08 July 2018

Wine tasting in Toscana Chianti without renting a car

Are you visiting Florence or Sienna and want to go on a wine tasting tour without renting a car?
No problem. You can reach the small town Poggibonsi by train from both Sienna and Florence.
This is the perfect place for wine tasting in Chianti without a car.

You can stay at one of the hotels in Poggibonsi and one or two nights up in the hotel in the wine district hills. There are no taxis outside the trains station so chose a hotel close to the train station.
We stayed at hotel Toscana Ambassador. It was a modern hotel and at a very good price.
There are several nice restaurants and small wine bars in Poggibonsi where you can have lunch or dinner.

Ask the hotel reception to pre-book a taxi for your wine tour trip before you trips. There are not many taxis, so you should pre-book. A good taxi in Poggibonsi is Chianti drive. You can reach the taxi driver Stefano di Ciappi on +39 333 284 9710. Or email ciappi.stefano@virgilio.it

You should also call the wine estates and pre-book a wine tasting before you trips.


Day 1. 
Arrival in Florence or Sienna and sightseeing.

Day 2. 
Take the train to Poggibonsi from Florence or Sienna. The train costs less than 10 euro single way.
The train takes approximately 1,5 hours from Florence.
Check in at Toscana ambassador hotel.
Address: Via Salceto 11, 53036 Poggibonsi, Italy.

The picture below is from Poggibonsi city centre.

Wine tasting 1
Go for wine tasting at Castello di Monsanto. This wine tasting in a old italian castle is very nice. It costs approximately 20 euro for the wine tasting per person and the taxi costs 20 euro single way.
The wine tasting experience also included an interesting tour of the wine cellar and wine production area. This is approximately 15 minutes by taxi from Poggibonsi.

The pictures below are from Castello di Monsanto.

Wine tasting 2
At walking distance from Castello di Monsanto you can also find another wine estate. If you want to do two wine tastings in the same day. The second wine estate close to Monsanto and on the same road is Castello della Peneretta. This is on walking distance.

A bit further on the same road, for you who like a long walking distance, there are also two more wine estates: Quercia al Poggio and Isole & Olena.

Taxi back to Poggibonsi.
In the evening you can have dinner in one of the many great Italian restaurants in Poggibonsi.

Day 3.
Check out from hotel Toscana ambassador.

Taxi transport and check in to the Hotel Villa San Giorgio.
Address: Località Cinciano, 53036 Poggibonsi, Italy.
The Hotel Villa San Giorgio also has a nice small restaurant.
The taxi costs 25 euro single way.
This is approximately 15 minutes by taxi from Poggibonsi.

Take a walk about 10 minutes from the villa San Georgio to the wine tasting.
Wine tasting at wine estate Fattoria di Cinciano.
Address: Località Cinciano 2, 53036 Poggibonsi, Italy.
Theres is also a nice restaurant for dinner och bistro for lunch.
This place also has a lovely hotel if you prefer to stay here instead of Villa San Giorgio.
The wine tasting costs approximately 10-25 euro per person depending on how many wines you want to taste. Their olive oil is amazing. They sell both wine and olive oil in the wine shop/reception.
The wine tasting experience also included a small tour of the wine cellar and wine production area.

The pictures below are from Fattoria di Cinciano.

Day 4
Take a walk about 10 minutes from the villa San Georgio to the last wine tasting.
Wine tasting at Fattoria Le Fonti. This place has a bit more rural feeling and has no restaurant.
Address:  Loc. Le Fonti, San Giorgio, 53036 Poggibonsi, Italy.
The wine tasting costs approximately 10 euro per person. The wine tasting was free if you buy wine when we were there.

Checkout from San Georgio hotel.
Taxi transport to Poggibonsi train station.

This is the end of your wine tasting in Toscana without a car.

Train back to Florence.

The picture above is from Florence.

13 November 2016

Top 10 things to do for a weekend in Paris

Weekend in Paris

I have been to Paris, the capital of France, several times but this year was the first as a tourist. We went for a weekend trip to lovely Paris.

These are my top 10 favorites while visiting during a weekend.

Top 10 things to do in Paris 

1. The view of the Eiffel Tower is amazing. Taking a picture of yourself in front of the Eiffel Tower with the lovely fountains, is a must.

2. Visiting the museum Musée Marmottan Monet was one of the best museum moments in my life. It is the world´s largest collection of Monet paintings. Wow! I was totally stunned by all the beautiful paintings.
One of Monets sons had no children and he donated all his fathers paintings to this museum. It has a collection of over 300 hundred Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works by Claude Monet.

