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2 weeks in Montepulciano

Melbourne, Australia
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136 posts
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2 weeks in Montepulciano

Hi Ya

We are staying in Montepulciano for 2 weeks the second half of June this year, my wife is doing an Italian language course at Il Sasso.We know the area fairly well as we spent a week in San Quirico d'Orcia a couple of years ago.

We won't have a car this time so I would like some recommendations of what I can do during the day,either using public transport,walking (20 km or thereabouts) or bike riding (ebike if needed).I am also up for any other suggestions you might have to explore and experience this stunning area,willing to try anything once.

Looking forward to hearing any ideas you might have and I thank you in advance for your time and recommendations.

Edited: 15 February 2018, 07:25
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Montepulciano
Montepulciano
Province of Siena, Italy
Il Sasso
Il Sasso
122 Reviews
Citta di Castello, Italy
San Quirico d'Orcia
San Quirico d'Orcia
891 Reviews
San Quirico d'Orcia, Italy
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Montepulciano, Italy
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for Tuscany
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7 reviews
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1. Re: 2 weeks in Montepulciano

You've been here before, you know how beautiful the countryside is and how everywhere you look there's a medieval hilltop village perched on a hill crying out to be explored. You may also remember from your last trip that you didn't pass too many buses whilst you were driving and, when you did, it was generally first thing in the morning, late afternoon or perhaps in some places (around Chianciano) around lunchtime. And that's the problem, public transport is verging on the non-existent here. Frankly, I find the idea of two weeks in southern Tuscany with a car simultaneously frustrating (what a waste!) and terrifying. Sure, plenty of e-bike places now - here's one that receive excellent reviews https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Revie…

And as you may recall from last time, you can walk out of all the villages into the countryside and walk 20 km in every direction. But what if it's raining? What if you simply don't want to walk that day?

I've known ladies on their own come to Montepulciano to study at Il Sasso with the clear intention of slowing down (once they've done their homework!), fitting into Tuscan village life, chilling out. For whatever reason they don't mind not being able to go anywhere, though a couple were remarkably enthusiastic when I offered to drive them around! But they didn't have hubby in tow, they weren't concerned with what he would be doing all day. I'm not suggesting you'd get bored but I think you'd get a great deal more out of coming here if you hired a car, at least for part of the time?

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Montepulciano
Montepulciano
Province of Siena, Italy
Il Sasso
Il Sasso
122 Reviews
Citta di Castello, Italy
Aliso Viejo...
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1 review
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2. Re: 2 weeks in Montepulciano

I have to for the most part agree with lastraniera. The buses in the area are for the locals to get to work, and so you’ll likely spend a good deal of time waiting for a bus to take you back. For example, the Tiemme website shows one bus going to Montechiello at 7:40 am and one coming back at 1:50 pm. It’s best not to count on doing a lot of visiting using the local buses.

But I can think of worse things than being stuck in Montepulciano without a car for 2 weeks, especially if the weather is good. If hiking is your thing, there is a lot of countryside to browse through. With a little planning you could take a bus out early in the morning and hike your way back. There are enough restaurants and services in town that you can get along quite well without a car. So IMHO this is a realistic option, but you do need to look at it realistically. Hopping over to the next village for a quick lunch is not in the cards.

And while a nice, green idea, those E bikes are not cheap.

But why not get a car? You can rent a subcompact like a Renault Clio for two weeks for less than $400.00. Keep in mind that you will spend between 60 and 90 Dollars (each way) getting to Montepulciano from FCO by train and bus if you don’t have a car.

If the car just sits for a day or two, so be it. This happens to us all the time. In a two week period in Montepulciano, there will be a lot of days that we don’t go near the car; maybe two or three days in a row.

But the freedom it offers when do we want it is worth it.

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Montepulciano
Montepulciano
Province of Siena, Italy
alaska
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for Siena
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3. Re: 2 weeks in Montepulciano

I have been the husband that is alone while spouse takes Itslian lessons. It was in Siena but the consept is the same. I can tell you now that it was most enjoyable having the freedom to go top right not go based on only my wants and needs.

I walked in parts of Siena even after 15 years I had never visited. I had one rule, if I looked up or down the street, I had to walk it.

Sitting down to enjoy coffee with a newspaper or iPad , with no pressure to move on to a reservation. After a few days you might even be treated like a local if you go to the same place every day.

Sitting down to enjoy a Campari on ice .........

Looking at a slice of pizza or a cup of gelato and saying to self, sure it’s not lunch but it looks yummy.

Take this opportunity to research what Montepulciano has to offer, the stuff that most casual visitors do not even know about..

