Frequent questions

Are there children's playgrounds in the area?

I'm afraid that I have never noticed any playgrounds around here. But there are other fun leisure activities for children, including swimming at the nearby Bolsena Lake (20 minutes drive), the Saturnia hot springs (25 minutes), and the beach (one hour to the coast). Several horseback riding stables are not far away; at the place where my daughter likes to go they also speak English (see their website). A fun excursion that is also suitable for children is to take the ferry boat from Porto Santo Stefano at the Monte Argentario to one of the islands, say, Giglio, then take the public bus up to the "castello" at the top of the island, and hike back down through the fields and orchards to the harbor area for the return boat trip to the mainland, which can all be done in a day, round trip.

Another fun trip for children (and adults) is to visit the Giardino dei Tarocchi, with its colorful sculptures set outside in the Mediterranean landscape by the French artist Niki de Saint Phalle, which is not far from the Etruscan tombs and museum in Tarquinia, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours drive from the house.

And come to think of it, maybe even the tombs and excavations there are of interest to children? Or the hike on the Etruscan trail from Pitigliano to Sovana? Or to explore the Etruscan tombs in Sovana?

What shopping facilities are available?

Sorano, Sovana and Pitigliano all have small food and grocery shops, post offices, and various handicrafts, ceramics, antiques and souvenir shops. Sorano and Pitigliano also have bakeries (the larger one is in Pitigliano), pharmacies, banks with cash dispensers, and gas stations. We always stock up on groceries at the supermarket in Pitigliano, which is part of the big Coop chain. It also has delicatessen and meat counters. While it is not the size of a typical American supermarket, everything you need is available there on a self-service basis - you schlep your purchases to the car yourself.

And there are great "pizzerie" and restaurants in all the towns. Our favorite "pizzeria" even has its own website, hard to believe. The nearest medical doctor is in Sorano, people say he is "bravo", and a hospital is located in Pitigliano - just to know for peace of mind. Details are in the guidebook in the house.

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