Rome and Florence
Now here is the real difficulty because within 1.5 to maximum 2 hours from Gli Oppi are so many great cities. Rome is some 160 kilometers away and if you do not want to be troubled by the traffic there, then Marco will take you to the little train station in Sinalunga for the train to Chiusi and then on to Rome. That way you can be in the centre of Rome in some 2 hours.

You can also take the train to Florence from Sinalunga via Arezzo, but then you may decide to go by car. The city is less than 100 kilometers away and can be reached via the A1 in an hour or so. Rome and Florence are so well covered in guidebooks and all, that it is useless to say here more about these cities. So let me just mention 4 more places that might escape your attention namely Arezzo, Perugia, Assisi and Orvieto. These cities can all be reached in less than an hour and have each their attractions and charm.

Arezzo
Italians do not agree easily on matters of life such as the best pasta, wine, olive oil or football, but recently it was established that Arezzo is a very favourite place for all of them to live in. The good thing is that only some 90.000 do live there. The part of Arezzo uphill is surely the best, but start by walking up the hill through the shopping street Corso Italia. When you have managed to stroll up a few hundred meters you will have the Via Cavour on your left and we suggest that you go there and get yourself tickets for the chapel in the San Francisco Basilica in which the incredible paintings of “The Legend of the True Cross” can be admired. Maybe you have seen these frescos in “The English Patient”, but seeing them live is something different. Apart from the San Francisco Basilica you should go to the Piazza Grande. Every 1st Sunday of the month there is a very big antique market there where you can still find good buys if you are patient. While waiting for the prices to come down, go to the restaurant Logge Vasari and if it is sunny then reserve a table in advance outside (tel 0575295894; www.loggevasari.net). When you sit on the terrace of this restaurant on the Piazza Grande you can easily imagine why the movie “La vita e bella” was made here. Life is beautiful and Arezzo is a beauty close to home.

Gli Oppi is also not far from Umbria which is less well known as Tuscany, but there are also many places worth visiting.

Perugia
Some 60 kilometers of mainly 4 lane roads take you to the old “chocolate” city of Perugia. For miles you will follow the coast of the Lake Trasumeno, which lake and some of the villages on it such as Castiglione del Lago, have their own attractions. (But remember that it can be very crowded there in summer!) Because Perugia houses the university for foreigners you will see lots of young foreign students strolling the streets in the centre of town. Many reach that by taking the underground escalators from the railway station up the hill. There you stand at the end of the main street Corso Vannucci which you can follow to the duomo at the end. Just in front you can admire the fountain made by Pisano “Fonte Maggiore”. We like Perugia in the summer when there is the week long, famous Jazz festival and in the autumn when there is the biggest open air chocolate fair in the world. If you are hungry then try the Osteria del Gambero close to the Duomo in the Via Baldeschi 8.

Assisi
Some 25 kilometers away from Perugia is the city made famous by St Francis. It is a beautiful small old town in which you can feel religious particularly when seeing the many groups of pilgrims visiting the sites relating to St Francis. The Basilica di San Francisco comprises of an Upper Level and a Lower Level which were constructed in different periods. The Basilica was severely damaged by a rare earthquake in 1997 and can again be admired in all its glory.

Orvieto
Some 85 kilometers south of Gli Oppi on the way to Rome is on a flat high hill, the ancient city of Orvieto which is also famous for its white wines. When driving on the A1 towards Orvieto the old city can well be seen on the “table hill” some 200 meters above the valley. Closer by the black and white striped Duomo can be spotted. Make sure to go there so that you can visit this magnificent church and particularly the San Brizio Chapel inside which holds many fantastic frescos by Luca Signorelli. Time permitting a meal at I Sette Consoli (cl. Wednesday) or Osteria Numero Uno (cl. Monday) will make your visit memorable.