Help with Florence/Tuscany Itinerary

Sep 19th, 2010, 12:25 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 1
Help with Florence/Tuscany Itinerary

Hello - My husband and I are planning a well-deserved vacation and need suggestions our itinerary. We are flying in and out of Florence and will spend the first 3-4 nights there and also the last day/night before we depart for home. In the interim, we would like to visit the following areas of Tuscany/Umbria :


Chianti Region - Sienna

southern part - montepulciano, Orvieto, possibly Spoleto.

We have approximately 12-15 days/nights ( again, I know we will want to devote first 3-4 days/nights in Florence).

Need help on where we should spend the night and/or just take day trips??? I think the driving time for this whole region we shouldn't be in the car for more than 3 hours (region is small). Also need advice on what to do about renting car. I know we will need once we leave Florence, but don't really want to get one upon immediate arrival. Can hotels get them for you - should I make a reservation and can they deliver it to the hotel?? I heard driving and parking in Florence is very challenging ( i hate to drive anyway!!!) Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
AWBettsfleck is offline  
Sep 19th, 2010, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 854
You should reserve a car before your trip--Autoeurope is a good resource--they are brokers who work with the local car rental companies and you can cancel or adjust without penalty-and they are competitive pricewise. I have never heard of delivery to your hotel in Florence--not practical with driving restrictions.

Because of your stay in Florence prior to the car rental, I suggest you rent a car downtown and follow their directions for exit from the city. Don't deviate from their directions and it is fairly easy.

If Lucca/Pisa are your only destinations west of Florence, they can both be easily reached by train in a loop or independently on a daytrip from Florence. This would allow you to stay another night in Florence.

Spoleto seems to be a bit far out of your travel orbit on this trip--nice town though.
macanimals is offline  
Sep 19th, 2010, 01:18 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,572
I suggest you add a few nights to your planned stay in Florence. It is a great place to begin to feel at home after a few nights in the same beds.

Have dinner one lovely evening up in Fiesole (city bus nr. 7 I believe), another evening cross the Arno and have dinner in one of the less pretentious places in the Oltrarno streets - get to know different aspects of lovely Florence after the daytrippers and their tour buses have left.

While still staying in Florence, without the need for a car just yet, as has been suggested you can do a daytrip by train very easily that combines Pisa and Lucca. Leave early, come back late, it will be great and relaxing.

I suggest heading out for Lucca first, and early - these are regional trains where you need no seat reservation, you buy a cheap ticket and validate it by sticking it into the yellow box near the platform access.

Timetables at

Then after lunch take the train to Pisa, walk to the Piazza dei Miracoli (cross the bridge Ponte di Mezzo and follow Borgo Stretto and go by the lovely Piazza dei Cavalieri on the way to the tower - look them up at

Maybe have dinner in Pisa as you stroll around the old town and work up an appetite. Then take the train back to Florence. No need to reserve on these local trains, so you are under no pressure, just pick the train when you're ready.

Also while still based in Florence, you can do a daytrip to Siena, either by train (not recommended, the station is outside of town and connections are not good) or by public bus or - better in my experience - with one of the several companies that run escorted buses that are met in Siena by an expert who walks you around. We learned more in the three hours with the group guide than in weeks of reading up ahead of time.

These escorted daytrips are advertised everywhere, your hotel probably has the fliers, or most any travel agency you walk into will guide you.

Some of these coach daytrips include San Gimignano after Siena, it makes for a longer day but since you don't have to do the driving, I can recommend it, being a unique kind of a place. I'm not sure I would want to go far out of my way to see S.G., but as an added detour to a Siena trip it was rewarding

When you book your car, look for a rental location that is situated so that you can make an easy exit, maybe towards the Porta Romana or thereabouts rather than in the congested center of town.

Book ahead at any of the many consolidators that all compete for your business - rates vary and for no reason, so check them all. They are consolidators that contract with local rental agencies, you get a much better deal than walking off the street into the very same location from which you'll pick up the car you reserved online.

and others

Hope this helps. Enjoy.
DalaiLlama is offline  
Sep 19th, 2010, 01:24 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,155
From the Florence airport taxi
to your hotel.
Use train to Pisa/Lucca
Bus to Siena
Pick up car after Siena visit (Hertz, Avis, ans Europcar are in Siena, check Autoeurope prices)then drive into the hilltowns
return car to Florence airport.

Henry is offline  
Sep 19th, 2010, 05:51 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,572
Note that the Sitabus that Henry indicates is the public bus to Siena, not the kind where a guide expects you on arrival. Nothing wrong with either as long as you know which is which.
DalaiLlama is offline  
Sep 19th, 2010, 07:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,509
Here are some places to stay---have fun !


A. RURAL LOCATIONS: All have parking and good food options nearby

1. Relais La Saracina 230 to 300E
Fabulous country home near Montepulciano—helpful owners

2. Cretaiole Agriturismo Good value for families

3. Terre di Nano 100 to 155
Both rooms and apartments at rural Agriturismo near Monticchiello

4. Casanova di Pescille 100E
Rural B&B 3 KM from famed San Gimignano—we loved the views of San Gim.

5. Fattoria Tregole 110E to 180E
Has both B&B and apartment accommodations. Near Castellina in Chianti

6. Agriturismo apts. near San Quirico— About 110E

B. IN-TOWN LOCATIONS: For walking convenience to shops & ristorantes.

1. Palazzo del Capitano 130 to 180E
Very nice small hotel in center of San Quirico—perfect location to explore.

2. Vecchia Oliviera 130 to 180E
Nice 4 star hotel at the gate into lovely Montalcino---has pool.

3. Palazzina Cesari 80 to 110E
Lovely small B&B in heart of Montalcino—great value—2 night stay minimum.

4. Locanda di San Francesco 180 to 200E
New boutique B&B in a lovely location in Montepulciano—great reviews !

5. Politian apartments Good value apts. with
minimum stay of 3 nights in Montepulciano---helpful host---85E

6. Palazzo Ravizza 130 to 180E
Very nice & popular hotel in Siena with parking.

7. Fattoria Vignale Four star hotel in Radda in the heart of Chianti. About 230E for double
bobthenavigator is offline  

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