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Progress with Tuscany itinerary

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Feb 4th, 2013, 07:12 PM
  #1
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Progress with Tuscany itinerary

We are making some progress narrowing down where to go for our 2 week Tuscany trip. We love to have great food, wine, walk, see the sights, absorb the ambience, drive around and explore. We want to stay in a combination of city and country accomodations. We like to stay in places where there are great dinner restaurants so that we don't have to drive in unfamiliar places at night. We hope to find good base areas so that we can drive and explore things during the day.

Here is what we've come up with--I welcome any suggestions:
Florence--3 nights
Rent car, drive to San Gimignano for 1 night
Siena 2 nights
Southern Tuscany area 2 nights--stay in Pienza? Montepulciano? somewhere else?
Go to Cortona/Arezzo area stay there or somewhere else?
Go to Assisi/Spoleto area--where to stay?
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Feb 4th, 2013, 07:44 PM
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How many nights would you have for Cortona/Arezzo and Assisi area?
kybourbon is online now  
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Feb 4th, 2013, 11:53 PM
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kyb, the first part adds up to 8 nights, so I assume 5-6 for Cortona/Arezzo/Assisi/Spoleto.

drkathej, check the driving times from Montepulciano to your destinations in southern Tuscany and Umbria. You might want to eliminate another hotel change and just stay in Montepulciano longer. I'd probably spend 3 nights in Siena to allow a day for a drive through Chianti, and then 4-5 nights (or whatever the number) in Montepulciano.

Are you arriving at and departing from the Florence airport? If so, consider renting the car on arrival and heading to San Gimignano (a little over an hour's drive). Drop the car somewhere in Tuscany or Umbria, take the train to Florence and spend the last nights there.

What time of year is this trip?
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Feb 5th, 2013, 10:29 AM
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I don't recommend renting a car upon arrival in Italy and driving if you are flying transatlantic and will arrive jet lagged. I think you have a good plan to go to Florence first, without a car. But if you are flying from some other part of Europe, sure.

The pretty little Umbrian town of Montone is very conveniently located for visits to Cortona, Assisi and Spoleto. So I recommend staying there so you consolidate your hotel stays. In fact, you can see Cortona en route to Montone from the Tuscany area.

Because it is not necessarily fun to drive in an out of Arezzo (it's not hard, it's just not fun), I recommend extending your stay in Florence on night to see Arezzo by train.

To include a drive through the Chianti, you might consider reversing your trip, leaving for Florence and heading east, to do the eastern part of your tour first, and then coming back north through a western route, ending in San Gimignano.

Presuming you are flying in and out of Florence, this is how I would do your wish list:


Florence--4 nights (day trip to Arezzo)
Rent car, drive to Montone via the Chianti. Stay 3 nights in Montone with day trips to Spoleto and Assisi
Drive to Cortona for lunch, stay in southern Tuscan town for 3 nights
Drive to San Gimignano via Siena.

You probably have more nights than that....
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Feb 6th, 2013, 07:10 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I think we will fly in and out of Rome as the flight to Milan or Florence gets in late. We can arrive in Rome at 11:15 AM and take the train to Florence. Since we will need to get back to Rome to return home, it makes sense to end in the more southern parts.
I am guessing that it would be good for us to stay in Montepulciano for the southern Tuscany area (as opposed to another town)? I will check out Montone also.
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Feb 6th, 2013, 07:36 PM
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Have you looked at flights into Florence or Pisa? You could fly into one of them and home from Rome.
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Feb 7th, 2013, 07:11 AM
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I haven't checked into Pisa but the flight into Florence itself arrives late (8 PM) and it may cost more than flying into Rome.
I am beginning to form more solid ideas and think we would go to Florence--3 nights, St. Gim... for 1 or 2, Siena for 3, Montepulciano(??? or other nearby town--) for 2 and then perhaps Montone. This will enable us to tour Florence, the Chianti area, the southern area and then Umbria.
Are there any hotel recommendations for these places? One of our priorities is to have good restaurants nearby so we don't have to drive in unfamiliar places at night. We like both town, city and country areas so we would be up for going to at least one place in the country.
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Feb 7th, 2013, 07:50 AM
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This is a relatively small geographic area. Do you want to be changing hotels so many times? Here are the general driving times between points:

Florence to San Gim: About an hour
San Gim to Siena: About an hour
Siena to Montepulciano: About 80 minutes
Montepulciano to Montone: About 90 minutes

IMO, Montone is a bit too far north to "tour Umbria," but it depends on what you want to see/do in the region.
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