3. If you like to go shopping you can visit the Lafayette department store to buy some expensive designer label souvenirs. (The word souvenir comes from French word for memory). Another nice department store is Printemps.

And go up on the roof of the department store Lafayette. There is an public area with  a possibility to a fab view of Paris roof tops. In the summer there is a restaurant and bar. Fee entrance, fab view!

There is also a big shopping mall called Forum des Halles on Rue Saint Denis. If you are hungry go to one of the nice restaurants and sit outside in the sun on the square next to the mall.

4. Montmarte is a lovely part of Paris, it is an old art district. Visit it to buy art in the street, eat at cozy restaurants and enjoy the atmosphere. Many famous painters worked here, such as Dalí, Monet, Picasso and van Gogh.
When in Montmartre you should also visit the beautiful church Basilica of the Sacré Cœur. It is definitely worth the walk up the hill.

5. If you like fashion, go to the museum of fashion. Afterwards have lunch at the libanese restaurant Noura close to the museum. Great food and friendly people. If you are unsure on what to order. Ask the people by the next table for advice.

6. After walking on the famous street Champs-Élysées go to the beautiful monument the Arc de Triomphe and take some pictures.
It stands on the Place Charles de Gaulle and is the second largest triumphal arch in the world. The monument is huge, 50 m in height and 45 m wide and I read that Charles Godefroy flew with an airplane through it in 1919.

7. The Louis Vutton Fondation is a museum in an extraordinary building. It has different exhibitions which are very popular. Book you ticket online in advance to avoid the queues. Next to it is a large park for a nice walk in the sun.

8. Notre dame is a large church which is also on the must-see-list when visiting Paris.

9. The perfect ending of a day in Paris is a dinner at the Eifel Tower, followed by a slow one hour cruise on the Seine River. You can book it through a tour operator.
or have a romantic dinner for two at gourmet restaurant Les Bacchantes, Rue de Caumartin 21.

10. A visit at a roof top bar is nice after dinner, or for some before dinner-drinks.
In style: Enjoy a drink and watch the sun set at lux hotel Shangri-La Hotel on 10 Avenue d’Iéna. It should be open to the public from 4pm to 11:30pm during the summer. 
Trendy: Nüba is a roof top bar and café during the day and a club with dj:s at night. The trendy largest terrace in Paris above Cité de la Mode et du Design (The City of Fashion and Design), which houses the French fashion institute, shops, and exhibition spaces. 

Where to stay? Well if you trust Coco Chanel´s good taste, the Ritz Paris hotel is the choice for you. She lived here for many years and it is one if the most luxurious hotels in Paris.

More shopping?
The best markets in Paris are Marché Pual Bert and Marché Serpette, The market in Saint-Quen Paris 18e.
Didier Ludot, 33 rue Valois Paris 1 for vintage clothes, close to Palais Royal.

I also got a recommendation for these restaurants but I haven´t tried them yet.
La Tour d´Argent is apparently the most famous (and expensive?) restaurant in France. A Tsar and a few Kings and Queens have dined here.
* A lunch in the garden of restaurant Laurent looks marvellous and the beautiful pictures on their website makes me want to call them to reserve a table immediately.

PS. Did you bring your kids? 
Stay an extra day and go to Eurodisney, totally fun for the young ones. But avoid to go there in July-August when it is totally overcrowed. 
Another must visit with kids are the huge park with a lot of attractions next to The Louis Vutton Fondation museum. The park is called Jardin d acclimatation.

Do you know a restaurant, shop or an must-see in Paris that should be on my top list? Please leave a comment here.

22 February 2015

Day Spa in Östergötland, Sweden

A cheaper way to enjoy a luxury spa is to book a Day Spa Package.
These are my tips for a nice bargain Spa day in Östergötland, Sweden.

1. PAUS Ekoxen in Linköping http://www.pausekoxen.se/sv/spapaket/
Price in 2015 is 575 kr including a 35 minutes treatment and a light dinner (soup)

2. Söderköpings brunn. Day spa packages for spa on a Sunday.
Price in 2015 on Sundays 350 kr, including coffee, but excluding treatment.

3. Villa Fridhem in Kolmården, close to Norrköping
Price in 2015 435 kr, weekends including breakfast buffet, but excluding treatment

4. Kolmården African Spa and relax, close to Norrköping
Price in 2015 495 kr, including lunch, but excluding treatment

5. Nettans Spa in Linköping
Price in 2015 is 595 kr/2 hours in the spa, but excluding treatment