March 20, 2015, 12:21 AM
fall trip to tuscany only to experience small old-world towns
we're planning a two or three week trip to italy and are looking to focus on small villages and towns to experience the local life there. no time will be spent on the usual tourist attractions. never having been in italy i am in the dark as to how one approaches this the best way.
any help is so much appreciated! thank you!
March 20, 2015, 10:32 AM
I arrived in Italy over 20 years ago and found myself in a quiet (non-touristy) area and I LOVED it. I will admit I never knew what I was missing until I moved into the Chianti area...then my vision of Tuscany became more well rounded. However, I totally get wanting to visit the other half of Tuscany :-)
I suggest you look into the Casentino area - though well known between the Italians I believe you will find it to be a perfect mix of culture - good food - lovely landscapes - adventure and a very friendly local base.
It is an area filled with small towns (Poppi, Bibbiena, Stia & Pratovecchio) but it also gives you easy access to many other areas not typically explored such as Arezzo, Valdichiana and Sansepolcro. Not to mention the churches, parks and monasteries.
March 24, 2015, 12:29 PM
nice little towns in Italy
It is in small towns that you really can feel the italian way of life...Sovicille is one of those little towns. Sovicille is located at only 13 kms from Siena, it is surrounded by a beautiful countryside...have a look at www.prolocosovicille.it where you'll find a lot of useful information, itineraries, restaurants and places where you could stay.
April 5, 2015, 01:26 AM
Non-Touristy Tuscany Among Ordinary Italians
Certaldo area is a great base as it is right in the middle of an area exactly half way between Florence and Siena in which there are some lovely places to see like Certaldo Alto, San Gimignano, Colle di Val d'Elsa, Volterra and Monteriggioni, but it is a regular little town where you will experience ordinary Italian life.
The train line between Florence and Siena, with Certaldo being about half way down it, has numerous stops in ordinary non-touristy towns where they have markets on different days of the week. It is a great area to experience ordinary, daily Italian culture away from the kitch and expense of some of the touristy areas, but with the advantage of ALSO being accessible to famous towns if you want to see them too.
The train station in Certaldo has a free large parking lot behind it so you can easily go to Florence (to the north) and Siena to the south) by train without having to worry about parking.
There are loads of good, inexpensive places to eat local food and there are also many family-run wine producers in this area.
Please check out travi-risonanti.com. There is a winery only a couple of minutes walk away. and they will give you a free tour and wine-tasting.