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young moonlight
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Dec 2008
469 posts

Rome - Florence - Siena - In February
I have a good idea of the must sees but would love to get any insight into where to eat and drink, etc in these cities. Would also LOVE to fo a Brunello tour while in Siena but dont know if they operate that late into Winter.


VABuckeye
Ohio State Fan
Oak Hill, VA
Member since Dec 2007
25314 posts
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re: Rome - Florence - Siena - In February
Just rent a car and drive to Montalcino. Enoteca la Fortezza will be open.


montana
LSU Fan
Bozeman, MT
Member since Dec 2008
873 posts
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re: Rome - Florence - Siena - In February
Yes yes and yes. Great part of the world.


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His Dudeness
LSU Fan
The Baton Rouge
Member since Jul 2014
41 posts

re: Rome - Florence - Siena - In February
We did a tour out of Siena with Roberto last February


bbeck
USA Fan
Member since Dec 2011
9565 posts

re: Rome - Florence - Siena - In February
Honeymoon was last January to Rome, Florence and Venice. Some of my recs...

Rome:
Osteria Da Fortunata
Il Barroccio Roma (just around corner from Pantheon)
-FYI on the 1st Sunday of every month, the admission to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Roman Forum, and possibly the Vatican(?) are free. Shouldn’t be too much of a wait either since it’s offseason.

Florence:
Trattoria al Trebbio
Vinaino Cicalone (Beef Stew)

Did a day trip tour of Siena and Tuscany. Siena was arguably my favorite location we visited but Rome had it all.


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hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
10058 posts

re: Rome - Florence - Siena - In February
Rome: Armando al Pantheon, near the (obviously) Pantheon. Gelato from dei Gracchi nearby, closer to piazza Navona.


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geauxpurple
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jul 2014
3998 posts

re: Rome - Florence - Siena - In February
Okay here you go. As for the Brunello tour, I agree with the advice above about getting a rental car and driving to Montalcino and going to the enoteca in the fort. That is the best place to sample the top notch Brunellos. ..... If you want a tour guide from Siena check out Dario Castagno www.dariocastagno,com. We took two of his tours, the best one being a behind the scenes Palio horse race tour. As a consequence, we are now (half jokingly) honorary members of the Caterpillar Contrade which we pull for every time the race comes around........ Restaurants - Sienna - Our favorite was La Taverna di San Guissippi which is about a five minute walk down a narrow alley off Il Campo. The food is delicious and the restaurant is built in an old Etruscan house. Da Divo is another great restaurant built in to an old Etruscan cave. Le Logge near Il Campo is another good one......... Florence - Natalino was good as was Ristorante Saint Ambrogio where we had a very good dinner on Easter Sunday last year.........Rome - Where are you staying? Two good casual places - Our hang out is Enoteca Cul de Sac, a wine bar near Piazza Navona that serves very goon food. We like Hostaria Costanza near Campo di Fiore. This is an old historic place built in to the remnants of the Theatre of Pompey which is where Julius Caesar was stabbed by Buutus. And the food is very good.


auzach91
Atlanta Braves Fan
Smyrna, GA
Member since Jan 2009
31071 posts

re: Rome - Florence - Siena - In February
Here are the 4 places we went to in Florence..

La Prosciutteria- Florence lunch (incredible charcuterie board and cheap cheap wine)- also the same street as the famous sandwich shop...forget the name but I enjoyed this more.

Osteria Pastella- Best meal whole time- Florence…little pricy..did this for lunch.

Pensavo Peggio- Florence- Dinner, very good...typical Italian place...handmade pasta, great sauces, good wine.

Osteria Santo Spirito- Florence Dinner- not the best we had, but still very good. Tried horse meat on a salad here and it was extremely tasty. Little bar next door too with good drinks.


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young moonlight
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Dec 2008
469 posts

re: Rome - Florence - Siena - In February
Thanks for all the great replies and suggestions! I can always go to a guidebook but I got so many fantastic recommendations from this board for our trip to Kauai last year. geauxpurple we are staying in the Trastevere neighborhood in Rome.


young moonlight
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Dec 2008
469 posts

re: Rome - Florence - Siena - In February
How did yall go about making reservations to these places? I dont see any way to make reservations on their websites other than calling. Can i wait until i get to Italy to call or would that be too late? Im a newb at this Europe thing lol.


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slinger1317
Houston Astros Fan
Northshore
Member since Sep 2005
3607 posts

re: Rome - Florence - Siena - In February
I don't want to hijack, but add a little to this thread. My wife and I are going to Italy for the first time in February as well (Mardi Gras - 8 days)

We are flying to Rome, staying at an AirBnB in Trastavere for 3 nights, then renting a car and staying at an AirBnB in Monticchiello for 3 nights. We have day trips planned to Siena, Florence, Montepulciano etc.

As of now the only reservation we have is the Scavi tour. We would like to do the Pristine Sistine, but it runs at the same time as the Scavi, and we don't want to spend 2 days at the Vatican with everything else to do in Rome. We plan on driving through the Tuscan countryside, but are also curious about what to see/do. I have read Rick Steves' site quite a bit. As of now it looks like you drive to hilltop towns, see the Duomo and walk around a bit, then on to the next town.

