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Hi all - A Request to all the Southern Tuscany Experts

Sydney
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187 posts
36 reviews
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Hi all - A Request to all the Southern Tuscany Experts

Hi fellow Trip Advisors.

We are spending 5 days in Siena and have allowed a 1 day to explore Southern Tuscany ie Montalcino, Pienza and Montepulciano area.

Can you please answer a few questions please

1) Do you have a suggested itinerary for the day. If possible please suggest a start time for the day, drive estimate between towns, how much time to spend in each of your recommended towns.

2) What are the must see towns and sights?

3) What order of towns would you do the trip.

4) Any awesome wineries that are worth stopping at.

5) Where is the good lunch stop.

Your help is much appreciated.

Montepulciano, Italy
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for Tuscany
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1. Re: Hi all - A Request to all the Southern Tuscany Experts

Leave as early as you can for it's a long day with lots to see. If it were me, I'd be up and out around 8/8.30. Start with Montepulciano as it's the furthest away approaching it via the Laurentana, a magnificent road cutting across the Crete south east of Siena - Asciano, San Giovanni d'Asso, Montisi, Petroio. You won't have time to stop at them all but they are all worthy of half an hour on another trip. You'll be stopping a lot for pictures too for the scenery on this run is sensational. I suggest you start with this though for it's quite a tiring drive and is one that I feel is best done at the beginning rather than the end of the day. This will take a good hour or more.

Montepulciano park near St Angnese or under the trees by the public gardens and Porta al Prato, walk up through the gate and along the main corso - it's a long, steep climb but the lane is lined with wine tasting enoteche and beautiful palazzi. Stop for coffee and a cake at Cafe Poliziano about halfway up on the left. Do continue to the top for the Palazzo Grande is a beautiful square. Go inside the cathedral, climb the tower of the Palazzo Comunale as it affords great views of the countryside and where you're going next: Pienza on the next hill, Montalcino in the distance.

Pienza (10-12 mins from Montepulciano). Follow the road round passed the public gardens and start looking for parking spaces, lots are signposted. Walk back to the gardens and through another Porta al Prato into the village. It's so small and compact just continue down Corso Rossellino. You come to the main square, do go inside the cathedral and when you come out turn right and walk along the side of it onto the town walls to take in the beautiful views. Make your way back for the back lanes.

Montalcino is about a 25 min drive or so, clearly signposted though be careful at the intersection at San Quirico for there have been nasty accidents there in recent years. You'll probably stop a few times en route to take photos of the well known Tuscan images including the cypress shielded farmhouse (on the right a minute or two out of Pienza), la Vitaleta (farmhouse with chapel) on the left about 5 minutes later, Belvedere (farmhouse surrounded by wall of cypress with Monte Amiata in the background), a minute after that, the circular copse of cypress (on the left as you come out of the cutting down the hill from SQ). Don't go into Montalcino first, head left at the roundabout and visit the Romanesque abbey of Sant'Antimo. Once back in the village park near the fortress (be careful of the new ZTL sign here, you can no longer go down and park for free under the trees below the fortress), go into the fortress and climb the battlements for more amazing views looking back across the Orcia Valley from where you've come, there are good wine tasting opportunities here too plus light lunches if you haven't eaten yet (though I'd lunch in Pienza), then walk into the village bearing left as you go downhill. Admire the architecture, enjoy the shops, sample some Brunello in the enoteca at Cafe Fiaschetteria or just have tea on the terrace. When you leave Montalcino, take the Buonconvento road at the roundabout by the gas station and then onto Siena, this should take 40 mins max and it's an easy, if sometimes slow drive.

Lunch opportunities are everywhere - I can think of a dozen or more - but maybe consider La Terrazza in Pienza in the garden if it's fine for the views are lovely and the food good. Wine tasting everywhere in Montepulciano, you're spoilt for choice as all the local estates have stores in the town. Ditto Montalcino but maybe leave yourselves a treat until later in the day, possibly the last thing you do, and visit the estate at Altesino for a very interesting tour followed by tasting, Euros 10/ each though they deduct it if you buy. Pre-book.

Edited: 25 April 2011, 13:16
Sydney
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2. Re: Hi all - A Request to all the Southern Tuscany Experts

Thank you for your response, it was most helpful

3. Re: Hi all - A Request to all the Southern Tuscany Experts

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4. Re: Hi all - A Request to all the Southern Tuscany Experts

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