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Drew Orleans
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2010
20345 posts

re: Italy Trip (All Over)
I'm not anti tour, just prefer to spend my money elsewhere. If there are tours that are worth it, I'll gladly do them.

2 nights in Capri is happening regardless though. We don't get there until the early afternoon one day and will spend that time on the beach. The next day we are renting a boat all day, then we leave early the next morning. So it's really only a day and a half.
This post was edited on 9/6 at 9:51 am


Mahootney
Florida State Fan
Lovin' My German Footprint
Member since Sep 2008
7029 posts

re: Italy Trip (All Over)
Florence was worth it.
Just way too much to research on your own, or see on your own. I'd do a one day or half day tour and hit most of the highlights, and then spend the other days doing your own thing.

Venice was not worth it.
FYI... the gondolier's don't sing. But, if you're really fricking sneaky like me... and start humming La Donna e Mobile.... you may get them to sing a few words.

Rome really wasn't either.
The Vatican was b/c we skipped all the lines, but you are going to be there with your friend anyway... so, probably not.

Tuscany was.
Taking a private chauffer'd tour in wine country was great. Pick up and drop off. They drive you to a winery, then we had a lunch on a farm in the countryside with everything being made fresh from the farm (we bought some cheese and olive oil), then another winery stop, then a cool stop at a monestary, then a winery stop. You get the idea.
And I'm quite certain I wouldn't be able to find all of that on my own.

The really cool benefit is that I can just call the wineries myself and have them send me the bottles directly to my house, and I get it for 25-50% of what I can buy the same bottles for here in the US (even with shipping it from Italy).
2006 Brunello - $35/b plus like $3/b shipping. $110/b plus like 10% tax at Specks. 31%.
2006 Brunello Riserva - $45/b. $180/b at Specks. 25%.
Vino Nobile, Chianti Riserva, Barolo, Amarone, etc.

I would HIGHLY recommend going directly to some of the smaller vinyards and not the mega-winerys.


Drew Orleans
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2010
20345 posts

re: Italy Trip (All Over)
Are the wineries you listed above the "smaller" ones?
This post was edited on 9/6 at 11:53 am


Mahootney
Florida State Fan
Lovin' My German Footprint
Member since Sep 2008
7029 posts

re: Italy Trip (All Over)
The tour was mostly small to small-medium.
It's just like anything in Napa. There is a good mix of small, medium, and large.
Or maybe beer is an easier analogy.
There are the Coors, the Sam Adams, and the Shiners/Abitas/Tin Roofs/etc.

I tend to prefer the small to medium because they don't already have the mass distribution that'll take whatever they make.
So, it's a lot easier to get them on the phone and get better customer service.

Try to call the Coors factory and get them to cut you a deal.
Hell, you can walk into Tin Roof and speak to the brewmaster directly damn near any day of the week.

I mean, it's your trip. I'm just trying to give you some info on the things that I learned (and continue to benefit from) during my trips.
This post was edited on 9/6 at 1:38 pm


Drew Orleans
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2010
20345 posts

re: Italy Trip (All Over)
No dude. I appreciate it. Trying to max perform this trip.


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theOG
Oklahoma Fan
Member since Feb 2010
5967 posts

re: Italy Trip (All Over)
Enjoy the gelato in San Gimignano. Also, there are some cool torture museums.


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AlceeFortier
Member since Dec 2016
569 posts

re: Italy Trip (All Over)
grappa? is that 5W30 grade?


Mahootney
Florida State Fan
Lovin' My German Footprint
Member since Sep 2008
7029 posts

re: Italy Trip (All Over)
Kinda like a whiskey but it's distilled from wine grapes.
I think there is some weird US customs rule about it being a food product or something. So, they won't let you import it by any means besides bringing it back by hand.

So, any time I hear someone is going to Italy... I encourage them to bring some back. And if they don't want it, I'll buy it off of their hands.... with a customary mule fee added in of course.


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guedeaux
Houston Astros Fan
Tardis
Member since Jan 2008
12324 posts

re: Italy Trip (All Over)
quote:

And... I'm serious about the Grappa man. If you bring some back, I'll make it worth your effort


WTF? Its not that hard to get in the states. You can order it direct from wineries such as montemaggio.

LINK

Shipping might be expensive for only 1 or 2 bottles.

It's even available at Total, Wine and More.
This post was edited on 9/13 at 1:34 pm


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GeneralLee
LSU Fan
Member since Aug 2004
8160 posts

re: Italy Trip (All Over)
Not sure if you've already had your trip or not. We spent 10 days in Italy visiting the Cinque Terre, Florence, and Tuscany.

San Gimignano might be a decent home base for Tuscany, but the town itself was a bit of a tourist trap if you ask me. We had a very good time in Volterra which is a town west of San Gimignano. Our favorite time of all was on a whim to a small village called Monticchiello which is probably a few hours south of San Gimignano. Had the best meal of our lives there and that village is spotless compared to the rest of Italy which has a surprising amount of graffiti.


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