suggestions for Tuscany & Umbria towns

Hi...looking for first hand suggestions on what towns in the Tuscany/Umbria regions you would not miss. Time isn't much of an issue and we will be driving. Have been to San Gimiagno, Sienna, Monteriggione before. Any info on Greve? Thanks for any personal suggestions and a happy new year to all

Posted by Doug
Portlandia
3289 posts

With a car, you have lot of options. Staying in an agriturismo gives you rural peace and easy parking. But rarely any nightime activity. Greve is a nice small town during the middle of the day for lunch and a glass of wine. There are a number of similar towns along Route 222, the Chianti Way. In Umbria, I enjoyed Assisi for the history and hilltop views. We also went to Gubbio, which has a cool medieval ambiance and terrific food.

Posted by Sheron
Alta Loma, CA, USA
1192 posts

I would suggest both Orvieto & Volterra. Both towns offer quite a few things to see. You could easily spend close to a full day in each town. In Orvieto, I would take the underground tour (1 hr); it was very interesting and informative. You can also climb to the top of the Torre del Moro for the wonderful views or descend to the bottom of St. Patrick's Well. And, don't miss the facade of the Duomo lit by the sun. It's absolutely breathtaking and in my opinion, it's the prettiest duomo facade! In Volterra, you could visit the Archaeological Museum to see the wonderful Etruscan artifacts. You can also visit an alabaster shop and see artists working on beautiful alabaster pieces. There's also a Roman amphitheater in Volterra which was nice to see. We also took a half-day private tour with a guide that Rick spoke with in his Tuscany episode that included Volterra. Her name is Annie Adair & she tailored the tour to our interests. The tour was reasonably priced and we found it to be worthwhile & interesting. Have a great trip!!

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2474 posts

I love Ravenna so much that I go there every time I go to Italy. The mosaics are amazing (and I don't use that word much) and the people are helpful and lovely. One year I went to the diocesan baptistry and they were preparing for a baptism - and I saw the baby baptized, in the same place that's been used for that purpose since the early middle ages. Let me know if you want more information. If you want to stay overnight, I recommend Hotel Centrale Byron.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2474 posts

Felicia, great that time is not an issue. In addition to the other towns mentioned, I loved Todi, Assisi, Spello (ony 7km from Assisi and Roman mosaics have been uncovered in the public parking lot), Montalcino (famous for wine), Arezzo, Cortona...what time of year will you be traveling?

Posted by felicia
staten island, ny, usa
17 posts

Doug, Sheron & Zoe...thx you very much for the input. We will land in Italy may 2. (venice)
Are any of you (or others) familiar with Ravenna? Last Italy trip, we trained from venice to Florence and after spending time there, picked up car. I was wondering if Ravenna might be another option, either for getting car or, as a train trip pre- Florence. I cannot thank you enough for your sharing :)

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1960 posts

I agree with Volterra and Orvieto being really great. And if you're at Orvieto, the incredible Bagnoregio and Civita are just a few miles southwest. Siena is also popular, but we found it easiest visited by bus. The city below the hill is very congested with apartment complexes, terrible traffic and auto parking is very difficult.