Help with 1 week in Tuscany

Nov 13th, 2006, 11:32 AM
  #1  
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Help with 1 week in Tuscany

Hello there,

I am currently planning a 3 week Italian vacation for my hubby and I (early 30's), my parents and my inlaws (all in their 50's) and my 27 year old brother.

We are going Sept 1 - 23 2007 with a week in Rome, a week in Positano and a week in Tuscnay/Umbria. This is everyone's first time to Italy other than myself and my hubby. My hubby and I are big foodies and wine lovers.

I was hoping for some help for the Tuscany/Umbria portion.

We will be there the last week of our vacation Sept 15 - 22 (last night will be in Rome where we fly out of). We had to compromise on location of villa rental as my bro is on a strict budget. So we all agreed to splurge in Positano and stay in Umbria on the Tuscan border so that we can do both regions. We are staying in San Venanzo http://www.agrisantamaria.it/indexuk.asp

As there will be 7 of us, we will have 3 cars. We will train from Naples to Orvieto and pick up the cars there.

I wanted to plan for 2 villages a day, with the idea that people can pick up an itinerary for the day, come with the group, or stay at the villa...flexible but organized so that people can be as active as they want or as relaxed as they want.

We are not art lovers, so Florence is not high on our list. We wanted mostly small villages.

For day trips I have:
1. Montepulciano, Pienza, Montalcino
2. San Gimignano and Siena
3. Cortona and Arezzo
4. Assisi and Spello
5. Spoleto and Todi
6. Montefalco and Foligno

My questions are:
1. Are these groupings reasonable to do in a day
2. Any recommendations for great food or wineries in the areas?
3. Are we missing anything that comes to your mind?

Thank you so much for your help!

Jamie

jamikins is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 11:40 AM
  #2  
ira
 
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Hi J,

My rule of thumb for motor trips is that, if you want to see anything, it shouldn't take longer than 4 hrs to drive the route.

(I don't always follow this advice.)

You can check driving times at www.mappy.com and www.viamichelin.com

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 11:51 AM
  #3  
 
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Jamie, I always advise people to start with location and then look for accommodations. You have picked your location and it is fine for Umbria but not so good for Tuscany. Have you looked at viamichelin.com for time and distance to San Gim. or Montalcino? Get yourself a good map and draw a radius from your rental. Can you live with a 2 hours radius? Also, you may want to get the cars at Chiusi--it may effect the models available to you---ask Autoeurope. Overall, your trip sounds terrific.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 11:55 AM
  #4  
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Wow, thank you so much for the quick replies.

Yes, we do know its better for Umbria. That was the compromise. We are willing to drive the extra little bit to see some of Tuscany as my mom really wants to see it after watching Under a Tuscan Sun. Not ideal, but we really wanted my brother to join us...

Thank you for the feedback, I'll check into Chuisi.

Any more thoughts?

Jamie
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Nov 13th, 2006, 12:22 PM
  #5  
 
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IMO, you should not try to go all the way to Siena and San G from S Venanzo; rather than that, concentrate on the closer Val d'Orcia area - the most scenic part of the Tuscan countryside.

For instance, in addition to the three towns on your #1, for a second day, add S Quirico, Monticchiello, Bagno Vignoni and S Antimo.

I also think that Arezzo is too far and I don't know why you've included Foligno. I don't see Bevagna on your list and I recommend the little-known Monte Castello di Vibio.
TuckH is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 02:05 PM
  #6  
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Thanks again for all your insight!

Here's my revised plan...does this look more doable?

We can pick up the 3 cars in Chuisi

Daytrip 1 Montepulciano, Pienza, Montalcino
Daytrip 2 - S Quirico, Monticchiello, Bagno Vignoni and S Antimo
Daytrip 3 Cortona and Arezzo
Daytrip 4 Assisi and Spello
Daytrip 5 Spoleto and Todi
Daytrip 6 Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoregio

Thanks
Jamie
jamikins is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 02:56 PM
  #7  
 
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Better, especially the Civita di Bagnoregio add-on. Montefalco should stay in, together with Bevagna. Another goodie is Trevi, nearby.
TuckH is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 03:08 PM
  #8  
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Thanks Tuck...how woud you recommend adding Montefalco/Bevagna and Trevi? Add to an existing day, but which one?
jamikins is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 03:37 PM
  #9  
 
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Hi Jamie,

You said at the top, "We wanted mostly small villages." Therefore, I'd say to drop Arezzo and Cortona (not 'villages' and again, too much driving to get there) and focus on the 'heart' of Umbria, Assisi being the only larger-sized town there (and certainly worth a visit IMO).

I'd also consider choosing between Spoleto and Todi - they're a bit difficult to get into with a car (not to mention with a 3-car caravan). Maybe eliminate them both. Gubbio is another nice option too - a very interesting town and not hard to access.
TuckH is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 04:20 PM
  #10  
 
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Here's a helpful link to Umbria...

http://tinyurl.com/ymu5ca
TuckH is offline  
Nov 13th, 2006, 05:05 PM
  #11  
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Thanks again Tuck. Unfortunately my mom is very excited about Cortona, so that has to stay on.

We do want villages and towns. A good mix. Instead of Todi and Spoleto do you think maybe a day in Perugia? I know its a larger town, but seems interesting...?
jamikins is offline  
Nov 14th, 2006, 04:26 AM
  #12  
 
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Re: Perugia, I think your plate is quite full already...

You could easily spend the entire day in Assisi, especially if you include (which you should) the Eremo delle Carceri and San Damiano outside of town.

I haven't been to Cortona so I can't comment; it's a bit out-of-the-way, compared to the others - that's why.

I suggest that you should stay loose and flexible with the options you have; maybe you'll want (or need) to slow down the pace a bit.
TuckH is offline  
Nov 14th, 2006, 07:48 AM
  #13  
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Thanks Tuck, I really appreciate your thoughts! The idea is that people can grab preorganized daytrips if they want, or just hang out. I tend to be over organized

Thanks again!
Jamie
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