Looking for any tips/ideas to flesh out our itenerary both in Rome and Tuscany.


hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
10058 posts

re: Rome - Florence - Siena - In February
quote:

As of now it looks like you drive to hilltop towns, see the Duomo and walk around a bit, then on to the next town.

You forgot “eat lunch, drink wine”......and then walk some more after lunch to help w digestion. Each of the Tuscan hill towns offer some local attractions—dig a bit deeper than Steves for town info, esp in the food/dining realm (to me, that’s where he’s weakest). His recs tend to be middle of the road. I like to hit a coffee bar near a town center: not a super fancy touristy one, but a place that looks like locals frequent. Order an espresso, talk to the server....good food tips often come from these ppl. There might be an interesting salumeria, bakery, or pasta shop....an olive oil mill just outside town, or an enoteca tucked down an alley.

In Feb in Tuscany, you’ll be able to buy the olive oil pressed in Oct/Nov. So maybe allocate some space in a checked bag on the homeward journey for edible liquid souvenirs.

Read up on the Italian Renaissance—you are visiting the heart of it. Knowing a bit more about the politics and art history of the period will enhance your trip immensely.

As for Rome, definitely do not spend all of your time at the Vatican. The Roman Forum deserves a visit, and perhaps hiring a guide/taking a tour unless you were a classics major in undergrad. Also walk the city at night, it is safe and the major monuments are well lit and very interesting to see that way. A nighttime walking/gelato eating stroll is one of my very favorite things to do in Rome. (I mapped out one many Italian threads ago on this board, I should dig it up and repost.)


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young moonlight
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Dec 2008
469 posts

re: Rome - Florence - Siena - In February
slinger what day are y'all going to be in Rome? We will be staying in a Trastevere airBNB as well while in Rome from the 21st-24th.


slinger1317
Houston Astros Fan
Northshore
Member since Sep 2005
3607 posts

re: Rome - Florence - Siena - In February
Here is our basic itenerary:

Leave MSY on British Airways Friday Feb 21 - Arrive Rome Sat Feb 22 around 4:30 PM.

Most of the Walks of Italy tours are dormant in February- I would love to get an in depth Colosseum/Forum Tour. The Colosseum has been on my bucket list since I was around 8 years old.

Tuesday Feb 25 - Pick up rental car, drive North. Possibly stop in Siena along the way. Stay in Monticchiello 3 nights. Tuscany is the wife's top choice to visit in the world.

Drive to Rome Airport Hotel Friday Feb 28, fly out to MSY Saturday morning
This post was edited on 11/26 at 10:15 am


hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
10058 posts

re: Rome - Florence - Siena - In February
Coincidentally, I’m flying to Rome on 2/21 as well. Opted for the afternoon flight via ATL as it arrives at FCO at 9:35 am on Sat. I did the BA/connect in London route last year and disliked the later afternoon arrival.

Definitely have a water resistant jacket—it can be damp in Feb.


slinger1317
Houston Astros Fan
Northshore
Member since Sep 2005
3607 posts

re: Rome - Florence - Siena - In February
Thanks, I would have liked to taken the earlier flight as well- pretty much the same price as BA. Not thrilled about the late arrival to Rome, but my wife and I both are working Friday morning so we just couldn't swing the afternoon departure.


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young moonlight
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Dec 2008
469 posts

re: Rome - Florence - Siena - In February
We are getting creative and flying Southwest to NYC on Thursday 2/20 and then hopping on an overnight flight that puts us in Rome at 8am Friday.

We have the Scavi tour scheduled for Saturday morning then will likely see if we can schedule a tour Vatican museum, St Peters Basilica either before or after our 915 appt.

Ive heard great things about the Walks of Italy tours as well and I was hoping they would be running in Feb for the Colisseum/Forum tours.
Current itinerary with days to fill in:

Arrive in Rome @ 8am 2/21
Spend 3 nights in Trastevere seeing Vatican City, Forum Tour, exploring the city

Train to Florence on 2/24 for three nights

Train to Siena on 2/27 for two nights and back to Florence to catch 1pm flight back to MSY.

Now to choose from the hundreds of restaurants...really don't want to screw this up


hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
10058 posts

re: Rome - Florence - Siena - In February
Just remember that some of the best things to eat in Italy aren’t necessarily in restaurants. In Rome. Brave the crowds to eat at Roscioli bakery, get a pizza Bianca slab stuffed with porchetta.....or any of the dozens of other tasty things offered there. Stroll to the Campo di Fiore, ignore the horribly touristy market in the Piazza that’s been going downhill into schlocky for years now, and head to the Antico Forno in the corner (upriver, riverside corner if you figure directions like a person from NOLA). Eat more pizza Bianca there, and for comparisons sake, try the pizza rossa as well.


geauxpurple
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jul 2014
3998 posts

re: Rome - Florence - Siena - In February
quote:

Antico Forno
Yeah, I have been there. One time we stayed at a hotel right around the corner from there. Nice little bakery and pizza by the slice joint.


Pfft
Member since Jul 2014
724 posts

re: Rome - Florence - Siena - In February
Anyone been to the gardens in Bomarzo? Looks pretty cool.
LINK
We may stop off on our way from Rome to Orvieto to check it out.


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