Help with Tuscany intinerary

Jan 17th, 2007, 08:51 AM
  #1  
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Help with Tuscany intinerary

Help! I've researched and read much helpful advice, but I still need assistance.
TENTATIVE ITINERARY:
10-11 days total (including travel)
Fly into Rome-2 days there
then rent car in Rome and drive to a central Chianti location (WITH train access in or nearby, vineyards)
I've researched Greve but now I'm afraid that isn't an ideal spot for day trips?
Would like less than 1 hour to Florence (via train from this Chianti city)
also no more than 1 hour to San Gigimano, Siena, 1 hour to Pisa/Lucca (spa?)
Ideas? Thanks!
catgirlinsc is offline  
Jan 17th, 2007, 09:01 AM
  #2  
 
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Hi,

I'm planning a similar trip and created a helpful map of tuscany with the must see towns. If you want email me and i'll send it to you.
[email protected]

ps... if youre heading north you may want to consider the southern tuscany hilltowns like: Orvieto, then Montalcino, San Quirico, Val d'Orcia, Pienza, Montepulciano. Siena is North and a great city from what I hear on this board.

Next in the Northern region, you may want to consider: Volterra & San Gimignano, Chianti and the neighboring towns.

Natalie
natc143 is offline  
Jan 17th, 2007, 09:39 AM
  #3  
 
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If you have 11 days total, then you have 9 days to plan for.

If this is your first trip to Rome, you might want to consider adding at least one more day in Rome to give you more time there. It's a great city.

As for Greve, it is a lovely town...not too big and not too small...and quite charming with cute shops. Greve is approximately 45 minutes-one hour to Florence, Siena or San Gimignano and maybe 1.5 hours to Pisa and Lucca. So, all in all, it is a fairly good central location.

Lorac1127 is offline  
Jan 17th, 2007, 09:40 AM
  #4  
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Thanks, Natalie! I was just researching train stations in Tuscany. I think we definitely want to rent a car, as we are not the tour group type, but then I thought perhaps we should stay in a central Chianti town that had a station? I can only locate Siena and Chiusi that seem to be ideal as far as train stops, close to areas we plan on visiting. We are certainly planning day trips to Pisa and Lucca (1 day for both), San Gi., etc. What do you think about the central Chianti town in which we should stay? I found deals in Poggiobonsani and Greve. Thoughts? Thanks again!
catgirlinsc is offline  
Jan 17th, 2007, 09:44 AM
  #5  
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Thanks, Lorac1127. I found some great deals on the Greve in Chianti site that guarantees no mark ups. I've gotten several e-mails from the owners and hostesses and all nice and helpful. What did you do about travel within the towns or what would you do-train or car? Rent in Rome? Hit any unforgettable restaurants in Greve? Thank you again!
catgirlinsc is offline  
Jan 17th, 2007, 09:48 AM
  #6  
 
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Sorry I hit post too quickly.

Another choice could be to split your time between two towns in Tuscany.
Lorac1127 is offline  
Jan 17th, 2007, 10:02 AM
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We actually split our time...one hotel in Montalcino in the south, and one hotel in Castellina which is more central and near Siena.

We had an auto the entire time, and we wouldn't have done it any other way. The roads are clearly marked and not very far apart, so the drives are fairly easy. My husband drove and I navigated. We bought a Michelin atlas before we left for Italy which was tremendously helpful as their maps are quite detailed. We then outlined most of our routes with the towns we planned to visit highlighted. Driving gives you the flexibility to linger longer and stop wherever and whenever you wish.

We spent a lovely day in Greve...a morning and lunch at the Verrazzano Vineyard which I would highly recommend, and then we spent the afternoon in town shopping, people watching and eating gelato in the piazza...a truly wonderful day.


Lorac1127 is offline  
Jan 17th, 2007, 08:15 PM
  #8  
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Thanks, Lorac1127! It seems that we are on the right "track". We are buying our plane tickets as we speak!
catgirlinsc is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 04:13 AM
  #9  
 
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think about monterrigione/san columba, jsut outside of sienna- central to where you want to go in chianti/ floreence. etc.--some thoughts interms of what we did from my tripadvisor reviews, carring from the florence airport to san columba, touring chianti as described below, to lucca where we left the car and visited lucca and pisa, traiing to the cinque terre, and then on to florence for a great finish.:
Traveler rating:
Manarola: Casa Capellini: "Spectacular views at casa capellini, manarola, cinque terre"
May 10, 2004 inkwell, washington, dc



