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Umbria?
Old 05-12-2014, 09:04 PM   #1
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Umbria?

We have only been back from Venice for 3 weeks and I'm already getting anxious for another Italian trip. This evening, we discussed the possibility of staying at an agriturismo in Umbria and making short day trips around the region. Sadly, we won't be going until next April.

Has anyone 1) stayed at an agriturismo and/or 2) been to Umbria? Any advice on either would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 05-12-2014, 09:38 PM   #2
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http://www.ilcasaledegliamici.it/

We stayed here. Fabulous place. Great hosts, made us feel like family! Great views. Great dinners. Nice 45 minute trip up mountain to see more incredible views and real sheep herders. Nice little town with great food and monks that brew beer.

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Old 05-13-2014, 07:22 PM   #3
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About five years ago we stayed at an agriturismo in Lucignano (west of Umbria, east of Siena) with German friends. Huge three-story house divided between us and the Italian family – three generations. They had some crops, but also a nice vineyard. Accommodations were fine and included a beautiful pool. Family spoke no English or German; we spoke no Italian. Finally discovered we all could do some French. They gave us wine and were great hosts.


That general location is perfect for day trips. All of Tuscany to explore. The western shore. Siena. Assisi. Florence. More, more, more. We even took the train to Rome for a couple days with the German kids.



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Old 05-13-2014, 07:31 PM   #4
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Thank you both for the suggestions. The young wife and I really love Italy. We've been 6 times in the last 7 years, although it has recently been the case that we stay in one city (Florence, Rome, Venice) for a week and see the sights there. I think it will be a good change to stay out in the countryside.
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Old 05-13-2014, 08:43 PM   #5
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No problem. PM me if you want more details and pictures.

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Old 05-13-2014, 09:05 PM   #6
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You might find this interesting: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/11/travel/a-working-vacation-on-an-umbrian-farm.html
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:11 PM   #7
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Visited Umbria about 17 years ago. I stayed at an organic farm run by a relative right outside the little town of Gubbio. The food and the people were great. It was very relaxing; not a whole lot to do but I just wanted to have a nice quiet vacation with good food, good wine and friendly people and that's what I got.
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:54 AM   #8
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We stayed in Lucca but friends stayed in such a facility. They had a rented car and met us for the day in Siena. We hired a driver for that day (there were 5 of us renting a penthouse just inside the wall in Lucca). They loved it.
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Old 05-14-2014, 09:25 AM   #9
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Lucca is great too. Not as touristy as Pisa.

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Old 05-14-2014, 04:10 PM   #10
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Never heard of "agriturismo" - sounds wonderful! Something my sister and I might enjoy as our husbands aren't traveling much these days. Thanks for the idea!
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Old 05-16-2014, 07:36 PM   #11
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Lucca...very interested in finding a place to stay around Lucca..but must have 2 bedrooms & 2 bath...(for 2 couples) would you share the name or access to info to the place you rented? Italy sure is beautiful! Thanks!
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Old 05-17-2014, 09:40 AM   #12
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It was on VRBO by the rental agent. Casa Valeria
Lucca Vacation Rental - VRBO 122790 - 3 BR Lucca Province Apartment in Italy, Lovely Apartment in Lucca Inside the Walls!
Please note that the rooftop pictures are old and it was in need of repair. But inside was pretty good.
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:52 AM   #13
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Taken day trips to Umbria but didn't stay there. Bit of a long drive but do-able from Siena.

I didn't like Perugia that much but Assisi is nice. Been to some other towns but can't recall them much.

In that general area, there is Montepulciano, Pienza, Orvieto. More than the type of lodging, the location, one that lets you easily reach these places, could be more important.

I've looked at agriturismi but generally preferred bigger towns with a nice square to hang out in in the evenings.

There are just so many hill towns in Tuscany and Umbria worth visiting and revisiting.
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:12 AM   #14
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Perugia:
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:14 AM   #15
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Assisi
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:19 AM   #16
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Montepulciano:
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:23 AM   #17
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Pienza:
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:20 AM   #18
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We have been to Italy a number of times. We usually use train and one way car rental.

We have had great success with agritourisms. You need to be aware that the prices and accommodation vary greatly. We had success with two good ones-one just outside Orvieto and another outside Siena. We have also had a fabulous one in Douro, Portugal last year. There are many affordable family hotels and B&B's as well. No need to stay in an expensive hotel. In Sorrento, we stayed in Piano Sorrento in a villa operated by nuns. Fabulous place, right on a cliff overlooking the ocean.

For Umbria, Marche, and Tuscany we usually start in Venice or Florence, then rent a car as we leave the city. Often it is a one way rental. We typically stay for 3 or 4 days and make it a base for travelling around the area. We keep being drawn back to Italy and often stop there on the way to somewhere else. Many of these towns seem very different at night when many tourists have gone.

Our advice is don't try to see it all at one time. Stay in one place for at least three nights, more is better. Use it as a base. But don't drive madly about. Really take the time to enjoy a particular area. We would also not recommend staying somewhere like Florence and using it as a base. Get out and stay in the countryside or in a small town.

One last item...VERY IMPORTANT. It could save your marriage/partnership. Before you go, buy a GPS that has NA and European maps. Garmin has a fairly inexpensive one for about $200. We have used in Italy, Greece, UK, Turkey...you get the gist. Invaluable. Much better than getting one from the rental car agency. And buy a good road map over there-much better price and availability than in NA.
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Old 05-18-2014, 11:58 AM   #19
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Or use a smart phone and get a data plan.

Costs way less than getting a redundant device in a GPS if you have an unlocked smart phone already.
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Old 05-19-2014, 05:23 PM   #20
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Umbria is wonderful. I haven't tried agroturismo, but it's all the rage now in Italy. We were just talking about it this weekend in my Italian language class. Orvieto and Gubbio are super nice. Perugia is not that interesting, but it does have spectacular gelato. Orvieto is my iPad wallpaper,
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