September 4, 2014, 06:30 AM
10 day tuscany trip--- itinerary HELP please!
We are 5 girlfriends doing a Tuscany trip in October for 10 days. We fly in and out of Rome . When we arrive in Rome ,we rented a car and will drive to Montecatini terme where we stay for 4 nights. While there we spend one day in Montecatini Terme, one day in Forte dei Marma and Carrrera , one day in Lucca , then we depart there for an additional 4 nights in Montepulciano . On our way to Montepulciano we have a private tour booked in San Gimignano .the following day we have a private tour booked in Sienna and plan to stay the remainder of the day in Sienna . I want to do Chianti one of the two full days that aren't planned . What makes the most sense for time,to drive one way there (quick way ) and then take scenic route (222) back through chianti and on to Montepulciano ? Any insight or suggestions would be greatly appreciated .
September 4, 2014, 11:38 AM
You've planned a great trip to Tuscany! I live close to Montecatini Terme so I know the area quite well!! Montecatini isn't a big city, and I think half a day will be enough to visit it, unless you decide to take the chance and enjoy some spa or thermal treatment by some wellness center or the public - paying obviously! - thermal establishment (Montecatini is one of the most renowned thermal location of Tuscany!). Ask the tourist office as soon as you arrive for prices and timetables if you're interested in.
As reguards your question, I think the best way for visiting Chianti from Montepulciano is driving along the scenic route 222 on your way there, so you're fully rested and ready to afford a suggestive - a bit long - drive around Chianti (you'll pass through the breathtaking Valdorcia landscape, simply beautiful) and stop whenever you want to enjoy the landscape or the wine and food.
I strongly suggest you stop by Castellina in Chianti, Greve and Panzano, where you could head to Dario Cecchini for eating something: he's famous for his delicious steaks!
Then, on your way back to Montepulciano you could take the fastest route (A1-E35) that will take you about 1 hour and a half.
Enjoy your Tuscan vacation!
September 5, 2014, 06:12 AM
10 day Tuscany itinerary help please
Thank you so much for your help ! I think your suggestion makes a lot of sense. I did already book spa appointments for us all one day in Monticatini terme !! I am so looking forward to the mud treatment !! I did it in Abano Terme a few years back and really relaxed !! Can you recommend a good place for lunch and or dinner in Montecatini alto or terme ? I've worked hard on the itinerary and I'm still not done but I do appreciate your suggestion and I'm going to do just that ! I had read a out the famous singing butcher in Panzano and thought about that too !! Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated !
September 5, 2014, 09:35 AM
I've also heard that Dario Cecchini - yes, you're right, he's the famous singing buthcher of Tuscany!! - has recently opened a restaurant right next to his butchery shop where you may eat his delicious meat, here is his website: http://www.dariocecchini.com/en/
You'd better reserve in advance your visit, since you might not find free places even during the week!
As regards a place to eat in Montecatini, I strongly suggest you try Ristorante WOW in Montecatini Alto, speciality: fish (but meat is also served obviously!). It's an amazing, panoramic place with view over the whole illuminated valley, simply breathtaking! I personally have been to WOW and food was great. The staff is also very friendly, kind and helpful with the choice of the menu.
Just another suggestion: when you're in Lucca, try the buccellato: it's a sort of sweet bread with raisins that you may find at all bakeries of the city, but if you want the best, go to Taddeucci's in Piazza San Michele. Close to this Piazza, there's another wonderful bakery (believe me, I think it's the best ever!), called Giusti's where you should try all the kinds of focaccia (salt and sweet) they make.
Planning a trip like this is never easy, but you've still got a bit of time, so take your time and let Tuscany inspire you :-)
September 5, 2014, 10:06 AM
Adding to what Chiara has already proposed - plan an itinerary of places to visit and places to eat at, but always remain flexible once you're here in Tuscany to last minutes changes (as regards to what you do at each of the places you're planning to visit).
There are many farmhouses that also have a restaurant - those are randomly found along the roads as you're traveling. So ask wherever you are staying at, in both Montecatini and Montepulciano, what their favorite places are for these types of places and see what they suggest. The locals know the best places!
I also agree - the slow route in the morning, the faster one at the end of the day.
Dario Cecchini has become so famous he travels the world round to promote his business so also expect to maybe not find him when you stop in Panzano... and at lunch time, round behind the butcher shop, is the "fast food" solution to Tuscany where no reservations are needed, the McDario (seriously!) There are 3 menu options, all with a delicious hamburger and fries and locally-inspired sauces on long, shared communal tables. This for a taste of his products without overstuffing yourself with meat (unless you really really want to do that )
In Montecatini (not the Alto part), we ate at Osteria da Max. Delicious local dishes, large portions, very decent prices for a very good meal. Very informal and casual, but it's another option since you're in the area.
Enjoy your time in Tuscany, it will pass way too fast!