Italy itinerary - help!

Apr 10th, 2011, 10:50 AM
  #1  
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Italy itinerary - help!

We arrive in Rome May 5 in the afternoon. Staying the nights of 5th and 6th. We will have the evening of May 5 and all day May 6th. (maybe take a tour on the 6th, do a lot of walking..) Not a lot of time, but we decided early on we wanted to stay in and concentrate on smaller towns. The point of this trip is relaxation, seeing the beauty of the areas, eating (and cooking) great food, and hopefully meeting new friends. Of course enjoying the architecture, museums and churches will also figure into that.

May 7, train to Chiusi to pick up rental car at noon. Drive to the villa we are renting in Montepulciano for a 7 night stay. We have great ideas for day trips, thanks to all of you. If you want to add any tips for that week, please do. We don't want to get too crazy trying to see every town within a 50 mile radius, although it is tempting! Again .. just to relax. We don't want to try and pack too much in. Italy will still be there next year .. for the next trip.

May 14 return rental car in Chiusi. Have open nights of May 14 and 15. Need some help here please. What would be a good place to stay for two nights? Preferably between Chiusi and Lucca. I know you all have your favorites, feel free to chime in. Just wondering what will be easily accessible by train/bus as we will have already dropped off the rental, and will not have a car for the remainder of the trip... Trying to do taxis as little as possible, although we know they cannot be avoided completely.

May 16, train to Lucca. Reserved apartment in Lucca nights of May 16, 17, 18 and 19th. Day trip advice welcomed, although we will probably spend most of the time exploring and enjoying the town.

May 20-25 (need help here too).. Planning on a few nights in Florence, but maybe stay somewhere smaller instead, and take day trip(s) to Florence by train or bus. In the beginning we were thinking 3 nights in Cinque Terra and 3 in Florence, but are off that idea now that we have read up a bit more. Cinque Terra is not a must any more, however at least two day in Florence is.

May 26, depart Florence, arrive back home

So, we have only 13 nights out of 21 booked. (yikes) Needing advice for two nights between Chiusi and Lucca (accessible by train/bus) and 6 nights in an area that will allow us to spend at least two days in Florence. Maybe two nights in Florence and and 4 in another cool town?

We are spending a lot of € on the hotel in Rome, the apartment in Lucca and the villa in Tuscany, so the rest of the nights, we're hoping to spend less than €120 a night.

Thanks in advance for any insight. It's been one of those things .. the more we read and learn about Italy, the harder it is, because it is all so beautiful. I'm sure you all know that feeling!
Jinky is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 11:00 AM
  #2  
ira
 
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Hi J,

>two nights in Florence and and 4 in another cool town?

Is there a reason why Venice is not in your plans?

Have you considered renting a car and driving around Chianti for 3 days before spending 3 days in Florence?

We were there for 11 nights and weren't bored.

ira is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 11:19 AM
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Have already been to Venice a few years ago. Did a cool mororcycle trip.. Venice/Trieste/Slovenia

We will only have the car 7 days while in Montepulciano. This is why I am looking for a place that we can go to by train after the week in Montepulciano. Is Chianti a place that is doable via train? Show up, taxi to hotel and walk around?
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Apr 10th, 2011, 11:23 AM
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I applaud your plan to keep within a confined radius.

Any interest in Montecatini, which offers easy train connections to both Lucca and Florence?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 11:35 AM
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I would drive to La Spezia, drop the car, and bus out to Portovenere to stay. From there, I would boat/hike the Cinque Terre. Lucca is a short distance when you leave. Have fun !
bobthenavigator is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 11:42 AM
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Ekscrunchy .. wow Montecatini looks beautiful. Will look into that!

Bob, thanks, but again, we are dropping the car off in Chiusi after our week in Montepulciano. Also as I said in my 1st post we are no longer interested in Cinque Terra.
Jinky is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 02:41 PM
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Ekscrunchy - booking 5 nights in Montecatini, we love it. Thanks!
Can you give us any tips on that area??
Jinky is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 03:44 PM
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Why not drop the car at your next destination and save a train ride? It does not have to be Chiusi.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 03:55 PM
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Jinky,

My first thought would be the same a some others, to keep the car another 3 days and enjoy Chianti. It's quite different from southern Tuscany.

