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Montepulciano vs. Chianti

Utica, New York
Level Contributor
17 posts
Montepulciano vs. Chianti

We will be spending five nights (six full days) in Tuscany and a few nights in Rome in mid-June of 2013 for our honeymoon. We were planning to fly into Rome from NYC, arriving around noon, hopping a train to Chiusi, and renting a car from there to drive to Montepulciano, where we'd stay for the entire time. We plan to do day trips, possibly to Florence, Pienza, and Montalcino, but definitely to Volterra and Chianti. We will probably eliminate some of them just to have a day or two "unplanned". We will have a car the entire time we are in Tuscany and give it up before moving on to Rome.

We really want to stay in the "postcard" setting of the Val d'Orcia region, and can't wait to see Montepulciano, both for the experience, views, and the wine (we're not big on Chianti wine). However, the more I read, the more I wonder if we should base elsewhere and daytrip to Montepulciano. I don't really want to have to park far away from my hotel, nor do I wish to walk up a huge hill with my luggage. I also would more enjoy a countryside view than the city view it seems we'd get staying in the city. However, it's not like we're going to spend much time in the hotel (we actually are leaning more towards a B&B but can't decide).

The big question is this: the only two things we are absolutely positive we are doing are a sunrise hot air balloon tour and a horseback riding/wine tasting tour, both of which are based in Chianti. Therefore, would it be more practical to stay closer to Chianti, even though we'd really much rather have the scenery of the Val d'Orcia region, and daytrip once to Montepulciano, Montalcino, and/or Pienza? We LOVE driving on scenic country roads. We're not really looking for art since we'll get our fill of that in Rome. We are looking for the Tuscan experience, the wine, the food, the breathtaking views, etc. My husband is trying to talk me into staying in the Val d'Orcia region for a couple nights and Chianti for a couple nights, but I feel like it'd be too much to stay in more than one place in Tuscany, and in Rome.

My guidebooks have all been little help so far, as they make all areas sound equally inviting! I'm looking for OPINIONS of people that have been-there-done-that. Would we be better off staying in another location in Val d'Orcia? If so, any suggestions? Or what are your thoughts on staying in Montepulciano? Thank you so much for any help--so far any and all decisions we HAVE made were based on T.A. advice!

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
97,563 posts
17 reviews
1. Re: Montepulciano vs. Chianti

Just about every town in this area has a restricted traffic area in its centre, and they all have arrangements so that people staying within that area can drive in to drop or collect luggage.

When we stayed in Montepulciano in 2009, we stayed in a hotel just inside the walls and were given a permit allowing us to drive into the restricted area and park near the hotel.

I think Montepulciano is an excellent place to stay. It is large enough to have a good selection of interesting shops and restaurants. The towns in the Chianti area between Siena and Florence are much smaller.

We stayed at Il Marzocco - www.albergoilmarzocco.it - and this was the view from our room: nickbooth.id.au/Europe09/Images/Monte/view_M…

Edited: 24 February 2013, 20:22
Montepulciano, Italy
Destination Expert
for Tuscany
Level Contributor
8,984 posts
7 reviews
2. Re: Montepulciano vs. Chianti

We live in this area yet day trip into the Chianti regularly, it's easily done, so as your heart is (quite understandably) set on staying around here, go for it. Yes, we all know what it's like not being able to park right outside where we're staying but have you looked at la Locanda di San Francesco for they're very fortunate in having some reserved spaces out front of the hotel? Oh and you don't need to go all the way up to the Chianti to go ballooning, it used to be available at nearby Montisi. Maybe check out the village website (www.montisi.com) or Google Montisi Ballooning.

Edited: 25 February 2013, 00:01
Downingtown...
Level Contributor
59 posts
78 reviews
3. Re: Montepulciano vs. Chianti

We're going back 4 a second trip to Montepulciano ans staying @ La Locanda de San Francisco this early Oct. Awesome, non touristy town and about the best b&b we have ever stayed at!

Utica, New York
Level Contributor
17 posts
4. Re: Montepulciano vs. Chianti

Thanks everyone! I feel better about staying in Montepulciano now and just making day trips everywhere else. I actually already looked at la locanda di San Francesco, but they're already booked on our dates. Bummer. Also, thanks so much for the tip on the ballooning in Montisi, I didn't know that. Ill have to check it out! Now we just have to find a place with A/C. A lot come back with "it's not too hot in June without A/C" but I'm not sure if "too hot" is what we'd consider hot! Thanks again for all the great suggestions!

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
Level Contributor
8,669 posts
68 reviews
5. Re: Montepulciano vs. Chianti

You really are very unlikely to need A/C in June, you are more likely to need a blanket on your bed at night. Very few places will have a/c, but you might find more with ceiling fans, if you are that worried about it.

Montepulciano, Italy
Destination Expert
for Tuscany
Level Contributor
8,984 posts
7 reviews
6. Re: Montepulciano vs. Chianti

Every year is different and last summer certainly it was very warm during the day and sultry at night as early as mid-June. But generally the heat is still quite bearable until later in the month / early July and some years (2010, for example) we've still lit a fire some evenings in June. Ceiling fans are not only as effective, they're a healthier option too so please don't let your choice of accommodation be determined by whether or not there is air conditioning. Most buildings in this part of Europe come with fairly high ceilings, 1m thick walls and window shutters, all of which go to ensure rooms are warm in winter, cool in summer. Please bear in mind that not having a/c is no reflection on the quality of the accommodation, it's more of matter of it not being regarded as necessary.

Michigan
Level Contributor
71 posts
25 reviews
7. Re: Montepulciano vs. Chianti

Sorry to intrude on your post but could u tell me where you are doing your wine tasting/horse back riding? Is it an all day event or couple hours?

Thanks so much.

Utica, New York
Level Contributor
17 posts
8. Re: Montepulciano vs. Chianti

That is great to hear b/c I've seen some great looking places for lodging but we scratched them off our list due to them having no A/C. It opens up a lot more opportunity now, knowing there's a good chance we won't need it!

We actually had already contacted Il Marzocco, and were bummed that they did not have air. However, it is definitely a high ranking choice on our list.

Sydneynick - Do you remember what type of room you stayed in? Was it a double? They have one overlooking the city for one of our nights and for the remaining nights, one overlooking the country.

We haven't decided yet about the horse back riding. It will almost definitely be in Chianti somewhere. If you do a basic search on Viator for "horse back riding Chianti" it will bring up a result for a day trip (roughly six hours including transportation and wine tasting). Expedia also has a day trip at www.expedia.com/pub/agent.dll?qscr=tsdt. There is also http://www.funintuscany.com/ (which may be the same tour as the one shown on Viator). florencetown.com/eng/tuscany-tours/single-da… is yet another spot we found it. I'm sure some of these are the actual tours advertised on Expedia and Viator. We have to ask my sister-in-law b/c she did it a few years ago and loved the place she went to. I'll let you know. I can't find too many options, as a lot of them seem to be a several-day vacation.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
45,216 posts
9. Re: Montepulciano vs. Chianti

I've stayed here twice - they do have air conditioning; nice size rooms; parking; pool; restaurant (very good) on site - loved it

http://www.villadinottola.com/eng/

If I remember, it is a close drive to Montepulciano - can't recall the exact number of kms.

Michigan
Level Contributor
71 posts
25 reviews
10. Re: Montepulciano vs. Chianti

Thanks please let me know any other info you find, we will be in Siena when planning to do this so don't want to go back to Florence. We are staying 2 days at Il Marzocco also after all the TA reviews, our trip is planned for mid May. congrats on your upcoming wedding, what a great place for your honeymoon!

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