Two-week Itinerary Tuscany and Umbria

Mar 5th, 2008, 11:06 PM
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Two-week Itinerary Tuscany and Umbria

Fly into FLR the afternoon of May 19, fly out from FLR early morning of June 2.

First night, may stay in Florence or drive to Lucca. Last night, would stay in Florence, maybe near airport for early morning departure.

Here's a rough outline, any suggestions for places not listed or suggestions on where to stay would be appreciated. Right now, I have not filled in all the days:

May 19-20 Florence or directly to other city?

May 20 Pistoia, Prato, Lucca. Spend night in Lucca?

May 21 Volterra, Monteriggioni, Siena

May 22 Siena

May 23 Montalcino, Pienza, Montepulciano

May 24 Chiusi, Lago Trasimeno

May 25 Orvieto, Bagnoregio

May 26 Todi, Spoleto, Assisi or check into Perugia or Lago Trasimeno?

May 27 Umbria

May 28 Cortona, Arezzo

May 29 Chianti

May 30

May 31

June 1 Night before departure in Florence, check in near FLR with parking

June 2 FLR departure at 6:50 AM.

scrb is offline  
Mar 6th, 2008, 03:50 AM
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Where/how are you breaking up your stays?
With your plans,I'd plan on 3 stays. You have 13 nights. On one of our Italy trips we devoted our first 11 nights to Tuscany and Umbria.
We arrived in Florence around 10-11am. Got our rental car and headed towards Assisi. Stopped at Cortona for lunch (and a long walk to Frances Mayes' villa)and spent 4 nights there. We devoted our days to Umbria travel.
We then moved to the Val D'Orcia area for 3 nights and then Chianti for 3.
Our last night was in Florence.
This was our first time to Tuscany after a number of trips to Venice,Rome,Naples and Lake Como.
Since then we have styaed in Tuscany and Umbria a number of times.
If I had your 13 nights (and wanted to hit both Umbria and Tuscany) I would do something like this:
First 3 Assisi, next 2 Orvieto,next 3 Montalcino, next 3 Chianti last 2 Florence.
You could stay at a more central Umbria location for the first 4 nights and add a night to Florence.
Now,this is not what I would normally recommend (too fast a schedule), but the itinerary makes a circle and really allows you to see a lot and seems to fit well with a first time visit.
I would skip Lucca on this trip to spend time in Florence. I love Lucca, but I'd save it for your next trip.
Once you settle on where you are staying, then start putting the day trips together.
Are you going this year? If so, you really should nail down your rooms ASAP.
jabez is offline  
Mar 6th, 2008, 05:27 AM
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Wow what an itinerary! You are wanting to do/see too much and will end up being exhausted & not having "seen" the true Italy. You are going to 2 of the best areas of Italy so why not pare back your list and stay in 4 major towns and go out to see the countryside using the bigger town as your base.
In Florence, I like the Due Fontana Hotel at the Ospidale & Ste. Annuziata area.
You can go back another time to see more of your long list, but to miss time in Florence or even Orvieto and Siena would be a mistake & you'd regret it later. Buon viaggio!
matss is offline  
Mar 6th, 2008, 06:20 AM
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Been to Florence so I can skip it this time. Similarly, don't need to see Pisa again, been to San Gmigignano and Siena, although as day trips.

I'm not a big wine person. Wouldn't mind visiting a winery here or there but don't see chasing the wine regions that much.

Looked at the Frommer's 1 and 2-week itineraries and came up with this list (which actually skips over some destinations they listed) and looked at a map to circle south and then east, then north and west back to Florence.

Yeah I haven't really looked at bases yet and trying to get an idea of which areas merit longer stays.
scrb is offline  
Mar 8th, 2008, 09:55 PM
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OK, thinking of staying a couple of nights in Siena.

Choice is whether to try to stay close to the Piazza del Campo or stay further away from center, where it would be much easier to park, for instance.

Could stay several kilometers away and really save money, and just drive in for one day to the public parking lots outside the city walls.

Or, much closer would be just by the Porta Romana, where there's a hotel which is about a mile from the Piazza del Campo.

Being right on the Piazza is tempting but again, I would think parking would be a hassle and expensive.

That's just the first few nights of the trip.

The next leg, I'm thinking of is 3 nights in Pienza or Montepulciano.

Agriturismo are tempting but seem to lack Internet access so I've looked more for hotels nearer town centers.

Then the next leg would be at least 3 nights in Perugia or Lake Trasimeno. The latter seems cheaper but Perugia seems more central.

Not sure if I should go stay in Orvieto or day-trip to Orvieto and Civita de Bagnoregio from Perugia.

After Perugia would be Arezzo/Cortona. A couple of nights there.

