Special little 1/2-nighter south of Pisa

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Jan 11th, 2017, 12:30 PM
  #1
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Special little 1/2-nighter south of Pisa

DH and I will be arriving at Pisa airport around 4pm and want to get closer to our destination in southern Tuscany (tbd but working on it) without driving much more than an hour. We are considering pressing on to Massa Marittima, which would be about an hour and a half. But, we will also need to do the same at the end of the trip--for a noon departure--so I am polling for ideas.
Volterra is one option. The coastal region is a bit of a mystery to me as of yet, though I have read about a stellar seafood place. Maybe one of you has a marvelous recommendation that I should consider? Thanks for any suggestions!
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Jan 11th, 2017, 02:22 PM
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Where are you going in southern Tuscany and what time of year are you traveling?

There are several stellar seafood places along the coast, maybe only a few with handy accommodations though if you like to drink wine. Also, they vary in price.

But if you are looking to enjoy dinner, then you also need to factor in that you will want to arrive at the restaurant by 8.30 -- meaning you need to allow for time to pick up your rental, drive, check into your hotel, maybe freshen up a bit. That will determine, too, how far you want to drive.
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Jan 11th, 2017, 02:25 PM
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Maybe I should be clearer:

"southern" Tuscany is a big place, and roads in Tuscany (except along the coast) tend to be slow-going. Even if your precise location is "tbd", can you narrow it down a bit? Val d'Orcia? Closer to Siena? Cortona?
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Jan 11th, 2017, 02:55 PM
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Viareggio is a sweet seaside respite a short drive from Pisa Airport
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Jan 11th, 2017, 05:06 PM
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Considering the time of your arrival and depending on your final destination, you could train to Grosseto and pick up the car the next day. If there's a chance of driving in the dark, I'd opt for the train, and Grosseto is a nice stop in and of itself.

The area around Volterra is very scenic, though, both coming from Pisa and departing west or south.
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Jan 12th, 2017, 07:32 AM
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It will be in late May, and we will be working our way to Orbetello (considering one of the inland towns like Pitigliano for an additional stay), but we know that would be too much to drive upon arrival.
So, conundrum now is to press on to Massa Marittima, which just adds 30 minutes to my hour comfort zone, or Volterra, or one of the coastal (or just inland) towns along the E80. Research in progress!
I thought about taking the train to Grosseto and getting the car the next day, but DH feels he can handle a short drive, and that would take time away from elsewhere, and train might be more taxing than just hopping in a car at that point.
We are pretty in sync with Italian dinner time, and if we stick with a destination one hour away from Pisa airport, we should be fine. Now I need to make some decisions in order to strike the right balance of town-village-rural for the whole trip, but that's the fun part right?.
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Jan 12th, 2017, 08:19 AM
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I agree with PalenQ. We stayed in the hills around just west of MonteCatini for 6 weeks and taking the kids to the beach in Viareggio was very nice.
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Jan 12th, 2017, 08:26 AM
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I appreciate the suggestion, I just want to head south. We passed through some of those resort towns heading north on a previous trip.
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Jan 12th, 2017, 08:11 PM
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I don't see much point in driving north from Pisa airport if your real target is Orbetello. I have to see that were it me, I would dogleg inland rather than looking for a seafood meal along the coast, since Orbetello will give you plenty of that. But maybe I should also say you are the person who told me you would never dream of going to a scenic inland valley or wine area just for a single meal, so maybe what I would do is irrelevant. FWIW, I might try restaurant Mocajo in Casino di Terra or Frantoio in Montescudaio. You might want something different.
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Jan 13th, 2017, 08:46 AM
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Good point on the seafood--was more looking for a pleasant place to unwind after the flight and the restaurant just diverted me. I don't remember saying that, but who knows. Thanks for the input!
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Jan 13th, 2017, 09:02 AM
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I only spent a few hours in Massa Maritima but it made a big impression on me [and in a positive way!] not only is there a very interesting cathedral, but there's a tower to climb, old city walls, medieval streets, and what looked like some great restaurants. [we ate in one but just had acqua calda which isn't really a good enough test of a chef, IMO]

as it's only another 30 mins beyond your self-imposed limit, it would def get my vote.

funny story - I went there with the organiser from the language school I attended in Orbetello, who though lovely is probably the worst driver I've ever had to endure; she was the opposite of the stereotypical italian driver in that she drove really

s l o w l y - being behind her would have been maddening, even to me.

So our journey to Massa Maritima took a long time, but we got there eventually, and found a car park just outside the city walls, which are very interesting, as they show clearly all the civilisations that have occupied the city, just like Pitigliano. Maria was very insistent that we leave nothing on show in the car, taking all our belongings with us. On returning to the car we found that everything was fine, despite the fact that she'd left the car window completely open.

Obviously the inhabitants of M.M are very honest.
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Jan 13th, 2017, 09:28 AM
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As usual, I am finding too many options for a 10 night trip, but I must soldier through, lucky me!
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Jan 13th, 2017, 10:13 AM
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I don't think that there are any bad options in this area, Yorkshire.
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Jan 13th, 2017, 01:06 PM
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I would recommend stopping in Massa Marittima before reaching Orbetello the next day. It is a lovely town, with stunning views on a clear day, and maybe you could consider it for a lunch spot. If you've never seen Montescudaio, try looking up some pictures to see if it appeals to you for your overnight. It is inland, but not far from the coastal roadl I have enjoyed many spots along the Tuscan coast, and would probably go to Livorno myself (without a car, picking one up the next day). However, there are some "bad" options along the coast, especially if you would be disappointed to find yourself staring at nuclear power plants or industrial waterfront (or some dispiriting, blah marshes).
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