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Daytrip from Pienza to Florence: to meet up w/ the Inlaws!

Daytrip from Pienza to Florence: to meet up w/ the Inlaws!

Old Sep 24th, 2009, 04:06 AM
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Daytrip from Pienza to Florence: to meet up w/ the Inlaws!

My DH and I will be in Pienza while my Inlaws will be in Milan. They wanted to meet up w/ us in Florence - we will both have cars. Would do a day trip up from Pienza, meet in Florence, and then each will return to indiv. vacations, so we'll drive back to Pienza.

Is this crazy?
Where would we park our cars?
Assuming we'll have different arrival times into Florence, and that we would meander around until the "set time", what would be some appropriate places to meet?

thanks!
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Old Sep 24th, 2009, 05:22 AM
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Meet in front of the Duomo, opposite the Baptistery. Very central.

I think driving down from Milan for the day, especially if the in-laws will drive back to Milan, is a bit crazy--it's a 3.5-4.5 hour drive depending on their route.
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Old Sep 24th, 2009, 06:15 AM
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Why don't both sets of travellers go to Florence by train, you starting from Chiusi, and meet at SMN station?
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Old Sep 24th, 2009, 06:42 AM
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Thanks ellen about the info on the Milan drive; I'll have to advise them about that. Do you have any tips for us (DH and I) to navigate thru Florence? Should we park the car somewhere specific and then take public transport/walk to the Duomo?? I may prefer that than having to park in Chiusi and take the train in, which is another good idea... but want to do whatever is most efficient!
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Old Sep 24th, 2009, 06:49 AM
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I would take the AV train from Milan which is only two hours. Driving from Pienza would take less time than trains, but there are many areas in Florence you aren't allowed to drive.
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Old Sep 24th, 2009, 07:55 AM
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Certainly having your inlaws take the train would be more sensible -- except what are the doing with a car in Milano? Would they have to get from some other location outside Milano inside town to take the train?

And you are going to have to fight traffic to get into the city and find parking. Rather than Chiusi, you might check out using Arezzo for your park-and-train stop.

Are you all so keen on seeing Firenze? You won't have much time to do that and socialize. How about picking a great smaller town for a leisurely lunch and some leisurely sightseeing? I'm thinking Fiesole, or even Prato.

But in general, this attempt to meet up sounds more exhausting and tension-making than fun, but maybe your in-laws are more wild and crazy than mine.
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Old Sep 24th, 2009, 10:20 AM
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you know what zeppole, I was actually thinking the same thing last night (when I couldn't sleep, thinking about the trip!!)

I'll have to research Fiesole or Prato, since I don't know either... your thoughts?
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Old Sep 24th, 2009, 11:44 PM
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Florence is an easy rail destination coming from either direction, there are several trains an hour. If you meet at SMN station, you can stroll down to the Duomo, Piazza dei Signori, Ponte Vecchio, wherever.

Chiusi is not far from Pienza and is on the main Rome-Florence line. There is a free long term carpark.

Why give yourselves stress trying not to infringe the no-drive areas in Florence?
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Old Sep 25th, 2009, 12:38 AM
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pattytravel,

If I really was motivated to do what you are contemplating, I would probably figure out the mileage between where your inlaws are coming from and Pienza and try to meet exactly at the midpoint in a charming spot convenient to the autostrade with a fantastic restaurant. They are tucked all over italy, some in the gorgeous countryside, some inside charming cities.

By my caluculations, the midpoint would actually be somewhere between Bologna and Modena, Either city is a fantastic food destination, with a doable about of easy, enjoyable sightseeing (for Bologna, don't miss the church of Santa Maria della Vita and the anatomical theatre). If you pick Bologna, definitely check out the train connections. They might be great.

With a car, you can research some marvelous foodie destination in the flat countryside surroundings, especially near Modena, with its legendary vinegar. (It may be easier for me to think this way because I have the red Michelin book for Italia, but you can use via Michelin on line to find some of these spots. You might want to buy one. Even if you don't speak Italian, they are easy to decipher and a real asset for day trips.)

If for some reason you really do want this meet-up to be about Firenze, the train may be the better option, but be aware, unless I am mistaken, the train from Chiusi to Firenze doens't stop at Santa Maria Novella station but at Rifredi (I'm not sure I'm spelling). You probably would need a taxi to get to the Duomo. I've only changed trains in the station (for Chiusi, actually).

If you still want to drive to Firenze, you might consider a blow out lunch at villa san michele, just for ease of parking, and then share a cab into firenze.

http://www.villasanmichele.com/web/o...an_michele.jsp

Likewise, I might pick the restaurant La Loggia right above the Piazzele Michaelangelo for ease of parking and easy access to Firenze. You can take a bus or walk into the heart of town.

http://www.en.ristorantelaloggia.it/en/index.php


Last thing to consider? Weather. Think how you'll feel if you wake up to rain and find yourselves battling it, and then trying to walk around in downpours (or have booked a country spot for its views).

Ultimate safe bet for me would be great food in porticoed Bologna, getting to and from by train.

By like I said, my in-laws run have somewhat hysterical personalities, and I wouldn't dream of such an excursion. If you are all carefree adventurers who'll laugh if things blow up in your face, great. But do all have cell phones.

ciao!
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