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Day Trips around Villa Sant'Andrea
Renting an automobile makes life fun around Villa Sant'Andrea. Directions are marked well, and with a GPS you can go anywhere.
A great place to enter Italy. Stay a few days or commute by train within 2 hours.
With two days to spend in Rome, spend one day at the Vatican Museum (Sistine Chapel), St. Peters Basilica, and walk towards the river to see Sant’Angelo Castle.
The other day visiting the Colosseum, The Roman Forum, the Pantheon, the Fountain of Trevi, Piazza Navonna, Piazza del Popolo, Spanish Steps, and if time allows, the Catacombs and Villa Borghese. For a strange and special place, see the Cimiterio dei Capuccini on Via Veneto across the entrance to the subway stop. A private tour for these areas could be very useful and save you lots of time trying to find the places yourself.
Vantage World Travel can arrange this for you. 800 826 8268. Or send me the request and I will be very happy to arrange it for you.
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Rome helpful web sites:
Villa Sant'Andrea Recommended Restaurants Rome:
Enoteca Corsi (area of Largo Argentina) Via del Gesu’ 88 Tel 06 679 0821 Closed Sunday, only open at lunch.
Settimio al Pantheon (near the Pantheon) Via delle Colonnelle 14 Telephone 06 678 9651 Closed Sunday and Monday
If driving from Rome to the villa, make a stop at Orvieto, about halfway directly on the A-1. See the Cathedral and have lunch at La Buca di Bacco or La Volpe e L’Uva. If you have extra time, take a short tour of Orvieto underground.
Villa Sant'Andrea Recommended Restaurants in Orvieto
La Buca di Bacco Corso Cavour 299-301 Telephone 0763 344 792 Closed Tuesdays
La Volpe e L’Uva Via Ripa Corsica 1 Telephone 0763 341612 Closed Mondays, October-March also closed Tuesdays.
Arrive by train. Train Schedules Departure city from or to Villa Sant'Andrea is Terontola di Cortona, arrival station in the center of Florence is "Firenze, S. M. N." If you choose to drive to Florence, you will find traffic heavy, and parking difficult.
When checking the train schedules remember: Dates are written day first, then month, then year. Hours are written in military time, example 1:00 pm is 13:00.
Recommended in Florence:
Villa Sant'Andrea Recommended Restaurants in Florence:
Il Cibreo Via de’Macci 114 Tel. 055 2341100 Closed Sunday and Monday No credit cards accepted
Trattoria Mario Via della Rosina, 2 r Tel. 055 218 550 Closed Sundays and August. Near the San Lorenzo market, usually a little wait.
Del Fagioli Trattoria Corso de' Tintori 47 R Near Piazza Santa Croce Tel. 055 244285 Closed Saturday and Sunday Open: lunch and dinner Closed the month of August Prices: 22-25 euros, wine excluded No credit cards
Da Burde Trattoria Via Pistoiese 6 R-154 N Tel. 055 317206 Closed Sunday Open: lunch, dinner if you reserve Prices: 25-30 euros, wine excluded All credit cards, Bancomat
Tre Soldi Trattoria Via D'Annunzio 4 R-A Tel. 055 679366 Closed Friday evening and Saturday Open: lunch and dinner Holidays: August Prices: 30-35 euros, wine excluded All credit cards
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, arrive by car. Visit the Duomo, begun in the 12th c. and designed in black and white marble, and the Piazza del Campo, the shell shaped square famous for hosting the Palio horse races in the summer. Save time for exploring the city on your own with lunch at a typical restaurant.
Villa Sant'Andrea Recommended Restaurants in Siena:
Castelvecchio Via Castelvecchio, 65 Tel. 0577 495 586, closed Tuesdays.
Hosteria il Cassoccio Via del Casato di Sotto 32 Tel. 0577 41165 Closed Wednesdays, also January and February.
La Taverna del Capitano Via del Capitano, 8 Tel. 0577 288 094 Closed Tuesdays.
Arrive by car, easy 40 min. drive. Follow the highway to Perugia, and then to Assisi.
See the Church of Saint Francis with the famous fresco cycles of Giotto and paintings by Cimabue (half day).
Villa Sant'Andrea Recommended Restaurants in Assisi:
La Piazetta dell’Erba Via San Gabriele dell’Addolorata, 15 b, Tel. 075 815352, Closed Mondays.
Pallotta, Via San Rufino 4 Tel. 075 812307 or 812649, Closed Tuesdays. Specialties are Faraona (Guinea Fowl) and Piccione (Dove).
On the way to or from the Villa Sant'Andrea driving to Assisi, we highly recommend:
Scenic Drive to the Wine Country
Pienza, Bagno Vignoni, Sant’Antimo, Montalcino, Montepulciano
Follow a good map and the street signs to the various cities for an easy and beautiful day in Tuscany. Take your camera!
