Later this year I have planned a week in Tuscany.
I am looking into car hire at the moment is this the best way to get around?
What are the best places to stop, my trip will start and finish in Florence.
I would like to do a cooking class and my husband and I love wine so want to visit some wineries.
Many thanks in advance!
Following is a list of suggestion for you to look at. A car is a must in Tuscany to visit all the sites and see the vineyards.
Central Tuscany Villages:
Montalcino famous for the Brunello Wines
Montepulciano - famous for the Brunello Wines
Monetriggioni - not much there but fabulous site
Colle di Val d'Elsa
San Gimignano - a must visit - Hotel La Cisterna, or Hotel Relais Santa Chiara very nice
Hotel Relais Santa Chiara www.rsc.it
The Relais Santa Chiara is a charming and elegant four star hotel located just 400 meters below the city walls, a short walk from the medieval hill town of San Gimignano which is characterized by its magestic towers.
Situated on a hill the heart of the rolling hills of Tuscany, right between Florence and Siena, and overlooking the splendid, serene Tuscan countryside towards Volterra, the hotel offers impeccable service and surroundings, maintaining the taste and style that attracts visitors from all around the world.
Hotel Cisterna - www.hotelcisterna.it
The Hotel consists of fifty rooms, each one furnished in Florentine style and with facilities such as private bathroom ( with bath-tub or shower), telephone, TV via satellite, safe-box. Some of our rooms have got a nice view on the square or on the Tuscan country-side. This hotel is situated in the center of town. Town is pedestrian zone must walk up a hill to get to hotel.
Siena is also close by larger, ancient town - nice sites Duomo and Piazza del Campo traffic can be a hassle in Siena.
Vineyard in Tuscany / villa in Tuscany
http://www.castellobanfiilborgo.com/index.html - fabulous vineyard estate with rooms with some of the best wine in Italy. - located by Montalcino.
http://www.poggioantico.com/ - another great vineyard around Montalcino
More traditional/rustic Vineyard/agrotourism is Agriturismo Fattoria Poggio Alloro http://www.fattoriapoggioalloro.com/ it is located very close to San Gimignano.
Driving route from Siena visits the villages of Castello di Brolio, Meleto, Giaole in Chianti and Radda in Chianti. - all about the wine.
Villa la Barone - beautiful location in Chianti www.villalebarone.com
Arrezzo is famous for its goldsmiths. They produce gold jewelry for shops throughout Europe
Cortuna is also close to Arrezzo the book Under the Tuscany Sun was written there by Frances Mayes also filmed there. Filmed starred Diane Lane
Just South and East or Tuscany is Umbria - place to visit are:
Perugia old town
Assisi a little farther away - famous for St Francis and St. Clair. Basilica of St. Francis is amazing.
Orvieto is also fabulous on top of a mountain must use funicular to reach.
Hope this helps
I love Sienna and Montecatini