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Where in Tuscany?

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Sep 11th, 2012, 12:44 PM
  #1
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Where in Tuscany?

I and my two daughters, 14 and24, will be in Tuscany for 6 nights next June(late).

We will be arriving by train from Switzerland to Florence and plan to spend 3 nights in Florence. From there, we would like to spend the last 3 nights in the countryside before we head down to Rome.

Can't decide between Arezzo and Chianti. I believe Arezzo has a direct train to Rome, as well as car rental facilities. Not sure about the towns in the Chianti region. Would like to make our travel to Rome from rural Tuscany as easy as possible.

While in the countryside, we plan to visit San Gimingano and other small villages....wherever our travels take us.

Can anyone offer any insights?

Thanks all!
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Sep 11th, 2012, 01:26 PM
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Arezzo is a little far to the east to include Samn Gimi..You could visit Cortona and small towns in Umbria instead. I would prefer staying in Cortona to Arezzo by the way.
Chianti gives you so many options, small towns like Panzano,Radda, Greve and small cities such as Siena. I have always had a rental car so am not familiar with the transportation choices.
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Sep 11th, 2012, 01:28 PM
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Arezzo is on the opposite side of Tuscany from where you want to visit. Just pick up a car as you are leaving Florence.

You could drop your car in Siena (after visiting Chianti/San G, etc.) and catch the bus to Rome.

http://www.sena.it/Home/78-1-en.html

You could also drive from Chianti through southern Tuscany (Pienza/Montepulciano) and drop the car in either Chiusi or Orvieto and train to Rome.
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Sep 11th, 2012, 04:24 PM
  #4
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Thanks everyone!

We have decided to base somewhere in the Chianti region....maybe Greve, Castellina or Panzano.

Any preferences,and why?

Thanks,
Lori
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Sep 11th, 2012, 05:39 PM
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We love Panzano. It is small and easy to get in and out of for day trips. It is not far from Panzano to Greve, Castellina, San Gimignano, etc. and we took day trips as far as far as Montalcino, Siena and Florence. Our trip to Florence was by bus, otherwise we drove. It is a charming town with several very good restaurants.

I can't be of help with hotels as we stayed in a farmhouse outside Panzano but as soon as you decide on your base, I can help with restaurants in Chianti.
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Sep 11th, 2012, 06:31 PM
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Panzano was too quiet for us (although we were there in October, not June). We loved Castellina.

But where exactly did you want to explore? San Gim is close enough, but IMO Montalcino, Pienza, SanQ and Montepulciano would be farther than I like to drive for day trips. Would you consider 2-3 nights in Chianti and 2-3 nights in southern Tuscany (Val d'Orcia area)?
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Sep 11th, 2012, 07:05 PM
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Jean - I think the OP only has 3 nights for this part of the trip.
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Sep 11th, 2012, 07:18 PM
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Thanks, kyb. I missed that.

In that case, I'd spend all 3 nights in southern Tuscany. Chianti is lovely, but I think the Val d'Orcia is more interesting and scenic overall.
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Sep 11th, 2012, 07:25 PM
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Like mamcalice we stayed in an apartment at a villa just outside of Panzano for a week in 2001. We loved our apartment, the town of Panzano and the beautiful Chianti countryside. We took day trips to many of the nearby towns as well as Florence, Siena and San Gimignano. We also really enjoyed a private tour of a small winery (booked through our villa).

I would guess you could find a place that rents by the night but I don't know of any hotels as we just searched for villas or farmhouses in the area that rented by the week. On a different trip several years ago we dropped our rental car in Orvieto and caught the train to Rome. It was easy to get to the train station (the Avis car rental place was right next to it) and if you get there early enough you could spend some time in Orvieto which is a lovely town.
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Sep 11th, 2012, 08:03 PM
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I forgot I had created this little slideshow a LONG time ago on Tripadvisor's Tripwow. It shows our villa (Il Palagio) the winery we toured (Panzanello) and a few pictures of Panzano. We really enjoyed out time there and these pictures bring back some good memories.


http://tripwow.tripadvisor.com/slide...pfil02aw-16693
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Sep 12th, 2012, 04:10 AM
  #11
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Thanks, everyone, for your feedback. John, I enjoyed your slideshow....made me want to hop on a plane to Italy NOW !