Take this opportunity to meet new people. after one week you will be an expert at spotting lost tourists. Help them or even better take them to where they want to be.

Montepulciano is over 2500 years old, two weeks is not too long to begin getting to know it.

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Siena
Siena
Province of Siena, Italy
Montepulciano
Montepulciano
Province of Siena, Italy
Toronto, Canada
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488 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: 2 weeks in Montepulciano

deegees, if you do this without a car, would you be so kind as to do a report with title stating public transport.

I would love to do something similar soon, without driving.

have a great time.

New York City, New...
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5. Re: 2 weeks in Montepulciano

Hi!

I’ve taken classes at Il Sasso up to 4 weeks at a time without a car and never got bored. Yes, my purpose was to decompress from my New York City life and I couldn’t do it full time. I loved the freedom to take a nap after class. For some people the only way to relax is to have no options other than to relax. If you actually want to be busy you may be disappointed.

The school has all levels, why not take a beginner class yourself?

The school has lots of activities after class as well.

Regarding the comments above about Siena. All true, but Siena is much bigger than Montepulicano.

I do agree with the comments above. The freedom of the car will absolute enhance the experience.

If you are up for long days, you can take the bus down to the chiusi station and take a train to many places.

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Il Sasso
Il Sasso
122 Reviews
Citta di Castello, Italy
York
York
North Yorkshire, UK
Siena
Siena
Province of Siena, Italy
Amelia Island...
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6. Re: 2 weeks in Montepulciano

anmjm1: what a great post. It makes me want to sign my wife up for Italian lessons just to spend time alone in Montelpuciano. Thanks.

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: 2 weeks in Montepulciano

We stayed in Montepulciano a couple of years ago and walked from there to Montichiello (sp?) and on to Pienza, arriving for late lunch. Caught the bus back after exploring Pienza a bit. A great day. Our only challenge was finding the starting point for the walk but we just asked a couple of people. It was mostly on quiet dirt roads with almost no traffic.

tiemmespa.it is a really useful website for local buses. The Montepulciano tourist office was helpful too (although they weren't familiar with walking in the area). If I remember correctly, they sold a map for walking in the area but we didn't buy it so my memory is hazy.

Two weeks with no fixed agenda sounds wonderful to me. Personally, I wouldn't want to hire a car but that's because I don't enjoy driving, parking, navigating, etc on my own in a place I'm not familiar with, on the other side of the road. But plenty do, and love it.

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Montepulciano
Montepulciano
Province of Siena, Italy
Pienza
Pienza
Province of Siena, Italy
Melbourne, Australia
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75 reviews
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8. Re: 2 weeks in Montepulciano

Thank you for your replies and ideas they are all very much appreciated.We are going to try and survive without a car but if need be we can hire one during our stay. Montepulciano is the last leg of a 3 month trip so I will be looking for some down time.

I might do a beginners class at Il Sasso,maybe a cooking class, definately a Campari on ice,even read a book under a tree.Having recently turned 60 I might even qualify to join the men gathered in the Piazza Grande solving the problems of the world.Every place I have visited at home or abroad the men inevitably gather in the centre of the village,town or city and solve the worlds problems.I guess Montepulciano would be the same? I think I could be good at this with some training.

I am also the cook in the family so it will be my job to visit the market and come up with gourmet meals for the evenings that we don't eat out.I will also be acting as sommelier so I think some wine tastings will have to be done.Any suggestions.

LoveRoma2 ,I will report back during my stay of the activities and transport options that I have discovered.anmjm 1,I will follow your one rule religiously.Sunfloweramara a day out using the train would be a good option,thanks.Escape 9876 the walk to Montalvino and Sienna sounds great,thanks for the website.

Again many thanks to you all.

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Montepulciano
Montepulciano
Province of Siena, Italy
Il Sasso
Il Sasso
122 Reviews
Citta di Castello, Italy
Montepulciano, Italy
Destination Expert
for Tuscany
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8,400 posts
7 reviews
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9. Re: 2 weeks in Montepulciano

Do you know, local men don't tend to gather in Piazza Grande, the people you'll find there sitting on the walls of the town hall are more likely to be tourists. Where you will find local people though - old men, ladies keeping an eye on bambini - are on the benches in the public gardens opposite the church of Sant'Agnese. Note though that at 60 you'll certainly be one of the youngest!

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: 2 weeks in Montepulciano

Thanks Lastraniera I will be staying close to this area in Piazza Savonarola.I am very much looking forward to our stay and hope to see and do things the casual tourist doesn't get time to do.

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Hotel Savonarola
Hotel Savonarola
345 Reviews
Florence, Italy
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