Archive for July, 2006

As a frequent guest on my tours once said, before you travel anywhere else you always have to ask yourself, “why not Italy”. With incredible diversity of scenery, terrain, food, wines, and SHOPPING take a look at some of our favorites when planning your next visit.

A few places we recommend.. In Florence: Great small B&B/family residence with beautiful rooms in the heart of Florence (no elevator so light on the luggage) Locanda de Ciompi For more of a hotel experience, we recommend the Hotel Silla, excellent service, rooms, terrace and good location. Good restaurants in the area for a local experience: Osteria dei Benci, Osteria del Bricco.

Off to the Hills! Great hill villages in Tuscany away from the crowds: Montefollonico: very small but with 2-3 EXCELLENT restaurants, wine bars and shops. Our good friends property outside of Montalpulciano, you can walk to Montalpulciano for lunch (about 2 hours), come back for a nap, have an aperitif on the deck and enjoy some of the best food we have tasted in Italy. Locanda la Costa Manager: Paolo & Paola Masini For a bit more action, try the home of Brunello Wines: Vino Brunello di Montalcino!

In Montalcino: more Italians vacation here than americans so it is a lively, delightful hill village. Great restaurants, wine bars, shops, a castle (with Burnello tastings offered) and great access to all the more popular tourist villages (Sienna, Montalpulciano, Pienza etc) We enjoy Hotel & Restaurant Il Giglio or Hotel Vecchia Oliviera

And finally, for a fascinating unique stay visit the town of Bagno Vignoni (old Roman Spa town with the water-filled square) here we recommend Locanda del Loggiato Very small B&B with 6 wonderful rooms. Owned by two sisters. At night enjoy their wine bar across the street.
Send us you personal favorites: Tour companies, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, places you would tell your (good) friends about…

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