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Best of Tuscany for a 10 days trip

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Dec 20th, 2011, 02:45 AM
  #1
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Best of Tuscany for a 10 days trip

Dear Fodorers,
We might be considering a trip to Tuscany for ten days mid of May. We are a couple in our early forties with a 3 years old baby boy.
My question is a typical one but I really need your input to make up my mind.
Can you give me the names of the top 10 villages/towns to see in Tuscany? something like the must sees? I know it depends on our base but this is not yet chosen. Suggestions are welcome but we usually like to stay in 4-5 star modern hotels and in an area that has shops, supermarkets and pharmacies just in case (you know we have a small child).
We usually chose one base and rent a car to drive to villages and towns.
We like scenery and to wonder in attractive towns with cobbled streets (prefer elevated ones though) and nice souvenir shops, we do not drink so wine is not the criteria to base our choices on but love to see vinyards as a background. We also like to eat well and drink the delicious cappuccino!
Can you give us some suggestions and the name of the main piazza or area for each please.
Also for those who wish to suggest a base for our trip, can you suggest a good modern neat hotels?
Many thanks in advance.
Misho is offline  
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Dec 20th, 2011, 04:33 AM
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not sure what elevated cobbled streets are

Lucca, Pisa, Florence, Sienna, Corvina, Pienza, Voltorra, Chiusi, Montepulciano, San Gim (all the tat shops you want).

supermarkets; do you realise that Italy has lots of little shops, markets and small supermarkets. Walmart unlikely

4-5 star, why?
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Dec 20th, 2011, 05:44 AM
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You need to get a good guide book and spend some time deciding what you think are the main attractions of Tuscany. We have been several times and have stayed in the Greve area where we were able to visit many of the towns between Florence and Siena. We have also stayed in Siena and visited towns south of there including Muntalcino, Pienza and Montepulciano. There is a wealth of information on this forum - search for Tuscany trip reports to get an idea of posters favorites.

If you want one base, you may want to consider a villa or agritourismo.
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Dec 20th, 2011, 06:22 AM
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You will get many varied opinions here, so let me suggest you ask an expert. Buy the compact book TOP 10 TUSCANY by Reid Bramblett---only $10 on Amazon.

I prefer the area south of Siena, but Tuscany is large. Your chocie of location will be key.
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Dec 20th, 2011, 10:18 AM
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Orvieto, Siena, Assisi, Civita Di Bagnorregio (stunning!), Chiusi (Old Town is really nice), Montepulchiano, Pienza, Citta Della Pieve...

The biggest supermarket we came across was one called Familia, however, we much preferred the smaller shops and markets. Pharmacies you should be able to find if you need one. Mind you, they're not 24/7 like we're used to here...
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Dec 20th, 2011, 07:15 PM
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Tuscany covers about 9000 square miles (23,300 square kilometers). You need to do some homework and decide where you want to go based on your interests (art, history, architecture, food, cheese, festivals, etc.).

There is no single, definitive list of Top 10 towns/villages in Tuscany, although you may find a concensus of opinion on a few destinations.

There are shops, food markets and pharmacies throughout Tuscany because residents need these amenities, too.
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Dec 21st, 2011, 12:40 PM
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"Modern"and Tuscany do not nessessarily go together..
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Dec 21st, 2011, 02:01 PM
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With a small child, you might be much more comfortable in an apartment.

Here is one with modern design in a great location just south of Siena, and from there you can easily dip into both Chianti and the val d'Orcia. It is quite close to the town of Sinalunga, which has excellent supermarkets and pharmacies.

http://www.yourtuscanvilla.com/holid...le/profile.htm

You should try to track down recent reviews.

There are quite a few modern hotels in Florence, and while I'm not suggesting you stay there for 10 days, you might consider a week's rental in the countryside and a few nights in Florence. Here's just one example of a modern design hotel in Florence:

http://www.lungarnocollection.com/en/the-collection
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Dec 23rd, 2011, 10:54 PM
  #9
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Thank you all for your input...I have asked the question with my interest mentioned being scenery, small towns, food, vinyards...I mentioned the age and having the boy to give you some info in order for you to be able to guide me.
I thank those of you who were specific and answered my question with names of villages...
For those who asked me to do some homework, it is a bit depressing as I think my question on this forum is part of it...Maybe you are right...so I will try to read more..
Many thanks to all.
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Dec 24th, 2011, 05:49 AM
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I just noticed in a post above regarding Italian pharmacies that "they're not 24/7 like we're used to here".

