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Need Suggestion on Mean of Transportation in Tuscany Area

Need Suggestion on Mean of Transportation in Tuscany Area

Sep 19th, 2009, 12:57 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 32
Need Suggestion on Mean of Transportation in Tuscany Area

Hello,

We, a family of four adults ,will arrive Pisa airport from Paris on October 10,2009.
We have a total of six days and would like to visit several cities in Tuscany - Florence, Siena, Chianti area, Luca and Pisa. Our preliminary intinerary is follows:

OPTION I
Day 1 - Arrive Pisa ( 9:00 AM). Take bus or train to Siena. Spend the night in Siena
Day 2 - Leaving Siena to Florence - Visit a winery on the way to Florence.
Spend the night in Florence.
Day 3 - Florence - Spend the night at Florence
Day 4 - Florence - Spend the night at Florence
Day 5 - Leaving Florence to Pisa. Visit Luca on the way to Pisa. Spend the night at Pisa
Day 6 - Pisa - Tour Leaning Tower - Fly out Pisa to Paris at 20:00 PM

OPTION II
Day 1 - Arrive Pisa ( 9:00 AM). Take bus or train to Florence. Spend the night in Florence
Day 2 - Florence - Spend the night at Florence (Sunday)
Day 3- Take day trip from Florence to Chianti area and Siena. Spend the nigth at
Florence (Monday)
Day 4 - Florence - Spend the night at Florence (Tuesday)
Day 5 - Leaving Florence to Pisa. Visit Luca on the way to Pisa. Spend the night
at Pisa (Wenesday)
Day 6 - Pisa - Tour Leaning Tower - Fly out Pisa to Paris at 20:00 PM ( Thursday)

Here are our questions:

1) What is the option should we take? Are there other better, practical options we should look at?
2) How can we buy train or bus tickets from Pisa to Siena or Florence?
3) If option II is selected, Please advise us on travel agencies who provide day trip from Florence.
4) Is there any travel agency who provides one way trip from Florence to Pisa with stop at different cities such as Luca??
5) We are looking for recomendations on hotel or rental apartments in Florence Centro.
If we can not find hotels in Centro, what is our alternative location??
6) We are going to take a late fligth from Pisa to Paris on 16/10/09. (22:00 PM) Beside the leaning tower in Pisa, are there any other attractions we should visit or should we spend the night tha day before in Luca and come back to Pisa the next day??
6) Is it possible to visit another city based on our 6 days trip?? ( San Gimignano??)


Thanks and Best Regards

MoreTravel
MoreTravel is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 01:04 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 45,865
You can buy bus or train tickets at any bus or train station. They're cheap in Italy, so no need to buy in advance over the internet or anything.

But is there a reason you're not renting a car, which IMO is the only sensible way to see Tuscany?
StCirq is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 01:10 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 10,157
Trains between Pisa, Lucca, and Florence will probably be R (regional) and do not require reservations--your ticket will be good fro any R train between the two locations. Just buy them before you board the train, than get on the train and find a seat. The same would be true of a bus between these cities.

You can check schedules here:

http://www.ferroviedellostato.it/homepage_en.html

It would certainly possible for you to spend all six of you days staying in Florence depending on your interests. It would also be possible to visit many other places in the region, depending on your interests.

You might consider hiring Luca Garrapa, an excellent driver and guide, for a day exploring the smaller towns of Chianti or other parts of Tuscany that area less accessible by bus or train..

http://www.hillsandroads.com/
ellenem is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 01:19 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
Logistically, Option 2 works much better -- and do NOT rent a car. That's very insensible advice for visiting the Tuscan cities you want to see. A car is useless for the trips you are contemplating, and expensive. You will spend half you time in traffic jams and pay exorbitant rates for parking for the limited use you will get out of it in the places you are going.

I recommend you look into booking a private driver to for your trip to Chianti/ Siena in Option 2. Have the driver take you on a tour of Chianti and drop you off in Siena. Take the bus from Siena back to Firenze.

You don't need a travel agency to take either itinerary you are contemplating. Lucca is a place you might enjoy lingering, so plan to devote more time to it than Pisa.

For Firenze accommodations, I recommend Tourist House Ghiberti.

I don't think you will want to squeeze in another day trip to San Gimignano, but you should have with you the logistics in case you find yourself uninterested in Firenze and feel you'd rather be in a hilltown. Just be aware that San Gimignano gets many, many daytrippers.
zeppole is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 03:01 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 13
Was in Tuscany in July and agree with a few of the comments above.

Option 2 is more feasible; if you're not going to rent a car (which I agree is the best way to see the Tuscany outside of the major cities), then it might be a bit difficult to see a winery using train/bus in Option 1!

I can appreciate the use of public transportation instead of the car from a green point of view since I did that for part of my trip, but I'd make sure to plan out your schedules including the bus/train schedules in detail in advance. The buses and trains may make several stops between your points of interest and may not operate as frequently or very early/late in order for you to perhaps spend as much time as you'd like in the towns you want to see.

Attached below are some links you may find useful.
Have a great trip!

http://www.italiantourism.com/
http://www.terresiena.it/
http://www.tredy.com/
TOCommuter is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 03:05 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,404
MoreTravel,

I agree that you don't need a car to visit the cities you plan. However, if you want to visit Chianti and some of the hilltowns, I would recommend staying IN one of the hilltowns for a couple of nights. You will have a very different experience than just doing a day trip, plus you will have a very nice contrast between the cities and a much smaller town.

Personally, I would prefer one smaller than Lucca or Siena. Maybe one of the small towns in Chianti?

Just a thought!
Dayle is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 06:42 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Precisely - car rental is absolutely the way to go in Tuscany to see the smaller towns and get off the beat track. And especially with 4 people it makes sense financially. there are tours - which will be expensive. There are trains and buses - but often don't go directly from here to there and may not run very often - esp to the smaller towns.
nytraveler is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 09:33 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
You cannot drive inside Lucca or Siena, it is inadvisable to drive in Florence, or in and out of Florence. Renting a car to get to and from the Pisa airport, or to tour Pisa is pointless and expensive.

The people who are advising you to rent a car have read the word "Tuscany" in your post and want you to change your trip to an "under the Tuscan sun" tourist trip in a car instead of visiting the small historic cities you have chosen for your main focus. Many Americans enjoy that trip and you might to. However, if you plan to spend nights in Florence and want to spend the majority of your time experiencing the enormous artistic wealth of the Renaissance inTuscany that is in Florence, Lucca, Siena and Pisa, you are poorly advised to get behind the wheel of a car to go to places much more conveniently accessed by train (or in the case of Siena, the regular, quite frequent bus between it and Florence).
zeppole is offline  
Sep 19th, 2009, 09:55 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,200
I can also highly recommend Luca of www.hillsandroads.com. He is great. I used him for three separate days a few years ago. If you know exactly where you want to go, just tell him and he will tell you if it is feasible to do it in one day. If you're not exactly sure where you want to go, you can tell him what you're interested in and he will suggest an itinerary.
SusanP is offline  
Sep 20th, 2009, 11:05 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 32
To all;

Thank you very much for your suggestions.
We are leaning to take option II and will hire a private driver for our trip.


Best Regards,

MoreTravel
MoreTravel is offline  

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