November 9, 2015, 10:51 AM
9 Days in Tuscany!
After a long struggle with the bank on our home for 7 years my wife and I are ready for a vacation in the beautiful Tuscany region of Italy! It is time for some relaxation, good food and wine and to see the country side and people of Italy!!
Our trip begins with a stay in Venice Nov. 11 - 13 on to Florence Nov. 13 - 15! From the 15th of November we will have 9 days with a car to visit the rest of the Tuscany region!!
I am not sure if we should concentrate on staying about 2 days at maybe 4 agriturisimos to experience the farmhouse atmosphere or possibly narrow it down to less agriturisimos and drive to visit the other towns or villages we desire to visit??? I believe we would enjoy trying some of the restaurants and wine rooms out in the agriturissimos?!!
If there happen to be any pipe organs in any old churches being played or performed on in the region I would be interested in that as well!
This will be our first visit to Italy and we welcome any suggestions as to which villages/towns or events that you might recommend or know of?!!
I did happen to read about a Truffle event in one village??!!!!
Park City, Utah
November 9, 2015, 06:20 PM
How wonderful you can take the time off and come to visit Italy!
Are you leaving in 2 days?! Then you need to take a look at many places and contact owners as soon as you can to decide where you are going to stay!
Florence should be easier - open year round so you should find a place to stay in any case. Take a look at www.florenceaccommodation.com to start your search - you can stay at hotels, but a B&B should also be perfect for a 3 night stay in the city.
I highly recommend Mariangela's Le Stanze di Santa Croce for a nice splurge (do her cooking class too) or Casa dei Tintori run by Riccardo. Both are in the Santa Croce area will offer the chance to come into contact with locals who can recommend their favorite places for everything!
Once you leave Florence and rent your car -- know that many agriturismo in the countryside shut down for the low season (which has started), but you should still find several run like B&Bs that should stay open. So first off, take a look at www.tuscanyaccommodation.com and start contacting places you like. With 9 days, I would actually recommend maybe 2 bases at most - trying to get two distinct areas - and from there explore the nearby areas (rather than moving every 2 days). Keep in mind distances are quite shorter here, but the time and drive to get to them is also part of enjoying Tuscany.
I would suggest the first area to be west/southwest of Florence off the Montespertoli area of Chianti. From there you can explore Tuscany from Lucca to Pisa to San Miniato, Vinci, Certaldo, Montaione, Montespertoli, the hilltop towns of Chianti to the east, down to San Gimignano, Volterra and Monteriggioni (outside of Siena). Then I'd recommend the second base to the be in Crete Senesi or Val d'Orcia which are two areas to the south of Siena. You can visit Siena from there (a full day minimum!) and then the entire area and the towns which are all views that you find on postcards of Tuscany ;-). If you get the chance, include Arezzo and Cortona .
The fall colors are really pretty at the moment so you should have a great time driving around and enjoying the views.
The Truffle festival takes place on the weekends this month in San Miniato as well as down in San Giovanni d'Asso (in the Crete Senesi area). Read more about truffles in Tuscany here:
http://www.discovertuscany.com/typic...-truffles.html - there should be a link in there to November events ;-)
November 10, 2015, 10:28 AM
Lots of times pipe organ concerts are held in the summer (mainly because the churches are never really heated enough in the winter to make it pleasant....) La Verna in Casentino Valley between Arezzo and Florence holds an annual Pipe Organ Festival in the Summer and the concerts are marvelous.
However - if you are interested in pipe organs, you could visit the company AGF Pipemakers in Poppi, Casentino. Casentino is a great day trip! and a visit to this workshop would make a great addition to the itinerary. If you decide to stop at the company (one of the few artisans still making pipes for the organs) you will have a wonderful experience of seeing hands on activity. Normally they are not "prepared" for visitors - but if you are passionate about the work ask for Cristina and tell her that Donna sent you to tour the factory.