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wahootiger
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2010
295 posts

Last minute recs for Florence, Montepulciano, Siena (and kind of Rome)
Mrs. Wahootiger and I are leaving on a belated honeymoon tomorrow for Italy. We're flying straight from Dulles to Rome then training immediately to Florence. The itinerary is: 2 nights Florence, rent car for 4 nights in Montepulciano and 2 nights in Siena, drop car back in Florence, train back to Rome for 1 night. Fly out of Rome.

Looking for last minute food and attraction recommendations. We've got dinner reservations for one night in Florence and one night in Siena. Other scheduled activities include: booked time to climb the Duomo in Florence (first day in country), booked time to visit the Accadademia to see the David (second day), a personal guide to take us to Montalcino and other towns to taste wine, a cooking class at a winery in Montepulciano, and renting e-bikes in Montepulciano to bike around to some small towns. During the drive from Florence to Montepulciano we plan on driving through Chianti Classico to hit up some of those towns.

Finally, we think we'll have about a 1/2 day in Rome. Our tentative plan is to see one "main" attraction (forum, Colosseum, other recommendations?) and then just kind of meander around the Trastavere neighborhood. We don't want to overload it on our last day, as we just aren't going to have a lot of time and Rome is going to have to be a part of another trip.

Interests include: eating, drinking, walking around and getting the feel of a city, looking at beautiful/cool things. We're in our early 30s.

Thanks in advance for any pointers!
This post was edited on 9/11 at 6:53 am


Fun Bunch
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
New Orleans
Member since May 2008
64256 posts

re: Last minute recs for Florence, Montepulciano, Siena (and kind of Rome)
Florence:

Il Santo Bevitore
Vini e Vechi Sapori


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Uhtred
LSU Fan
Bebbanburg
Member since Sep 2018
100 posts

re: Last minute recs for Florence, Montepulciano, Siena (and kind of Rome)
Congrats. You're going to have an amazing trip.

Looks like you have a packed agenda already. The only addition I would recommend is to take a day trip to San Gimignano (marvelous, yet very touristy, medieval Tuscan town) and get reservations at the Michelin-star Cum Quibus - lunch or dinner - doesn't matter. Take the day to shop and walk and drink and eat incredible food.
This post was edited on 9/11 at 9:46 am


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AbitaFan08
LSU Fan
Boston, MA
Member since Apr 2008
18262 posts

re: Last minute recs for Florence, Montepulciano, Siena (and kind of Rome)
Get a lunch reservation at Ora D'Aria in Florence. It's a Michelin star restaurant, but they do a lunch menu that's something ridiculously cheap like 35 Euros/person and it's phenomenal.

Try to get to see The David early in the morning to beat the lines. There's really not that much to see once you're inside, so it won't take you long to get through. At least, it didn't for me because art is above my head.

Other than that, I'd highly recommend exploring areas outside of Florence to get away from the tourist hordes.
This post was edited on 9/11 at 8:22 am


VABuckeye
Ohio State Fan
Oak Hill, VA
Member since Dec 2007
24478 posts

re: Last minute recs for Florence, Montepulciano, Siena (and kind of Rome)
If you can get reservations for lunch at Tratorria Sostanza in Florence and order Butter Chicken. However, at this late notice you'll have to get someone there to call for you and beg to get you a couple of seats.

ETA: The Enoteca in Montalcino is fantastic if you're looking to taste and ship wine back home. Enoteca Le Fortezza

Aftermath of a wine tasting at La Fortezza last September.

This post was edited on 9/11 at 9:21 am


VABuckeye
Ohio State Fan
Oak Hill, VA
Member since Dec 2007
24478 posts

re: Last minute recs for Florence, Montepulciano, Siena (and kind of Rome)
quote:

and renting e-bikes in Montepulciano to bike around to some small towns


Hilly narrow two lane roads around there. Be safe.

Go to Radda and eat lunch at La Botta di Bacco. It's a Michelin Star restaurant and if you're lucky the chef /owner will take you ordere, cook for you and serve you. I'd sit at this table.





wahootiger
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2010
295 posts

re: Last minute recs for Florence, Montepulciano, Siena (and kind of Rome)
Thanks to all for the recs - please keep them coming!


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wahootiger
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2010
295 posts

re: Last minute recs for Florence, Montepulciano, Siena (and kind of Rome)
VA Buckeye, did you have any trouble shipping wine back? My very cursory internet research informed me that it was somewhat difficult.

Will incidentally be shipping to Virginia (assuming that is what the VA stands for....).

TIA.


hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
9514 posts

re: Last minute recs for Florence, Montepulciano, Siena (and kind of Rome)
Florence:
go to the Mercato Centrale, look for the Nerbone food stall in one far corner of the first floor. It serves traditional Tuscan/Florentine fare, including tripe sandwiches and ribollita (bread soup). The boiled beef sandwiches, dipped in the cooking juices, are pretty tasty too.

Rivoire, on the piazza della Signoria, is a lovely old spot for a quick coffee at the green marble standup bar (take advantage of the clean restrooms while you're there). Chocolates, light fare, etc. that has as many locals as tourists (not easy to find in Florence).

Cibreo trattoria (not the fancier ristorante), for straightforward Tuscan cooking, often with a nod toward old school ingredients. Cibreo has several restaurants under the umbrella, but I like the trattoria best. LINK

Rome: if you will be in the Forum area, with the intention of spending the afternoon in Trastevere, then you should make a lunch detour to Roscioli: it is a family of establishments, from a bakery (with a few tables and delicious sandwiches and pizza bianca) to a cafe (breakfast pastries, coffee, and cocktails in the afternoons/evenings), and a salumeria/restaurant (make reservations if you really want to have a sit-down lunch). It's an easy walk from the Forum/Colosseo area toward Trastevere. My personal favorite is the bakery: LINK; you can get arancini, a sandwich, a big piece of pizza rossa, etc. and sit at one of the seats inside....or take it a few blocks to the riverside and lean on the retaining wall while you munch.

