Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Simplified itinerary: Rome, Umbria, Tuscany, Florence in Feb/March

Simplified itinerary: Rome, Umbria, Tuscany, Florence in Feb/March

Reply

Jul 28th, 2004, 07:08 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,107
Simplified itinerary: Rome, Umbria, Tuscany, Florence in Feb/March

Whew! This trip planning can really cut into one's sleep time...but it sure pays off.
I can't imagine doing this in pre-Fodors days.

Please tell me what you think of this plan for 2 weeks beginning Mon, Feb 21st. We are 2 ladies (youngish mid-50's) who have travelled together before...like a mix of single rooms and doubles. Obviously we prefer areas where we feel safe at night.

4 NIGHTS: ROME
(Hotel Julia or Panda due to low single rates)

2 NIGHTS: ASSISI
(Hotel Fontanella-double)
Leave Rome, train to Orvieto early a.m. See Orvieto, pick up car around 3 and drive to Assisi. Arrive around sunset, so plan to see Assisi next day. Maybe day trip to Spoletto in afternoon?
(Can we store bags at station or car office while seeing Orvieto? Could be a stumbling block.)

3 NIGHTS: MONTALCINO
(Il Giglio-singles)
Leaving Assisi, side trip to Cortona (?), on to Montalcino. Over next 2 days, tour Pienza, Montepulciano and surrounds.

2 NIGHTS: SIENA
(Palazzo Ravissa for a splurge or Palazzo Bruchi budget)
First day see Siena. 2nd day maybe day trip to San Gim and/or Volterra.

3 NIGHTS: FLORENCE
(Hotel Casci - double)
Leaving Siena, maybe lunch in Greve if we can get to Florence airport to return car by 3 pm.
Flying out of Florence.

Since we are going in February, I'm hoping there will be some terrific hotel specials by then. But, thanks to Fodorites' advice, I'll start booking rooms now...carefully checking cancellation policies.

OK. Fire away!









JeanneB is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 28th, 2004, 07:45 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,441
This sounds like a great trip!
MFNYC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 28th, 2004, 07:45 AM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,107

IRA:
You've highly recommended B&B Peterson in Florence. We'd love to consider it, but please tell me about walking around that area at night. Relied on your rec's for the Bonaparte in Paris last year and you were right on the money! Thx.

Might also consider Soggiorno Battistero for the great singles price, but can't decide because of the walk-up.
JeanneB is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 28th, 2004, 08:10 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 715
JeanneB, your planning is paying off...this is a well-thought out trip. I like your mix of small towns, larger hilltowns and cities.

I have only a few suggeestions. When you arrive in Orvieto, pick up the car, put your luggage in the trunk and park the car in the small lot right next to the Duomo. In February, you should have no difficulty parking there.

Also, at the Palazzo Ravizza ask for a room in the back because the view is beautiful.

And last, but not least, even though it is February, try to have gelato every day.
Lorac1127 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 28th, 2004, 08:17 AM
  #5
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,005
Hi Jeanne,

B&B Peterson is on a wide, well traveled, well lit street about 8 min walk from the station.

In our 11 nights walking to and from we never felt threatened.
ira is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 28th, 2004, 08:40 AM
  #6
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,107
Thanks, everyone, for the feedback so far.

Regarding the Orvieto car p/up: I planned the later p/up because we don't want to return the car in Florence till mid-afternoon (allowing the stop in Greve). Earlier p/up in Orvieto adds $46 to the rental...I don't want to do that. If there's no storage in Orvieto, then I'd probably do as you say (rent car at 11 a.m.). Then skip the Greve stop on the last day, allowing us to turn in the car by 11 am in Florence.
JeanneB is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 28th, 2004, 09:42 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,393
RE: Palazzo Ravizza

I concur that you should get a room in the back not only for the view, but it is quieter in the back. This was one of my favorite hotels on our 2001 Italy trip. The restaurant at the hotel is very good, too.

We also did the San Gimignano/Volterra day trip. Beautiful drive from SG to Volterra.
maitaitom is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 28th, 2004, 10:55 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 715
There has to be another way, because Greve is a really, really nice town.

A possibility would be to include Greve as part of one of your Montalcino days. You could take the ride from Montalcino to Siena, stopping in Castellina and Greve and then take S438 south through the Crete which is breathtaking.

Here is the page from my trip report which describes a similar day: http://www.slowtrav.com/tr/TripRepor...id=460&index=7
Lorac1127 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 28th, 2004, 01:04 PM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,107
Lorac:
There are two different subjects there, so I'll address them separately. Great trip report, by the way!

As for the S438, I finally located it around Asciano. It looks like we could take that route on Day 7 -- driving from Assisi to Montalcino. Maybe skip Cortona and head for "the Crete". Pick up the s438from the S326, exit at Asciano & down to Montalcino. Is that what you did?

