryside and the shops with pottery and anything else that a person would want to bring home from their trip. This summer we are going back to Tuscany and my husband wants to do something different - but I still want the "look and feel" of San G. Is Montepulciano the right spot for us or is there a different hilltop town that you would recommend?

We're also debating between late May (when we visited last time and loved seeing the red poppys in the fields) or early September (for something different). Any thoughts on this are appreciated as well.

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Montepulciano
Montepulciano
Province of Siena, Italy
Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Is Montepulciano like San G.?

San Gimignano is small and exists entirely for tourists. Montepulciano is larger and, while tourism is important, it is a real town serving its residents and the area. Because the tourism is not overwhelming, parking is easy.

My preference is Montepulciano.

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San Gimignano
San Gimignano
Province of Siena, Italy
Montepulciano
Montepulciano
Province of Siena, Italy
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2. Re: Is Montepulciano like San G.?

Montepulciano's main square is right at the top of the hill, though, like San G, there is a little tourist bus to take you up. It is a steep town and there can be a bit of a hemmed in feel with the buildings close on each side of the street.

Still, it was great to stay there. We used it as a base to tour other towns.

You might like to look at Montalcino which is a bit more open in feel and I love Arezzo with its sloping square and graceful loggia at the top. Parking might be a problem.

For me the queen of places to stay in Tuscany is Siena. A town, not a village, but with so much to explore and so many things to see. If you have a car Palazzo Ravissa is the only hotel inside the walls with free parking as far as I know. Otherwise you can stay in another place and park in the big car parks just inside the walls.

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Montalcino
Montalcino
Province of Siena, Italy
Arezzo
Arezzo
Province of Arezzo, Italy
Siena
Siena
Province of Siena, Italy
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3. Re: Is Montepulciano like San G.?

last time we were in Siena with a car we stayed at the Hotel Athena downhill from Palazzo Ravizza and also just inside the town walls -- there was free parking -- this was a few years ago

Palazzo Ravizza is wonderful -- but a lot pricier

We are going to stay in Montepulciano for a couple of weeks next fall and use it as a base for touring the area

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Siena
Siena
Province of Siena, Italy
Hotel Athena
Hotel Athena
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Siena, Italy
Palazzo Ravizza
Palazzo Ravizza
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Siena, Italy
Montepulciano
Montepulciano
Province of Siena, Italy
Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
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4. Re: Is Montepulciano like San G.?

Montepulciano or Montalcino would probably be an excellent choice for you. I know you are going in May or September, so parking shouldn't be an issue for you, for anyone else thinking of going in high summer and using Montepulciano as a base does need to consider where they are going to park as it certainly is not easy during the day at that time of year.

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Montepulciano
Montepulciano
Province of Siena, Italy
Montalcino
Montalcino
Province of Siena, Italy
Montepulciano, Italy
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5. Re: Is Montepulciano like San G.?

Late May can be really lovely, I have several local friends who reckon it's the best month in southern Tuscany, and you should certainly see fields awash with beautiful red poppies, which is a glorious sight. A couple of properties in Montepulciano do offer private parking - the Locanda San Francesco is one and there are truly lovely views from this hotel. Montepulciano is very different though in look and feel to San Gimignano, it's - what's the word? - less twee / prettified? The main square and several smaller corners are very beautiful indeed but Lynne's right when she says you can get bit of a hemmed in feeling on certain streets, especially the main corso, where some of the older palazzi also have rather an austere appearance. But we love the town especially in the evening and although I don't think the shops are as good here as in SG (nor the art), there are some excellent restaurants. However, I'm personally wondering if you wouldn't prefer Pienza. It's very small but picture-postcard-perfect, relatively flat, quite easy parking and makes a great base as a) it's so central and b) ever so easy to get in and out of.

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Montepulciano
Montepulciano
Province of Siena, Italy
San Gimignano
San Gimignano
Province of Siena, Italy
Pienza
Pienza
Province of Siena, Italy
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6. Re: Is Montepulciano like San G.?

I just read this in another travel website: "from Easter until October, San Gimignano has very little life of its own, with hordes of day-trippers traipsing up and down its narrow streets and filing in and out of its innumerable olive oil, wine and souvenir shops...it is not the Real tuscany anymore..."

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San Gimignano
San Gimignano
Province of Siena, Italy
7. Re: Is Montepulciano like San G.?

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