Is 10 days in Tuscany too much?

Jul 19th, 2004, 11:13 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 61
Is 10 days in Tuscany too much?

My husband and I are looking to travel to Tuscany this September. Our potential itinerary is as follows:
- Fly into Rome and train to Florence.
- 2 nights in Florence(rent a car last day in Florence to drive throughout Tuscany)
- 1 night in Arezzo for the Joust of the Saracens festival - this is our only MUST.
- 3 nights in Chiani (wineries, day trip San G., Siena)
- 1 night in Lucca (with stop at Pisa)
- 2 nights in Southern Tuscany (Montalcino?, with stops in Saturnia, Pienza, Montepulciano)
- 1 night in Orvieto (assuming its convenient the next day to get to Rome for our afternoon flight) or else we'll stay in Rome.

So please let me know what you think... This itinerary has been really difficult to put together in comparison to my other trips. Not sure if 10 nights in Tuscany is too much? Should I put in 2 nights in Cinque Terre (CT)? If so, how can I shuffle my schedule to include CT? We love nature, good food, wine, and fun. We like to absorb; Too much running around is not my husband's idea of fun (though I'm good with a balance.) Thanks for all your help.
roro is offline  
Jul 19th, 2004, 11:17 AM
  #2  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,414
Hi roro,

Looks like a nice motor trip to me.

I would add a day to Florence.

>Not sure if 10 nights in Tuscany is too much?

No

>Should I put in 2 nights in Cinque Terre (CT)?

No. Do that next time.

>We love nature, good food, wine, and fun.

Then you are going to the right place.
ira is offline  
Jul 19th, 2004, 11:18 AM
  #3  
ira
 
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Posts: 74,414
PS,

The Porcini mushrooms will be in season.
ira is offline  
Jul 19th, 2004, 11:29 AM
  #4  
anglo_dutch_couple
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Lovely itinerary! If you want to cut down on rushing around and have more time for absorbing, you could base yourselves in one (or two) places, hire a car for the eight days after your two days in Florence, and do day trips from your base. Roads are good and distances short. Siena or Florence area would be good bases. You will see a lot of Tuscan countryside this way and have much more freedom. This would also mean you could spend your second day in Florence sightseeing instead of driving around. Also, places like San Gim, Montepulciano etc are MUCH easier to get to by car than by public transport. The only place where a car is a liability is Florence... Buon viaggio!
 
Jul 19th, 2004, 11:35 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,717
10 days in Tuscany is absolutely not too much! And I would agree that basing yourself in one or maximum two places other than Florence would be easier and more agreeable.
Eloise is offline  
Jul 19th, 2004, 11:40 AM
  #6  
 
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I think 10 days is fine, but you have 6 places to stay--you can do it with 3.

Do Arezzo and Lucca both as day trips by train from Florence. Both are about an hour away. Then, pick one location in Chianti--perhaps near Castellina--and another in south Tuscany. Where to stay is a different topic, but you can click on my name and see several prior posts that may help. San Quirico would be a good centro location for the south.

So, your timing would be 4-3-3--does that make good sense? YOU DO NOT WANT TO CHANGE HOTELS 6 TIMES.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jul 19th, 2004, 11:47 AM
  #7  
 
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Ditto the above.

I would stay in one or two different places at most as your base and you can see all of those places without switching hotels all the time.

The roads are good and it's really not that big an area, so it's easy to drive around to see the towns.
marcy_ is offline  
Jul 20th, 2004, 05:02 AM
  #8  
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Thanks everyone for all your help. I think I will definitely extend my stay at Florence and then just train it to Lucca/Pisa for a day trip. Has anyone been to the Arezzo Festival (Joust of Saracens)? I'm wondering if it's an all day exhausting affair that would make it worthwhile to stay there? Otherwise, I guess we can again day trip it from Florence by train?

Also, one more question, is it worth it to stay in Orvieto and then drive to the Rome airport in the morning (we have an afternoon flight), or should we just stay in Rome and forget an Orvieto stay over (and maybe just stop over on the way to Rome to check it out?)? Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks again.
roro is offline  
Jul 20th, 2004, 05:15 AM
  #9  
anglo_dutch_couple
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Hi roro
I haven't been to Orvieto or to the joust of the saracens, but Arezzo is well-known for its antiques market, usually held one Sunday a month (but check just to be sure). There are trains from Florence, you can find info on the web site of the Italian train company Trenitalia: www.trenitalia.com
this site is occasionally down so sometimes you have to keep trying.

My top tip for travelling by public transport in Italy (and that includes flying) is: don't do it on a Friday, which is the Italian transport workers' preferred day for going on strike.

Having said that, I flew out of Pisa Airport on a Tuesday not so long ago. I thought I was safe as there had already been a general transport strike on the Friday and a national train strike on the Monday. But when I got to Florence train station to take the train to Pisa, guess what? An unannounced Regional Train Strike, to continue the fun. Fortunately a friend drove me the 50 miles to Pisa (and there are also buses anyway). So you just never know... the only way to deal with it is to leave plenty of time for travelling, and then take it easy and relax. It's all part of the Italian experience, and besides, you're on vacation!
 
Jul 20th, 2004, 05:27 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,244
A lot of people recommend staying the last night in Orvieto, especially if you have an afternoon flight. I've got a 9:30 flight, so I am forced to stay near the airport -- I don't want to get up at 4:00 am and then drive 2 hours.
Budman is offline  
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