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Byron1 Nov 13th, 2010 11:03 AM

Italy- Rome to Florence - Best little towns to visit in between
We just returned from our trip to Paris. This forum was very helpful when we were doing our planning. We would like to start researching our next vacation.

We are hoping to go for 12-16 days in the Fall of 2011 and see Rome and Florence. We are thinking of starting in Rome and staying 5-6 days and then renting a car and travelling through Tuscany on the way to Florence for the remainder of the time.

Can you please share some of the great special spots in Tuscany?

Thanking you in advance.

Henry Nov 13th, 2010 11:38 AM

This will give you some ideas

annhig Nov 13th, 2010 12:03 PM


can I suggest a slight adjustment to your planning - perhaps the first part of your holiday in Florence, then a stay in the tuscan countryside, and end in Rome.

this would work best with 16 rather than 12 days.

if you've only the 12 days, perhaps 2 nights in Florence, two in Orvieto, and the rest in Rome.

you won't want a car in Rome or florence so you would only need to rent it for the middle part of the trip.

an alternative would be to stay in, say, Siena, and visit Florence on a day trip by bus or train.

mamcalice Nov 13th, 2010 12:38 PM

Can you get open jaw flights into Rome and out of Florence or vice versa? If so, start with 4 days in Florence; pick up a car and spend 4 days in the Tuscan countryside, perhaps in the Chianti area and visit San Gimignano, Siena and other towns; drive to Orvieto to drop the car and spend a day or two and go to Rome for 6 days. If you have only 12 days, you'll have to drop a day from each location.

zeppole Nov 13th, 2010 12:53 PM

I don't see anything wrong with your plan. If you are flying in and out of Rome, the train trip from Florence to Rome is only 90 minutes. If you have an early morning flight, you should plan to spend your last night in Rome. It's easy to get to the airport from central Rome.

There are literally hundreds upon hundreds of wonderful small towns that easily fit into any itinerary that starts with a car rental Rome and ends in Florence. All have their charms, depending on who you are and what you want out of YOUR trip.

Your best chance for helpful information is list at least some of your strong preferences (shopping? history? picture postcard views? No tourists? Plenty of tourists to shoot the breeze with? Authentic food? Destination restaurants? Staying on a farmhouse with Italians who serve you meals? Lots of restaurant choices? Horseback riding?)

Otherwise, the Italian Touring Club has a great book, available on Amazon, called "Authentic Tuscany." There are also no end of books entitled things like "10 Great Drives in Tuscany" or "Best Tuscan hilltowns" that will not only give you routes, but recommendations on where to stay, what to see, what to eat, etc.

Byron1 Nov 13th, 2010 01:07 PM

Thank you everyone. At this point, we are flexible...12 to 16 days. That's what we usually do on our vacation. If we can fly in and out of two different cities, we would like to do that. We will still need to check that out. We are in the early stages.

It is hard to answer you, Zeppole, as all your points in paragraph 3 hold true except the horseback riding. We love history. We love authentic food. We are ok with tourists in Rome and Florence but were hoping for some enjoyable "quieter time in Tuscany".

We will buy some books and start reading.

Thank you all again!

macdogmom Nov 13th, 2010 02:26 PM

Last spring we traveled from Florence to Rome and stayed 3 nights in Montepulciano. From there we visited other hill towns in the immediate area (Pienza and San Quirico). We decided to forego a car so some of my decision making was based on bus service and places that were not too far off the main train line running between Florence and Rome. Also decided to stay in town so we could enjoy the local wines and only have a short walk back to hotel. I looked at a lot of posts on fodors and trip books and decided that this area was a good "first time" spot for Tuscany. Did visit Siena and area many years ago and have fond memories. I know when I post a question, sometimes I like to get specifics about other's trips, so here are mine.

We stayed here-

This looked very nice-

Sounds like you have more time to spend, so you can add on to this stay. Having a car will greatly expand your options.

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