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Italy: 12 Days Itinerary Suggestion Wanted: With 8 and 6 year old daughters

Italy: 12 Days Itinerary Suggestion Wanted: With 8 and 6 year old daughters

Old Dec 24th, 2013, 08:16 AM
  #21  
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Okay, I am narrowing down for a weeks stay at http://www.salvadonica.it/en/ = It's much more than what we budgeted for but the reviews on TA and booking.com look promising - looks kids friendly. Anyone here has any opinion on the location/quality of this place? Looks like it is near Florence: San Casciano Val Di Pesa. Also looks like it is near Pisa and Lucca - both locations we will do a day trip.

How to reach here from Rome airport? Can I take a train to a smaller town than Florence and then pick up a rental car from there; instead of going to Florence? Which town should we pick our car from Orvieto would be okay or too far and long drive to final destination? Or Arezzo would be better bet? We are landing in Rome at 9:15AM.

Thanks.
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Old Dec 24th, 2013, 08:24 AM
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Here is what I found on their website: Take the Firenze Impruneta exit on the A1 motorway, then take the dual carriageway to Siena (approach road immediately to the right after coming off the A1) and come off at San Casciano Val di Pesa (first exit on the dual carriageway, approximately 6 km), continue towards the town of San Casciano, follow the directions for Mercatale Val di Pesa. Take the SP92 road / Via Grevigiana and follow the directions for Salvadonica.

So looks like this is in Siena area? Anyway, would love to know best option for town that we should get our rental car from. Take a train from Rome->Get down at <name of the town> -> Pick car from the <name of the town> -> Proceed to Salvadonica

The town where we will pick up our car should be able to honor our booking that we may do via Hertz or Autoeurope I think? Or any other better car rental options?
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Old Dec 24th, 2013, 08:31 AM
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Another thing: I am pretty much finalizing 7 nights in Tuscany basing out of Siena region. What could be my itinerary:
Day 1: Arrive in Salvadonica
Day 2: Visit Pisa and Lucca - both in one day or each separate day? (by bus or train?)
Day 3: Visit Florence (by bus or train?)
Day 4: Visit Siena (by car I think)
Day 5: Visit Florence/Siena again
Day 6: Visit Orvieto and Chiusi by car?
Day 7: Leave for Rome; return rental car

Please let me know if this looks reasonable or other better options.

Thanks.
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Old Dec 24th, 2013, 08:39 AM
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When I rent car in Tuscany, should I also buy the insurance with it? I am guessing yes - jus wanted to check. Any tips around renting a car would be appreciated: gas vs diesel, etc. Thank you.
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Old Dec 24th, 2013, 08:44 AM
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You can easily see Pisa and Lucca on the same day. You can take the train between Pisa and Lucca, but if you have a car why wouldn't you drive?

To visit Florence, you could drive to the airport, park your car and take a taxi from there into town, to avoid the ZTL.

On Day 5, rather than see Florence or Siena again, I would spend the day relaxing by the pool and enjoying the agriturismo - it's a vacation!

Use www.viamichelin.com to get an idea of driving times, and fuel and toll costs for your day trips.
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Old Dec 24th, 2013, 09:03 AM
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You have to buy insurance for the car in Italy. You will almost certainly get a diesel, and if not, ask for one. It's cheaper than gas and gets you more mileage. You will also almost certainly get a manual transmission (even if you ask for an automatic, it can't be guaranteed).

I have always used AutoEurope (very occasionally Kemwel, its sister company) for rentals in Europe. AE is a broker that will match you up with an appropriate rental outfit depending on your location and requirements. Unlike renting directly from the local office of a rental car company, AutoEurope has a toll-free number available 24/7 in case you have a problem (and they will fix it promptly). They will also match any price you can get for a comparable rental. I have done about 150 rentals with them over 35+ years and have nothing but good things to say about them. Others here on Fodors will tell you the same.
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Old Dec 24th, 2013, 09:42 AM
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Arunner

In 2011 we spent 2 weeks on a broad European trip with our 8 and 10 (then) year old children and they LOVED it. We had a rather hectic schedule and saw London, Paris, Bernese Oberland region, Venice and Rome in 14 days (arrived Sat morning and left next Friday). Obviously we prefer to move around a lot...but this isn't a thread about that discussion.

In Rome our children really enjoyed the following (btw...I've just yelled this question to them and they're pausing from playing Minecraft to answer):
-Cats of Rome (highlight of entire trip actually...look it up)
-Colosseum underground tour
-Vatican museum (including Sistine)
-Pantheon (my older son still draws this periodically)

We went on this trip with another family we travel often with and spent MANY meetings for a year in advance prepping for this trip. For me planning is half (ok...i'll admit it...two thirds) of the fun so I maximized it. Between the two families there were 4 children all about the same age. They each chose a city they were looking forward to seeing and did their own research (we helped) and then did a powerpoint presentation on their city during one of our planning meetings. We actually tailored our visits to each of the cities based on a few of the children's suggestions. The Cats of Rome is a perfect example...something our 8 year old found. It's where a group of volunteers try to help all the discarded, injured cats in central Rome. Apparently most in Rome feel it's wrong to euthanize animals but also feel it's wrong to get them fixed. Obviously that can lead to problems.

Another thing we did was purchase a few books written/illustrated by M Sasek which the children LOVED. The drawings are incredible and they helped explain the city down thru history.

Have fun!
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Old Dec 24th, 2013, 06:36 PM
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The triangle doesn't work for me, but ADVERTISEMENT!
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Old Dec 24th, 2013, 07:05 PM
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I hit the triangle StCirq.
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Old Dec 24th, 2013, 07:23 PM
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Rainy city, so did I, missed you had already done it.
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Old Dec 28th, 2013, 11:17 AM
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Thanks all. I will now research more on the guidebooks and internet to finalize my days in Tuscany and Rome. Thanks again - you all have been of tremendous help!
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Old Dec 29th, 2013, 07:12 AM
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In Pisa, you have to be very careful to find a place to park that doesn't risk accidentally crossing a ZTL (limited traffic zone), which would get you a big fine and a hefty charge from the rental company for helping the police track you down. There are supposedly safe parking places not far from the tower. However, my husband and I, when we were staying in Lucca, took the train to Pisa to avoid any unpleasant surprises. We're Italians, driving our own car, and we're well aware of the dreaded ZTL problem.

In Lucca, it's safe to park outside the wall and walk in. In Siena, there are several parking lots below the wall, with elevators or escalators to take you up to the town. However, when we were staying with our car in Montalcino, we took the bus to Siena rather than driving; our strategy is never to drive into a city if there is reasonable bus or train service. Just the cost for parking is usually more than the bus or train fare.

Florence is probably the trickiest city to drive to, and we wouldn't dream of trying to do so. We go there fairly often, but *always* take the train.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2015, 09:19 PM
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Old Jan 4th, 2015, 02:46 AM
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Old Jan 4th, 2015, 03:10 AM
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daria/Julie - the OP has been and come back, sadly without telling us how they got on.

Ah wel....
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