Florence or Tuscany

Old Jul 5th, 2005, 03:32 PM
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Florence or Tuscany

My fiancee and I are leaving in October for our honeymoon. So far our tentative itinerary is 3 days in Venice, 3 days in Florence or Tuscany, 3 days in Rome and 2 days on the Amalfi Coast.

My problem is I'm not sure whether we should stay in Tuscany or Florence? This is our first trip to Italy and we're both not huge art or museum type folks. We're more interested in soaking up the Italian culture.

Should we stay in Tuscany and do a day trip to FLorence, or vice versa? Any suggestions is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Old Jul 5th, 2005, 04:04 PM
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Hi JennyP! Congratulations on your upcoming wedding!

For me, Florence is about art, the magnificence of the Renaissance around every corner, churches with art, shoes, (and other great shopping) and food. In that order. Since you aren't that into the artsy museum thing, it sounds like you may have more fun in Tuscany, skipping Florence altogether. You don't have to do a day trip there to have a great time in Tuscany. The only reason why I say this is that I once became very friendly with a young couple on their honeymoon in Florence (we rode there on the train together and shared several dinners during our mutual stay). When all was said and done, they felt that since they didn't want to spend hours in the Uffizi or wandering in and out churches looking at frescoes, they could have skipped Florence. This is not to say that Florence doesn't have anything else to offer, but it sounds like the rollng hills of Tuscany, some vineyards, and interesting, medieval, walled towns may captivate you more.

I would try the southern portion, the Val D'Orcia. You can travel among the lovely hill towns of Montalcino, Montepulciano, Pienza, to name a few, and maybe do a day trip to Siena for a jaw-dropping look at their Duomo (for a more singular dose of the Renaissance) and hanging out on Il Campo, just soaking it all in.

Good luck with your plans!

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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 08:47 AM
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ira
 
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Hi Jenny,

When in October? The AC closes down late in the month.

If you plan on staying in the Tuscan countryside, I suggest a car.

There is more to florence than just museums. If you stay there, you can visit Siena as a daytrip.

See http://www.sita-on-line.it/

Have a great visit.

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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 08:56 AM
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I assume you mean Florence or some other place in Tuscany, since Florence is in Tuscany. I would rent a car, and stay in a rural inn or farmhouse, or a small hilltown like Montepulciano. From there, you can do a day trip to Florence via bus or car.
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 09:32 AM
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We were thinking of going to the AC on Oct. 20-23. Will it still be open? Or should we just skip the AC altogether and spend more time in Rome, Venice and Tuscany.

If Florence isn't too far from one of the hilltown's in Tuscany, I might just stay in Tuscany then. I was just worried that I might be missing out on something by not staying in Florence.

Thank you all for your suggestions.
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 09:34 AM
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If you only have 3 days in Tuscany (as noted above, Florence is part of Tuscany), you might want to stay near Siena and rent a car. Siena is right in the middle of things and it will allow you to visit Florence for one day, Siena and surrounding area (San Gimignano) for one day, and the southern part of Tuscany for one day (Pienza, Montalcino, and Montelpuciano).

One thing you can be sure of - whatever you decide to do, You'll enjoy your visit to Tuscany.
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 10:14 AM
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We have been to Tuscany twice, both times we were there for 3 days. On our first trip, we stayed at a campground about 10 miles south of Florence and went to Florence for the day. We aren't into museums but I have had a crush on Donatello's David (which is at the Bargello) since I saw it on a PBS art show. We started our morning at the Bargello, and then climbed to top of the Duomo (an absolutely unforgettable experience you should do if you are in good shape). Strangely, we never saw the famous David, but wandered through back streets and saw modern artisans carving statues and throught that was as interesting. We also went to the church of Santa Croce where Galileo and other famous Florentines are buried. On our second stay in the area, we never made it to Florence

On both stops in Tuscany, we made it to San Gimiagno, Monterrigioni and Sienna. We stayed at a wonderful B&B just outside San Gimiagno called Pondere Montese on our last trip....very clean, great price and good breakfast. Though it is a bit touristy, San Gimiagno is a beautifully preserved walled town with great towers (Rent the movie Breakfast with Mussolini). Monterrigioni is a very quaint hilltop town that is pleasant to stroll through. Siena is interesting but it never really grabbed me like the rest of Tuscany, but its duomo is fascinating. Two things to note about the duomo: the shrime of helmets and the exterior walls where you can see how grandiose their construction plans had been.

While you are in Venice, be sure to get to Burano, the lace island. If there is any sunshine, a day in Burano will make you smile.

I've got more advice and some pictures at my website....www.eurfirst.com.
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 10:16 AM
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Dear Jenny,
I have been doing lots of research on Tuscany for a girlfriend of mine who plans to get married there next Spring.I found this villa Plazzio Ravizza, in Siena. There have been lots of positive posts on this board and tripadvisor.com .It seems to be an ideal loaction to experience Florence and many of the hill towns in Tuscany. You may want to consider it as an option.
Fluffy
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 11:00 AM
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Thanks Fluffy,

I just checked out the Hotel and its beautiful! I'll definitely look into it.
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 11:32 AM
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Hi Jenny:

Congratulations! The 20th to the 23rd the Amalfi Coast is still pretty much open. You would still enjoy it very much.

The thing I might suggest is to put the Amalfi Coast on the back burner. Do Venice for 2 or 3 nights and rent a house in Tuscany for one full week. You will be able to enjoy it a lot more. If you go to the Amalfi Coast you are going to be wasting two days for travel.From Florence to Naples on the EuroStar is at least 3.5 hours. Then you have the trip to Amalfi which can take a couple of more hours depending how you go.

If you keep your travel to the north you will get a lot more out of the trip and experience Italy as it should be savored. Besides Siena, San G, Assisi,there are so many little towns and villages to experience. Then do the AC on your 1st anniversary.
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 11:58 AM
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Jenny,
I agree w/ Anne, while I love the Amalfi coast I think you will be too rushed, espically since it's your first trip to Italy( trust me it won't be your last). I got married in Venice almost 2 years ago, it's the most romantic city and I think a must . Between Tuscany and Venice you will be able to have a nice relaxing honeymoon.You don't want to come home and not be able to tell which cities your photos. are from.
Plazzio Ravizza( Siena) is quiet resonable.Another charming B&B I am looking into is residenzadarte.com it also looks charming, and may be worth investigating.
Again many congrats.
Fluffy
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 12:03 PM
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Florence is IN Tuscany. Tuscany is a region; Florence is a city (and also the capital of one of the provinces within the region).
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Old Jul 6th, 2005, 12:04 PM
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Stayed at the Palazzo Ravizza in May and really liked it. Great location but service was only so-so. We had a street-side room and it was fine but really wished we had garden-side.
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