January 27, 2015, 09:29 PM
Stay in Florence or Tuscany countryside?
My boyfriend and I are getting to Florence on Saturday april 25thand spending 5 nights in Florence and then 2 nights in Venice and heading back to Milan.
Is it better to stay in Florence as a base and take a day trip to Lucca and another day trip to San Gimignano or is it worth spending 2 days in Florence and 2 days in one of these towns? I just worry about travelling like a nomad every few days with luggage instead of relaxing and site seeing because we go to Venice for 2 days and then back to Milan. (We fly in and out of Milan).
Also where is the best place to rent a car in Florence? The airport?
Thank you in advance!!
Last edited by Jolly; January 28, 2015 at 06:42 AM.
January 29, 2015, 04:57 AM
Tuscany in 4.5 days
I have visited Florence and Tuscany twice now and I regard it as a home away from home. You have a wonderful itinerary so far but don't skimp on Florence. I went to San Gimignano and it is beautiful, it is a HUGE tourist trap. Firenze and Lucca would be my choices and take a little trip to Greve in Chianti as well. However, if you really want to get the most out of your stay. Stay a couple of nights in Florence, then the rest of your time in the countryside like Greve and then use that as a jumping off point. I did not rent my car at the airport. I rented mine at Hertz near Borgo Ognissanti. Made getting out of town a LOT faster. Make sure you get the GPS and enjoy. Explore and have some fun.
February 8, 2015, 08:26 AM
Nomads in Tuscany
sounds like a romantic holiday ! Since you will be moving from Milan to Venice then Venice to Florence, it does sound like it would be nice to "put down some roots" in this beautiful city. Florence truly does lend itself to getting around Tuscany with the public transport system, and you can easily do Lucca, Siena or San Gimignano.
William does have a point about SG being a bit touristy...however, it is a charming place (my sister visits me regularly and EVERY TIME she loves to go back - she never gets tired of the well preserved city center and the lovely views from the park at the top of the hill.)
February 16, 2015, 09:51 PM
Lucca and Pisa in One Trip
If you are going to go in the direction of Lucca, then you may as well go whole hog and head straight for Pisa first, which is only a little further.
Pisa is a straight run west from Florence on the fast FI-PI-LI and really there is nothing much to see there once you have done the inevitable Piazza dei Miracoli, where you will see the Torre Pendente (Leaning Tower), the cathedral and the Baptistry. The whole Piazza is surrounded by horribly tacky and touristy stalls with all sorts of bad taste trinkets and baubles, but if you put your blinkers on and just focus on those three buildings it is worth the visit, especially since the Tower was only recently reopened after major renovations and a stabilizing project that took years, so you can now climb up it again.
You really won't need more than an hour to see the Piazza dei Miracoli, so I suggest you go there very early in the morning before the throngs and buses arrive and parking starts to get difficult, then you can head back to Lucca and spend a more leisurely few hours strolling round that much more beautiful city with its piazze and fortress walls. Be wary of where you park in Lucca, though as it is easy to get a fine. Leave the car outside the city walls. if you are there on the third weekend of the month they have a fantastic antiquarian market.