Arrive by car and drive through the Val d’Orcia towards the wine region of Montalcino, famous for the “Brunello” red wines, and visit a winery for a tour and a wine tasting. There are hundreds of wineries, but we find Poggio Antico small and intimate. Make reservations with Paola before hand.
Depart the villa and bear left on to the paved road and pass the soccer field. Turn right again at stop sign (SS75) and again right at the next stop sign (SS71). At the next left turn between the two high walls towards the sign directing you towards the A-1 autostrade and to Pietraia. Continue on this road until you arrive to the entrance to the highway and go in the direction of Siena. This is a duel carriage way highway without toll. Exit at the “Uscita” for the A-1 and follow the signs toward the A-1 (turning to the left) and enter the roundabout but DO NOT enter the A-1 autostrade. Continue straight towards Torrita di Siena (road S 327). After arriving at Torrita di Siena take the road towards Pienza (bearing left). Upon arriving to Pienza find a parking outside the wall and walk into the city.
Pienza is famous for it’s Pecorino Cheeses, some are freshly made and others aged. They also are famous for their almond cantucci and Vin Santo (a dessert wine and biscuit that is dipped in the Vin Santo). The city center of Pienza has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is an amazing view of the valley behind the main church in the city center. Many of the iron works in the villa were hand made by the artisan Biagiotti, a shop you will find in Pienza.
After Pienza continue towards Montalcino, but if time allows make a 15 min. detour at the crossroads of the Via Cassia to Bagno Vignoni where the thermal waters were frequented by the Romans, a very picturesque small town with easy parking. The Via Cassia originally was one of the eight main ancient Roman Roads still in use today. Return to the Via Cassia and follow the signs to Montalcino.
Then drive past Montalcino (better before the winery visit) and turn to the left just at the city of Montalcino down a steep hill towards the town of Sant’Antimo. Visit the Benedictine monastery of Sant’Antimo which was built on a former Roman villa. There is Gregorian Chant by the monks everyday at 12:45 pm.
After the spiritual visit, return towards Montalcino. At the top of the hill of Montalcino you will see the fortress of the city on the right and you will find yourself in an intersection. Take the road which is marked for Grosseto and after about 4.5 km, on your right, you will see the turn-off for Poggio Antico. There are stone walls on both sides of the road entrance to the property and signs on each side for Poggio Antico. The unpaved cypress-lined drive takes you straight to the estate. The trip from Montalcino to Poggio Antico takes about five minutes by car. Lunch at the Winery, (phone 0577 849200) and follow with a tour and tasting at Poggio Antico in Montalcino wine area. Make a quick stop in the town of Montalcino too if time allows, where you can find lots of wine shops with other wines from the area. Be sure to make a reservation for both lunch and the winery visit. http://www.poggioantico.com/
Depart Montalcino and return by the same road as you arrived going towards Pienza. Pass Pienza and continue on the road S 146 but instead of returning past Torrita di Siena bear to the right at the crossroad and go towards Montepulciano. As you approach the city you will turn to the left towards the city center. Just before the city center is a small road to take on the left towards the church San Biagio. One of our favorite restaurants is located just across the street from this picturesque church, La Grotta. Try the wine of this region called the Nobile di Montepulciano as recommended by your server, and compare it to the wines of Montalcino which you tried earlier in the day.
Villa Sant'Andrea Recommended Restaurants:
Ristorante La Grotta One of my favorite places, located across the street from the church of San Biagio at Montepulciano. When making a reservation ask for a table in the garden.
If closed try the Osteria Borgo Buio, Via di Borgo Buio, 10, telephone 0578 717497, closed Thursdays. One of their specialties is roast pork with wild fennel.
On the return to the villa stop at the city center of Montepulciano, a medieval and renaissance hill town of exceptional beauty. Continue from Montepulciano towards Valiano and then bear right towards Pietraia. Pass Pietraia and cross over the highway until you come to the stop sign at the end of the road. Turn right (SS71) and then left at the next street on the road towards Tuoro (SS 75) and next left towards Farinaio and Villa Sant'Andrea.
Arrive by car or train, 30-45 min. Train Schedules Departure city from the villa Terontola di Cortona, arrival city Arezzo.
There is an antique fair held every first weekend of the month which is worth a visit.
Villa Sant'Andrea Restaurant Recommendations:
Antica Trattoria Da Guido Via Madonna del Prato, 85 Tel. 0575 23760 Closed Sunday, except the first Sunday of the month Open lunch and dinner Holidays: second and third week of August Prices: 25-30 euros, wine excluded All credit cards. Once you have admired the frescoes by Piero della Francesca inside the church of San Francesco you can continue your visit along one of the oldest and most characteristic roads of Arezzo, Via Madonna del Prato. Here, at number 85, you will find the Antica trattoria da Guido, just a few tables and a family atmosphere.
