Need help with Tuscany Itinerary

Old Jan 19th, 2000, 08:26 AM
  #1  
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Need help with Tuscany Itinerary

After visiting Florence, my husband and I plan to spend a few days in the countryside. Can anyone tell me if our fisrt day is feasable?: Pick up rental car, leave Florence in the morning, stop in Prato briefly en route to Lucca (for Lunch,etc) -- Spend afternoon making our way to San Gimignano where we would spend the night.

If this sounds like a reasonable day, could you give advice on these options?:
La Cisterna
Relais Santa Chiara
Hotel La Collegiate
OR
Should we spend the night somewhere else like Volterra?
 
Old Jan 19th, 2000, 09:14 AM
  #2  
Paul
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Lisa,

Sounds like a lot of driving in one day! I'd personally think about staying in Lucca once you get there. It's a very charming city, and a nice contrast after Florence. You could easily visit San Gimignano and Volterra the next day.
 
Old Jan 19th, 2000, 09:46 AM
  #3  
lisa peretz
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Paul, we plan to spend the next two days in siena and the chianti region(badia, radda, castellina). Should we forget Lucca and San Gim. altogether and stay longer in the other areas?
 
Old Jan 19th, 2000, 10:01 AM
  #4  
Beth
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Hi Lisa,
I agree with Paul, that driving to Lucca, then all the way to San G in one day is too much. But San G is not that far from Siena. Why not go directly there from Florence, spend that night in San. Then maybe you could go to Siena the next day, spend 2 nights, using the second day to drive into Chianti.

Get yourself a map and check out the distances. You can travel 60 mph on the A1, but once you get off, you should guess an average of more like 30 mph. The mountain roads are slow, and you can get stuck behind trucks or farm equipement for many miles.
 
Old Jan 19th, 2000, 10:25 AM
  #5  
Bob
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We just finished touring that area. Siena to Florence is an easy trip. Siena to San G. and Volterra not bad either. We simply landed in one spot in Siena and toured the area by car. It avoided packing and unpacking too much and the hassles of checking in and out of places. We did stop in Lucca on way to coast and did not see much to make us need to return. Why not find a place in San G or Siena and tour from there? It will save a lot of time that will be wasted on hauling bags in and out of hotels.
 
Old Jan 19th, 2000, 10:54 AM
  #6  
lisa peretz
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Thanks for the info -- you have made a good point. If my time will be spent between San Gim the first night and then onto siena and chianti region(Badia, gaolie, castellina), where do you think would be a good central location to stay for the next two nights? (Castellina? Greve?, Gaiole?)
 
Old Jan 19th, 2000, 12:36 PM
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Jim
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If you really want to leave Firenze for San Gimignano via Prato and Lucca, the total trip is approx 100 miles-NOT much traveling for one day!!
 
Old Jan 19th, 2000, 12:51 PM
  #8  
Paul
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Lisa,

I'd stay in the Siena-Castellina area, use that as a base, and explore from there. We base in the Castellina area, and have made a daytrip to San G. and Volterra (same day) very easily. If you base here, you can easily daytrip everywhere (even Lucca). Look at this hotel: http://www.hotelsanleonino.com.

I agree with Jimmy that the distance between the cities is not great. However, but the time you get out and walk around a few places, you may get rather pooped out! It's about 1 hour on the Autostrada from Florence to Lucca, and Prato is just off the Autostrada (not a very pretty place - it's mostly industrial suburbs). You can actually go 100 MPH (160 KPH) on the Autostrada with no difficulty (maybe that's why it only took me an hour....). But why rush?
 
Old Jan 19th, 2000, 01:14 PM
  #9  
Paulo
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Well, Lisa, as I understood from your other posts, you have 3 nights to spare after you leave Florence (which as a first guess you intend to spend in San G., Siena, and Castellina).

Lucca is so nice that, if possible I wouldn't dump it just like that ...

One possibility would be:

a) Leave Florence early and drive directly to Lucca (forget about Prato, Montecatini, etc). It should take you about one hour to get there. Visit the city center and have lunch. Drive to San G. It should take about 1 1/2 hours. In principle, therefore, you could be in San G. around 3 pm, to visit just about all the sites before they close. Spend the night.

b) leave early and directly to Siena (no fooling around because you'll need all the time you've got to visit the city ... of course, I'm more than a little biased The drive from San G. to Siena should take about 45 minutes. Spend the full day visiting the city.

c) leave in the morning for your Chianti tour.

Regarding hotels, the only night we spent in San Gimignano was at the Leon Bianco, a 3-star housed in a very nice historic building and located in the middle of the action (Piazza della Cisterna). We have no reasons not to use it again were it the case ...

Paulo

 
Old Jan 20th, 2000, 08:31 AM
  #10  
lisa peretz
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THANK YOU Paul, Paulo, Beth,Bob for your informative suggestions. I'm starting to get a feeling for the amount of things we plan to cover. It sounds like my best bet is to cut Luca and use Castellina as my base in which to cover the Chianti region, siena, and maybe even San Gimignano. Especially after all the reading I've done about the twisting roads in radda, gaiole, brolio, and castellina, not to mention the trip down from Florence on the S222. Maybe we can squeeze Luca into a daytrip from Florence before we head south.

Thank you again and if anything else comes to mind, please let me know.
 
Old Jan 20th, 2000, 08:42 AM
  #11  
lisa peretz
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Thank you Paul, Paulo, Beth, Bob for your generosity. I guess Luca is a little ambitious with all we plan to cover. After reading some more about the Chianti region, it sounds like would be better served over two days and we could stay in Castellina as a base and still take in Siena for a day and if we're lucky, SanGimignano. Maybe we can even fit Luca in as a day trip from Flornece before we head south. The thought of having a nice lunch outside at a winery on a beautiful day sounds better than sitting in a car all day.

I really appreciate all your wonderful insights. Please keep them coming.
 

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