October 13, 2010, 08:33 PM
Where to now
We had such a great time staying in Castellina last month and we are now planning a return trip to Tuscany in Aug 2011. Though we really enjoyed the farmhouse we stayed in and the town of Castellina we both agreed that we should venture out some to another part of the region but not too far from where we were. We love the idea of being in between Florence and Siena as we loved both cities so we are not looking to go towards Pisa or north of Florence or south of Siena. So we would be looking for a farmhouse apartment either somewhere in the Greve area or somewhere near the superstada since we will have a car again. Thanks in advance and maybe this time we can meet up for a drink in Florence when we are there.
October 21, 2010, 03:32 PM
Does anyone know anything about Casa Mezzuola that is just outside of Greve?
October 22, 2010, 12:58 PM
how many days in Tuscany?
We'd definitely love to meet up with you when you are back next year to Florence! I am happy you loved Italy and are already looking into where you'll head back when you come back - you'll definitely need to go to new places you didn't get to last time. Since you're coming back in high season in August, it is good you're already looking into where you'd like to stay.
So you want a farmhouse apartment for 2? What else are you looking for in terms of amenities? In August, it is generally hot so the pool is a must for some people (although this past August was quite cool) but if you're planning to head to the coast to get some sun and water it might not be as important for you. Do you already have a specific daily budget in mind?
Even if you don't have all the details already figured out, you likely already have some parameters you're using to look on the net. As you've seen, there are many options in Tuscany so if you share those with us it'll help us also offer better suggestions.
I understand you want to stay in the Chianti area between Florence and Siena because of the location but I'd also like to understand whether you'd also be open to staying at a B&B or apartment in a town instead of in the countryside. August being high season most farmhouse apartments go by whole weeks so how long were you planning to be in Tuscany? If less than a week, then that changes your options.
I can't give you direct feedback on Casa Mezzuola, hopefully someone else will. I can on the other hand offer direct feedback on the beauty of the apartments at Cabbiavoli and Borgo della Meliana, both offering beautiful apartments within old but restored farm houses. Both are practically small villages offering many apartments and shared pool. Both are in the Chianti wine area although on the western border, to the left of the Florence-Siena superstrada in the area of Castelfiorentino and Gambassi Terme near Certaldo. This is definitely another beautiful area you should explore on your trip - that area north of San Gimignano (you made it to San Gimignano right?), Certaldo, San Miniato as well as south to Volterra.
Well if you share with us what you're looking for, days you have available that will help us offer more suggestions!!
October 22, 2010, 03:39 PM
Is there a reason not to go to italy during august? i lived in spain and france and august seems to be the month to shut up shop and go on holiday, is it the same in italy? would july be better?
October 24, 2010, 05:05 PM
Italy is very similar to Spain and France in this regard - August is when most workers get time off and so a lot of people go off on vacation. In August, this mostly means two things: lots of crowds at certain destinations and closed shops in areas away from the main tourist centers.
This doesn't mean the whole country shuts down, just that there is a big shift of people away from cities to the seaside and mountains for their holiday. This is high season for all seaside resorts, beaches, mountain resorts, etc so you won't find anything closed there. Depending on where you intend to go, worry more about crowds that having places closed down. Have you been to Italy before or have an idea already of where you want to go?
The main tourist centers in Florence and Siena, for example, will have most everything open although you'll still see a few closed shops with signs that they are off on "ferie", or holiday and the dates they are closed. In the residential areas away from the center, there will be more shops closed down so keep that in mind when looking where to stay. Many also just close for 2 weeks, not the whole month. Smaller towns and villages will have a mix of both - some closed shops, many open that serve residents. Depends on how much tourism the towns attract. San Gimignano, Volterra, towns in Chianti -- definitely will have shops opne that serve all the visitors they get year round.
Personally, I hate the big crowds so always try to take time off in July or September to avoid them. If you decide for July it should be more for that than for closed shops .