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One perfect day in Tuscany

Dear Siena House, We are going to have limited time in your area (only one day in Tuscany) and are hoping you can help us to plan that one perfect day in Tuscany.  We really want to see as much as we can of the landscape and which ever you think are the best villages – but are also interested in cooking classes and wine tasting.  We are going to collect our rental car from Siena train station.

Dear traveller to Tuscany,

Here is my suggestion to make that one day in Tuscany perfect, meaning seeing the top sights.  As is typical you are planning to squeeze in too much. I am dividing your suggestions according to the weather.  As you are collecting your car in Siena ”down town” I have included a whistle-stop feel (quick stroll) of the historic centre of the province.

SIENA: get into station a little ahead of rental car pick up, go to centre by taxi or bus (google maps cites the buses as being at 20-30 minute intervals, should be taxis at the station) and explore the centre of foot a little.  Head ‘up’ in the absence of signs to Piazza Campo or Duomo once you’re in the city centre. DON’T MISS take a coffee and pastry in bar ”NANNINI” (famous for Panforte di Siena & Ricciarelli biscuits ) walk to the ”PIAZZA DEL CAMPO”  (well signposted) where the famous PALIO bareback horse race takes place … then head up to the DUOMO or CATHEDRAL even just to get a look at the exterior; spend about 60-90 minutes in Siena walking around to get the feel for it.  Head back to the station, collect your car.   From Siena you can travel through CRETE SENESI & ASCIANO, use the directions from Siena http://www.sienahouse.net/arrival/ once you are on the Siena – Perugia dual carriageway (and off the ring road, you will know) you are going to pass an exit called ”Casetta / Taverne d’Arbia” stay alert! you are turning off soon after; the exit you should take ”Castelnuovo Berardenga / Giustrigona” turn off. Once you are off the dual carriageway you have two choices: Castelnuovo / Giustrigona where the FELSINA CHIANTI WINERY is (excellent choice if you want to taste in Chianti) or TORRE A CASTELLO direction, which will take you towards Asciano via the ”Via delle Crete” (through Crete Senesi landscapes) MAP AT THIS LINK
From Asciano you can make the decision to either come to the house or head on to other places
You could journey towards VAL D’ORCIA to enjoy more spectacular scenery..you could travel to MONTALCINO or PIENZA or MONTEPULCIANO from Siena via Asciano, but as you have told me you prefer to eat at Pienza let’s go for that: here the THE MAP
Take lunch at Pienza, which deserves a good couple of hours (not because it’s big but just because…you will understand when you are there) and then depending upon stamina/weather/time head to MONTALCINO or MONTEFOLLONICO (here is the map to Montalcino Fortress – good for parking & time efficient Brunello Wine Tasting) I love the journey from Pienza to Montalcino. MAP
and then perhaps to SAINT ANTIMO just outside town here is the MAP:
Something truly magical if you are close by at the right time (don’t be late!) head to the Abbey of Saint’Atimo (just outside Montalcino centre) for vespers (7pm Gregorian Chanting) WEBSITE
Alternatively from Pienza drop by MONTEFOLLONICO on your way to Siena House here is the MAP
Then head here for a Sun set Check in (glass of fizz, meet the other guests) and head out to dinner close to home…
THE NEXT MORNING go to MONTEPULCIANO or CORTONA...either of which demand a good couple of hours.
Only If the weather is bad go for Cooking Classes, Vineyard Wine Tastings or Spas: they are fun, but with only one day in the area I would give them a miss: you will miss feeling Tuscany if you don’t see the landscapes and the hill towns.. that’s what it’s all about ;-)
Best wishes,
Amanda
Siena House is a boutique hotel in Tuscany writing about Tuscany
 

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