Otherwise, how about looking into the Marrema area of the Tuscan coast? I have not been here myself yet - but have thought is sounds wonderful!

Or - how about a quick jaunt out to one of the islands in the Med for 3 nts?

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 04:05 PM
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I will try again. We only have the car for seven days. Maybe I wasn't clear the first two times I mentioned this. Sometimes I am not the best at communicating, so sorry if I wasn't clear. Seven days is what we have reserved and what we have decided on. That is why I asked about a place that is easily accessible by train and/or bus. Sorry, I'm not sure I am posting correctly because no one is answering what I need, which is a place between Chiusi and Lucca accessible by train or bus. Not South of Chiusi, but somewhere on the train ride on the way to Lucca. Sigh.. I'm not good at this, I think
Jinky is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 04:18 PM
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Understand, but you have to drive back to Chiusi anyway on day 7--why not drive to Arezzo, or Montecatini or Pisa, or Florence, or Lucca, or La Spezia, or Siena and drop the car? Of course, you could drive to Chiusi, hope to catch a train to anywhere you may want to go, buy some train tickets, schlep your bags, and arrive hours later. Your call !
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Apr 10th, 2011, 05:01 PM
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Oh dear. Nevermind.

PS: we only have 1 small carry on each. We travel ridiculously light.
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Apr 10th, 2011, 05:14 PM
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"why not drive to Arezzo, or Montecatini or Pisa, or Florence, or Lucca, or La Spezia, or Siena and drop the car?"

BECAUSE WE HAVE THE CAR FOR SEVEN DAYS AND HAVE ARRANGED TO DROP IT AT THE RENTAL OFFICE IN CHIUSI. Not sure how much more clear I can get. I did not ask about changing my itinerary, I came here for advice for a place BETWEEN CHIUSI AND LUCCA ACCESSIBLE BY TRAIN OR BUS. I don't know where I went wrong on posting this question, but I obviously did somehow, and I'm sorry to waste your time
Jinky is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 06:45 PM
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Because you can always arrange to drop the car at another location is what is being suggested, not that difficult to do, call or write the rental co. Otherwise look at a map if everyone here is irritating you, because you have been given some good ideas. No need to SHOUT.
socaltraveler is offline  
Apr 10th, 2011, 10:01 PM
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No, I can't, because the rental place in just one, in Chiusi. Italian place, from friends. Bottom line is I never asked advice to change the itinerary or rental time on the car. And even after I explained again the car situation, instead of being helpful and realizing my query, it kept being insisted that I keep the car. Even though three times, I said no.

ekscrunchy seems like the only one who actually read my post and understood what I was asking.
Jinky is offline  
Apr 11th, 2011, 06:34 AM
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A 3 minute call to your car vendor can change your drop point and save you hours--is that hard to understand?
bobthenavigator is offline  
Apr 11th, 2011, 07:23 AM
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Sounds like the OP has some kind of personal deal with a rental place but I still can't quite understand it from the sentence above. And nobody is insisting you keep the car, simply offering what seems to many alternatives to returning to Chiusi.
socaltraveler is offline  
Apr 11th, 2011, 07:47 AM
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Consider taking the train to Bologna for a few nights after dropping off the car. Travel on then to Lucca. While in Lucca don't miss a meal at Ristorante Buca Di Sant'Antonio. The best.
uflecku is offline  
Apr 11th, 2011, 07:54 AM
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Sorry for shouting and being so uptight. I think I need to find a new rental company. This one was suggested to me by my Italian friends. There is only one office and it is in Chiusi. (so they have no other drop off points) I should have been more explicit in my posts. Will see if we can get a different rental company so we can drop it somewhere else. If we can save time, that would be great. I know you were only trying to help. Planning this trip is exciting, but has also been very trying and unfortunately, yesterday I was at the end of my rope, so to speak. Again, I apologize for being such a jerk about it.
Jinky is offline  
Apr 11th, 2011, 08:27 AM
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Check autoeurope.com, kemwel.com, sixt.com, and novacarhire.com for rentals. Be sure to look at the deductibles. No Excess (no deductibles) will cost more than high deductibles. Also, many car rental offices close during the lunch break (12-3:30 or 4) and reopen until 7 or 8.
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