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Oct 29, 2013 06:40 PM

Rome, Umbria, Tuscany and Bologna Itinerary

I am overwhelmed planning my itinerary to Italy next summer. WE have about two weeks (although we are flexible because I am a teacher :)
So....this is what I was thinking :

Rome -Spend 4 full days (i have been many times, but my husband has never visited there before

AFter visit to Rome, rent car to take us to our villa that we are renting in Cortona for the week. While there, we plan to take day trips to Orvieto, Montepulciano, well as relaxing at the Villa and taking a cooking class etc (we were thinking of spending one night in Norcia before arriving in Cortona...not sure about this thought....)

Next on to Greve in Chianti. I was thinking of making this our "base" in order to wine taste in this region. I was thinking of staying here 3 days and staying in another agrotourismo (cheaper than Florence). While in Greve, was thinking of taking a day trip to Florence (not really sure about this because I have visited Florence many times, and we also went on our honeymoon...not sure if it makes sense to go again...I also do not need to visit Siena, San Gigmanagno etc. I have visited these cities in the past.

Finally, we were thinking of going to Bologna and spending two days there (my husband is a ducati owner and MUST make this pilgrimage!!! :) Planning on flying out of Bologna. We are renting a car while in Italy. Does this seem like a lot of ground to cover in a 16 days or so? I do not like to feel like we are rushing from place to place! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

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  1. Dining in all of these destinations gets discussed here often. Two suggestions frequently made (which I endorse) are getting a copy of the Slow Food Guide to the Osterias of Italy (which is available in English) and a copy of Fred Plotkin's "Italy for the Gourmet Traveler." In addition to making specifc recommendations, the latter book provides an excellent overview to the various foods and wines of each region.

    This site does have a Search feature. If you go to the upper right-hand corner of this page and search for Rome, Tuscany, Greve, Bologna, etc., you will find dozens and dozens of helpful posts with hundreds of recommendations here for you to review.

    7 Replies
      1. re: DavidT
        is this what you mean? It looks like a fantastic resource!!!

        1. re: italiana3

          Yes, that is the one.

          By the way, your 16-day itinerary is ambitious, but not too ambitious!

          1. re: DavidT

            got it!! I agree about this ambitious trip,...I am leaning towards leaving out Norcia
            Thanks for your book tips. I appreciate it

          2. re: italiana3

            not that book - it is 6 years old and includes both food and lodging The slowfood osterie guide is issued each year

            here is a pic of it - a lot of the offshore booksellers but not in my recollection US sell it. try, ilibri or another offshore source or wait til you get to Rome to buy.


            1. re: jen kalb

              thanks Jen...I am not sure if it is in English Translation.....I need to investigate.

              1. re: italiana3

                Its not in English translation, but its possibly to decipher nonetheless - while a large part of the info is in the older book, its useful to get uptodate info, with closing days and even website addresses these days, probably.

        2. thank you DavidT!!! I can't wait to check these out....grazie mille :)

          1. Greve has a lovely winetasting cantina behind the COOP grocery store where you can taste over 100 wines, not just chianti.

            There is so much to see and do out in Chianti- I live not far away and am still never bored.


            1 Reply
            1. re: Diva

              Cara Judy!
              Devo il tuo "website" bookmarked already! Grazie per la informazione. I need to practice my italian quite often before next summer!! In your opinion, do you think Norcia is a "must see " destination for one night? By the way , I have your "app" already too :)

            2. You may want to rethink the Cortona/Umbria portion of your trip, as Cortona is very far from all 3 of the destinations you were thinking of in Umbria (Orvieto, Spoleto, Norcia).
              What about spending the night in Orvieto on you way up from Rome?as you will definitely need at least 1 full day in Orvieto. Then, from Cortona, it would make more sense to visit Lake Trasimeno, Perugia, Torgiano, and Umbertide areas (of Umbria).

              Or, if you are not already locked into your villa in Tuscany, why don't you stay in a villa in Umbria? Cortona is pretty far from most of the more touristic towns - minimum 80 min drive to all of the following: Assisi, Spoleto, Montefalco, Bevagna, Norcia, Todi etc - you will end up spending a lot of time in the car. Places are a lot further away than they look on the map and the roads are often small & windy!
              I highly recommend the Umbria Slow App for your travels in Umbria (activities/food/where to stay).


              1 Reply
              1. re: LifeItalianStyle

                thank you! I will check out the app )
                As for the villa, we are locked into that it was the highlight of the trip for our friends that recommended it. I agree, we do not want to feel like "we spent the whole trip in the car". We plan to visit places that are relatively "closer" to Cortona, montipulciano, montalcino, Lake Trasimento etc. We also plan to spend time at the villa as well. I will check out the app :)

              2. Un consiglio italiana3 - c'รจ un ristorante vicino a Greve - si chiama Fattoria Montagliari - vai!

                1 Reply
                1. re: acssss

                  grazie! I need to translate this! But I think you said there is a restaurant close to greve named Fattoria Montagliari!!
                  I will check it out!