Italy/Travel in Tuscany area
QUESTION: We have been to Italy many times and am now looking for something new or different to see. We stay in Castellina. Can you suggest any unique or different places or towns to visit? We have a car so traveling is not a problem. We enjoy out of the way restaurants, maybe a wine tour, or something other than the ordinary areas to visit.
ANSWER: Hello Sharon,
Castellina in Chianti has you well placed to visit a number of places, driving so I hope you will avail yourself of a hire car? First on my list would be a visit to Arezzo; it's a must see with its origins going back to the Etruscans. Small enough to enjoy totally by foot as well. A good place to eat here is:
Antica Osteria I'Aganfa - Via Mazzini, 10 - closed on Monday.
I would also encourage you to visit Vinci where Leonardo was born. The little museum dedicated to many of his machine designs is quite wonderful and will entertain the men amongst your group!
Further south is Montalcino, famous for the Brunello wine and a visit to the Banfi estate with its 12th century castle and amazing tasting rooms is always fun. If you head this way you must have lunch at Caffe' Sant'Angelo. It's one of my finds and you can read about it here:
In fact you should sit down and spend a little time reading the stories I've written for www.perfectraveller.com including pieces about Florence which I'm sure you can use on this trip.
I hope the above is of some use to you?
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QUESTION: Thank you for the information. I do have other questions. How do I travel from Castellina to Florence by train. I know I have to drive to a station but do not know where? We have visited the areas you have mentioned, but do you know of some charming villages or unique restaurants?
Hello again Sharon,
There is no direct train from Castellina to Florence; there is a local bus line called Sita that services all of Tuscany and certainly can get you from Castellina to Florence and back:
There is a train from Siena to Florence but it would be a waste of your time traveling backwards to Siena to head north to Florence again. Use the Sita bus.
Sounds like you know the surrounding area quite well but a visit to Volterra is well worth the effort and Buonconvento - both villages have a variety of local restaurants that make for good eating. A little research on the Internet will reveal a lot of information as will: