September 23, 2013, 05:26 AM
5 days in Tuscany with an Italian Chef
hello! I just wanted to say this sight is so informative so thanks a lot for educating me on your views of Tuscany. I have a particular predicament... trying to book a trip for me and my italian boyfriend. We chose Tuscany for two reason. 1-I have never been, 2-he has never been. Which I thought was crazy since he if from Northern Italy BUT he has traveled the world working as a top chef since he was young so he just never got to it. I'm excited because it gives us a change to explore the region together! We plan to travel from Venice after visiting friends. This holiday is just a quick break between assignments so it's meant to be RELAXING and luxurious. He is a huge foodie obviously, so this is an important aspect of the trip. I'm dreaming of vineyards, spas and cozying up to a fireplace after long country walks. We like our privacy but also don't want to trek to town to buy groceries to make a meal back at an apartment setting. Soo I'm looking for a small hotel/ villa/ B&B accommodation with a good restaurant that is in the country but not too far from town for some shopping/ restaurant scene. Is that too vague? Can any offer up a suggestion or place to start - which towns? I was thinking we could break the trip up by staying in two locations. We will depart from Pisa. - thanks in advance!
September 25, 2013, 06:46 PM
You've got all the right reasons to come to Tuscany!
If you're already in Venice, then a break to Tuscany will be perfect. If your husband is a chef and foodie, I don't think he nor you will be disappointed.... you just got to watch out and stay away from the tourist traps!
Not sure whether you are planning to rent a car but it is pretty essential to move around the countryside once you leave the bigger towns. You can, for example, take a fast train down to Florence from Venice and rent in Florence - if you don't feel like driving down.
With a car, you'll then be able to stay in the countryside and your choices are more open on where to stay.
Many apartments have fireplaces but whether you'll need it or not depends on when exactly you're coming... and where you end up at. Chianti is generally low in altitude and it doesn't snow, so while cold I think compared to NY it will be quite mild temps for you here, even in winter!
For romantic, good food, not too far from towns I have these suggestions to start off:
Villa il Poggiale - has a restaurant, not far out of San Casciano, has spa facilities, vineyards and olive groves all around. Site might make it seem like a hotel, but it has suites and a separate house with own kitchen.
Borgo della Meliana - apartments, beautiful resort, doesn't have restaurant but close enough to several in the area
Agriturismo Montalbino - has apartments, a restaurant, spa facilities
All of these are in Chianti, they are really central... so towns, restaurants and shopping is all relatively close. With just 5 days, I'd also suggest just staying put and doing day trips... or at the most move closer to Pisa for the last day, if you depart early.