Cassa Volpi Via Simone Martini Tel. 0575 354 364 Closed Wed. and Sat. at lunch Near the Stadio Communale and under the Castelsecco on the walls of the acropolis. Recommended the Bistecca Fiorentina of Chianina beef.
La Torre di Gnicche Wine Bar and restaurant, Piaggia San Martino, 8, Tel 0575 352035, Closed Wed. Located under the vaults of an ancient palace facing the piazza Vasari a short distance from the Church of S. Francis. Only a few seats, and simple atmosphere. Specialty veal of the Chianina.
A Day at the Spa
Fonteverde, a Spa of wellbeing amidst the Sienese hills, with rich thermal spring waters full of therapeutic gifts for the body discovered by the ancient Etruscans. Bathe in warm, restoring pools, and feel the massage of water jets that generate both tone and energy.
Or choose from among the wide range of exclusive treatments created by our team of specialists and designed to unite the precious properties of thermal spa waters with manual techniques, physiotherapy and science. Complete health and beauty spa experiences for face and body: whether the aesthetic touch or entire strategies for balance and wellbeing.
Drive from Villa Sant'Andrea about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Designer Outlet Malls
Prada, Miu Miu and more.
Directions from Villa Sant’Andrea to the “Prada Outlet,” or the "Space Outlet" (more or less). Tel. 055 919 6528
Exit the villa on the gravel road and after passing the soccer field on the right, at the stop sign turn to the right. At next intersection merge to the left on to the road SS 71. Very shortly, you will see a sign to Pietraia and turn a sharp left in between the narrow stone walls. There is also a sign here to the A-1. Follow this road about 1-2 miles and exit on to the highway towards Firenze (Florence). This highway runs east/west and will bring you to the A-1 autostrade. Continue on the highway for about 15 minutes and exit at the town of Bettole.. . Exit from the highway and follow the signs to the A-1 going towards Firenze. You will need to go through the toll ticket booth and take a ticket. You will pay when you exit. (Can use a credit card). Follow the A-1 towards Firenze and exit at Montevarchi. Now comes the tricky part. Follow the signs to Montevarchi Centro. It will usually be marked by a black and white target symbol (or center of town). Go through the center of the small town and look for a gas station on the right. (I think it is an Api station.) Pull into the gas station and just say Prada?? And they will know. You will probably see lots of Japanese women walking around the area and looking for it too. You should try very hard to get there before they do. Just past the gas station is a red light and a gate that enters into an industrial park. It looks like you shouldn’t go into this gate, but do it anyway. Turn left into the industrial area and drive through a long parking lot. Maybe you will see some taxi’s or possibly a tour bus (if you get there too late). Go all the way to the end of the parking lot and you will see a small walk through gate that really looks like you shouldn’t go in. Go in anyway. You will see a little coffee bar and a guy outside telling you in Italian to take a number. You have a limited amount of time inside with your number so just fly in and shop. It is not like digging through boxes style however, and there are very nice sales people who will help you with everything. You tell them what you want and they will ask you for your number. You pay by telling the cashier your number. There is a phone number listed in the shopper’s guide to Italy, but I don’t have it. You should take it with you in the car and take the cell phone. Someone at the Prada store will speak English. When you get into Montevarchi, and you don’t know, just ask some nice gentleman where it is and they will point you in the right direction. Everybody knows it. When you find the metal building, there is NO sign whatsoever on the door or at the street. You just have to know it. In Boca del Lupo!! (Italian for “Into the mouth of the wolf!” Or in others words Good luck.). It should take you about 1 hour to get there, and I recommend to get there as soon as they open so you will not have to wait behind the tour buses.
Gucci, Armani, Zegna, Emanuel Ungaro, Fendi, Salvatore Ferragamo, Yves St. Laurent, Loro Piano, and much more.
Directions:Exit the villa on the gravel road and after passing the soccer field on the right, at the stop sign turn to the right. At next intersection, merge to the left on to the road SS 71. Very shortly, you will see a sign to Pietraia and turn a sharp left in between the narrow stone walls. There is also a sign here to the A-1. Follow this road about 1-2 miles and exit on to the highway towards Firenze (Florence). This highway runs east/west and will bring you to the A-1 autostrade. Continue on the highway for about 15 minutes and exit at Bettole. Exit from the highway and follow the signs to the A-1 going towards Firenze. You will need to go through the toll ticket booth and take a ticket. You will pay when you exit. (Can use a credit card). Follow the A-1 towards Firenze and exit Incisa Val D’Arno. After exiting the highway and going through the toll booth, turn right at the traffic circle towards Leccio and Reggello. Continue on this road for about 10-15 min. and the Mall will be at the end of the traffic circle on the left. If making a day of the outlets, the two exits for both the Prada and the Mall are just one stop on the A-1. The Mall is further north towards Florence, and the Prada exit is one exit south at Montevarchi.