Rome and Tuscany in 2010 - May or June?

Old Aug 1st, 2009, 06:00 AM
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Rome and Tuscany in 2010 - May or June?

First of all, let me just say thank you to all of the regular posters to this board. The time you take to share your experiences and advice are so valuable to novice travelers like me! Through one posting of my own last week, and through hours I've spent reading other posts, I have learned so much!

Our 25th anniversary is in June 15, 2010, and we are planning our trip to Italy to celebrate. I have decided to cut down our itinerary (cutting out the Lakes area) and now it tentatively stands at:
- Fly to Rome - 4 nights
- Train to Orvieto or Chiusi (undecided still) - rent a car, drive to Tuscany
- 5 or 6 nights in Tuscany - still deciding where, although I am leaning towards the southern portion
- Drop rental car at location it was picked up, train back to Rome, fly back to States.

Questions -
I am considering either May or June for this trip. Our goals are, in this order: 1) avoid the worst of the crowds; 2) still have nice weather, although it doesn't need to be pool-lounging weather; and 3) if both 1 and 2 are pretty much the same for either month, then I suppose I'd just as soon go in June to be there during our actual anniversary date.

Next, the flights I am looking at have us leaving Rome at 11:30 am. Would we be wise to spend our final night back in Rome near the airport? Rather than trying to travel early morning from southern Tuscany? If so, any suggestions on a good hotel near the airport for our final night of vacation? Probably no more than 200 Euros/night max.

Thanks for your attention. Any and all feedback is welcome!
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Old Aug 1st, 2009, 06:34 AM
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But if you've read the forum so completely, did you miss the frequent suggestion of open-jaws flights? Say, into Rome, out of Pisa? You may pay a drop-off charge but save the cost of the train back to Rome.

Assuming you do fly out of Rome, first don't rely on a train the same day as your departure flight. Italian trains are subject to strikes and breakdowns. Better to spend your last night in Rome proper, then get yourselves to the airport by train or taxi or towncar. That should be quite easy, and you don't waste a day of vacation at a soulless airport hotel.

And I'd prefer May to June, not so hot, fewer people, cheaper (the shoulder season), with lots of flowers and fresh green fields.
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Old Aug 1st, 2009, 06:49 AM
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I don't usually find good prices for Pisa flights, but if money isn't an issue, you might want to consider that. If you fly in and out of Rome, I would tweak your itinerary so you end with your visit in Rome. Fly to Rome and take the Leonardo Express train from the airport to Rome Termini train station. Immediately train to Orvieto (it's only an hour train ride) instead of staying in Rome. Visit/tour and spend the first night in Orvieto which is small, relaxing hill town (you will be jet lagged and Rome is hectic). If you have time, do the underground Etruscan tour in Orvieto. Pick up your car the next day for your 5-6 days in Tuscany. Drop you car at Chiusi and train to Rome for your last 4 days.

http://www.orvietounderground.it/index.php?lang=en

http://www.orvietoonline.com/
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Old Aug 1st, 2009, 07:07 AM
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I did look at flights leaving from Florence, but they were significantly more expensive, and had multiple connections, at least for the dates I looked at. That is why I went back to the plan of leaving from Rome. I found very good rates and a direct flight to Chicago. I figured this would be worth the travel back to Rome, and with the savings, I could splurge more on accomodations.

Good suggestion to change our itinerary around, I will consider that. Thanks.
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Old Aug 1st, 2009, 07:12 AM
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I think the last 2 weeks of May are the best time. It's my favorite time because of the weather, spring scenery and less crowds.

No need to spend your last night an an airport hotel- stay in Rome and enjoy a nice dinner and evening walk. Take a taxi or car service to the airport in the morning (a 20 minute commute).

Also, if you arrive early enough in Rome on your first day, consider picking up the car at the airport and head to Tuscany at the beginning of your trip. This is easy if you are staying in southern Tuscany.
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Old Aug 1st, 2009, 07:27 AM
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I would also pick May over June. Not as crowded and not as hot.
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Old Aug 1st, 2009, 07:32 AM
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I would pick May because the lovely green wheat that covers the fields in the Val d'Orcia area (Pienza) starts to dry up & is not so spectacular in late June.

Stu Dudley
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Old Aug 1st, 2009, 07:52 AM
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Late May is ideal !
Do not drop back at Chiusi, but drive all the way to FCO to drop there. Then, stay near there or not, but no reason for a smelly regional train. I would spend a half day in Orvieto that day and sleep at the Hilton Garden at FCO.
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Old Aug 1st, 2009, 08:11 AM
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I can't help you with the months because i haven't been in either but we did this exact trip in November. We stayed in Rome four nights, train to Orvieto to pick up car and then Tuscany. We came back to Rome for the last two nights. I wanted to have one full day without travel before leaving. It was really nice to do it that way, if you can. It felt like we were returning to a city we knew and even went back to a restaurant we liked (it happened to be our anniversary that day too). I really loved Orvieto and was sad we did not spend the night there, or at least more than the hour or two we had.
The idea the other posters had was good - Tuscany first, then Rome.
Enjoy! I am jealous of your trip.
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Old Aug 1st, 2009, 08:25 AM
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I'd also train to Orvieto upon landing, spend the night there, then pick up the car the next morning to explore Tuscany. Finish with Rome.
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Old Aug 1st, 2009, 08:31 AM
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johkar,
I think kybourbon idea to do Tuscany first and end in Rome is better. If you look at Autoeurope for car rental you will see that you don't have to drop of at the same place you picked up. I like southern Tuscany and have a large file on it. It is too big to post but if yo e-mail me I will send it. [email protected]

Henry
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