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Villages in Tuscany (public transport)

Old Feb 8th, 2020, 10:19 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2018
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Villages in Tuscany (public transport)

Hey all, thanks in advance for the help.

My parents and I are visiting Italy in early June. The below is our current draft itinerary. We won't be able to rent a car so are relying on public transport. Ideally we're looking to spend 3-4 nights in a small Tuscan village to enjoy: wine tasting, a cooking class, a dip or two in a swimming pool, beautiful scenery and buildings, friendly locals that we can get to know! We want an authentic Tuscan experience.

Ideally it would be no more than 2-3 hours via train/bus from Rome, and then no more than 1-2 hours from Pisa. I've already looked into Lucca and Barga.

Thanks in advance for your help, much appreciated!

Day 1: Arr Rome, night in Rome
Day 2: Rome, night in Rome
Day 3: Rome, night in Rome
Day 4: Rome to ? (in Tuscany)
Day 5: ?
Day 6: ?
Day 7: ?
Day 8: ?? in Tuscany to Pisa (quick pit stop), then onto Cinque Terre, night in Cinque.
Day 8: Cinque T, night in Cinque T
Day 9: Depart
alexandra772 is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2020, 02:12 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 48,539
This scenario exists more in your imagination than in reality. There is generally a disconnect between "small village" and public transportation. There is also a disconnect between "small village" and cooking school and "friendly locals" who have any interest in meeting you. The more "authentic" a place is, the less likely anyone who lives there will have much interest in you except as a curiosity. If you want a truly local experience in a small village, you'll need to scout out places where infrequent buses, possibly off-duty school buses, occasionally stop.....or drive. And of course if you do find such a place and want interaction of any kind at all, you'll need to speak Italian or a dialect. There won't be any wine tastings in an authentic small village, either, just a local bar where everything will stop when you enter, and everyone will stare at you.

So I would expunge the authenticity fantasies and just enjoy visiting towns in Tuscany served by trains and buses where all your other requirements can be met. It's not as though such towns aren't "authentic" too.
StCirq is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2020, 02:46 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 689
Originally Posted by alexandra772 View Post
Hey all, thanks in advance for the help.

My parents and I are visiting Italy in early June. The below is our current draft itinerary. We won't be able to rent a car so are relying on public transport. Ideally we're looking to spend 3-4 nights in a small Tuscan village to enjoy: wine tasting, a cooking class, a dip or two in a swimming pool, beautiful scenery and buildings, friendly locals that we can get to know! We want an authentic Tuscan experience.

Ideally it would be no more than 2-3 hours via train/bus from Rome, and then no more than 1-2 hours from Pisa. I've already looked into Lucca and Barga.

Thanks in advance for your help, much appreciated!

Day 1: Arr Rome, night in Rome
Day 2: Rome, night in Rome
Day 3: Rome, night in Rome
Day 4: Rome to ? (in Tuscany)
Day 5: ?
Day 6: ?
Day 7: ?
Day 8: ?? in Tuscany to Pisa (quick pit stop), then onto Cinque Terre, night in Cinque.
Day 8: Cinque T, night in Cinque T
Day 9: Depart

Check out this link, this place offers cooking classes. You could be there in 3 hours from Rome, changing trains in Florence. Marradi is a very beautiful small town, surrounded by spectacular scenery. A 22-minute train ride north will bring you to Brisighella, another beauty.
https://www.palazzotorriani.it/en/

Keren is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2020, 05:09 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 47
StCirq is right, but that doesn't mean Italians won't interact with you, just don't expect it in the center of Florence or Monterosso. Have a look at Pistoia - it has some excellent attractions, it's not a large city, and the locals have not been hardened off by a zillion tourists.
mazzaschi is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2020, 12:33 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,200
If you want a good base, with access to public transportation, I suggest Buonconvento. The town itself is pretty nice, and it's a hub for local bus service; many buses to smaller towns in Tuscany have a change in Buonconvento. There is also a train station there, with connections to Florence and Siena. If you get lodgings there, make sure that they're right in town, in walking distance to the train and bus services. (That pretty much rules out the swimming pool, but most pools wouldn't be operational in early June, anyway.)

We once stayed in this very nice rural lodging near the charming town of Pitigliano, on the southern edge of Tuscany. It's very hard to reach with public transportation, but the owner does give cooking lessons, and they have a pool. (I would check if it would be open when you are there,)
https://www.booking.com/hotel/it/agr...sio.en-gb.html

Interacting with the locals is a bit hit or miss. You may run into very friendly and gregarious people, or you might encounter local curmudgeons. A lot depends on you, of course. At best, you probably wouldn't have more interaction than the "Where are you from?", "I have an uncle in Des Moines", type of conversation.
bvlenci is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2020, 11:48 PM
  #6  
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Thank you so much to all who have replied. Checking out those places now. Much appreciated!
alexandra772 is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2020, 05:17 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 61
I am taking a class from Jul's Kitchen https://en.julskitchen.com in Tuscany. You can hire a driver to take you to and from the class from Siena.
Flem04 is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2020, 08:28 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,382
This post shows how when visiting Tuscany or Umbria a rental car is the best option. We have been there many times and always have a car. You will miss a lot of Tuscany without a car.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2020, 01:35 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 17,796
Another vote for Buonconvento, a real town along a valley bottom with public transport.
bilboburgler is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2020, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr View Post
This post shows how when visiting Tuscany or Umbria a rental car is the best option. We have been there many times and always have a car. You will miss a lot of Tuscany without a car.
Without a car you can at least see some pretty countryside, and some nice towns and villages.

Even with a car you'll miss a lot of Tuscany.
bvlenci is offline  
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