August 5, 2011, 09:00 PM
Tuscany in 2 weeks..
Firstly I have to say that all the contributors have done an amazing job in sharing their ideas & suggestions.The information here is valuable and can never be found in any guide books!!
Now to the trip!!
The wife & myself (early 30’s) are planning a 2 week trip to Tuscany during the first week of October as we understand the crowds will be less & things will be a bit cheaper than July-August and the weather cooler as well.
We plan to fly into Rome and take a connecting flight to Florence and stay here for 03nights. Then we head over to Lucca for 2nights and on the third morning pick up a rental car and drive to Chianti via Pisa. We then intend to stay in Chianti for 5nights which should give us enough time to drive around and see San Gimigano, Volterra and just mainly enjoy the wineries & the scenery.
Finally we plan on ending Tuscany with 2nights in Sienna and drive back to Rome where we plan to stay another 2nights and fly back home.
Does this seem like a reasonable itinerary? Are we making the best use of the 12days we have on hand? Are there any other places I should be visiting which I have glaring missed out?
Lastly we really want to drive around as we understand that’s the best way to travel but it also comes with its share of problems. Is my suggestion correct of picking up the car to drive from Lucca to Chianti, use it in Chianti, drive to Sienna, maybe park in Sienna for 2nights and finally drive back to Rome. Is the drive from Sienna to Rome worth it ? Or should we just return the car in Sienna and get to Rome by train?
Thanks everyone for any help you can provide. Once I sort this bit I can start planning forward.
Last edited by shane; August 5, 2011 at 09:45 PM.
August 9, 2011, 09:22 AM
Ciao Shane and welcome to our Forum!
You are really very welcome :-)
2 weeks are ideal to get the most out of Tuscany and discover all its treasures!
Your itinerary to tour Tuscany seems perfect! I only suggest you also include the Val d'Orcia, the wonderful region south of Siena, probably one of the most amazing and beautiful parts of all Tuscany.
That's the region you can see in the most common photographs about Tuscany: undulating hills and golden wheat fields, poetic avenues of Cypress trees, isolated rural homes and farmhouses, vineyards and olive groves.
Here you will have the pleasure to visit the most charming of all Tuscan medieval towns, such as Montalcino, so famous for its Brunello wine, Pienza, famous for its pecorino cheese, and the beautiful Montepulciano.
The area is also renowned for its ancient thermal springs.
In this way you may stay 3 nights in Chianti, and 2 nights in Val d'Orcia, that you can reach in a short time after leaving Siena.
Then you can continue your journey and conveniently reach Rome by car, the Val d'Orcia is closer to Rome than Siena is.
I also agree with your idea to drive from Lucca to Chianti, the journey will take less than 1 hour and half.
Driving a car is also the best way to tour Tuscany and appreciate its hidden corners.
For information about car rental in Tuscany you can have a look at this page, while here you can find all you need about moving around Tuscany by car.
Also have a look at this valuable resource about Florence and its attractions.
In case you also need specific suggestions regarding valuable accommodations, please come back to us :-)
For now, I recommend this listing of selected accommodations in Tuscany and this one dedicated to good accommodations in Florence.
Finally, on this link, some suggestions for itineraries in Tuscany!
For any further help , feel free to post again at anytime:-)
Enjoy planning your trip to Italy!
August 9, 2011, 04:30 PM
So you recommend 3nights in Florence, 2 in Lucca,3 in Chianti,2 in Sienna and 2 in Val d'Orcia right. Considering the extra stop now should we really dedicate 2nights to Lucca or just make it a day trip and use 2 nights elsewhere? The reason I ask is that we don't want to feel like we are always travelling and would like to take things a bit slow.
I will look through all your recommendations and finiliase the itinerary.
Thanks a lot.
Ps: So where in Italy do you live ? Just curious..
August 9, 2011, 10:07 PM
I agree with you!
Lucca is a wonderful walled city but it's small, so I would make it a day trip, so you can decide to spend the additional nights in Florence, Chianti, or Val d'Orcia
In this way you'll not have to charge place every day and you can better enjoy your holiday.
Do come back on the forum for any other question!
Ps: I live near Florence
August 10, 2011, 02:53 PM
I am now considering 4nights in Florence which will give me the option to do a day trip to Lucca & Pisa without having to carry all our luggage. This way we can pick up the car from Florence and head out directly to Chianti.
For the next bit, if we stay 5nights somewhere central in Chianti could we drive to Sienna & San Gimignano so this way we again escape moving around with our baggage. Will a day trip to Sienna suffice or does Sienna warrant a night stop ?
We can then spend the last 3 nights of our Tuscany adventure at Val d'Orcia before heading out to Rome.
This way we now just have 3 main stops rather than 5 like we earlier planned.
Thanks Elena, really appreciate the time.
We live in Dubai(UAE) and would love to help you if you ever come over to this side of the world.
Grazie mille !
August 16, 2011, 03:35 PM
I have found a charming hotel called "I Grandi di Toscana" but it is located in a place called Ciggiano. The reviews have been fantastic & the price is very good as well but I am concerned that it might be a little out of the way to explore Chianti & Sienna. Can anyone shed some light on this one.
August 17, 2011, 03:52 PM
Their website says they are 50 km from Siena and 85km from San Gimignano. They are outside of Chianti at the opposite end of San Gimignano so driving to Siena and around Chianti might take a bit longer -- but you are not THAT far away and I am sure you can also explore the nearby city Arezzo as well and the Val di Chiana area (Cortona, Anghiari, and head down to the Val d'Orcia). If you really like this place, go ahead and book it - so you might be a little more in the car driving, but I am sure you'll enjoy the time you spend at the hotel too!
August 17, 2011, 06:56 PM
Thanks Lourdes..think we will stay here.
September 6, 2011, 05:21 PM
Well after a bit more research we have sadly cancelled the hotel we booked In Ciggiano and booked one in Castellina called Etrusco Salivolpi which realistically looks a bit more central.
Now for the final bit in Val d'Orcia, any recommendations in which towns we should look at staying ? We will be here for 2nights and would like something central to cover the region plus would have some restaurants as well where we could walk to for dinner.
September 6, 2011, 07:42 PM
I highly recommend staying in San Quirico since it is really central for visiting all of the Val d'Orcia - you can see Montalcino and Pienza from San Quirico.
We stayed at a B&B right in front of the Collegiata called Casa Lemmi which we really enjoyed. A good breakfast with both salty and sweet options, very nicely furnished rooms and a very large bathroom in our case. There were several restaurants along the main street where we enjoyed fine dinners at. We particularly liked the Trattoria Osenna. We also ate at Da Ciacco but I don't remember it very well, so the other one made a better impression overall. Food and wine in the area was really delicious, so I am sure both were good, just something makes me remember the other one more positively.
There was ample parking around the town and since the town is really small, it was super easy to get to the b&b and then leave the small town for our day trips in the area.