August 19, 2014, 02:36 AM
Florence and wine shipping
My wife and I are going to be in Italy at the end of September. For the last week of the month we will be based out of Florence for five days. Of those five days, we have one day trip to Pisa/Lucca planned and one day trip to Siena/San G. We also plan to tour a winery while there. A couple of questions, if I may:
a) Will the remaining three days in Florence be enough to do it justice (we will be buying Firenze cards while there)?
b) We may want to buy a case of wine while there. Is it possible/wise to ship it back to the states or is that impractical?
c) What will the crowds/weather typically be like in Tuscany during the last week of Sept?
August 28, 2014, 09:09 AM
3 days in Florence
Three days dedicated to Florence is a good start to discovering this wonderful city and gives you time to visit some of the lesser known but beautiful museums like Bargello and Palazzo Davanzati. Be sure to book your museum visits ahead of time so you aren't waiting in line (you can book the Uffizi here: http://www.florence-tickets.com/uffi...html?site=webp)
Most vineyards and wine stores can help you arrange for shipping the wine back - just be sure to ask exactly what is included in the shipping costs (for example eventual custom and duty taxes). This can be quite expensive.
August 28, 2014, 02:01 PM
We looked into shipping when we were there in June and found it to be very expensive. Another negative aspect of shipping wine is that you have no control over how the package will be treated, i.e., extreme heat or cold, which wouldn't be good for the wine. We didn't choose this option. We just drank our fill while there. Tuscan wine is SO good and so reasonably priced in Italy that I really miss it here in California. Enjoy!
August 28, 2014, 04:36 PM
3 days should be perfect for Florence, although you could of course spend more time. Weather is perfect this year, even this entire summer has been mild with several thunderstroms keeping heat way down... so we can only hope it stays that way! Crowds... still expect them at the main sites but generally they start going down as the month turns into October.
As for the wine, just ask once you're here - it can get expensive, but is also really depends where you're shipping to and who you use. In Florence, head to the Mercato Centrale and the top floor - there is a corner wine shop by the Chianti Classico consortium that lets you do wine tastings for ALL of the members and, on the same floor, there is a shipping company specialized in shipping wine overseas so I am sure they package it really, really well.
And then do as Uomo Grasso has suggested - drink lots while here!
August 30, 2014, 02:40 AM
Thank you all for your advice and suggestions.
July 19, 2016, 04:16 PM
Why not take the wine on the plane
Another option is to bring the wine back with you on the airplane. This is actually quite a hassle free solution, if you get something like the Wine Check carrier. There's a company called Lazenne that sells them in Europe, and if you order from them online they'll ship the carrier right to your hotel: http://lazenne.com/pages/the-wine-check-luggage.
You can check the wine like any other piece of luggage. US customs is pretty straight forward as well. You just declare the wine and bring it in if its for personal consumption. Technically there's duty to be paid that is under $1.00 per bottle, but it's so low that you won't likely pay anything.
This option is less expensive than shipping and since you're bringing the wine with you you don't have to worry about storage conditions during shipment, which like someone previously posted, can destroy your wine if its exposed to extreme hot or cold temperature over the few weeks it generally takes for your wine to travel from Italy to the US.