My experience with this property took place in:
April, 2004
My ratings for this hotel are:
Value
Rooms
Cleanliness
Service
I traveled to this hotel with: spouse/partner
I recommend this hotel for: Tourists
My visit was for: leisure
Please delete my prior review and substitute this reiview which has a corrected email address. This is a correction of my review to incude the correct email address for casa capellini-

We stayed 3 nights during Easter 2004 at Affittacamere Giovanni Capellini, Via E. Cozzani, 12 Manarola, Telephone: 0187 92 08 23, corrected Email: [email protected] in one of the 2 sea view rooms with balcony, of a 4-room b&b for about 42E, with a very clean decent sized room and double bed or queen sized bed depending on which of the 2 sea view rooms sharing the same balacony you have rented for the stay, and private shower. The rooms are located near the top of the hill and just below the church at the top of the hill, with spectacular balcony views down the center of this small quaint hill town to the sea. Walk to the top of the hill and bear quick right when you reach the square onto V Cozzani, and down about 12 steps. Breakfeast can be bought at a neaby cafe or supplies like yogurt and fruit purchased at the nearby co-op halfway down the hill or the alimentari/deli. Gianni's english is non-existent to myknowledge but his wife is sufficiently fluent to attend to your needs, including extra towels and a hair dryer. Not more than the equivalent of 2 blocks away is a very good, small restaurant for a great dinner, Dal Billy Trattoria.
raveler rating:

Florence: Antica Torre di Via Tornabuoni: "Loved Antica Torre Tornabuoni"
Apr 27, 2004 inkwell, washington, dc



My experience with this property took place in:
April, 2004
My ratings for this hotel are:
Value
Rooms
Cleanliness
Service
I traveled to this hotel with: spouse/partner
I recommend this hotel for: Young singles, An amazing honeymoon, Gay/lesbian travelers, Older travelers, Tourists
My visit was for: leisure
A lovely boutique residence hotel in a 15th c reconstructed tower, with just 12 rooms on 2 floors, the fourth and 5th, terrace for buffet breakfeast and great views. Reception is on entry level. Our room for 3 nights was upgraded from the 4th floor to the 5th, was spacious, and had views on 3 sides of santa maria novella, santa croce, the duomo, and on the oltrarno, piazza michelangelo, and san carmine. Leonora and Sandra at reception provided great recommendations for lunch and dinner. The hotel may be expanding to another 12 rooms. Directly next to the hotel is the San. Trinita church and directly across is Ferragamo and its free shoe museum in an adjacent building. A less than 10 minute walk brings you to the uffizi, palazzo vechhio, the Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo and Santa Maria Novella. A nice quiet hotel in a great location.
Traveler rating:
Lucca: Piccolo Hotel Puccini: "Loved Piccolo PUccini"
Apr 27, 2004 inkwell, washington, dc



My experience with this property took place in:
April, 2004
My ratings for this hotel are:
Value
Rooms
Cleanliness
Service
I traveled to this hotel with: spouse/partner
I recommend this hotel for: Gay/lesbian travelers, Older travelers, Tourists
My visit was for: leisure
Stayed 3 nights at this pleasant 3* hotel in the center of midieval lucca and an easy 10-minute walk from the train station. All 15 rooms are on the first floor (the floor above ground level). Paolo, the owner, is gracius and had great recommendations for nearby restaurants. Our room with a double bed, tprivate bath/shower, and a safe was spacious and on a corner of the building, one side of which overlook a statue of Puccini in a small square to the rear of the hotel. The hotel is on a side street a few steps down from a large square with several cafes and the interesting triple-tiered San Michele church. We liked the hotel and it happens to be recommended by Fodor's and more interstingly, is starred by the Guyide du Routard for the 4th year in a row.

Monterrigione: fattoria gavina da sopra (see igougo review) raveler rating:
Monteriggioni: Fattoria Gavina di Sopra: "Delightful agriturismo/b&b"
Aug 13, 2004 inkwell, washington, dc



