Subject: Re: towns between Rome and Florence
Hi Sheila, Last year we stayed for two weeks in a small town in Tuscany (San Casciano dei Bagni) in a farmhouse we rented. As a result, we had a lot of time for day trips in the area. The places which Joan mentioned are all worth a stop, and if you're travelling by car, I would heartily recommend that you exit the autostrada at Chiusi to visit the hilltowns north and west of there - Orvieto and Assisi are east of the autostrada. Chiusi, by the way, is the headquarters for Etruscan ruins in the area. The wine towns of Montalcino and Montepulciano are excellent spots - lovely, small, and great wine. In the area also is the house known as Val d'Orcia. It has quite a history - these were the hills where the partisans hid out during WWII. You'll need a good local map of the area because the roads are small but if you get lost you're not far from anything, including the autostrada.

One other tip is Spoleto, north of Rome and on the way to Orvieto. You'll just have to plan accordingly. We always spend our first night in Italy in Spoleto to decompress. It's quite the spot - world famous arts and music festival, a Borgia castle that became a prison and is now being renovated to become a first class hotel.

Have a great time. Lucy