Weekend in Tuscany

Jun 29th, 2010, 03:58 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 8
Weekend in Tuscany

We are going to visit Italy in October and plan to split 6 days between Florence and rural Tuscany, perhaps around Siena. Our flights are booked. After 5 nights in Rome, the tentative plan is to be in Florence Wed-Fri nights leaving us with Sat-Mon for our next destination before heading to Venice for our final 3 nights.
- Is that the right order?
- In which of the two locations will it be better to spend the weekend?
- Should we anticipate any unusual challenges if we check out of our Florence hotel on Saturday and try to get checked in to the next property?
- Anything else we should consider?
rsafier is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 05:59 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
I thought you were already booked into Castello delle Quattro Torra for fixed dates. Did you change your mind?

If your air tickets are already booked, you need to be in the city of your departure airport the night before your flight.

You can consider going directly to another city by train upon landing --but then I imagine you will need to re-book the castle, unless you want to allocate your days in the cities differently.

Rome is less crowded on weekends. Florence and Venice are marginally more crowded on weekends. Other than that, there is no reason to think you'll have a better time in one location than the other. You need to book restaurant reservations for weekends if you have destination restaurants.

Saturday won't make a difference to hotel check outs and check ins. If you are renting a car on the weekend or dropping it off on the weekend, make sure you know the rental office hours.

In general, you have picked places to visit that cater to millions of foreign tourists every year, almost all of whom are thrilled by what they experience there. I wouldn't worry too much about not having a good time where you are going.
zeppole is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 08:02 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 8
Thanks for your help. No we have not changed our mind, our reservations our clothes or anything else. I also sense that you do not appreciate my attempts at humor yet I go on.

The entire plan is a work in progress, hopefully a work of art that will fit on a canvas that measures 10/14 x 10/29. Those are our flight dates and therefore will not change. The sketches on the canvas may, however. That is the purpose of my many inquiries.

Yes, we are booked in that tower room but the reservation is for all 6 nights in Tuscany and I am now leaning toward spending 2-3 of those nights in Florence, presumably starting on the 20th when we will tentatively arrive on the high-speed train from Rome. Based on your posting, that should work. Once my wife and I get in sync, we will need to modify our Castello delle Quattro Torra reservation, book a room in Florence and a car to drive to Siena.

Others have advised us that Rome is worse on the weekends, although we will be there Fri-Wed. I was hoping to see if smaller towns may have weekend festivals or celebrations that would further help us to decide on the amount of time, dates and lodging in Florence & rural Tuscany.

While I value your help and insight, I am not worried about having a good time. I am striving to put a plan together that will maximize our enjoyment and minimize our expense. We were surprised last year when we learned about Les Soldes d’Eté in Paris and that retail shops in all but one area of the city are closed on Sunday. As a result of our research, we timed our visit and topped off a wonderful trip with a very unique piece de resistance.

We continue to welcome and appreciate your comments and look forward to hearing more from you and from others who are willing to share.
rsafier is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 08:18 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
I don't think I'm the one losing my sense of humor here.

Are those centimetre or inches on your canvas?

There are websites that list the zillion autumn festivals in Tuscany. You can check them against your dates.

If you want help and insights for special interests like shopping, festivals, or any other activity that will maximize your enjoyment, you should mention that, plus your specific travel dates, and maybe people can help you avoid surprises.

I don't know in what respect others found being in Rome "worse" on weekends, except you can't tour some churches during Mass and some museums close (mainly on mondays.) And I don't think rearranging your itinerary is going to save you any money.

Just remember, you can't plan a work of art.
zeppole is offline  
Jun 30th, 2010, 07:34 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 2,355
zeppole, actually, rsafier did mention their travel dates, but you read them as either inches or centimetres.

rsafier, on the risk that I'm being the one losing his humour now, I think it's absolutely intolerable to make a reservation for six nights anyplace if you are actually thinking of staying just three or four. Did you think of the possibility that Joe Shmoe might have been inquiring at Castello delle Quattro Torra yesterday, for those two nights that you will probably be generously "releasing" soon, while Joe Shmoe has already got a negative reply as to his availability request, and this morning has already booked a different accomodation that he likes less, and is now terribly disappointed that Castello delle 4 Torra has been unavailable. Would you care to explain how anyone can be as inconsiderate as NOT to think of possible consequences for other travelers? Don't you agree it's unbearably self-centered to just think of your own "work of art", without caring about others who are trying to plan their holidays just as carefully as you? Remember, the Castello can accomodate just three couples/families, so this is not a place where the next inquiring tourist is simply being assigned room no. 325 instead of no. 324. What I'm trying to say is that your painting has been finished and is already on show - you can't take your brush to the museum and repaint half of the canvas. It's too late. You are booked for six nights near Siena, so you won't be staying in Florence. At least, that's what I would consider acting correctly.
franco is offline  
Jun 30th, 2010, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,913
I think 6 days based near Siena would be incredible and much prefered to just 3 days. You could save Florence for another trip. If you do decide to split your 6 days to 3 in Florence and 3 near Siena, I suggest-

Pick up the car when you leave Rome, either in Rome or train to Arezzo and pick up your car there, and head to the near Siena base for the first 3 days. After that, return the car at the Florence airport, and take a taxi to your Florence hotel. You could also return the car to Arezzo and train to Florence. After 3 days in Florence, train to Venice.

I find many shops in small towns (and Siena) are closed on Mondays. That is why W-F might work better for exploring near Siena.

Also, if when renting your car, keep in mind that many car rental offices close for a few hours in the afternoon (usually 1-3 or 4) and then reopen until 7 or 8. Something to consider when making reservations.

Check autoeurope.com and kemwel.com for rental options.
zoecat is online now  

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