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Tuscany & Rome

I will be going to Italy 6/28-7/7 and staying in the Maremma section of Tuscany. So far I have lined up visits to Banfi, de Ricci, Tenuta di Ornellaia and Brancaia wineries. I will have a free day in Tuscany as well and was thinking about visiting Orvieto and touring all of the underground caves. The last 3 days of my trip will be in Rome. I have a tour booked to view all of the tourist sites including the Vatican.

I am looking for non touristy places to eat (I love eating like the locals and doing what they do) in these areas including places that serve homemade pasta, great gelato and pastry shops. Possibly some other nice wineries worth visiting and other towns other than Orvieto that are located in Tuscany.

I visit Sicily every summer and I enjoy eating at agriturismos. Are there any great ones in Tuscany?

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  1. For inquiries like yours, buying a copy of the Slow Food Guide to the Osterias of Italy is often recommended. I believe it is now available in English. It is well worth having on hand. Fred Plotkin's "Italy for the Gourmet Traveler" is also an excellent reference book for finding good food shops, bakeries, markets, etc.

    Dining in Rome gets discussed here almost daily. If you take 10-15 minutes to scroll down thru the many threads that are already here, you will find dozens and dozens of helpful suggestions.

    1 Reply
    1. Just, for the record, Orvieto is in Umbria.
      If you are looking around there you may want to look at Umbria, too.

      1. A bit aways from where you are but if you have the time, I would suggest the whole Chianti area - even as a road trip. It's beautiful, non-touristy and tasty... I especially love Fattoria Montagliari just passed Greve in Chianti, where they serve the best puccini mushroom tagliatelle I've ever had (with their homemade pasta) and you get to sit in the gardens of their winery, and enjoy their wine, which is a delightful experience in itself - (and the owners are the nicest people).

        16 Replies
        1. re: acssss

          I think this is the first time in my life that i see "Chianti area" and "non-touristy" together.

          1. re: vinoroma

            When you know a place well enough, you know exactly how to avoid the tourists, even in NYC :)

            1. re: acssss

              Would like to know what "puccini" arias the tagliatelle were singing :)

              1. re: acssss

                I understand and am sure you know specific places that are non-touristy but telling an uninitiated traveler "i suggest the whole chianti area..... It is .... non-touristy..." is most misleading.

                1. re: vinoroma

                  You are entitled to your opinion and I am entitled to disagree.
                  Times square is touristy, the Great Pyramids are touristy, as are the Taj Mahal, and Stonehenge and the Vatican - where this individual plans to visit! The Chianti area is not :)

                  1. re: miak0920

                    You are most welcome! You are going to have a wonderful trip regardless of where you go - Italy is magical (at least IMO)! The food, the atmosphere, the people, the architecture, the hillside views... enjoy!!!

                    1. re: acssss

                      im looking forward to it all. it will be a different expeience than sicily.

                  2. re: acssss

                    i agree! i am from ny and know where the tourist traps are.

                    1. re: miak0920

                      Another suggestion would be to just step into a local market. First, you can buy rolls, salami, wine and fruit and have a great meal - or at least, ask the locals of a place THEY would recommend in the area - where there are little or no tourists. There you will get the best answer! And unlike France in general and Paris in particular, Italians all over Italy speak English and are generously willing to do so - you may just have to learn the hand gestures before you go :)

                      1. re: acssss

                        thanks. im fluent in italian so there is no language issue :-). we were thinking about asking the owners of the hotel we are staying at for their suggestions too.

                        1. re: miak0920

                          allora tutto va bene, eh? :)
                          Buon viaggio!!!

                  3. re: vinoroma

                    i know the region is fill of tourists. i was hoping there are places to eat that are not frequented by many tourists.

                    1. re: miak0920

                      Fattoria Montagliari - every time I visited, it was full of locals - especially late in the evenings.

                      1. re: acssss

                        See, this is what i mean - a specific non touristy place. :) of course you are entitled to your opinion, but chianti, in general, is widely considered to be touristy. (british, german and american tourists!)

                2. Another trip would be to take a ride to Pienza from Monticchiello (eat at Osteria La Porta in Monticchiello). This is one of the most beautiful places in Italy IMO and this is the best time of year to go.

                  1. tuscany is a pretty large area and driving around on secondary roads can take a considerable while. you might want to consider how you would get from where you are staying to possible destinations in your planning of where it makes sense to visit. I agree with the recommendation of looking at the slowfood picks in the relevant areas - there are a lot of places offering homemade pastas, roast meats etc in southern tuscany

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: jen kalb

                      Agreed. Although the area around Pienza is so beautiful, it would be probably better to focus on the area south of that, as you are heading toward Rome... and there is a lot to see in that area as well! Have a wonderful trip!