July 19, 2015, 09:13 PM
seek advice for Day trip to Val d'Orcia from Florence
Planning a trip with Mom and Dad to Italy this Oct, we are celebrating Mom's 70th birthday and our 16 yr anniversary in Florence. Let me say thank you to all first, I have benefit so much from this Forum.
We will stay in Florence for 5 night, none of us speak Italian, we like to rent a car do day trip to Tuscany, I have read some stories about hefty fines in ZTL area, now I am very nervous and not sure if car rental is an ideal option. I am exploring the idea to join a one day tour to Siena & San Gimignano; then rent a car the next day to to Val d'Orcia.
I plan to pick up a car from Borgo Ognissanti area (about 10 min walk from our Florence hotel), return car to airport, then taxi back to Florence old town. Pick up car in the morning, I am guessing it will be 9am already when we are ready for the road, plan to return car back to airport about 8:30pm. This is the route I am thinking: https://goo.gl/maps/qqavt
Based on google map, the whole route takes close to 5 hours, I am thinking I am being not realistic to include 5 stops in San Quirico d'Orcia, Pienza, Montepulciano, Cortona & Arezzo. My main goal is to have a scenic drive in the Val d'Orcia area to enjoy traditional Tuscany hill view. Can anyone give me some suggestion please? Also, is there ZTL areas in these small town as well?
Thanks in advance and any information is greatly appreciated.
Last edited by encorehere; July 20, 2015 at 01:20 AM.
July 20, 2015, 09:26 AM
Day trip to Val d'Orcia
That is definitely and ambitious program, and though you can do it...but I believe you wouldn't enjoy it as much as if you did either 2 days (Arezzo-Cortona in one day and everything else in a 2nd day) or if you only want to do one day trip into Tuscany then choose the towns that interest you the most.
Both itineraries are beautiful and offer special views of Tuscany, both offer lots of history and great wines so quite honestly you won't go wrong with either one.
The other thing I would suggest you look into - especially since there will be quite a bit of driving involved...a NCC - and that means a car with driver. You can get excellent prices for a driver to take you on your designated itinerary and ALL of you can enjoy the trip. Most drivers speak Italian/English so you will be covered on all fronts and you not have to worry about the extra glass of wine, the unexpected detour and the side trip to yet another goregous view. This way you also get quality time with your Mom and your spouse!
You can put NCC Florence in Google and several options will come up, write them to find out prices. My experience is that once you have calculated the car rental, the gas and the frustration of figuring out the roads ect - that this service is well worth the cost.
July 21, 2015, 08:14 PM
Thank you much! Back to research, I think I will do just part of the route so we can enjoy the drive more.
July 21, 2015, 08:23 PM
If you rent out of the Borgo Ognissanti area, you should be able to return the car there as well -- some agencies are just outside of the ZTL area, some within but if they are, then they need to communicate your rental's license plate to the police so that you don't get a fine.
Aside from that, I agree with Donna - I'd do one area or the other in a day, not both, dividing as she did.
I'd drive down to Montepulciano, then head to Pienza and San Quirico and take the time to stop and explore these towns. There are gorgeous views in between so you'll want to stop at those too. You'll enjoy the drive and views much more if you're not in a big hurry.
A tour to Siena and SG is also a good idea, you could also do another day of driving there if you feel up to it.
ALL of these small towns don't let you drive into the TOWN's MEDIEVAL CENTERS - just follow P signs to find the parking areas and you'll be fine. If you're going through a narrow medieval brick wall, then you're definitely entering old town centers and will be fined ;-)
July 29, 2015, 04:49 PM
Great ideas. I will take it into considerations. I'm planning to have my trip this coming November.