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Allan & ellen Jul 9th, 2001 06:30 PM

Florence as a center for touring Tuscany
My wife and I are planning to spend 5 nights in Florence. We were hoping to use Florence as a central point to see other parts of Tuscany. In an AAA guide book it said, "..and don't plan to use Florence as a base for touring the rest of Tuscany". -- Does anyone have any idea why AAA would say this.

x Jul 9th, 2001 06:42 PM

Maybe because it's expensive and hard to park so there's no point staying there overnight unless you plan to enjoy it during the day?

Leslie Jul 10th, 2001 01:05 AM

That's exactly right. Kinda like staying in NYC, when you really want to tour Long Island. You don't want to have a car in Florence. Just driving into and exiting this city is nerve racking, and overnight parking is expensive. Stay in Florence for about three nights without a car (I'm assuming you do want to see Florence?). Then pick-up a rental car and exit the city to a small town to use as your base for touring the countryside and smaller towns.

Suggestion Jul 10th, 2001 05:32 AM

It wouldn't be so bad having a car in Florence if you stayed in a hotel on the outskirts of Florence. We stayed at a hotel in Fiesole and one near the Galluzzo district, both are about 10-15 minutes outside of Florence either by bus/taxi. You could park your car at the hotels without a problem and when you wanted to go into the city you could just use public transportation which was very convenient. I don't know if that negates the whole idea of having a car but it's just a suggestion. What is your hotel budget? I'd be happy to give you the info on the hotels we used, both were wonderful.

Tom Jul 10th, 2001 10:27 AM

Hi Allen and Ellen <BR>My wife and I rented a car in France and drove around Provence before driving on to Italy just a few weeks ago and we loved driving in the countryside but everywhere but it was <BR>maddening, frustrating and crazymaking <BR>to drive in the cities - one way streets, difficulty with language, <BR>public parking does not exist (except on sidewalks) - we could give you chapter and verse. You will love the countryside but you will need a guide and maybe a guide dog for the old towns- of them all, Florence was the worst - even with two maps. We were told to park at the airport and taxi into Florence and wished we had done it. Tom

lee Jul 10th, 2001 02:04 PM

We were based in Florence for 6 nights in June. We spent 3 full days in Florence and 2 full days driving in the country. This worked out fine for us since we rented the car for only the 2 days, parking it overnight in a parking garage near our hotel for USD 17.00. We did this because we like to stay in one hotel. This does however add extra driving time (1- 1 1/2 hours each direction each day. I would definitely stay in one of the Tuscan towns if you have no plans to tour Florence (which I think is a mistake).

catherine Jul 10th, 2001 02:26 PM

I would use Florence as a base if you don't intend to drive. I spent a week in Florence a few years ago and found it very easy to take day trips by bus. I visited Siena, Fiesole, and Greve in Chianti (where we rented bikes and visited a beautiful winery).

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