Tuscany and CT Itinerary Question

Old Sep 7th, 2013, 06:15 AM
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Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 34
Tuscany and CT Itinerary Question

I am planning our 2nd trip to Italy for next early June. We will have 12 full nights. Our first trip we visited Rome, Florence, and Venice. This time we would like to spend some time in the hill towns of Tuscany then end our stay in the Cinque Terre area. We plan to rent a car for the Tuscany portion of our trip.

I was thinking of flying into Rome then taking a train to overnight in Orvieto. The next day we could rent a car and head to Tuscany.

I am trying to decide if we should pick just one base in Tuscany or two since we will have 6 or 7 nights. The areas we would like to visit include Siena and the Val d'Orcia area. We would like to take a couple day trips to visit some of the abbeys and other towns. My first thought was to stay in the Siena area and just do day trips but since I would probably want to spend at least 2 days in the southern area I was wondering if it would be better to stay in Pienza or Montepulcino for 3 nights then head up to Siena for 3 nights. I prefer to lodge within walking distance of a town so we can walk in the evenings to dinner, etc.

After Tuscany, we would head to the CT area. I was thinking we could take the scenic drive through Chianti and have lunch. Then either drop the car in (Pisa or Florence?) and train to CT or should we just drive all the way to the CT area and drop the car there?

I want at least 4 nights in CT because in addition to the area itself, we want to take a day trip to the Portofino/SML area and also Portovenere. I haven't decided if I want to base in CT or maybe the SML area ... so many pros and cons of both options. Either way, we would take a train to fly out of Pisa at the end of our trip.

I actually have 1 extra night that I haven't accounted for yet so that would leave me with 7 nights in Tuscany of 5 nights in the CT area.

I would appreciate any feedback or advice from the experts. Thank you!!
LiveSlow99 is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2013, 06:49 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
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A few thoughts:

a whole bunch of people are going to swoop in and tell you that whatever you do do NOT drive anywhere into Florence, especially to drop off or pick up a car; that you should do that at the airport.

Actually, I have driven into Florence more than once and I've also picked up and dropped a car off there. It CAN be done and without any parking violations, etc.

Siena, think about parking in one of those public lots and walking. And there are some zones there which don't allow apparently non-local cars and they are not well-marked IMO so be vigilant.

I would strongly consider either renting a GPS or a car that has one. Why? Warnings about upcoming speed cameras if nothing else and they are all over the place.

Driving in Tuscany was overall a real joy and afforded us a lot of flexibility; I would eagerly do it again.
Dukey1 is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2013, 09:23 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 356
We stayed in Montalcino when we visited Tuscany and found it was an excellent location to do day trips to Siena, Montepulcina and other hill towns. There were many places to visit within a short driving distance.

If you have already visited Florence then I would suggest dropping off your car in Pisa. If you want to do any site seeing before heading to CT you can leave your luggage at the train station and take a bus to the tower etc and then pick up your luggage and take the train to La Spezia and CT from there.
Snowflake25 is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2013, 01:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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This may help http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/tuscany/hs_planning.htm
Henry is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2013, 01:40 PM
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 356
We used Henry's suggestions from his SlowTravel posts and we had a fabulous trip. Thanks again Henry for your original post and also for reposting for LivSlow!!! And we still talk about our stay at LaCrociona....what a wonderful place and wonderful people!!!
Snowflake25 is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2013, 03:02 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 34
Thanks Henry and all! I've been reading up on SlowTrav - a terrific resource for Tuscany! I am not a fan of skipping from place to place but at the same time I am not liking the idea of long day trips to say Siena or Chianti if I stay in the Montalcino area for the full 7 nights. And for some reason I always envisoned overnighting in Siena vs a day trip ... ugghhh ... still leaning to breaking my week between the Montalcino area and Siena ...

Does the first overnight at Orvieto sound ok? I thought about just stopping for the day then taking the train then taxi over to the Pienza area, but after all that effort, maybe it is best to just spend the night and start fresh the next morning? Orvieto has been on my bucket list so I thought this would be a great way to get it into the trip.
LiveSlow99 is offline  
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