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looking for a tuscan "hub" on the rail line

looking for a tuscan "hub" on the rail line

Old Apr 30th, 2006, 05:43 AM
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looking for a tuscan "hub" on the rail line

Hi-
My husband and I will be traveling to Italy in July. Our plan includes Florence, assisi, montepulciano, we're not sure where else here yet, Rome and Sorrento. We would be traveling by train and we wanted to stay somewhere in Tuscany where we could easily take the train to Assisi and also Chiusi (we want to take a bus from here to Montepulciano)

Any suggestions as to towns that would be on the rail line and provide easy access to other towns? Would Chiusi be a good place to actually stay? I was looking at the rail map and I see Perugia might also be a possibility?
If anyone has any suggestions they would really be appreciated.
Thanks!
Margaret
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Old Apr 30th, 2006, 06:04 AM
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There is a direct train from Florence that gets into Assisi at 10.38 so if it is the only town in Umbria you intend visiting staying in Perugia is a bit out of the way for Tuscany alone.

How long are you planning to stay in each place?
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Old Apr 30th, 2006, 06:15 AM
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How about Orvieto? It's in Umbria, but right on the edge of Tuscany. I know you can reach Rome in an hour and Florence in about the same amount of time. Not sure about Assisi . Have you checked the train schedule at Trenetalia?

http://www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html

You will have to access Sorrento through Rome.

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Old Apr 30th, 2006, 07:42 AM
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how about arezzo?
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Old Apr 30th, 2006, 07:55 AM
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Hi Margreee,

Most of the hilltowns in Tuscany/Umbria do not have train station very nearby. Even if it says your station is Montepulciano, you will still need a bus or taxi ride to actually get to the town, especially with luggage.

Can you possibly rent a car? Driving in the countryside is so easy and it's actually a great pleasure! You
can stop anywhere you want, whenever you want, catch countless photo ops, stop in at a farm to try their olive oil, cheese, wine...

A car would make your time in Tuscany much more enjoyable - I guarantee it.

Buon viaggio!
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Old Apr 30th, 2006, 08:24 AM
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I can see your point. However, I've been reading guide books that say that the towns we would probably want to see are very small and overcrowded in summer, parking is at a premium, and we would usually have to park outside the town walls and take a bus to the center of these wonderful towns. The train just seems simpler. Slightly concerned about leaving our luggage and other belongings in a parked car as well. This is new to me. Are the guide books "off base"
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Old Apr 30th, 2006, 08:54 AM
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Margreee,

Don't take everything the guidebooks say as gospel. If you are staying in a hilltown, your accomodation will usually have parking available not too far away. This is something to confirm in advance, and ask if there is an additional parking charge.

If you are visiting for the day, you will want to park in the public parking lots, some are closer to the tops of hilltowns than others, BUT they are still much closer than the train stations.

I picked up my rental car in Chiusi. From what I saw of the city, I would not care to stay there. It's probably not a bad place, but not particularly scenic, not a hilltown, more modern working town.

I had a car with a covered hatchback, a VW Golf. I didn't worry at all about leaving my luggage out of site. I did not leave any maps, water bottles, etc. in sight. Some of the public parking lots (pay) have an attendant on duty, others are free with no attendants.

My first driving trip in Tuscany was with a friend who acted as navigator, sort of. My second trip was solo and I had no problems at all.
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Old Apr 30th, 2006, 09:18 AM
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Hi M,

Florence to Assisi - 2:22 hr
Florence to Siena - 1:30 hr (bus)
Florence to Montepulciano - 2:05 hr
Florence to Castellina - 1:14 hr
Florence to Orvieto - 1:30 hr

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Old Apr 30th, 2006, 09:37 AM
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Most hilltowns are not that big and don't have municipal bus service. You park in a lot on the outside and walk in. It's not that far.

How long are you going to be in Tuscany and Umbria? Public transportation takes more time than driving. Unless you have a long vacation, I think you'll have to give up some of your destinations or switch to driving.
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