August 15, 2011, 05:08 PM
Vacation in Tuscany
What a fantastic site and so many helpful suggestions!
My husband and I are not travelling to Italy until next July but would like to get a head start ( yes we're excited!!) on our plans.
We are hoping to be able to see an Andrea Bocelli concert in Latjatico and already have an apartment set aside right in the town if a concert is announced. We would really like to stay for a week and a half to two weeks- we love the countryside and a couple of aquaintances of ours who have stayed in the town said they love the area! I understand this area is a bit off the beaten track and I haven't really been able to find out any information on this specific location. We were looking at possibly going horseback riding and renting a scooter, but have not been able to find out if we can close by. I understand the towns of Chianni, Terriccola, Peccioli and Volterra are nearby, but would there be others in the area that would be interesting to visit too?
We also plan on visiting some of the wineries close by plus we'll be renting a car and doing day trips to Florence and Pisa and of course Rome when we first arrive in Italy.
Sorry for jumping all over the place, but I guess my questions are will there be enough for us to see and do if we stay in Latjatico for a week or so and if we rent a car, should we do it when we leave Rome or should we take the train to Pisa and rent a car from Pisa?
Thanks in advance for any help you can suggest!
Kind regards from Canada,
September 6, 2011, 12:52 PM
Ciao Sue! I can understand your excitement - planning the trip is part of the fun of every trip, discovering ahead of time what there is to see and anticipate seeing it in person! Italy in particular has so much history and monuments that once you finally get here it is hard to believe you really are here.
Bocelli does the concert every year there so you just have to have the dates for it announced so that you can book. The concert is generally in July so just keep checking his official website so you know when the dates are announced.
The area itself is a bit off the beaten track but it isn't far from lots of places.... other places nearby aside from the ones you've already mentioned: you can head east to San Gimignano and Colle Val d'Elsa, make it to Siena on a day. Also head west and go to the coast to the beaches. The area due west south of Livorno is a popular seaside area with Italians and will definitely have lots of people in July but you should experience that too.
You'll also see that many places are very small - cute and charming but not that much to see or do aside from a quick visit... that's the case for the ones you've mentioned aside from Volterra. A larger town, there is much more to see and you can spend a whole day there. Half a day in San Gimignano and Colle Val d'Elsa, a whole day in Siena.
I would recommend you make a list of all the possible places, and only once you're here you decide on a day to day basis where to head off to. Being out every day is tiring and you'll also want to relax and enjoy what you see and do, so remember to slow down and you'll enjoy it so much more. Staying in the countryside will contribute to that....
As for whether to rent the car in Rome or Pisa it depends. Have you been to Rome before? If not, you definitely should do at least 2-3 days there, either at the start or end of your trip. Maybe at the end will be more convenient, especially if you have an early flight back home. You want to be in Rome already in that case. Check costs of the rental both in Rome and Pisa. If the cost is pretty much the same (factor in the train travel you'd have to do to get from the airport to Rome Termini and then to Pisa), it would be more convenient to get the car and drive north directly. At the end of your trip, you can return the car as soon as you get back to Rome since you don't really need or want to drive in Roman traffic ;-) And then enjoy your days there visiting the Eternal City with only the shuttle drive to the airport to worry about.
Hope all this is helpful in your planning, do let us know if you have any other questions!
September 10, 2011, 12:37 PM
Great thread!!Great words!!Love you !