So we just came back from 12 days traveling in beautiful Italia. I was asked a few times already for the complete itinerary so figured I might as well post it here.
Short Version: Florence 3 nights, Pick up car, Lucca 1 night, Villa near Montepulciano 4 nights, Rome 4 nights
Day 1) Florence – Got to the hotel (Palazzo Alfani – no complaints) around noon. Quick lunch at Pugi pizza. Just strolled around the center mostly, great ice cream at Carabé, visited Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Palazzo Vecchio (must) along with an easy climb of its tower. Good dinner at Sostanza
Day 2) Florence – Fantastic full day. Duomo climb in the morning (a must!), Duomo museum, Bargello gallery, lunch in Nerbone at the Central market, stroll around the market (must), Santa Maria Novella, Procacci for snack/drink, Carapina for ice cream (perhaps best of the trip) lovely dinner at La Pentola
Day 3) Florence – David at athe Accademia (across the street from the hotel), Pitti Palace + gardens, Lunch at Da Ruggero, Santa Croce church we found closed for an event. Good Ice Cream at dei Neri, the great synagogue, Basilica di San Miniato al Monte (must!), Piazzale Michelangelo, dinner at Osteria San Niccolò (meh)
Day 4) Lucca – Picked up car in Florence. Stayed in Alla Dimora Lucense for the night. All sorts of snacks for lunch between 2 place right near each other, Da Felice and Giusti. Toured Lucca’s old town all day including biking the walls. Dinner at Barrala
Day 5) Pisa/Volterra/Villa Grazianella. Drove to Pisa, then Volterra where we took a private tour with a local, Annie Adair from Tuscan Tours. Lunch with Annie at l’incontro. Drove to Villa Grazianella near Montepulciano and spent the rest of the day there at the pool. Great dinner at the Villa where we stayed for 4 nights
Day 6) Villa Grazianella. Drove all over the region. Started with cheese tasting and tour at the Il Casale farm (must), Drove to Abbey of Sant’Antimo stopping at Bagno Vignoni on the way. Lunch at Il Pozzo in S. Angelo In Colle. Quick stop at Montalcino followed by a visit to spectacular La Foce villa and 5 pm tour. Dinner at La Porta in Monticchiello
Day 7) Villa Grazianella. Pasta making cooking class at Le Logge del Vignola in Montepulciano, toured the town, lunch at Gattavecchi (wow). Visited the towns of San Quiricio and Pienza. Dinner at Da Roberto in Montisi
Day 8) Villa Grazianella. Day trip to Sienna. Lunch in La Tellina. Drive to Asciano for the views. Dinner at Piccola Trattoria Guastini in the village of Valiano
Day 9) Rome. Heavy regret for not staying one more night in the villa. Drive to Rome, with a major stop in Orvieto on the way. Check into our hotel in Rome, Trastevere Colors (4 nights). Dinner in the Testaccio district. Pizzeria da Remo, followed by some snacks in 00100 Pizza.
Day 10) Rome. Just walked around the Pantheon and Trevi area. Lunch in La Campana. Borghese gallery, Spanish Steps. Dinner in Le Mani in Pasta
Day 11) Rome. Colosseum, Forum, walk to campo for the market. Snack in Roscioli Bakery, Il Farno campo, Monti area including Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, and moses in San Pietro in Vincoli. Dinner at Roscioli
Day 12) Rome. Vatican including garden tour. Lunch in Il Sorpasso, Piazza Navona, the great synagogue, dinner in Cesare al Casaletto
Day 13) Staten Island, NY ;( Walked around Trastevere area in the morning. Fly back home