Untours Cafe

My wife and I will be taking our second Untour (Tuscany 2 weeks, Amalfi 1 wk). We are staying at Le Chuise 4.  I would appreciate any feedback from anyone whose has stayed there.  Is Pisa doable in one day?  Should we take the train?

Grazie d'aiuto,  Billy R

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We stayed at Le Chuise in 2005 and had a magnificent time! We used our time to see all the surrounding hill towns. I fondly remember sitting at the pool at the end of each day, drinking wine, and chatting with the other "Untourists". When the church bells from Montalcino sounded at 8PM we would go and cook a light dinner or venture out to eat. This trip was one of our best vacations ever!

As for Pisa, I would ask Harriet her opinion at orientation. One group that stayed at Le Chuise when we did drove up to Lucca and stayed overnight there because they thought it was too far for one day.

Have a wonderful trip!
Margaret W.

Thank you for your response. Our plans seem similar to yours stay. What were some of your favorite hill towns, restaurants, wineries?

Grazie ancora,
Montalcino was the favorite among favorites. Pienza another.
We stayed in the same apartment in 2004 and had a great time going out to different hill towns every day or so....We did Pisa and Lucca in one day....spent all morning untill around 2:30 in Lucca and then went to Pisa...my husband wanted to go up the tower and had no problem getting on a 4:30 tour.....we toured the other buildings while waiting...I don't do heights so I didn't go...got myself a gelato and sat on the wall across from it and talked to people (from England and NC).....getting in and out of town was crowded but we did it....we did get stuck in the Florence "beltway" traffic...as bad as ours in DC! and lost trying to find the hidden sign from Siena to Buonconvento....got home around 9:15...fixed a quick paste dinner and ate on our patio....great fun.....

I would get up early every morning and sit outside reading watching the vineyard....

You can walk up the hill to Montalcino...I did it once and it was hot even tho it was 6:30 AM.....walked around the town many times....a charming place...we felt like it was our town...esp. after reading the book about Montalcino, Vanilla Beans and Brodo by Isabella Dusi....learned the history and culture of the town....

Hope this helps....Ellie
I remember that messy roundabout in Siena, we got caught up in it twice! But, I will take it over I-95 and the mixing bowl to Fredericksburg any day!

Thanks for the info on Ms Dusi, I just ordered both of her books to prime me for my next trip to Montalcino in April next year. I want to see green, all of my other trips have been hot, hot summer, winter for skiing or October after all the plowing. We will be going to Greve in Chanti to visit a vineyard there with a female vintner that we met here at a great wine store for a dinner in Fredericksburg.
I actually read most of both books while we were there.....we also discovered on the last day of our two weeks that you can drive down the hill to Le Chuise from Montalcino...we had seen Nicollo's foreman go down it with his truck and trailer so we figure we could do it in our car.....wish we'd discovered this earlier.....the books will have you exploring corners of Montalcino that you never would have know were there.

We are talking about another trip to Le Chuise next year maybe.....if we don't go to Greece or Germany or back to Switzerland first.....we did go to Assisi and Deruta one day...
We stayed in Le Chiuse #4 in 2007 and absolutely enjoyed it! Like Margaret mentioned, we also spent the latter part of each afternoon sitting by the pool and chatting with other Untourists. Be sure to hit the markets in Montalcino and Bonconvento. We've been to Pisa but on a 2004 Northern Tuscany Untours trip where we stayed near Lucca. I wouldn't advise that far a drive (or ride) for a day trip from Montalcino; just staying on the expressways would take about 2 - 3 hours, and cross-country much longer. But there are lots of other towns in the southern Tuscany and Umbria area that you can easily visit on day trips such as Siena, Pienza, Montepulciano, San Gimignano, etc. And if you want to drive a bit further, my favorite from 2004 was Voltera, but even from there you would have almost another hour's drive to Pisa.
You will love it in Le Chiuse. Give their yellow lab Leo (pronounced Lay-O) a pet for us. :)
Not sure why we are replying to something that was sent in March 21, but here goes. We made the Tuscany trip in 2004. We wrote a tripblog; John and Barbara Rybczyk. The trip was great. Two favorite places to eat, LaCrociona Restaurant just on the outskirts of Montalcino. and the restaurant in the town of Merlo La Locanda del Castello.
The Abbey's both of them were definite stops. Read our Tripblog, Have a grreat trip. John and Barbara
Good Point John! so in this world of social media, you have to stay on your toes. Today, (in the "Recent Activity" feed I saw that someone had REPLIED to the question...so I assumed that the question was new..careless of me)

On the other hand, isn't amazing how many people have good things to advise on this topic. We are hoping to catalog some of the social contributions into a format so that anyone who every wants to find out about, say, Montalcino, could search and find this thread. So hopefully all is not lost by my inattention to detail. ;-) Marilee
Tante Grazie e tutte! Although we have been back from Bella Italia for a few months it is still good to hear from you all.

Tante augurio,
Did YOU find anything you would recommend to others that might come upon this thread?
We love Le Chiuse! I've stayed there twice and my hub has stayed there once. We would go back in a NY minute.

As far as Pisa goes: don't know if you can take the train or not. We took the train to Pisa at the end of our trip since our flight left Pisa to come back to the US. If you can, build in a last night in Florence (or Pisa) and do it at the end of your trip. Pisa is a one-trick town as far as we're concerned. Go see the Leaning Tower, see all the people lined up pretending to prop it up, and then leave town. Or leave for home the next day.

Our favorite part about Le Chiuse is getting together at night with all the other Untourists around the pool w/ our favorite beverage and apps and comparing notes about each others' day. That, and the owner of LeC is a delight.

We also loved Buonconvento... had delicious meals there and did our shopping at the Coop and the forgo going into town.... as well as the ATM.




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