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help...how many days in montelcino....help pls

connecticut
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help...how many days in montelcino....help pls

i cant decide...here is my problem

i have 8 days...i am splitting them

between montalcino and san gimignano.

this trip will start with 8 in cortona...

we have no car,...like slow travel...really strolling and dining and hanging out in piazza

shopping...people watching...i am thinking

montalcino is the better place

so am thinking 5 nites montalcino and 3 only

for san gimignano. san gimignano looks like

it has less restaurants and is very touristy

i could be wrong maybe i should do 4 days montalcino

and 4 san gimignano...what do you think ???

Plymouth, New...
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1. Re: help...how many days in montelcino....help pls

ChiantiCT

First thought is that it's hard to imagine such a nice allotment of time in Tuscany without a car!

We also love the slow trav philosophy of relaxing, spending time in the piazzas, lingering over dinner and wine ... so Montalcino would be high on our list. But after 8 days in Cortona (do I understand that correctly?) and 4 more in Montalcino ... I wonder if you might want to get around to visit some other hill towns and explore the spectacular roads of the Crete Senese!

I suspect S.Gimignano has a few more restaurants than Montalcino .. but do not really know. Both have plenty for a few days stay. But if we were to stay in that part of Tuscany, we prefer Volterra to S.G. But again much of the enjoyment is exploring the area surrounding these towns.

Have a wonderful trip!

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connecticut
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2. Re: help...how many days in montelcino....help pls

yes it is 8 days in cortona to start...

there is lots of music and piazza life there...

plus i can take taxi if day trip wanted...

venice
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3. Re: help...how many days in montelcino....help pls

I think that is not a good idea to visit this part of tuscany without a car cause ok, all that small villages are beautiful but the real main attraction is the nature and the hills.

consider that in these places the pubblic transports are not so good (rare and slow), the best restaurants are not in the centre of the villages but often "lost" in the middle of the countryside

another good example is this

http://www.cgilsiena.it/images/cipressi.jpg

this is one of the most famous picture of tuscany that without a car is impossible to take....

visit a winery ?

impossible without a car.....

and go on so.

only my opinion but try to consider all

bye

Plymouth, New...
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4. Re: help...how many days in montelcino....help pls

Hello again

I see Estief3 is also encouraging you to get a car for some of your Tuscany vacation ... but I need to also say how much we've enjoyed spending lazy days in Montalcino! We don't stay in town - but maybe 25 km away (+/-16 miles) in an agriturismo - but we often go to this lovely hill town just to soak up the atmosphere and explore the small streets.

Some places we really enjoy:

ENOTECA OSTERIA OSTICCIO

Via Matteotti, 23 - 53024 Montalcino (SI)

Tel. e Fax +39 0577 848271

www.osticcio.com

Great place to taste Brunello and Rosso de Montalcino, have a light meal of fresh salads or crostini and savor the incredible view of the Val d'Orcia displayed out in front of you!

Altho it gets mixed reviews here on TA - we have enjoyed visiting Frattoria dei Barbi a number of times for a wine tour and especially like lunch in their Traverna dei Barbi! Many of the items served come from the Barbi estate, the ravioli melts in your mouth and the service has always been good.

Of course there are many wineries featuring Brunello scattered all around Montalcino.

A nice excursion is to spend a couple of hours at nearby Sant Antimo to walk the grounds and catch the Gregorian chants of the monks. This is very unique experience.

Another special treat is the music series "Wine & Jazz Festival" every July. We enjoyed two wonderful evenings in the Fortezza, under the stars, drinking Brunells and listening to a live jazz concert! What great memories! The listings for this next summer usually don't appear until late spring - you can google "wine & jazz Montalcio" to get schedule maybe in May?

So whatever you decide, I envy the time you'll have to really get to know one or two hill towns and immerse yourselves in la dolce vita!

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Southern Tuscany
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5. Re: help...how many days in montelcino....help pls

San Gimignano has as many more restaurants than Montalcino and is horribly touristy for much of the year. You don't say when you are coming but Montalcino outside of high summer weekends is rarely that busy, and it certainly wasn't busy at all this summer. But as much as we all enjoy slow travel, your travel is going to be impossibly slow if you don't have a car. Bear in mind that most bus services are designed around people going to work or getting to market so they operate early in the morning and late afternoon with not much else in between. Frankly, I wouldn't come here without one for as lovely as the major hilltowns are, it's the back roads and smaller off-the-beaten track villages that really make this area what it is. I also feel 8 days is possibly too long in Cortona unless you're using it primarily as a base to visit other towns.

