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Organic Tuscany - Certaldo

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In October I will be taking a trip with my two Aunts. I have never been to Italy. We fly into Florence, and are attending a cooking class 3 miles from Certaldo. We've been advised that we need to get a car in Certaldo, as they don't provide transportation.

Our current plan is to arrive in Florence the day before the class, take a train to Siena and spend the night there, then Sat. morning take a train to Certaldo, get the car and go to the villa. We spend 6 days/7 nights there. We have 2 additional nights before we leave, and we're thinking we'll drop the car in Certaldo, take the train over to Florence, and spend the 2 nights there (we have a 7am flight out of Florence.)

Questions

- Should we get a rail pass? Book P2P ahead for each train? Wait to buy train tix 'til we arrive?

- I'll be doing the driving, and am used to a Camry. Should I get a comparably sized car or go smaller?

- need reasonably priced hotels in Siena & Florence

- one of my aunts wants to take a side trip to Assisi. Is this feasible with our time available? We arrive on a Fri. around 12pm, need to be at the villa around 5pm on Sat. The following week, we leave the villa Sat. morning, and fly out Mon. AM.

thanks!

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