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elg105 Apr 3rd, 2005 07:52 PM

Need some guidance,3 days with car to see Tuscany
First time driving in Italy! We are arriving in Pisa and would like to pick up the car and drive to Montepulciano. Is that too ambitious? Would we have time to visit any towns along the way?Staying in Montepulciano for one night and then we think Cortona and Arezzo from there.We're thinking of going through Chianti on our return to stay in Siena and here's where I'm lost.What towns should we visit as we would like to spend one more night "on the road".What town(and hotel) would be a good recommendation for that? I figure that San Gimi would be a good day trip from Siena after turning in the car. After Siena, we will return to Florence for a short stay.Thanx for any and all help!

jabez Apr 4th, 2005 04:19 AM

It may be me, or maybe because it's monday, but I'm a bit confused by your post.
You arrive in Pisa and want to drive to Montepulciano?
No problem, but then up to Cortona and Arezzo and then over to Chianti ,back down to Siena and then back up to Florence?
A lot of zig-zagging for such a short timeframe.
My suggestion (assuming you REALLY want to stay in Montepulciano) is to drive from Pisa and stop at Cortona and Arezzo on the way down. This assumes you arrive reasonably early.
Forom montepulciano go to Siena and stay for 2 nights with day trips.
Then travel through Chianti on way to Florence.
I'm not sure that your 3 days means three nights.
On the other hand (IMHO), with 3 nights , your itinerary is really way too ambitious.
Make a choice. Stay in Siena for these 3 days and do day trips, or plan on small town stays only. I love the Montepulciano, Pienza, Montalcino area, but since you finish in Florence I'd concentrate on going no further south than Siena.

Ann1 Apr 4th, 2005 06:33 AM

The previous poster is correct. I think people don't realize that Italy is not that big. To stay in one or two places in Tuscany allows you to see everything you want. We usually stay in one place and take a day trip each day. You can do Tuscany and Umbria, etc from one or two points. Take a map and plan it out. Get a world map, measure Italy and compare it to the US. The whole country is like from South Carolina to Florida.

bobthenavigator Apr 4th, 2005 07:30 AM

Pick one place and stay there--probably near Siena. Do you have a good map==that is important.

elg105 Apr 4th, 2005 06:56 PM

Thanx Jabez
I guess maybe I wasn't too clear. My plan is pretty open except for my reservations that put me in Siena for two nites and then 3 nites in Florence the last city that I visit. When I arrive in Pisa, I pick up the car and the drive begins! The idea is to spend two nites out in the country, prior to arriving in Siena.
But, I gather that my map skills need work...So the question remains, what do you think would be the best route to optimize my time with the loveliest towns or scenic route to them?

NatalieM Apr 4th, 2005 07:08 PM

Just got back from our first trip to Italy that included a week in Tuscany (with a car). You probably already know this, but you don't need or want a car in Florence! Driving in Tuscany was quite easy and non-stressful, however. We loved Cortona, which was our "home base" for the weeek...Siena is much larger, but very charming. Montepulciano seemed a bit more "touristy" to me, but I'm sure it's just personal preference, since many posters have loved it. I'd be happy to share info & ideas if you'd like to e-mail me direct. [email protected]

jabez Apr 5th, 2005 10:54 AM

Either stay in Chianti (I like the Greve area or southern (I love Montalcino). The drive to Florence from southern Tuscany is a little longer, but not bad. Chianti is a short drive to Florence and is between Siena and Florence. This allow you the most time to enjoy this area.

elg105 Apr 5th, 2005 07:13 PM

Thank you again Jabez! I am going to look into Greve and perhaps staying there one nite and then perhaps Montecatini if you say it is so lovely.Did I get the feeling you don't like Montepulciano much? How do you feel about Pienza or Chiuso?

Natalie, I'll also be in touch with you to pick your brain a little!

jabez Apr 6th, 2005 04:06 AM

I do like Montepulciano, Pienza, etc. There's few Italian towns that I don't (deruta comes to mind).
I don't see that anyone on this thread suggested Montecatini . I would not recommend it because of its location and IMHO is only for those interested in spas.
Get a good map and take a look at where Florence, Siena, Montepulciano, Greve, Pazano, etc. are.

artsfan Apr 6th, 2005 04:34 AM

We will be staying near Lecchi and Radda. Is it unrealistic to think we could go to Montepulciano, Montalcino, and Pienza all in one long day? Not sure how long a drive it is to head south twice.

We have a week total in Tuscany and will be driving up from Rome airport. On another day we will want to go to Siena. And we want to see San Gimignano. Family members also say they want to just relax a couple of days (which would include visiting Radda, Greve, and Castellina for dinner or something).

So...What do you think about trying to visit those three south Tuscany towns in one day? If you think that's a bad idea, can you tell me how long it will take us to head down there? Thanks.

SanAntoniogal Apr 6th, 2005 07:21 AM

I would like to suggest tht you spend at least one night in the beautiful countryside of Tuscany. There is a lovely farm and winery 4 km from San Gimingano called Fattoria Poggio Alloro that rents rooms. They are an oganic farm and it is the most beautiful place in the world with some of the best food ever. Their website is Also their prices are extremely reasonable. The views are to die for!fe

jabez Apr 6th, 2005 08:01 AM

Montepulciano, Montalcino, and Pienza is possible, but not the best way to enjoy them. They are relatively close to each other.
If you are staying in Radda, you're quite close to Greve and you'll be staying in Chianti. You can take a day trip to San Gim and Volterra-1 to 1 1/2 hrs.
If you first stay in the Montepulciano, Montalcino, Pienza area on your way up from Rome for 3 nights and then 4 at Radda, you can get a good mix of Tuscany.

elg105 Apr 6th, 2005 04:23 PM

Sorry Jabez, I didn't mean Montecatini but rather Montalcino
I'm thinking of staying in or near Greve based on the recommendations I've been reading. It was definitely good advice to re-route my journey and go thru Chianti first! Any ideas for a place to stay? I tend to like staying in town most times, in order to walk around even when the crowds have left.

jabez Apr 7th, 2005 08:02 AM

I stay near Greve, not in town.If you do a search ,you'll see where others have stayed. I've stayed in Montalcino, but not sure if you will be staying there.

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