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San Gimignano
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connecticut
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6. Re: help...how many days in montelcino....help pls

thanks for the advise..i see we all love tuscany !! cant wait to try brunello...hope i can afford it...can i buy a bottle for 30.dollars usa ?

do restaurants in montalcino serve it as house..

since its thier wine??

i am going september 1 to 18th...always do these

dates...and its after the august rush...

no car, i know...but i really dont mind hiring

a taxi ...its so convenient...and i really only need to day trip out maybe 2 to 3 times on the trip.

hopefully will see some countryside on these rides

anyway i am not comfortable driving in italy...

not that brave,and we drink too much wine !!joking!

i have done slow travel already in siena, and also lucca and wasnt bored...i do agree its the countryside and will seek out some remote

drives to a couple of good ristorante.

its just that montalcino the more you read it looks so nice,same for san gimignano..

i am leaning towards maybe 4 and 4 in each...

not sure yet...

Southern Tuscany
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7. Re: help...how many days in montelcino....help pls

Brunello prices generally start around the Euros 30/bottle from an enoteca or the estate direct, minimum 50% more in medium priced restaurants in this area. No! The restaurants in the town certainly don’t serve it as house wine, it’s regarded even here as a premium product.

Your dates are good but I still can’t agree with you about taxis being convenient in the Tuscan countryside. They’re not, they have to be pre-booked and they’re very expensive. I don’t know what your budget is but relying on them as a form of transportation is going to up your holiday expenditure considerably, and quite unnecessarily so when hire cars can be picked up quite reasonably. Driving’s easy in the countryside, do a search on this site and read other travellers’ comments confirming this, there have been several posts on the subject. Also, although it is possible to enjoy the two towns you quote – Siena and Lucca – without your own transportation, these cities are incomparable in size to Montalcino, Cortona, San Gimignano, which are all pretty small. And how do you intend on travelling between Cortona – Montalcino – San G?

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Siena
Siena
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San Gimignano
San Gimignano
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connecticut
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8. Re: help...how many days in montelcino....help pls

all the reservations are done thank goodness.

we will fly into florence and have a taxi

from cortona pick us up...it will be a big expense

but after that it gets easier..distances shorter

we have 8 days in cortona...so every so often

we will do a small day trip...but we will be in

cortona and will do slow travel...my mom is 76

so she will walk but not the hills, and my husband is a little too nervous for italy driving..

i dont think i will be bored...each day will be

a fun lunch and dinner ,passiageta etc

our hotel serves nicest breakfast...and at nite the piazza will be great...

after the 8 days..we taxi to montalcino

4 nites, and then taxi to san gimignano 4 nites

and then back to florence..

in cortona ...i will have to plan some diversions because 8 days may be long...but its ok !!

all 3 of these villages have so many nice restaurants and views etc ...think it will be ok

it will be slow travel though!!

Jacksonville, FL
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9. Re: help...how many days in montelcino....help pls

I have a couple of comments and then a question or two.

First, we love San Gim. It is a bit touristy, but those towers are the real thing and it's really a quaint little village. We usually spend one or two nights there. I have a recommendation for you for an excellent hotel in San Gim. It's called Hotel Belsoggiorno. If you get a room with a balcony, you will have the most incredible views of the beautiful valley imaginable. The hotel is practically right inside the main city gate and is pretty inexpensive for the large rooms and the wonderful balconies. I believe breakfast is included. You can book the hotel on www.venere.com and make sure you ask for a balcony room. Normally, our room costs about 120 euros per night. If you use Venere, feel free to use my discount code - it will save a little. It's 9TABYKD. Also on Venere, you can easily cancel with no penalty if you do so within the required time.

Here's my question...we would like to spend a day in Montalcino from Rome. I realize it would be a long day, but we're okay with that...can one get to Montalcino from Rome by train?

Thanks!

Vicki

Kansas
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10. Re: help...how many days in montelcino....help pls

vickisfloyd,

You really can't get there from here. Montalcino has no train station (hilltown) the nearest is Buonconvento. It takes 3 hours to get to Siena (train or Sena bus) then you have to take a bus to Montalcino (http://www.trainspa.it/2009/extraurbano.pdf)

The fastest way is probably to train to Chiusi then get a taxi to Montalcino about a 50 minute drive.

Montalcino doesn't have a taxi but there are two guys that run a car service. You would have to book in advance.

My opinion is Montalcino is not a daytrip from Rome.

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Buonconvento
Buonconvento
Province of Siena, Italy
Siena
Siena
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Chiusi
Chiusi
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