Italians don't really eat while walking on the street (except for maybe gelato), or picnic at monuments/on steps in piazzas. And very touristy places are starting to crack down on picnics in inappropriate spots (see the German tourists who set up a camp stove and made coffee on the Rialto bridge in Venice).


VABuckeye
Ohio State Fan
Oak Hill, VA
Member since Dec 2007
24478 posts

re: Last minute recs for Florence, Montepulciano, Siena (and kind of Rome)
I shipped ten cases back last September. However, I believe that Virginia May have taken a slightly tougher stance but an enoteca like La Fortezza shouldn’t be a problem. Small boutique vineyards might be another matter.


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BlackCoffeeKid
LSU Fan
Thibodaux/Baton Rouge
Member since Mar 2016
5206 posts

re: Last minute recs for Florence, Montepulciano, Siena (and kind of Rome)
Going to recommend La Buchetta for Florence (see pics below). Make a reservation for it.

Also, go to the Mercato Centrale for lunch one day. Be sure to pick up a bag of biscotti from a vendor downstairs if you like to have some with a coffee/espresso as well.







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BlackCoffeeKid
LSU Fan
Thibodaux/Baton Rouge
Member since Mar 2016
5206 posts

re: Last minute recs for Florence, Montepulciano, Siena (and kind of Rome)
quote:

The boiled beef sandwiches, dipped in the cooking juices, are pretty tasty too.

+1. Florence may have the best array of sandwiches in the world.

Had a beef cheek sandwich that was braised in a tomato sauce at the market (2nd floor in the corner). Very simple, cost like €5, and may have been the best thing I ate all trip.


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geauxpurple
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jul 2014
3877 posts

re: Last minute recs for Florence, Montepulciano, Siena (and kind of Rome)
Great trip. I did it last year. The aforementioned enoteca in Montalcino is a must. It is inside a 700 year old fortress and features some of the best Brunellos around. But it is only my second favorite wine store in Tuscany, the first being Enoteca Falorni a/k/a/Le Cantine in Greve..... In Montepulciano, the wineries and vineyards are out in the countryside, but many of them have wine shops and tasting bars just off the Cathedral Square on top of the hill. The tasting rooms are at street level and they have stairs you can climb down to see the wine cellars built in to the old Etruscan caves. Two such places are Talosa and Contucci. The Vino Nobile de Montepulciano is to this town what Brunello is to Montalcino. All are fantastic........ My favorite restaurant in Siena is La Taverna di San Gusippi. Two other good ones are Antica Osteria Da Divo, and Osteria Le Logge. In Florence we had very good dinners at Ristorante Saint Ambrogio, and Natalino.


wahootiger
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2010
295 posts

re: Last minute recs for Florence, Montepulciano, Siena (and kind of Rome)
Thanks to all for the recommendations. I’ve already made some reservations at a few of the places mentioned, and plan on trying to hit up a few more spots if the opportunity presents itself.

Having a few beers in the airport lounge with my out of office up - it’s a good feeling!


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MarinaTigerEsq
Member since Aug 2019
253 posts

re: Last minute recs for Florence, Montepulciano, Siena (and kind of Rome)
The Mrs. May enjoy a trip to the Gucci Museum- heck, you might too. If memory serves, they have a Gucci edition Cadillac and it’s kind of neat to see the kinds of textiles used in luxury goods over the years. The museum is in Florence


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pecanridge
LSU Fan
Nawlins
Member since Apr 2009
692 posts

re: Last minute recs for Florence, Montepulciano, Siena (and kind of Rome)
In Rome eat at Imago at Hotel Hassler at top of Spanish Steps. Michelin starred restaurant with amazing views of Vatican and Pantheon.


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wahootiger
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2010
295 posts

re: Last minute recs for Florence, Montepulciano, Siena (and kind of Rome)
AbitaFan08, just had lunch at Ora D’Aria. It was great, thanks for the rec!


AbitaFan08
LSU Fan
Boston, MA
Member since Apr 2008
18262 posts

re: Last minute recs for Florence, Montepulciano, Siena (and kind of Rome)
That’s awesome glad you enjoyed! It’s a great spot and I loved how you could see into the kitchen.

There’s also a really cool brewery called Archea in Florence if you’re into beer.


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WhoDatBammer
Alabama Fan
T-Town
Member since Jun 2009
351 posts

re: Last minute recs for Florence, Montepulciano, Siena (and kind of Rome)
Siena: Gelato at Gelateria Kopakabana. Just sit in the middle of Il Campo with a drink. The cathedral is very cool (it has very unusual striped walls and columns).

Florence: Gelato at La Strega Nocciola and Perché No!. Aperitivo at Procacci (get truffle finger sandwiches) and Enoteca Bellini (great wine and crostini; owner is from Florence but has an American mom-really cool place). Dinner at Trattoria 4 Leoni. Panini at I Fratelli (best €5 you’ll spend). Go up to San Miniato al Monte. It’s up above Piazzale Michaelangelo—best views in Florence IMO.

Rome: Dinner at Da Enzo al 29 in Trastevere (Make a reservation). Aperitivo at Vino al Vino in Monti. Beware that entry to the Colosseum is a huge racket. We went in July and could not get in, even after getting a timed entry ticket. The lines are very long at times and there are constant streams of people trying to sell you a group tour to bypass the line. If you are into military history, the Vittorio Emmanuel II monument/museum is pretty cool.


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