Which still leaves Greve. It sounds like you think it would be worth stopping there even if it adds to the car price. I'd be open to it on your recommendation. It's a tough choice. There are so many things I want to see in Florence, too. If we leave Siena at 9:30 am and go to Greve, what time do you think we'd get to Florence? I'm assuming we'd take s222?
JeanneB is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 28th, 2004, 01:18 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,509
Good plan--I like it. Someone must have been paying attention. Pin down that car pick up since that is crucial.
I would skip Greve in favor of San Gim./Volterra if that becomes a choice.
Be sure to do the Cane E Gato feast one nite in Siena--allow 4 hours.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 28th, 2004, 01:22 PM
  #11
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,107
Bob: Cano e Gato is THE main reason we're going to Siena. And why we didn't choose to stay at the "convent"...curfew! Thanks for all your input and patience.
JeanneB is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 28th, 2004, 07:01 PM
  #12
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,107
IRA:

Already have a reply from B&B Peterson:

36 euro single w/ bath
42 double w/ bath
46 per room, for two rooms with shared bath

That last one doesn't make much sense. Why would 2rooms/1bath be more than 2rooms/2baths? Maybe it's the size of the rooms. Great rates, though. Thanks!
JeanneB is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 29th, 2004, 06:27 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 180
Another option for visiting Greve is to take the SITA bus from Florence (50-55 minutes, 3.5 euros each way). It runs very frequently, more than once an hour. The only drawback is that the last bus leaves Greve at about 8PM for Florence so you can't go there for dinner and return by bus.

The SITA bus station is on Via Caterina very close to the train station. You could spend a half day there, including a great lunch. You'll find the SITA bus schedule for Greve at http://www.greve-in-chianti.com.

As you may know, Divina Cucina provides excellent restaurant recommendations for Greve (as well as Florence and many other places in Tuscany) on her website http://www.divinacucina.com.

Great itinerary! Have a wonderful trip.

Suzy Kane, http://www.idyllicitaly.com
IdyllicItaly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 29th, 2004, 07:32 AM
  #14
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,005
Hi Jeanne,

>Why would 2rooms/1bath be more than 2rooms/2baths? Maybe it's the size of the rooms.<

Yup. The ones with private bath ar smaller because of the bathroom.
ira is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 29th, 2004, 07:47 AM
  #15
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,107
Ira, that makes sense. They say the shared bathroom is "in the aisle". I assume that means "in the hall", which I guess is OK.

Suzy: I like your suggestion.
By the time we drive from Siena, turn the car in at the airport, then cab into Florence, I just don't think that day allows for a trip to Greve. By giving ourselves more time in florence that day, maybe we could work in a day-trip to Greve. It leaves us flexible to decide this after we get to Florence. Good plan.
JeanneB is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 29th, 2004, 12:55 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 715
JeanneB, we began the S438 drive in Siena and drove South, passing Asciano and Abbazia of Monte Oliveto Maggiore along the way. The Abbey is definitely worth a stop. This road had some of the best scenery of our trip...take a look at the Tuscany photos: http://www.slowtrips.com/photo/showg...er=146&cat=500

We didn't get to Greve on our first trip through Tuscany because it just wasn't possible. So if you can't fit it in this trip, it will be a lure to get you back to Tuscany again.
Lorac1127 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 29th, 2004, 04:53 PM
  #17
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,107
Lorac:
I think that will work. I left open the day we drive from Montalcino to Siena. Looking at my map, it looks like we'd head up S451 to Abbazia of Monte Oliveto Maggiore. Then pick up the s438 to Siena. And we'd still have the afternoon in Siena. That would make for a nice day.
JeanneB is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 29th, 2004, 05:38 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 715
JeanneB, I just noticed that you will be traveling in February. Keep in mind that the days are a bit shorter so you will have less daylight.

We thought the most beautiful part of the drive was the stretch from just south of Taverne d?Arbia to Asciano, so you should be pleased.
Lorac1127 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 29th, 2004, 06:13 PM
  #19
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,107
Yes, the entire itinerary is "subject to weather". We will be into March by this leg of the journey, though.

Thanks for all your help. I've saved your travelogue and will have a highlighter in my hand as I read it.
JeanneB is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jul 30th, 2004, 06:31 AM
  #20
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,107
Bob, Lorac:

My friend and I got together for dinner last night and we may simplify even more! We recalled our trip to France and how relaxing it was to have all of the 1st week in Paris. We LOVED Paris and assume we'll feel the same about Rome. So we may drop Assisi and add to Rome. (We made the mistake in France of doing too much driving and not enough "experiencing".)

The new itinerary we're considering is:

ROME: 6 nights
MONTALCINO: 3 nights
SIENA: 3 nights
FLORENCE: 2 nights

We'll miss Umbria and lose a day in Florence, but simplicity does have its own virtues.

If we're not as crazy about Rome as we anticipate....well, this IS February. So we could probably p/up the car early and drive on up to Tuscany whenever we like. Nothing is nailed down yet, but I think I'm happy with this plan.
JeanneB is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:49 AM.