Surprisingly, accommodations are still available at this point but have to go through them to see the parking situation, near centers of these cities.

Siena and also Florence seem the most difficult, because of auto traffic restrictions.

Any experiences with staying in Siena with a car? Same question for any of these other cities?
scrb is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 03:11 AM
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Trasimeno is roughly midway between Perugia and Arezzo. If you stay there, you would either be able to skip one ste of packing up and moving, or combine it with a stay in Orvieto. I think I'd recommend that.
Nonconformist is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 05:59 AM
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You are shotgunning!
Pick 3 locations for this itinerary and day trip from there. Florence is one, I suggest Val d' Orcia for the 2nd, and Bevagna or Spello for the 3rd. You have good time to see the area well but make some decisions first so you can move ahead.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 06:31 AM
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My rule of thumb is 2 hilltowns per day. Any more than that and you will just be on a scavenger hunt. If you try to do 3 per day, you will hit one of them during the after lunch closing hours anyway.

Remember, in southern Tuscany, there are a couple of wonderful abbeys to see too. Monte Olivetto and Sant'Antimo.

I would much rather stay in the countryside than Siena. Go for the different experience of an agritourismo. You're on vacation, you'll live without the internet for Pete's sake.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 07:11 AM
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Important fact is that the hilltowns will be closed up tight in the afternoons. You will have a hard time even getting some lunch after 1 o'clock. So I second the 2 hilltowns per day tops.
rbnwdln is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 07:17 AM
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I agree...two MAX...just due to logistics. That also includes getting up early. Everything takes more time than you think...and they all close noon - 2 or some 3 in the afternoon. We started out planning two a day, but only ever managed one.
jamikins is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 07:39 AM
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In Siena, we stayed at Hotel Santa Caterina just outside Porta Romana. It had its own parking around back, and a bus stop out front that offered a very short trip into the centro storico. It would have been an easy walk, too, if you're so inclined.

Besides the convenience, the hotel was charming with an amazing garden where breakfast is served when the weather allows. Only one room has a balcony with a view of the Tuscan countryside so ask for it specifically.
toni_g_b is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 08:11 AM
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OK, let me rearrange my itinerary a bit then.

Hotel San Catarina isn't available for my dates but Venere shows Hotel Ai Tufi which is nearby. Free parking at the Tufi but San Catarina charges.

I was thinking of minimizing my time in Florence because it would seem to be a hassle having a car in there -- parking costs, traffic, etc. The idea was to rent there and return there but not day-trip by car out of there.

scrb is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 08:51 AM
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In Siena, we stayed at Palazzo Ravizza inside the city walls, with great parking. We loved it. Not sure what your budget it though.

We also stayed in Spoleto at Palazzo Dragoni, and it has parking as well. We enjoyed Spoleto, but there are lots of other options in Umbria.

sweetannie is online now  
Mar 9th, 2008, 04:53 PM
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Ravizza looks nice.

I got a quote of 120 euros a night for two nights in middle of the week.

Not bad if it included their private parking. But if it doesn't, it's still probably nicer accommodation than the one I was looking at.

Emailed them for clarification.

Will see what they say.

Is it a hassle to drive in and out of Siena center for day trips to other towns?
scrb is offline  
Mar 9th, 2008, 04:57 PM
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From there, it was a breeze.
sweetannie is online now  
Mar 11th, 2008, 11:17 AM
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Hotel I was considering in Pergugia says they can provide permits or stickers to park for free nearby.

This is near the Piazza Italie.

But the other option is to park in a garage at 15 euros a day.

So it sounds like there's free parking but impossible to find space.
scrb is offline  
Mar 11th, 2008, 02:03 PM
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I enjoyed Perugia for the day, it's a larger town. Perugia seemed like more work to get in and out of than Siena, but maybe we were just a bit lost. Not trying to steer you away from it, if you're happy in a larger town I think it would be lovely. But, if you're looking for a small Umbrian village, you'll want to look elsewhere.
sweetannie is online now  
Mar 12th, 2008, 02:19 PM
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Not sure about accommodations in Siena. Not getting much of a response to some questions.

So maybe just stay in Pienza or Montepulciano longer than planned and then day-trip from there to NW Tuscany.

But one thing I wanted to do was visit Piazza del Campo at night. Do the parking lots in Siena close at dusk?

Is it okay to hike in from around the walls into the Piazza? Is there enough light for instance?

Or maybe parking closer to the Piazza?
scrb is offline  
Mar 12th, 2008, 05:20 PM
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I don't know what you mean by "parking closer to the Piazza?" You can't drive into Siena. You park outside the city walls and walk in.
Jean is offline  
Mar 12th, 2008, 08:30 PM
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It sounded like there were private garages closer to the center.
scrb is offline  

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