Subject: Re: Italy Itinerary (Florence - Rome)
As promised, here my other Italian itinerary.

Key: * = very interesting; ** = Don't miss, a visit is strongly recommended.

ITINERARY 3, from Florence to Rome by car (this itinerary will show you Tuscan countryside, great medieval towns, the wine route of Chianti). NB: visit Lucca (**) and Pisa (**) before starting this itinerary if you didn't follow the itinerary 2. In many towns there are many medieval festivals around the year. Ask the Tourist Information office for details.

- 1 day (80 km): rent a car and drive along the Raccordo Autostradale (is a motorway) to Siena, come off in Poggibonsi and go to Volterra. Volterra (*) is a medieval town, walk around the town, see its great squares, visit Priori's Palace (XIII cent.), the Cathedral, the Etruscan museum. Volterra is well know for alabaster handicraft. About 2 km north east from the town you can see the le Balze, it is a spectacularly slow landslide that involves houses, churches and an Etruscan necropolis. Go to St. Gimignano (**). It is a really enjoyable medieval town. Walk around the town and see its great squares, visit Colleggiata church (XII cent.), Popolo's Palace (XIII cent), St. Agostino church (XIII cent.). Visit cellars and taste the great local wine and olive oil. Go to Siena. - 1 day in Siena (**): Siena is an wonderful medieval medium size town where time stopped in the medieval era. Siena is a little Florence! Here, every year in July and August, the well know Palio di Siena runs (a medieval horses race where every horse represents a city zone). This race isn't a tourist show but a real competition! Visit Piazza del Campo (where the race happens), the great Palazzo Pubblico (the main palace in the square) XIII cent. and walk up to the tower and visit the Museum inside. Visit the great Cathedral (XII cent) and other palaces and churches. Be sure that you enjoy Siena! -1 day Chianti wine route: if you like wine, you can't miss a tour of the Chianti hills.
>From Siena go to Castelnuovo Berardegna (by SS326 road), then go to Castello di Brolio where there is a castle (XV cent.). Drive through the vineyards to Gaiole in Chianti, Radda in Chianti, Castellina in Chianti, and Greve in Chianti. Taste the great wine the in cellars in these towns and don't miss trying the well know Tuscan olive oil. - 1 day (50 km): take the SS2 road and go to Monte Oliveto Maggiore Abbey. It is a countryside XIV cent. Abbey with great frescos. Go back to SS2 and drive to St. Antimo Abbey (*) on top of a hill. It is a peaceful Abbey in the countryside (XII cent.). Now go to Montepulciano (**). It is a beautiful medieval town. Walk through the great center and visit the cathedral (XVII cent.), the Council Palace (XIV cent.) and St. Biagio church (XVI cent.). - 1 day (64 km): Drive to Pienza (*). Pienza is a peaceful and less touristic small town (about 2500 people), it is a well structured Renaissance style town. Visit the Cathedral (XV cent.) and Piccolomini Palace. Chianciano Terme is a well know spa resort. Drive to Orvieto (**). Orvieto is a great medieval town. Visit the Etruscan necropolis just 1.5 km from the city (VI cent. BC). Walk around the center and visit the great Cathedral (one of the most important examples of architecture in Italy) with famous frescos, Palazzo del Popolo (a palace, AD 1250), the Solino Palace (XIII cent.). Go down into the peculiar St. Patrizio pit (there is a story about this well). A few kilometers south of Orvieto you can go to Bagnoregio. Visit the small ghost town of Civita (*) (just 1 km from Bagnoregio). It is a small town built on the top of a rock and now a landslide is slowly destroying the town. You can go to Civita crossing a 300 meters narrow bridge only so there are no cars in Civita! Don't miss it because it is an interesting trip and not crowded by tourists. - 1 day (96 km): Take the SS71 road and drive to Bolsena on the lake Bolsena (there is a small castle, now a museum, and a nice church). Then drive to the top of the lake and go to Pitignano and enjoy its medieval town. Now drive to Sovana, an other peaceful medieval town. Visit the St. Pietro e Paolo church and ask for a visit of the Etruscan necropolis just 1.5 km from the town (IV-III cent. BC). Go to Orbetello by the sea. -1 day: If you like parks and bush walks, visit the Maremma Nat. Park. - 1 day (64 km): Go to the archeological dig of Cosa (an old Roman town a few km from Orbetello) and visit the Tagliata Etrusca (*) that is a great Roman work: they cut a mountain in order to preserve the local port. Take the SS1 road and go to Abbadia di Vulci (*), a great castle (that was an Abbey - X cent.), now a museum. It is situated in a peaceful countryside position. Let cross the nice Ponte di Vulci bridge (*). Now go to Tuscania. It is a medieval town founded by the Etruscans. Visit St. Pietro church (VIII cent.) and St. Maria Maggiore church. You'll find some nice Etruscan necropolises around the town (visit the queen's grave one). - 1 day (25 km): Drive to Tarquinia (*). It is a medieval town founded by the Etruscans. Visit Vitelleschi Palace (XV cent. - now a museum), the Tarquiniense National Museum (that is the most important Etruscan museum). Visit St. Maria al Castello church (XIII cent.). A few kilometers from Tarquinia, in the countryside, DON'T miss the great Manterazzi Etruscan Necropolis (**) (the most important and best preserved Etruscan necropolis). You'll find great painted graves (VII BC). - 1 day (36 km): Take the SS1 bis road to Viterbo (*). Visit the Cathedral (XVI cent.), St. Maria Nuova church (XI cent.), St. Sisto church (XII cent.), the National Archaeological Museum and don't miss the Popes' Palace (XIII cent.) where Popes used to live. A few kilometers from Viterbo there is Bagnaia, a medieval town. Visit the Lante Villa (XVI cent. in Renaissance style with a nice park). - 1 day (70 km): Drive to Civita Castellana, a medieval town. Visit the Cathedral (XIII cent.) and La Rocca (a castle - XV cent.). 5.5 km north west from Civita Castellana, visit Falerii Novi town ruins (from III cent BC to VIII cent. AC). Go to Rome.