January 9, 2012, 02:08 PM
Visit Tuscany arriving in Rome
Well done for this forum as is has lot of hints and information about the region.
Together with my wife and 8 year old daughter I am planning to visit Tuscany between the 4th and 11th April. Will land in Rome and get a car directly form the airport. I have booked a farmhouse accomodation (don't know if I can mention any names here?) 11 minutes south of roccastrada for 7 nights. From there I will drive myself around and will try to visit the region as much as I can:
Lardarello Hot Geyser (would like to have some indications to hear to feed my GPS with)
Piombino - Visiting Cavallino Matto since I would like that my daughter will have some fun too. (If there is any other please let me know as I have not found any more)
Is Lake Trasimeno and Isola d'Elba worth a Visit?
If there are more places worth a visit please let me know.
Now the hard part will be to figure out how to cover all the area. I don't mind driving around that's why I have opted for a single stay in one place.
Also If you know any celebrations during Good Friday and Easter plese let me know.
Last edited by Seat401; January 9, 2012 at 09:42 PM.
January 23, 2012, 03:47 PM
full week planned :)
I'm glad you've found the forum useful!! I've taken a few days to think about your plans and try to come up with useful suggestions for your week in Tuscany.
My first tip would be to divide up your days and organize the destinations by their proximity so that you can see which ones can fit into each day. Here are my suggestions of how it can be organized:
Day 1 - arrive into Rome, drive to Tuscany - the drive up can take 2-3 hours. Roccastrada is not far from Grosseto but you'll be traveling along 2-4 lane roads (mostly two). Depending on what time you arrive into Rome and then into Tuscany, I'd recommend you consider taking it slow on your drive up, stop in the area of Capalbio or the Orbetello lagoon for lunch, that way you see a little bit of the southern Maremma region since Roccastrada and most of your destinations are north.
From here all days are pretty much interchangeable, depending on weather and how far you want to drive.... I'd only suggest you do go to Florence on Easter at it has a beautiful parade in historical costume and the traditional Scoppio del Carro, or Explosion of the Cart, which is an annual Easter tradition in Florence that dates back centuries!
Day 2 - Massa Marittima, Sasso Pisano, Montieri, San Galgano, Roccastrada, Roccatederighi
While Larderello is important for its geothermal activity, it is mainly an industrial site with geothermal plants. In order to see the still naturally occuring geysers, you have to head to nearby Sasso Piano (which is closer than Larderello) and head to the "Parco delle Fumarole". There, you'll find a walking path that takes you along the various natural manifestations of geysers and other activity. You can see some pictures here: Sasso Pisano - Wikipedia although it is only in Italian.
Day 3 - Montalcino, San Quirico, Pienza and Montepulciano
Day 4 - Siena, Monteriggioni and Colle Val d'Elsa
Day 5 (April 8, Easter) - Florence, all day trip - Scoppio del Carro and just visit to the city
Day 6 - Volterra and San Gimignano
Day 7-8 - Scarlino, Follonica, Piombino - Cavallino Matto
The Cavallino Matto might be a whole day out for the whole family
As for additional fun activities with your daughter, if she likes art and history - make sure to get some city guides (to Florence and Siena, for example) aimed at children. They tend to present the monuments and history with fun facts, to make it more interesting for them to understand and appreciate what they're seeing. These are generally found on-site, at the main museums book shops. In Siena, I'd recommend the one inside the Duomo or the Complesso Santa Maria della Scala (by the ticket office). In Florence, I recommend the Mandragora bookstore in the Museo dell'Opera museum behind the Duomo.
If she likes rocks/minerals and you're interested in going into an old mine, there is an old one fitted for guided visits in Massa Marittima or another one in Gavorrano which is near Scarlino.
Does your daughter like nature, hiking or horseback riding? Then you could consider heading to the Maremma Regional Park - see some ideas here. In Capalbio, on your way up to Roccastrada, you could stop at the Tarot Garden. The sculptures are very colorful and creative, regardless if you care for tarots or not.
Hope these suggestions are helpful!!
January 23, 2012, 04:21 PM
I forgot to say - Elba definitely merits a visit but it isn't a DAY trip from mainland Tuscany, it is a whole trip in itself. I'd recommend spending at least 3-4 days there to get to see a good part of it and enjoy it. The beaches are spectacular, really beautiful but the season also opens pretty late since the water can be pretty chilly until May. That is the reason why I didn't include it in the itinerary recommendations above.
January 23, 2012, 09:02 PM
Thanks very much for your hints. I like your ideas and I will go through them and try to visit as much as I can.
My daughter likes nature and your suggestion of Maremma regional park is great as they offer chariot and canoe excursions will be of her liking.
No problem regarding the sites in Italian as I am able to read and speak Italian too.
January 24, 2012, 08:02 PM
Wonderful - Really glad to be of help! if anything else comes up, feel free to ask again!
We love the Maremma park, so hopefully it will make for a nice day out doing something fun!