Tuscany/Umbria on Sunday

Old Oct 5th, 2007, 08:00 AM
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Tuscany/Umbria on Sunday

We are about to leave on a trip that includes two weeks in Italy in November. We are leaving the Cinque Terre region on Sunday, November 3, and need ideas on what to do next. We will have already been to Rome, Florence, and Venice. We want to do something in Tuscany and/or Umbria, and we will be renting a car. My biggest concern is Sunday. Are things shut down on Sundays in Siena and other smaller towns? It looks like we can rent the car at the Pisa airport, but I'm not sure where to go after that. We need to head in the direction of Rome for our return flight home on November 7.

Please help!!
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 08:45 AM
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All tourist attractions, museums etc. are open. Churches are open except during services (in the morning).

Shops are closed.
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 08:48 AM
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Most shops in San Gimignano and Pienza will be open. We usually reserve Sundays for beautiful drives in the Val d'Orcia (around Pienza).

Stu Dudley
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 08:49 AM
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The train from Monterosso (I just assumed that town) takes about an hour and a half to get to Pisa Centrale. Then you'll need to get out to the airport and rent the car. By the time you drive to Siena, you'll be in time for a nice big Sunday lunch. You'll be able to find plenty of restaurants open but most shops will be closed. You can see the Duomo and some other churches after lunch. If you stay in or near Siena, you can see more of it on Monday and use Tuesday to visit Pienza, Montepulciano or Montalcino before heading to Rome.
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 09:04 AM
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Thank you so much for your prompt replies. All of them are helpful, and some of you mentioned places I hadn't thought of going. Now I will.
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 09:34 AM
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We were in Orvieto on a Sunday and there was a market on the side of the church, crafts and a flea market..not to mention a religious revival outside the church and all the shops and restaurants were open...It was a day i'll NEVER, EVER forget
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 10:59 AM
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We've been to Orvieto several times on a Sunday - but never on a festival/craft/flea market day. The shops around the Duomo were open, but not the other shops "deeper" into town. Most of the shops around the Duomo sell wine, local food products, and lots of pottery shops.

Stu Dudley

Stu Dudley
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 02:53 PM
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Do you know on which Sundays the market days take place?
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 03:07 PM
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bobbysue - we returned from Pisa last week - Sundays are no longer the Catholic institution they used to be - Burlusconi saw to that. Most supermarkets are open. go to the Co Op on the way to CastelNeuvo Baragenda - its on the east side of Siena and difficult to find but is the city's main hypermarket.

One word of warning be ready for Pisa airport - after 38 years of travelling I still find it a total pit. With the billions of euros that the province of Tuscany creams off tourism it is a disgrace that they haven't upgraded its facilities. One hint if you have a lot of luggage - there is a transit bus to the car hire offices. We spent an age loading all our luggage onto a crowded bus only to find it drove fifty yards round the corner to the office. We found it far more efficient for one of us to walk to the offices get the car then come and pick up the other with the luggage at the terminal.
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 03:48 PM
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We've attended well over 70 outdoor markets in various areas in France. We've also attended most of the markets in Tuscany, south of (and including) Siena. The ones in Tuscany will likely disappoint you if you've attended any in France. The markets in Italy mostly sell clothing, hardware items, and very little foodstuff. I tried to find potatoes in Montepulciano once, and there were none. I also tried to find porcini mushrooms and there were no mushrooms of any kind. The market in Florence is OK, but nothing like markets in comparibly sized cities in France (Dijon, Toulouse, etc).

I have not attended a crafts & flea market like ParrotMom did.

I would not advise any friends to go out of their way to visit a southern Tuscany market if they have visited any in France. My wife likens the So. Tuscany markets to a K-Mart parking lot sale. Instead, spend more time exploring the lovely countryside.

Stu Dudley
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 03:55 PM
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Stu - we went to Arezzo - Kmart must have some pretty upmarket furniture depts!! LOL!
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 03:56 PM
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hi, bobbysue,

it's not sunday, but monday that's often the problem.

Do check that things you want to see aren't shut on mondays.

regards, ann
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 04:19 PM
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Markrosy - forgot about the monthly antique market in Arezzo. We've never been in that region at the right time of the month to attend the market, but our closesst friends who live in southern Tuscany (part time) bought lots of great antiques for their home at the Arezzo market.

Stu Dudley
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Old Oct 5th, 2007, 07:36 PM
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Thank you all again. You're really giving me lots to think about.
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