Subject: Re: Southern Tuscany
Hi Debbie If you would like to stay in a village, I'd recommend San Casciano dei Bagni. It is about a 20 minute drive (remember the roads are very winding in this part of Italy) from Chiusi. Chiusi, the site of Etruscan ruins, is a hub with railway connections to Rome and has direct and quick access to the autostrada. This is the road that will take you north to Siena and Florence and south to Rome.

The town also affords access to Orvieto, Assisi, Todi and Cortona for example, to the north and/or east, and Montepulciano and Montalcino to the northwest. We spent two weeks in the village last year and took easy day trips everywhere. Not to be missed is the country road drive to Val D'Orcia, a restored country home (very large) with magnificent gardens that you can tour.

The town itself is small. I've written about it before but here's a quick summary - one fine restaurant and one pizzeria on the square and a few other restaurants scattered throughout the village. Two greengrocers, a pharmacy, a dry goods shop, a few arts and crafts shops and one bar for your morning coffee and newspapers. There are two hotels as I recall - we rented a farmhouse for our stay. There is a spa if you care to indulge. We did one morning and loved it. There is also a farmers' market once a week.

The village has a lovely, very old church and the town square overlooks the Tuscan valleys and hills with a view for miles. The sunset was spectacular when we were there, in June.

Enjoy your planning and your stay. Lucy in Toronto