My husband and I will be spending 7 nights in Paris and then will be heading to Tuscany for a week to explore the hill towns and relax for 6 nights (then 2 nights in Rome since we're flying from Rome back to the states). We have never been to either Paris or the hill towns, though we've already been to Florence. This will be the first time we are traveling alone together since having kids 12 years ago (this trip is long overdue!!).
I was wondering if I could get suggestions on how to best spend our 6 nights-in-the-Tuscan-hill-towns leg of the trip. We'd prefer to stay in one area as our home base if it makes sense to do so. I want to do less so that I can enjoy more but am overwhelmed by how many places I want to go to because everything looks and sounds so great in the guide books and from trip reports.
From past suggestions on this forum people have suggested to fly Orly to Pisa (tickets haven't been purchased yet so if there's a better way to go, I'm all ears. Previously we were going to include the Cinque Terre in our trip and then realized it was too much moving around, so maybe that's why Pisa was recommended).
**So my first question is should we still fly into Pisa if Cinque Terre is off the itinerary?
If not, where do you suggest flying into if the goal is to relax and explore good food & wine, the outdoors/pretty buildings/parks/cute shops (and other not-kid-friendly stuff that I've probably left out... though I don't have a burning desire to see more Italian religious art as we've been to Italy before and had our share of museums), having conversations without being interrupted by our kids, etc. Q2bWhere would you stay as well for 5-6 nights?
If we should still fly into Pisa we thought we should at least take a peek at the leaning tower. I guess we'd leave our luggage in the left luggage service that the airport provides. Since I'd love to bicycle around Lucca since we'd already be so close would you stay in Pisa overnight to see more Pisa sights and then head to Lucca or see the leaning tower and then head to Lucca for a night or two? Then is it possible to have a home base for 4 nights since we may have spent 2 in Pisa/Lucca (maybe Sienna?? City and accommodations suggestions welcome!) and easily and in a relaxing way see San Gimignano, the Chianti trail or would you recommend going to Orvieto (I like white wines) or Montepulciano (not sure if I like these wines... need to get a bottle at my local wine shop to see but I heard it's amazing anyway)? Or should we spend our 6 nights differently? Any help is very much appreciated!
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