A May 2005 trip
to Tuscany by Helgi
Quote: Hiring a car and driving around Italy may not be everyone's idea of fun. The sun blazing down, the dreadful lane discipline of the Italian drivers, and not least the windy (that's windy as in wiggly, not windy as in whoosh) roads of Tuscany. We loved it though!
We stayed in a fantastic Agritourism farmhouse owned by the hospitable, witty, helpful, and clever (and good-looking) Max and Paolo. The next 4 days were spent doing day trips around the region, eating far too much and enjoying the local Chianti.
Quick tip number two: When you are met by a cycling race coming the other way on a steep Tuscan Hill, do not pull up off the side of the road into a ditch. This is embarrassing and could be costly if you scratch the hire car. By an amazing piece of luc, the man behind us had a rope and a jeepand pulled us out of the ditch with the aid of my partner Paul and a powerfully built woman in the car behind that. And not a single scratch on the car!! I couldn't thank them enough.
The villa is situated not far south of Frascati, east of Rome, and enjoys a view over the whole city. We arrived just in time for sunset and a breathtaking red-orange glow over The Seven Hills of Rome, setting the villa itself ablaze with the setting sun.
We blagged an upgrade from our standard room to one with a terrace by smiling nicely at the receptionist and then went to dinner. To our delight, the food was as amazing as the location and we ate one of the best meals I've had in a long time. The room itself was comfortable and clean, and the terrace wonderful in the morning sun the next day.
The villa itself is, I think, about 500 years old, with rooms adorned with frescoes. On the day we left, the BBC was filming a costume drama at the villa.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 31, 2005
Via Umberto Pavoni, 19
Tuscany, Italy 00046
Hotel | "Agriturismo Savorgnano"
Savorngano is tucked away in the hills north of Arezzo in southeast Tuscany, surrounded by wooded hills and streams. It is very sparsely populated and incredibly atmospheric. The crickets give a constant background music, and in the daytime, bees hum while collecting honey, whereas at night, all you hear is the distant hoot of owls and the song of the nightingale.
Paolo and Max have been there for 10 years and are both local to the area, so know the place inside out. Paolo was particularly helpful when planning excursions to nearby places and choosing where to eat. They have a good collection of guidebooks and maps for anything from gentle sightseeing to full-on hiking tours.
The rooms were clean and spacious, the bed as comfortable as my own bed, breakfast was good, and the company was excellent. Thanks, P&M for an excellent stay!
Loc. Savorgnano, Marzi 5
Subbiano, AR, Italia 52010
39 0575 422010
Attraction | "The Tuscan Countryside"
We went on several daytrips from our base to Anghiari (lovely) and Verna (dramatic and historical) and took a long drive over to visit a friend of ours who was staying near Castelliana in Chianti in an amazing villa owned by the mother of a friend of ours (www.patrignone.com).
The scenery was amazing the whole way (apart from the very unattractive but amusingly named Poggibonsi and Subbiamo). I recommend you don't drive your car into a ditch, though (see main entry).
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 31, 2005
London, United Kingdom