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Jim Jul 31st, 2000 12:59 PM

Tuscany daytrips
We will be visiting Tuscany for the first time in early Oct. We are renting a car and staying in a Villa with several couples. Most of our sightseeing will be in the form of daytrips from the villa.Does anyone have any suggestions for great daytrips? Also, when goin to places like Florence or Sienna for the day, is it wise to take a car (ie is there a place to park it) or should one take the train in? Any tips at all would be appreciated.

George Jul 31st, 2000 01:10 PM

This past spring we stayed a week in Siena and took several day trips. Went to Florence by train in order to avoid congestion and getting lost. The train station is easy walking distance to all the major attractions and a car would have been useless in the city. Our favorite drive was to Montepulciano, a wine-making, hilltop town in the southern end of Tuscany. The drive itself is spectacular through village after village, any one of which is worth a day visit. Montepulciano was very serene with breathtaking views. Siena is also a fabulous day trip. Very unique town with loads of charm and things to see and do.

Kris Jul 31st, 2000 04:22 PM

Hi Jim: <BR> <BR>We did a very similar trip to Tuscany on the border of Umbria last year, and visited nearly every hill town in the area. My husband's favorite joke was "you may as well put me in a blindfold, spin me til I'm dizzy, and drop me on any hill town, cause they're all starting to look the same"! He was joking; he loved them all. Gubbio is an especially charming, ancient hill town in Umbria - not far from Tuscany, with a very accessible roman coliseum just outside the city walls. We saw few tourists there, even in peak season. Same for Todi, a really "vertical" hill town with magnificent views through quaint narrow alleyways. If you go to Todi, don't miss lunch at "Umbria" - the view and food combine to make the most memorable meal. Cortona was another favorite hill town, with a great etruscan museum. <BR> <BR>Buon Viaggio! You can't go wrong anywhere in Tuscany/Umbria.

Key Collie Jul 31st, 2000 06:02 PM

Don't forget Assisi- so beautiful.

Anne Jul 31st, 2000 06:56 PM

Jim: <BR> <BR>Take a country road, follow the brown markers to a castle, abbey, or any other point of interest and you can't go wrong. We stayed in the Val D'arno with a car and drove to Florence, experiencing several different exits. So here's the straight scoop. Approach from the south, using the Certosa exist and you will approach Florence from the most beautiful and residential perspecitve. A Florence quide book and map will show you where the public parking is on the south of the Arno. Walk across a bridge and there you are at the Ponte Vechio and then the Uffizi. Any approaches from the north will lead you into chaos and total insanity. So think south if you are thinking of Florence and there is the Pitti Palace, Boboli Gardens and a day that could be classic...totally enjoyable. Put your money in the meter and have a great time. <BR> <BR>Anne

Dan Jul 31st, 2000 07:06 PM

Jim: <BR> <BR>Another great area to explore is the Chianti highway between Florence and Siena. We spent a few days in Chianti and the small towns there (i.e. Castellina) are very charming, and of course there are wineries to visit at every turn. We took a day trip to Siena (don't miss it) by car and there is plenty of parking near the old town, especially around the soccer stadium, just follow the signs to "Centro" and that will lead you there. Ciao. <BR> <BR>Dan

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