Jean....where in Southern Tuscany would you recommend we base, and why? I would want a place that's easily accessible to Rome.

Thanks!
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Sep 12th, 2012, 08:19 AM
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Everyone here has their favorites in the Val d'Orcia, but we love Montepulciano where we spent a week last year. Pienza and San Quirico are more flat and some think easier to get in/out for day trips, but we had no trouble in Montepulciano. Montalcino is lovely too and has some great wine-tasting shops. These four towns are more or less in an east-west geographic line. Montepulciano is within an hour of Montalcino, and there are several small towns and a couple of abbeys within a reasonable drive of the four. Return the car in either Chiusi or Orvieto and take the train to Rome.

But what towns in Tuscany did you want to explore? You either pick the base that is the best geographic spot for what/where you want to explore -or- you pick the town or lodging that appeals to you most and explore what's within a reasonable driving distance from there. Don't choose based on only one car rental return location because you have at least 3 choices with easy transportation to Rome: Siena, Chiusi and Orvieto.

Also, don't decide based only on the opinions here. Spend some time reading up on the areas of Tuscany and different towns. Search on Google Images to see what places look like. Prioritize what you most want to see/do and then decide the best location to stay.

http://www.google.com/imghp?hl=en&tb...og&sa=N&tab=li
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Sep 12th, 2012, 09:34 AM
  #13
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Thanks Jean!

The girls and I want to see San Gimignano and Siena. After that, we just want to soak up the Tuscan ambiance...drive the country roads, stop for lunch...drive some more...stop for cappuccino or gelato...head back to our hotel....take a dip...head out for a nice leisurely dinner with some great Chianti vino.

You get the idea.

I think we've decided to base in Chianti. From there we'll most likely drive to Orvieto to drop off the car before heading to Rome.
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Sep 12th, 2012, 02:12 PM
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lorijv: can i ask your budget ?
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Sep 12th, 2012, 02:23 PM
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Well, not to confuse you, but you could stop in San Gim on your way from Florence to a town in the Val d'Orcia. Florence to San Gim would be about an hour, and onward to, say, San Quirico would be under two hours. Heading to Siena the next day would take less than an hour (about the same as from Panzano).

But the choice is seeing mostly Chianti or mostly the Val d'Orcia (where IMO the wine is better!). There is no wrong answer, but you should read up a bit on southern Tuscany before you decide.

Know the hours the car rental office in Orvieto is open. They are probably closed for a few hours in the middle of the day. If you have time, arrive in the morning but keep the car to hold your luggage while you explore the town, see the Duomo and have lunch. Turn in the car in the afternoon and catch the train to Rome.
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Sep 12th, 2012, 02:30 PM
  #16
 
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I prefer southern Tuscany also as I think it's much more scenic, but Chianti might make sense with San G and Siena as your must see towns. I also prefer the wines from Montalcino and Montepulicano over the Chianti wines.

You will have to get to Orvieto by 12:30 or 1 to return your car as they will close until about 4 (closed all day Sunday and at 1 on Sat).

Unless you are staying in a town, you really need to check the location before booking. Some places are not easy drives (gravel roads, etc.).
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Sep 12th, 2012, 03:30 PM
  #17
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Tesana...budget really isn't an issue, but I don't want to break the bank either.

Jean and kybourbon...I'll take another look at southern Tuscany, especially since you both think the wine there is better!
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Sep 12th, 2012, 03:42 PM
  #18
 
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IMO , with only 3 days, and your focus on SG, then area of Siena , Chianti and north since you are already doing Firenzi .. i will post for you my recomendations .
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