Siena Journals

Tuscany in the Spring

A March 2000 trip to Siena by Simon Morley

Siena Photo, Siena, Italy More Photos
Quote: What better way to celebrate milestone birthdays than to tour Tuscany in the Spring. My niece celebrated her 30th birthday and I my 50th soaking up the sights and beauty of Tuscany.

Tuscany in the Spring

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Siena Photo, Siena, Italy
Quote:
Most first time travelers to Italy do the Rome, Florence, Venice thing. This is a plan guaranteed to insulate you from the people, culture and beauty that is Italy. We decided to focus on tiny treasures in Tuscany to better learn about this exciting country. We loved the Chianti Road, Siena, Piza and Florence. Allow a minimum of 2 days in Florence. Plan a whole day driving the Chianti Road, sampling wine along the way (get a map from your hotel and use a designated driver), Siena can be explored in one day, but I suggest two and one full day in Piza (it's more than the Tower!) should fill your memory book to over flowing. Quick Tips: Skip the 'high' season unless you are a teacher or s...Read More
Quote:
You would never mistake the Hotel Santa Caterina for the Ritz. Small, spotlessly clean rooms with private baths, buffet breakfast and color TV mark this place. Friendly, helpful staff people who speak English mean you can ask for directions, get recommendations for lunch and dinner, book a tour or just chat. If I stayed there again, I would request a room in the back. It would be quieter and you would get a better view of the walled city of Siena across the valley. You are within walking distance to the Roman Gate and the center of the city.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 10, 2000

Hotel Santa Caterina
Via Enea Silvio Piccolomini
Siena, Italy
0577-221105

Gallo Nero

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Our first night in Siena, we asked my patented question of the Hotel manager - If your best friend was going to be in town just one night, where would you send him (or her) for dinner - It always works! He sent us, without hesitation, to Gallo Nero (Black Rooster). I am happy to report that they served wonderful, simple, hearty Tuscan fare. Soup, pasta, vino, Aqua Minerale, chicken, all cooked and served with an attention to detail that was surprising given the price. The only "disappointment" was the bread. I am not a fan of the salt-free, cake-like texture of Tuscan bread. My niece loved it, so go figure. Go to www.gallonero.it !

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 6, 2001

Gallo Nero
53100 via del Porrione
Siena, Italy
0577/284356

La Cantina

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Before making the trip up the steep streets of Gubbio, we fortified ourselves at La Cantina with pizza, vino and aqua minerale. If the Disney folks were to design a pub from the middle ages, they could use the interior of this establishment as a model. Dark and cozy, warm and friendly are the memories I have. The food was absolutely fine and the service about what you would expect in a casual eatery in a tiny town (that means, don't expect to rush or be rushed.) As you walk up the main street from the parking area, look on your right to find this small but tempting cantina.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 12, 2001

La Cantina
Via Piccotti
Siena, Italy
075-9220583

Chianti Road

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "The Chianti Road"

Chianti Road Photo, Siena, Italy
Quote:
To most Americans, the word Chianti brings to mind low priced, low quality wines packaged in straw wrapped bottles. The "good" Italian wines have names like Barolo or Valpolicella and people think that poor old Chianti is just a second cousin to these other great red wines. Not true! We drove the Chianti road out of Siena and all through Tuscany (tours and maps are available, ask at your hotel) and found the wines rich, deep red, full of body and flavor and very affordable because they make a ton of it. Many small vinyards have tasting rooms so plan on using a designated driver (or do as the pros do, spit out the wine.) or you will be loopy by the third winery. Be aware, that the person serving the w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 28, 2000

Chianti Road
Tuscany
Siena, Italy

Hand Crafted Pottery Photo, Siena, Italy
Quote:
Using Siena as our base, we toured Italy in our little Peugeot 106, looking for small, beautiful towns with rich history. Gubbio matches that description to perfection. Picture in your mind a town from the middle-ages. Do you see stone walls, narrow streets, tile roofs and high ramparts? Then you are seeing Gubbio. We parked in the public lot at the base of the town and walked (slowly) up the narrow streets. We stopped several times as much to soak in the atmosphere as to catch our breath. Happily, the view from the Palazzo Ducale is worth the effort. For the shoppers among us, the local artisans here specialize in ceramics and a beautiful olive serving dish fol...Read More
Quote:
My local parish church is called St. Catherine of Siena so a trip here was always on my itinery. However, after hearing the horror stories of the crowds and crazy traffic in Florence (well deserved, I must add) we decided to use Siena as a base camp for our four days in Tuscany. Your first trip has to be to the Piazza Del Campo. This is a nearly perfect public space. Surrounded by yellow and orange (siena?) colored buildings, the fan shaped plaza is grand in scale, but not so large that people feel dwarfed. We went to all of the usual places: Duomo, Palazzo Pubblico and the Museo dell,Opera Metropolitana. But we made sure to go the the church where Saint Catherine's remains are d...Read More