By law Italian pharmacists must be available 24/7. In many towns there are two pharmacies which alternate their days off. All have telephone numbers posted for hours when they are shut. Hospitals also have onsite pharmacies are are open 24/7

I don't know where "here" is as referred to above, but it was only when I lived in the very largest cities in America that I found pharmacies open 24/7, and even then, the seldom had a pharmacist working all hours and, even if they did, they were forbidden to actually give me medicine unless I presented a prescription. By contrast, an Italian pharmacist is licensed to sell many antibiotics and remedies over the counter, without a doctor's pre-approval.

In an emergency, it is not hard to find a needed medicine in Italy wherever you go, at any time of day, and Italians who will help you if you don't speak Italian.
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Dec 24th, 2011, 06:05 AM
  #11
JBX
 
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A good trip report is your friend (& part of your "homework") ...... here are links to a couple TR's on the forum. However, may also want to search for TR from travellers who've vacationed w/ young children as that does add add'l consideration than an adults only trip. As already suggested, may want to stay in apt or villa vs. hotel.

Trip Report ~ 2 weeks in Tuscany/Umbria >>>
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...canyumbria.cfm

___________



Our Happy Return to Sunny Tuscany >>>
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ologna-too.cfm


==========================
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Dec 24th, 2011, 07:47 AM
  #12
RJD
 
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I have little to add to the experts above. We have however stayed in a rented apartment on the outskirts of Siena three times for tours of Tuscany. Here's the address: http://www.lemeridiane.com/
It is conveniently located, although a little difficult to find the first time, and close to markets and shops. From here it's an easy drive to Chianti or Pienza and the Wine road.
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Dec 25th, 2011, 04:16 AM
  #13
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Many many thanks to all of you. Much appreciated.
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Dec 25th, 2011, 07:03 AM
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Misho, zeppole gives great advice above. Those posters who suggest you read first and ask questions later are simply realizing that what people love about Italy (and any other place) is SO diverse. We have argued often and long about the top 10 of anything!

Although I have never stayed there, Arezzo appears to fit your "centrally located" criteria. Here's a link:

http://www.abctuscany.com/arezzo/arezzo-town/index.cfm

There is a Home at that site that mentions other towns in the area. All that being said, my late hub and I loved (in no special order and not all in Tuscany) Pisa, Florence, Orvieto, Siena, Perugia, Gubbio, Spoleto, Assisi and always Rome and Venice.

Do remember that you can fly into one city and out of another to avoid any backtracking should you end up with more than one base. Please let everyone know what you decide and have a super trip.
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Dec 25th, 2011, 12:37 PM
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Sorry to hijack the thread

RJD - the villa you posted looks terrific. As you have stayed there more than once, can I ask if there are a lot of stairs? I am thinking of taking my parents to Siena, and my Mum has some difficulty climbing steps.
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Dec 26th, 2011, 01:26 AM
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I loved Lucca when we went a couple of years ago- pretty town, not too big but in a good location for other areas nearby, and not too far from Pisa airport. Although this isn't the hotel/ amenities place you mentioned, we stayed also in a cottage on a vineyard for a few days too- http://fattoriacasasola.com/english/accommodations.htm
it was wonderful, and the owners were super friendly. free tour of the vineyard and tasting too.
Sienna is gorgeous, and the little towns of Montalcino and Montepulciano to the south are lovely to walk in.
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Dec 26th, 2011, 02:31 PM
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willit,

In case RJD doesn't revisit this thread, this website indicates the residence she linked to is accessible for wheelchairs and baby buggies, which generally means there are ground floor rooms.

http://www.hellotourist.net/en/sajatlap.php?ID=18077

However, if you've never been to Siena, it is hard to imagine how it can be toured by someone who cannot climb stairs. Much of the city is incredibly steep, and access to some of its major sights requires climbing stairs or steep inclines. Florence, Lucca, Arezzo and Pisa are flat Tuscan cities.
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Dec 26th, 2011, 02:41 PM
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Thanks Zeppole. I know Siena fairly well, having spent a couple of months there a few years ago (it is almost certainly my favourite city anywhere).

Yes, I agree with you, it is a totally inappropriate place to think about for a person with mobility problems.

My problem is that I have raved about the city so much that my parents have sort of set their hearts on seeing it. It is their 50th Anniversary next year, and as soon as I offered to finance a trip for them, they immediately wanted to go to Siena.

I thought the residence may be suitable if there was ground floor access (thank you for that link) if I cannot persuade them that they might like to return to Lucca.
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Dec 30th, 2011, 06:39 AM
  #19
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The place in Siena, although very nice, has many stairs since it sits on a hillside. I barely noticed them but it's not for the disabled.
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Jan 26th, 2012, 06:24 PM
  #20
 
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bookmarking for a possible trip to italy this summer!
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