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4 Days in Tuscany in mid October for Honeymoon

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Feb 28th, 2013, 01:24 PM
  #1
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4 Days in Tuscany in mid October for Honeymoon

Hello, I am starting to plan our honeymoon (I will be 34, my wife to be 30) for October, 2013, and is our first trip to Tuscany. Starting to do my homework, and just overwhelmed with the possibilities in Tuscany.

We will be arriving in Florence on Monday morning. Our plan is to decompress, relax, enjoy the wines and food of Tuscany, and explore the Tuscan country side for 4-5 days before heading to Venice. During these 4-5 days in Tuscany we will NOT be going into Florence, as we are going to return to Florence after Verona.

I am thinking of spending our first night (Monday) just outside of Florence in Bagno a Ripoli at Villa Olmi as would be a good starting point for Tuscany. We would go directly from the Florence airport to Bagno a Ripoli. This way we could relax after our flight (coming from NYC) and enjoy the grounds and get our bearings.

Our ideal time in Tuscany (Tuesday-Thursday or Friday) would be spent exploring (we will rent a car) the countryside, stopping at small villages/towns, enjoying the vistas, wine tasting, olive oil tasting and enjoying the food.

We definitely want to visit Siena and Greve and do a Chianti tour. I expect that we stay in at least 1 (possibly 2) other hotels during our time in the Tuscan countryside as it is too big of an area to have just 1 home base.

We are not the type of people that like to have a concrete itinerary where we have to stick to a schedule and can't spend an afternoon sitting at a cafe or wandering thru a small town that we discover. Basically, I am trying to get a rough idea of itinerary suggestions - restaurants, vineyards, towns, etc.

A loose itinerary I was thinking was the following:
Monday and Tuesday nights staying in Bagno a Ripoli
Wed night stay in Cortona
Thurs and Fri nights stay in Siena

Sat wake up and drive from Siena to Verona (or drive from Siena to Florence, return the rental car and take the train to Verona).

Does this itinerary allow us to immerse ourselves in the Tuscan countryside and experience some of the countryside without too much travel?

Would you recommend taking a tour or just doing everything on our own (with rental car)?

Would you recommend leaving rental car in Florence and taking train to Verona or to drive from Siena to Verona?

Sorry for the length of this post - but it is overwhelming planning to see and experience just a small part of the Tuscan countryside. Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this and to offer your suggestions!

Ryan
rjmcgovern is offline  
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Feb 28th, 2013, 07:04 PM
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Hi Ryan,

I understand about not wanting to be obligated to certain sightseeing and thinking you want to move around to 2 or 3 different hotels in 4-5 days. But - my first thought is if you have reservations at 2 or 3 places, you will be obligated to get to them!

I've visited Tuscany and Umbria just two times. Far less than many Fodorites. Once we stayed 4 nts in the tiny village of San Sano (Chianti are) and did day trips from there. We absolutely loved it. Day trips were to

1. San Gimignano & Volterra - long full day
2. Siena - 1/2 day
3. Greve - leather factory tour, return to Hotel San Sano for a little pool time
4. La Badia di Coltibuono - lovely long lunch

My second visit:

Stayed 3 nts in Montalcino (home of brunello)
1. Gregorian Chants at Sant'Antimo, met friends in Montepulciano for lunch
2. Pienza and Monte Olivetto for frescos
3. Montalcino and wine tasting

Really enjoyed both.

I think you should pick a base for the entire 4-5 days, relax and drive/wine taste where ever suits you. There is much to enjoy where ever you choose. Maybe pick Montalcino if you are fans of the Brunellos....

Whatever your choice - you will return.

Buon viaggo!
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Feb 28th, 2013, 07:24 PM
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I agree with one base but I would make it near Siena for coverage in both directions. Chianti is much different than south Tuscany and you can see both from that location.
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Feb 28th, 2013, 08:56 PM
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Me, I would skip the whole Villa Olmi thing. Yeah, it's luxurious, and you won't need a car, but what exactly will you do there other than hang around the hotel? Yeah, I know, honeymoon stuff. But one can do honeymoon stuff in a much more interesting place.

I'm assuming you will use the shuttle to Villa Olmi. Which means you will need to go back to Florence to get your car. Now you're scheduled anyway. I say go immediately to some very nice place that is more interesting that Bagno a Ripoli. Get your car at the airport and pick a spot an hour or so away. That opens much more time for seeing some great sights in Tuscany.

I'm curious about your overnight flight from NY to Florence. Is there really a direct flight?
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Mar 1st, 2013, 07:14 AM
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Thank you all for your responses....

So the reason I had initially thought of Bagno a Ripoli and Villa Olmi is that I had found it on a deal site and I wanted something that would not be a long drive from the airport.

There are NOT direct flights from NYC to Florence....we are flying into Frankfurt where we have a 2 hour layover and then dont arrive in Florence until around 12.30pm (i mistakenly thought we arrived at 11am until I checked my flight confirmation this morning). I am going to rent a car at Florence Airport and will keep the car for the 5 days.

We are not going to do Villa Olmi (thanks to your advice and the advice of Trip Advisor). My thought now (and we are still in the planning stage so this is subject to change) is to drive from the airport and make a 2 day base in either San Casciano Val di Pesa or Greve. The Monday will just spend the rest of day on the grounds of the hotel and go to bed early. Tuesday perhaps a wine tour (would anyone recommend this rather than driving ourselves)?

Wed I am planning on doing the cooking class with Katia at Il Vicario in San Gimignano.

And then explore Siena, Montalcino and perhaps Arezzo and Cortona before returning the car to Florence on Sat.
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