Newbie for Italy

Dec 6th, 2005, 08:39 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 22
Newbie for Italy

Hey y'all ... been reading all sorts of posts trying to get tips for a planned 8-day trip to Florence, Tuscany, and Venice in early June 2006. I can't decide whether to start out in Florence for 2 days, do 3 days through Tuscany, then 2 in Venice ... or the other way around. Also, I'll be starting from Paris, and was planning to train it to Florence. Here are my questions:

What is the better airport to fly home from, Florence or Marco Polo? You travel veterans out there, weigh in!

We want to visit a day spa in Tuscany ... any suggestions?

I am trying to put together the Tuscany days with highlights -- Montepulciano, Siena, Cortona, and Pisa. Anything I shoudn't miss? And also, I don't want to drive in Italy. What's the best way to get around Tuscany?

Thanks for all the help ... I've been reading so many guide books I'm all muddled!
VirtualCher is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 08:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,114
My personal choice is to fly into Florence and out of Venice. I like the business of Florence at the beginning of the trip and prefer to save the calm and tranquility of Venice for the end, just before I'm returning home.

Or, that could also be thought of as "saving the best for last."
Statia is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 09:03 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,257
Hee, Statia, that is exactly what we are doing. Great minds, lol.

Best wishes VC for a pleasant journey.
Tiff is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 09:12 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,523
Hi Virtual,

I think your time planned for each destination sounds fine for a first trip, if this is really what you want to do.

However, you will not make the most of your short time in Tuscany without a car. Driving in the countryside is easy and actually enjoyable.

Also, Cortona is out of the way. You might want to visit other towns closer to each other.

I agree with flying in to Florence and out of Venice. In 8 days, you don't have time to waste backtracking.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 11:49 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 22
A car, huh ... if it is that easy, then I'll do it. I'm always up for an adventure ... as long as it's automatic and I can drive on the right side of the road ...

Yep, I know I'll have to backtrack if I do the Cortona trip, but I keep hearing it is a "don't miss" destination. Is there a different town I should do instead, like San Gimignano or Lucca -- for the "flavor" of Tuscany?

Thanks everyone for your input!
VirtualCher is offline  
Dec 6th, 2005, 04:43 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 196
We just got back from Italy and spent a week driving around southern Tuscany. I was so worried about the driving (mainly getting lost) but found that is was, indeed, no problem. In fact, it was very enjoyable! We did pick up an Italiano Driving Club map of Tuscany, but barely used it. There are signs everywhere pointing you in the right direction.

You can easily see the "highlights" of Florence in two days, three at the max.

Have a wonderful trip!
jrchapma is offline  
Dec 7th, 2005, 01:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,491
Hi VC,

You can fly from Paris ORY to Venice VCE on

Much cheaper and more conveninet than the train.

I think that you will find better schedules flying out of Florence FLR or Pisa PSA (1 hr from Florence by train) than from Venice.

ira is online now  
Dec 7th, 2005, 05:52 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,523
Hi again V,

After 3 trips to Italy, I have a fairly good list of towns visited in both Tuscany and Umbria. The latest trip did include a 1/2 day visit to Cortona - on the way to Gubbio.

Honestly, Cortona is a lovely town, but not really all that different from all the other hilltowns. You could have the same experience visiting Montepulciano, San Gimingano, Todi, Montefalco....

I know there are Fordorites who will disagree, and yes, I do feel that each town has something unique and special about it. These are the things you would discover by staying 2 - 3 nights in a town and enjoying the evenings as well as the days.

I think with this short of a trip, you would get more bang for the buck without detouring to Cortona. Personally, I would add a day to beautiful Venezia!

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
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