Italy May 2023

Old Aug 15th, 2022, 05:32 AM
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Italy May 2023

Hello All!

I am trying to plan a 10 day trip to Italy for me and my wife. After doing some preliminary research I think we are looking to visit Florence (and Tuscany wine country), Rome, and possibly Venice. We are very interested in staying at a vineyard/winery at least one night and then I was thinking Airbnb might be a good option for the rest?
I would appreciate any must see smaller towns throughout Tuscany, suggestions for a vineyard to stay at, places/areas to stay, restaurants and wineries to visit, and any "not-so-touristy" things to do in Rome and Venice.
Per night budget I would love to keep under $200, the one exception being the night at the vineyard.
Also, with this rough itinerary, would the use of only public transportation be sufficient?

Thank you in advance!
JWH1989 is offline  
Old Aug 15th, 2022, 06:02 AM
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For most of your trip public transport is perfect. But the hills of Tusany can be different. Airbnb may be good for you but you might also like https://www.agriturismo.it as a way of enjoying the local life. Depending on where you stay in Tuscany a car may be useful. So you will have to play about with some ideas. Buses, trains or rental cars might work out well or even the odd taxi/cycle etc. Note that many Italian cities have areas called ZTL where non-local cars are restricted in some way, a major one is in central Florence though there is a useful little non-zone just by the railway station where you can hire a car.

Come back your thoughts.
bilboburgler is online now  
Old Aug 15th, 2022, 08:11 AM
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You need to drill down on your travel plans and do some research based on your interests. Ten days is a fairly short trip, so prioritize prioritize prioritize. IMO, there's no way you would enjoy a trip that included Rome, Florence, Tuscany towns and Venice. IMO#2, Venice feels like the geographic outlier but may offer more that interests you.

Can you fly into one city and out of another? I.e., Rome/Florence or Rome/Venice or Florence/Venice....

Do some research (guide books, travel shows, YouTube, etc.) on the city destinations to figure out what you want to see/do and how many days that will take. Research Tuscany. It encompasses nearly 9,000 square miles, so you'll need to pick one small area to explore. Resist the urge to spend only one night at a winery/agriturismo.

Although AirBnB may be the economical choice, don't discount the value of staying in a hotel or B&B where staff can provide lots of helpful info, recommendations, etc., especially for first-time visitors.

Other things to research: How to recognize/avoid ZTLs (mentioned by bilboburgler), getting an International Driver's Permit (available at AAA but some offices ran out of them this summer), cost of car rental (esp. if you want to do one way). Some websites that might help:

https://italybeyondtheobvious.com/do...ith-ztl-zones/

https://www.aaa.com/vacation/idpf.html

https://www.autoeurope.com/

https://www.trenitalia.com/en.html [Use Italian spellings... Fiumicino Aeroporto, Roma, Firenze, Venezia, etc.]

https://www.booking.com/ [You can set search parameters such as rate, property type, amenities... Book thru the site or directly with property.]



Come back when you've made some basic decisions. Happy planning!
Jean is offline  
Old Aug 17th, 2022, 02:06 PM
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Yes, it's possible to visit Rome, Tuscany and Venice using only public transport but you would need to be quite focused in where you stay in rural Tuscany and staying at a vineyard could be more problematic as they are often not on local bus routes. Visiting rural Tuscany often (but not always) means using buses rather than trains and frequency of service can be very mixed. Four stays in 10 days (is that 11 nights sleeping in Italy?) is possible but rushed. I would stay in the city from where you fly home last.

Tuscany, a large area, is full of beautiful small towns so I suggest you research which area of Tuscany you'd like to visit and then which particular towns appeal. If you're not terribly familiar with the area, you could start with a photographic book of the region and then a guidebook or two. The landscape of Tuscany is quite varied, with the Val d'Orcia area having those rolling hills and hilltop villages and the north west having lots of forests, for example.
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Old Aug 17th, 2022, 06:56 PM
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You'd have to really study the bus schedules to see what sightseeing is possible in Tuscany and where you could realistically stay. The timetables are geared more for commuters and students, not tourists/sightseers on a tight itinerary.
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Old Aug 17th, 2022, 07:34 PM
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You're absolutely right, Jean. And a lot depends on how many places you expect to visit in any given day. But I've visited Tuscany and Umbria maybe ten times (over a long period) and have not yet hired a car so it is possible to visit many places (of course, not all). However, I'm happy to not rush around and I also enjoy walking. If anyone wants to visit lots of places in a short time (and especially rural places) then a car would no doubt be very useful.

JWH1989, Rome and Venice probably get more visitors than any other cities in Italy so 'not-so-touristy' is not so easy but there are definitely places (especially Rome) where the organised tours are less likely to go. I'm pretty sure my local library has books on things like 'secret places' in Rome/Venice/etc. Or search online. For Tuscany, you could maybe start with looking into the areas around Montepulciano, Buonconvento, Siena or Lucca (not necessarily in these towns if they are bigger than you could like but nearby). Towns like these often offer bus/train services to other nearby, smaller towns. Eveyone's idea of small is different - I live in a city of 5-6million people so my small may be other people's big!
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Old Aug 20th, 2022, 09:28 AM
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You should consider a car for visiting Tuscany. I can’t imagine visiting it using public transit.
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