Subject: Re: Castello di Gargonza, Tuscany
Dear Laurie

Although I am not familiar with the specific property, I know this area of Tuscany quite well. It is an ideal location and I am sure you will be pleased with how easy it will be to visit many special parts of Tuscany.

Monte San Savino is a pretty town but Lucignano, a few KM away is a gem. Both are typically medieval - Lucignano being an example of a perfectly elliptical town. Monte San Savino is famous for it's pork and holds a porchetta festival every September. The town is on the western edge of the Valdichiana, famous for its cattle providing meat for Bistecca alla Fiorentina.

The S73 west will take you to Siena and all points west and the section of this road near Gargonza is beautifully twisty &scenic. This route to Siena, although not all 4 lane, is fast and easy and will take you directly to one of the main entrances into Siena. It will also allow you to continue beyond and visit Chianti country, north of Siena along route S222, and to Colle di Val d'Elsa, San Gimignano and Volterra to the west.

>From S73 you will also have easy access to S451 through the heart of the Crete Senesi with the most picturesque and surreal moonscape countryside. It is close to Monte Oliveto Maggiore, the most visited abbey in Tuscany.

Going east, the S73 will take you to the E78 into Arezzo

You will be moments away from the A1 superhighway which will allow you easy access to the following:

- Florence - the highway to the heart of Umbria if you so desire with access to the S71 to Cortona on route - the scenic S146 which will take you to the beautiful towns of Montepulciano, Pienza and San Quirico d'Orcia, with a continuation onto the S2 and cut off to Montalcino and the beautiful abbey church of Sant'Antimo where you will listen to the Augustinian monks sing Gregorian chants. This is Vino Noble di Montepulciano and Brunello di Montalcino wine country if you are interested.

If you or any of your party are serious photographers, I will be happy to tell you exactly where and when to go for the best shots of that famous little chapel along S 146, the one you see in every guide book to Tuscany and the zig zag cypress trees that are featured, shot in every season, on postcards for this area (it took me 5 trips to Tuscany to find this one!!!)

If I can help you with anything further, just ask.

Felice Toronto, Ontario