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Report 673: Tuscan Rambles

By Doug Phillips from Canada, Spring 2004

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Page 17 of 17: Summary and Suggestions

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This was our first trip to Italy since the mid 1970’s when we spent several days in Florence and Rome. Would we do anything differently if we could? We don’t think so. We drove a lot, partly because the weather wasn’t very good. If we had warmer, sunnier days, we might have lingered around the pool at Villa Nottola or spent a few lazier days closer to Montepulciano, but then we likely wouldn’t have made it to Elba or Lucca. One day was enough for us in Florence, although if you have never been there, you should definitely plan on several. We know that Florence is the centre of almost everything in Tuscany, but we preferred to spend our time in Siena and the smaller towns and villages.

There are a lot of items on our “Next time” list. When we go again, and we have begun to make plans, we would like to stay longer (four or five weeks), in a different season (September or October), in a small village, only have a car for part of the time, perhaps include a week in Rome at the end. I’ll let you know how it works out.

A Very Few Suggestions

There are more extensive lists elsewhere :

  • Notify your credit card company that you are going to be out of the country. We were unable to use one of our cards for a few days until our family in Canada confirmed that we were traveling in Italy.
  • Check for opening and closing times or days before you set out on a day trip.
  • You can easily schedule two of the smaller hill towns in one day, if they are in the same general area.
  • Be sure to apply for a refund of the VAT tax before leaving the EU. This is most easily done at an airport prior to departure. Arrive at the airport early to allow time to do this. Some stores, but not many, will provide an on-site refund if your purchase qualifies.


Caffe Poliziano, Montepulciano

Caseificio Cugusi

Latte di Luna, Pienza

Osteria del Teatro, Cortona

Poderi Boscarelli

Tenuta Valdipiatta

Villa Nottola

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