Venice to Siena

Old Apr 16th, 2016, 08:54 AM
  #41  
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Perfect!

I do have my International DL.... Just looked up the SR222 and looks exactly what we are looking for. Printing out directions from Google just in case. And if we're just too exhausted well take the direct rout and hit SR222 on way back. Thank you all so much!!
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Old Apr 16th, 2016, 09:33 AM
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If we're tired, we prefer secondary roads. For us, less pressure to keep up with traffic, fewer trucks, easier to stop to get out and stroll around... less stress overall.

"Printing our directions from Google..." Google is good for general directions but not always accurate or comprehensive in the details. I would also buy/take a paper map (Touring Club Italiano, Michelin). Paper maps are very helpful when planning excursions to see the big picture and note other things on your routes that might be worth a detour. We also bring a portable GPS device from home. Many just use their cellphones.
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Old Apr 16th, 2016, 10:54 AM
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Online, the Michelin maps still list the SR222 as the SS222, so watch out for that, especially if you are using paper maps or printouts in combination with a GPS-type device where you plug in directions. (And don't misspell it as I frequently do, thinking the "new" name begins SP rather than SR!)

However,what I am really here to say is that if you have never driven in rural Italy, going by road numbers can turn out to be quite difficult, because the signs that one sees when behind the wheel are signs poining the way to towns, not how to stay on numbered roads. That is to say, if you want to go from Florence to Siena taking the scenic route through the Chianti hills, you are much more likely to a sign pointing to "Ponte e Ema" rather than "SR222".

So I think it is very helpful to have a look at a map and taken note of the names of the small towns that you will be traveling through to get to destinations along the SR222. (Having said all that, it is possible that the local tourist boards have now put up lots of signs identifying the SR222, because it is the scenic route most visitors are looking for specifically).
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Old Apr 16th, 2016, 11:52 AM
  #44  
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Thank you Jean and Sandra. Very helpful and noted.

We will def have our gps on the phone but wanted paper directions too just in case. I'll check out the Michelin maps as well.
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Old Apr 16th, 2016, 12:17 PM
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I like maps by Touring Club Italiano for Italy. They also publish very nice guidebooks in their "Authentic" series. "Authentic Tuscany," "Authentic Emilia Romagna," "Umbria Heritage," etc., although several editions haven't been updated. On Amazon, TCI's map of Tuscany is a more recent version than Michelin's.
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Old Apr 16th, 2016, 03:59 PM
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I am a map hound. I love a great map. I also work in the graphic arts. I found TCI maps for Tuscany useless. I never liked Michelin, either.

There is a way to make your own maps using Google and Aaron Cheng's software, but it's complicated.

If you're using GPS, I'd be surprised if "SR222" does not appear on your GPS screen while you are driving on it.

Even before GPS, I found the SR222 very easy to follow. I ended up relying solely on road signage my first time, and everything worked out just fine.
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Old Apr 16th, 2016, 05:30 PM
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Sandralist's point is so well taken...we are so accustomed to watching for highway numbers in North America, but when confronted with signs that have no numbers visible on them, it's very comforting to know what towns are along the way to your destination.
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Old Apr 16th, 2016, 05:37 PM
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keithman,

I was flagging a problem with the Michelin maps (at least online), not recommending them. But I do think you need an overall recent paper map and not just relying on GPS or eyeballing to get from Florence to Siena, however you go.

What's been on my mind looking at your itinerary is where you are going to get food after you land in Venice -- unless you are the kinds of people who can go until 8pm without food other than snacks. Might sound odd and too complicated, but what I might do is park my luggage in the train station storage upon arrival in Florence and walk to the San Lorenzo market for a very quick lunch. New food court upstairs/traditional market below (although you need to wade past the clothes sellers first).

Otherwise, along your route from 9am to 8pm you'll find industrial food at the Mestre train station, industrial food on the train (even Italo lines), industrial food in the Florence train station itself, and then varying chances at good local food in the Chianti towns depending on when you hit the road. Real restaurants/trattorie serve until 2.15 latest, after 4pm you will find shops where you can get cheese, fruits, etc. Bars/cafes generally serve microwaved food & sandwiches continuously. Gelato is not totally without nutritional value.
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