Undiscovered by Americans, worth a visit
If you are looking for a small town in Tuscany that has more affordable hotel rates, and cheaper food without cutting quality, Certaldo is a good bet.
To get to Certaldo Alto you can take a tram from the city piazza area up to the top of the hill. You can also drive around the side.
The view from Certaldo Alto is very nice and you can see San Gimignano across the valley. This is the birthplace of the author of The Decameron a set of stories written about a plague that struck the heart of Italy. These baudy tales are similar to England's Canterbury Tales.
You can reach Florence by train in about an hour, and there is also a train from Certaldo that goes to Siena and on to Rome. Tickets on Sunday are by machine.
The photos that follow will show Certaldo Alto and a hotel in which I stay when I am there painting.
This is a good place to stay. The people are very friendly and courteous. The food is typical Tuscan cuisine--they give cooking lessons.
The rooms are typical of a three star hotel, clean, and comfortable.
You have a choice of a view down at lower Certaldo or a view of Certaldo Alto. They will let you go up and see which one you like usually.
There are many places to eat near this hotel, and everything here is within a few minutes of walking.
Certaldo Alto is not over run by tourist souvenir shops, but instead has many artists selling their projects.
"Their garden at the hotel"
What a way to relax after a day of walking. This garden is within the hotel grounds. They take great pride in it and watch out for the turtles as you are walking.
To see more photos of the hotel and Certaldo, look at the appropriate titles. dining and hotels.