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Tuscany Villa rental family of 8/10

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Hi everyone,

Next summer I want to rent a villa in Tuscany for a month with my 3 kids, mom and perhaps my brother. I drove cross-country in Italy a few years ago and loved every moment. I stayed in San G and also Pienza for 6 days. I visited many of the hilltowns for a short day trip, but this was before children. We have 3 kids who will be 4, 7 and 9 next summer 2017. We are renting a villa with a pool. I found a good website rentvillas.com, but I have a few questions...

1. Do you recommend another website to book villas in Tuscany?
2. Which area in tuscany is best to stay with a more lively town nearby for dining?
Lucca, Pisa, Florence, Arezzo, Siena, Livorno or somewhere else?
Although with a car rental, we can probably get to most towns easily?
3. We want to train around Italy potentially. But will also have a car rental too. Should we stay closer to the train? How many trains are their in the Tuscany region?

Thanks in advance,
Natalie

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    www.parkervillas.com

    I would identify several villa possibilities that would work for your family, and then prioritize by location. I wouldn't decide on a location first and then look for a villa there.

    My preference would be Chianti, Val d'Elsa and Val d'Orcia over Lucca/Pisa and Livorno. The area immediately around Siena gets a lot of rush hour type traffic. Just about every town has a ZTL, so you need to learn about these no-traffic zones. It's a good idea to have an idea of where you're going to park (and how you're going to get to it) before you drive to a town.

    BTW, speaking from experience with a large family group in a Tuscan villa, I would rent at least 2 cars. One big car means you have to do everything together on the same schedule all the time. Small, twisty roads aren't as easy to drive with a big vehicle and finding parking can be more difficult. Etc. etc. Every driver needs to have an International Drivers Permit.

    There is fairly limited train service in Tuscany immediately south of Florence. There is bus service, but the timetables typically don't work very well for sightseeing and probably wouldn't be convenient for such a large group anyway.

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