My experience with this property took place in:
April, 2004
My ratings for this hotel are:
Value
Rooms
Cleanliness
Service
I traveled to this hotel with: spouse/partner
I recommend this hotel for: Older travelers, Tourists
My visit was for: leisure
We had a 4-day early April stay at this delightful 6-room agriturismo in a 15thc building on an organic farm in San Columba, about 10 miles/20 minute drive north of Siena and like drive from the midieval walled town of Monteriggini. La Gavina di Sopra: telephone number is: ----------- - mobile --------------, and look for the online website. It is about 1 1/2 miles off of the main road that goes thru tiny San Columba, just outside of Monteriggione. We had a comfortable room with a Q bed, private bathroom, pleasantly furnished, quiet, enjoyed the quivalent of 5*,5-course meals with homemade apertifs, wine and farm fresh vegetables and veal and chicken prepared by the owner's wife who donned chef's attire. Brakfeast and dinner, family style at table that can seat 4-6 in a vaulted ceiling room with ancient fireplace, was included in our 110E rate, a great value. For warmer weather (fans but no ac in the rooms) there is a small pool, bocce court, and beach chairs and table to enjoy the plein air and countryside. This agriturismo was an excellent base for exploring nearby Chianti wineries such as Fonterotuli (free but reservation needed) in Castellina, as well as Greve, and Radda, Siena and its Duomo, Baptistry and Ospedale frescoes and 5 downstairs floors of archeolgy and artifacts, a nice 2 hour drive thru theCrete to the 15th c Abbey @ Mt Oliveto in Asciano, and beyond to Montepulciano, Vicenza,and Pienza in the Val D'Orcia, and an easy 1 hr drive to the old walled cities of San Gmignano and Volterra. In short, an interesting central Tuscany location for a pleasant stay. See our other reviews on this Tuscany trip for Affitacamere di Giovanni Capellini in Manarola, Cinque Terre, Hotel Piccolo Puccini in Lucca, and Antica Torre di Tornabuoni in Florence.


artnuvo is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 06:25 AM
  #10  
 
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Posts: 715
catgirlinsc, an excellent start. Once you have the tickets, you can really start the fun planning.

Carol
Lorac1127 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 10:17 PM
  #11  
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Thank you, Carol! We found a really nice and inexpensive place in Greve, an apartment for up to 6 persons on a vineyard for only 78 Euros a night (with kitchen and bathroom). Still haven't booked, but most likely we will. Thanks again and have a wonderful summer vacation, no matter your destination! Jane
catgirlinsc is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 10:51 PM
  #12  
 
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natc 143: I tried finding a couple of the hilltowns you mentioned on viamichelin.com. Got 20 hits for San Quirico, at least 10 of which are in Tuscany or close enough to it to be the one you meant; I got 2 hits for Greve, 1 on the outskirts of Florence and 1 in Chianti; and I got no hits at all for Val d'Orcia. Can you pinpoint which places and where are they please? I too am planning a tour of Tuscany (driving - see Italy Driving Itinerary thread on this board if interested) and am interested in any must-sees to include in my itinerary. Thanks,
twoflower is offline  
Jan 18th, 2007, 11:43 PM
  #13  
 
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Posts: 15
Hi, if you wish I know a great small company that works in Northern Italy that helps in trip planning, I am sure they have information in the Chianti region. They even offer a travelers assistance program if you utilize the service, they will provide you a phone number to call if you need assistance or even get in a bind traslating or otherwise.
You can email me at [email protected] if you want the info.

Good luck
Mcclimb is offline  
Jan 19th, 2007, 08:51 AM
  #14  
 
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catgirlinsc, I'm not sure when you are traveling, but if you will be there in summer and air conditioning is important to you, be sure to ask if it in the apartment.

Lorac1127 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2007, 07:11 PM
  #15  
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Laura and Natalie, thank you for your help. We've found a wonderful place (agriturismo) in Barberino Val D'Elsa. This is a wonderful central location between Florence and Siena and also close to main roads and the Medieval towns we planned upon visiting(Volterra, San Gig., Gambassi Di Terme-with thermal spas). We also can now add Certaldo, Monteriggioni, and Castellina, all very, very close to our location. Our only further excursion will be to Pisa for a day, along with a coastal stop(close to Pisa). We will be in the middle of Chianti already, so the wineries will be amongst us.

We found that the agriturismos we have researched appear to be more authentic in Tuscan traditions (compared to hotels and some villas), welcoming, and the owners have been extremely friendly, courteous, and prompt in their responses and assistance. The agri. we have booked is a working vineyard and olive oil farm.

Hope this helps anyone else in their central Chianti Tuscan visit!
catgirlinsc is offline  
Feb 6th, 2007, 04:36 PM
  #16  
 
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Hi Lorac1127,

I'm planning a Tuscany trip and looking for a good Atlas. Do you recall the exact name of the Micheline one you used or where you purchased it? I've seen so many types on Amazon and we bought one that ended up not being as detailed as the web site advertised. We're also planning on visiting Verrazzano. thanks,
Tuni01 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2007, 05:42 AM
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Tuni01, this is the Michelin Italy atlas that we used: http://www.maptown.com/cgi-bin/mt/st...store_id=21740

We bought it at Barnes & Noble. We chose the Italy atlas instead of individual ones because we were traveling to various areas from the south near Naples, driving through Tuscany and then on to Venice.

Before leaving for the trip, I copies and enlarged the sections that we would be driving extensively in...helps on the eyes.

Lorac1127 is offline  

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