April 16, 2009, 03:50 AM
3 weeks in Tuscany/Umbria
My husband and I are planning a trip to Tuscany and Umbria this October. We are staying 3 weeks. We have booked a self-directed bike tour in Umbria for 1 of the weeks.
We want to plant ourselves in 1 spot for a week after the Umbrian bike trip and we thought that we would stay at a B&B in Montepulciano(for a week). Our plan was to rent a car and travel to the other villages in that region. We also want to spend some time in Florence at the end of our trip. By the way, we fly in and out of Rome (couldn't get flights into Florence).
Is that too long to stay in 1 spot (Montepulciano)? Should we plan to stay 3 nights in Montepulciano and then 3 to 4 nights in Siena? We were told that Siena is busy. We really don't know how we should plan this. We don't want to book a B&B for a week and then discover that we are spending too much time driving around.
What would you advise? Also, how much time in Florence?
April 27, 2009, 06:23 PM
Actually your plan sounds good. Siena is busy but not in October - you'll likely find it perfect at that time of the year.
Whether you'll be driving a lot in a week if you stay just in Montepulciano depends a lot on what you would like to see. Make a list of all the places you want to see, and see whether they are all around southern Tuscany. If they are, then driving will be limited.
What you really don't want to do is drive from Montepulciano for day trips to Florence and to the area around Florence... that would be quite a drive to do several days in a row. So depending on your list of things you want to see, if most of them are in southern Tuscany around Montepulciano all the way to Siena and surroundings such as San Gimignano - then stay in Montepulciano and do day trips. Driving won't be too much.
But if you also list places around Florence or in any case northern Tuscany such as Pisa, Chianti, Lucca, then maybe you should divide up your week and stay a bit further north for half of the week to reduce driving times.
If you have a list of places you were considering, post them on here and we'll try to help you figure out whether you should look for something more central.