Best Place to Stay in Tuscany, Italy – San Gimignano, Italy

Italy has changed so much in the past ten years. The internet and twenty years of change has made a huge difference is how we travel. For years I traveled with only first and last night hotel reservations. In my travel classes everyone seems obsessed with advanced bookings.

Before 2000, from Assisi to Rome on the train station platforms I was often met by Pension owners “fishing” for clients. After a short chat and a stroll, you arrived at the pension, often just a spare room for rent, nothing fancy. The pension owners decided that was too much work in the late 1990s, and there are so many tourists meeting each one was a waste of their time. So they worked with the Government to create “booking centers” and owners at the train station disappeared (for that experience go out to the Greek Islands and Turkey).

The towers of SG
The towers of SG
Since I am a failure at knowing where I might end up, and advance planning seems to go to hell in Italy anyway, it should have been no surprise during the last trip (in September) I drove to Siena at 3 p.m. and discovered the entire Siena Valley was booked completely, with over 3000 people filling the city and all the surrounding hotels. Siena looked like Disneyland, and then it started to pour rain.

So in the cold rain that Saturday night I used a room finding service in Siena and made a stunning discovery of an entire row of old fashioned “Camare, Zimmer Pensione” in San Gimignano, about a thirty minute drive from Siena, and about thirty minute drive from Florence. We rushed up to S.G. to find the perfect lodgings, a small four room hotel with a charming, friendly family that helped us park our car and find the best place for dinner.

After an incredible dinner we went for a moonlight stroll under the lighted towers of S.G. My friend and I fell in love with S.G, it is so much more fun and cuddly than Siena, incredible beautiful and romantic at night, and so easy to use a home base in the Tuscan valley.

Here is our jewel of a find, not in any guidebook.

Eat Like a local
Eat Like a local
Primetta House has an elegant flat with a living room and a cooking area, and a room with a double bed, bathroom and shower. (We stayed in the smaller room, and wished we had just moved in for a week!) The family was so friendly and helpful!

Primetta House
53037 San Gimignano,(Siena)
Via G. Matteotti, 39
Telephone and Fax + 39 577 940121
333 4518062 360 711979

The daughter of the house speaks good English; the parents speak very simple English! Keep conversations on the phone simple!
I hope you have as much fun in the Tuscany Valley as we did.

For more information on several nice local places to stay, visit my website