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lodging without a car, cooking classes and wine tasting

Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
79 posts
27 reviews
lodging without a car, cooking classes and wine tasting

Mt 26 year old daughter and I plan to visit Cortona for several days in August of 2018. We are excited to enjoy the culture, the scenery, the food and wine. We will take the train from Florence and do not plan to get a car as we don't feel comfortable driving in another country. We would appreciate any suggestions about where to stay. We have looked Hotel Italia and some Villa's on the edge of Cortona. The villas look interesting to us and we don't mind walking - just want to be safe at night. We hope to hire a driver for a day to show us the countryside and try some wine tasting. We would also like to take a cooking class. Any suggestions for losing, drivers, cooking class or tours would be appreciated.

12 replies to this topic
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
15,392 posts
65 reviews
1. Re: lodging without a car, cooking classes and wine tasting

Driving in Tuscany in no different than driving in rural Iowa.

Not having a car in rural Tuscany is a severe handicap.

No idea at all why you would think it would be "unsafe" to walk at night.

Vacation rentals (villas) are almost always rented in 7 day increments (Saturday to Saturday.)

Montepulciano, Italy
Destination Expert
for Tuscany
Level Contributor
9,182 posts
7 reviews
2. Re: lodging without a car, cooking classes and wine tasting

Things are changing and whereas five years ago I would have said with some degree of confidence that two women walking down a dark country lane around Cortona on their own mid-late evening would have been perfectly safe so long as they kept their eyes open for passing cars, I'm not so sure today. With just the two of you, you don't fancy a nice apartment up in the old town that would have all the convenience and security you may be looking for?

Edited: 25 September 2017, 11:37
Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
79 posts
27 reviews
3. Re: lodging without a car, cooking classes and wine tasting

Thank you - that is definitely something we will consider. We can always take tours into the countryside.

Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
79 posts
27 reviews
4. Re: lodging without a car, cooking classes and wine tasting

Thank you - where would you suggest we rent a car to avoid city driving?

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
15,392 posts
65 reviews
5. Re: lodging without a car, cooking classes and wine tasting

Phone Autoeurope to arrange your car rental......they area consolidator based in Maine.

It would be best to pick up your car at the Florence.

Do not drive in Florence.just bypass and head to Cortona.

Edited: 27 September 2017, 03:41
Fort Lauderdale...
Level Contributor
13 posts
2 reviews
6. Re: lodging without a car, cooking classes and wine tasting

I am returning to Cortona next week for my birthday with my best friend and we never rent a car. We spent 8 wonderful nights there at Villa Marsili Aug 2016. Since the bus service was limited to nonexistent in August we relied on taxi service to and from the Camucia train station. There are a lot of day trips you can do via train. We did Assisi and Orvieto. For our day trips to the heart of Tuscany and wine country we hired a wonderful Very knowledgeable local guide named Giovanni. In fact we are spending three days with him on this upcoming trip .

There is a wonderful steak festival “Sagra della Bistecca” every August around the 15th (Ferroagosto - National holiday) we enjoyed the food & Atmosphere of music and dancing we went 2 nights in a row.

Let me know if you need any other advice or help. I can’t wait to return to Cortona on the 19th.

Iowa City, Iowa
Level Contributor
79 posts
27 reviews
7. Re: lodging without a car, cooking classes and wine tasting

Thank you so much - good to know about the train. We are going to say at the Villa Marsili and plan to take a cooking class there. The reception people have been wonderful about answering questions and getting us set up with a room and cooking class. We have also secured a driver to take us on a tour of several Tuscany villages and have lunch at a winery on one of the days we will visit. We would much rather pay for a driver than have the stress of renting a car and driving ourselves. It looks so lovely in the Cortona area and we can't wait to visit!

Fort Lauderdale...
Level Contributor
13 posts
2 reviews
8. Re: lodging without a car, cooking classes and wine tasting

They are so wonderful at that hotel . You will be very happy and not want to leave. You will feel like part of the family there that is why we are returning there to celebrate my birthday. Every evening they have a happy hour with small hors d’oeuvres. Google Giovanni Adreani you will not be Disappointed. We also took the cooking class right there at the hotel the day after we arrived which was perfect to get over our jet lag.

Edited: 10 October 2017, 09:17
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
1 post
35 reviews
9. Re: lodging without a car, cooking classes and wine tasting

Hi - I am not sure if you have already booked this trip or not but I can strongly recommend a group called "Tours of Tuscany" - they are an Australian group run by a gorgeous mum and her daughter. You stay in a beautiful villa located on a vineyard just outside of the walled city of Cortona. They do amazing very small group tours with visits to towns in Tuscany and cooking classes. We also did wine tastings at a few places including after cooking classes in chianti and then when in montepeluciano! It is best described as staying somewhere and friends taking you around to al the beautiful sights. It is nothing like a tour group - no large busses with crappy dining hall meals - you get amazing food ordered off the menus in divine restaurants. The value for money is exceptional and we loved it! They will pick you up from the train station and drop you back after as well. Google the name - they have a website and its well worth a look at. A friend and I left the kids and husbands at home and went in May 2017 - awesome!

Level Contributor
1 post
4 reviews
10. Re: lodging without a car, cooking classes and wine tasting

Great little shop for groceries and daily essentials is La Bottega Di Via Dardano. Romina Spagnoletti is very nice and helpful. She speaks English and always makes us welcome.

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