CT / Tuscany Itinerary Question

Old Feb 17th, 2013, 12:31 PM
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CT / Tuscany Itinerary Question

My husband & I will be in Italy this May (my first time, husband's second time) and will just be visiting Venice and Rome, with a day stop to Florence, during our 10 night stay. I now prefer "slow" travel as opposed to lots of moving around as we did that for many years! We pretty much have everything planned out with so much help from these forums. With 4 nights in Venice and 6 nights in Rome, I think we will have enough time to do and see the things that are of most interest to us.

My question actually is pertaining to the logistics of my trip to Italy which I am planning for next May (we vacation about the same time each year). I so much enjoy planning and researching our trips ... to me that's half the fun! This year's trip is 2 years in the making!

In any event, next year I am thinking Cinque Terre and Tuscany. I will have 10, 11 nights tops for this trip. I was thinking maybe 4 nights CT / 6 nights Tuscany:

I was hoping to visit Volt/San Gimig; Chianti area (not sure which town/s); Pienza area; maybe Arrezzo so I was thinking maybe:

nights 1-4: CT (not sure where yet) - no car
nights 5-6: San Gim (visit Volterra first then head to SG) - rent car in CT
nights 7-10: Siena area with a few day trips
night 11: Florence

My question for you would be would I be better off having just 1 base and visiting other towns as day trips? I am not set on the Siena area for a base if there is a location that would make better sense. What would be the best way to visit the areas on my list in 11 nights? What places could be easily grouped in a day trip?

Thank you!!
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Old Feb 17th, 2013, 01:02 PM
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You don't need four nights in the Ct, maybe three.
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Old Feb 17th, 2013, 02:20 PM
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I will take that into consideration. Four nights only leaves us 3 uninterrupted days which I feel we could fill with exploring the area and maybe a day trip to another coastal town (Portofino, Portovenere, etc). I know CT seems to be a place people either love or hate and from all I've researched, I feel we will really enjoy the area so I wanted to allow some wiggle room. However, if it compromises the rest of my trip, then this would be an option.

My biggest struggle is the logistics of the Tuscany area and whether I should stop in San Gim for a night or 2 en route from CT or just have 1 base for the 6 nights and do day trips.
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Old Feb 17th, 2013, 03:19 PM
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Here's an idea...works well if you have a car. We have done this about four times with various groups of friends. Find a town in the vicinty of Siena (which is pretty central in Tuscany) and use it as a base of operations. Rent an apartment or villa there. You can do a one week rental at Invitation to Tuscany, and even if you just stay six nights instead of seven, it will be reasonable. They have some rentals for couples as well as for larger groups, and you will probably spend less than you would on any hotel. If it's a small town (we love Casole d'Elsa, but others in the area would work), you can easily get away to visit other towns (not so easy from a bigger town), and you can also stroll around in the evenings and get to know the pace of the place and some of the locals (one of our favorite things about Casole). San Gimignano, Volterra, Siena, Pienza, Montalcino, and Siena are all within a short drive.
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Old Feb 17th, 2013, 04:32 PM
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<You don't need four nights in the Ct, maybe three.>

We rented an apartment in Manarola and stayed 8 nights..Believe me we could have stayed longer.

We took day trips to Pisa,Portofino and the surrounding areas.We enjoyed taking the little train and vist the CT villages and hike the easier trails.

It was one of the most beautiful and relaxing vacation that I have ever taken.Even my 9 years old grandson remember the happy times spent in CT.

Actually it was his favourite place despite that we spent 6 weeks between Italy and France.
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Old Feb 17th, 2013, 04:41 PM
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I think 4 nights in the Cinque Terre would work just fine, especially as you already know there are things you want to do there. I'm assuming the nights will include your arrival day; then you can head into Tuscany on the morning after your fourth night.

Six nights in Tuscany in one location or two depends on your interest in driving the same roads as you take your day trips. For us, we'd probably make two stays, one further north and one further south (maybe San Gimignano and Montalcino, for example). DH and I don't really like Chianti wine, so we have only visited there once; our other visits to Tuscany have been further south.

It sounds like most people take the train to the Cinque Terre, but we've always driven there (but not driven in between the towns). You could do the opposite of what we did once - drive to the Cinque Terre, then drive from there into Tuscany, stopping as you go. You could visit Volterra or Certaldo, depending on your route. We also stopped once in Carrara, driving way up to where the marble is cut, and took a short tour. It was fascinating.
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Old Feb 17th, 2013, 04:59 PM
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The more I read, I am thinking we would most enjoy the southern areas of Tuscany although I still might want to day trip to Chianti. I will need to research at what point it makes better sense to depart from Rome vs Florence. I really appreciate the feedback!
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