January 23, 2014, 04:11 AM
Feeling overwhelmed--please help!
My husband and I will be staying in Florence for 3 nights at the beginning of May and then my dream is to stay for 4 nights in a romantic get-away in Tuscany, before heading to Rome. I'm at a loss for what town to stay in for these 4 nights. I'm leaning toward the Grosseto area because it's midway from Florence to Rome. I have visions of being close to the coast so areas of Maremma, Talamone and Porto Santo Stefano seem appealing. My problem is that we won't have a car and will be relying on public transportation (rail, train, bus, or hire a driver). I'd also LOVE to visit Saturnia for the hot springs. I want it all! Where is a good place to park it for 4 nights in a classic tuscan town with amazing views? My criteria would be: a very private villa or farmhouse to rent with excellent views (hills, coast), but not so isolated that we couldn't have access to public transportation as well as a small town or two for quaint restaurants and shopping. I very much want the "feel" of Tuscany, rather than a tourist hot-spot. Is there a great town or two that would offer sites such as a winery, views of the coast, unique architecture to capture on film and a romantic get-away for the both of us? Do we need to stay closer inland, and forgo my dream of waking up to the views of the coast? I want more of a private hide-away, but my husband will get cabin fever, so I'm looking for someplace that will accommodate the both of us. Please help!!!--Elizabeth
February 5, 2014, 05:58 PM
While Grosseto might seem ideal as it is midway between Florence and Rome, it is definitely not that central to most of the sights in Tuscany. And second, the area there is beautiful but you do need a car to move around, public transportation is really spotty throughout the day and you would not have much flexibility as you move about.
While Saturnia can be reached by train+bus, it is best to not do it on the weekends. Check out more details here.
You can pretty much get unique architecture, wineries and the romantic getaway experience in any part of Tuscany - but to get views of the coast, you will need to stay along the coast. So my recommendation would be to consider staying a little bit further up along the coast, in either what is known as the Etruscan Coast or even as far up as Tirrenia (near Pisa), where the train line passes the closest to the coast. There are a lot of luxury hotels as well as villas along there offering views but you'll have the possibility to then catch the train or bus to move about along the coast.
Just some examples here and here.
Complete different possibility, but maybe better because it is still early in the season, would be to stay on the island of ELBA! We stayed at Hotel Ilio last year and you can move around by bus, but then again, I'd recommend a car just because of how convenient it is. Not being high season, I think it is the perfect time to visit the island with the local residents being in the majority. The restaurant was awesome! And you are literally about 100 meters from the small beach at Capo Sant'Andrea. There are wineries on Elba too!
These are just some suggestions, what do you think?