April 7, 2012, 10:50 PM
14 day stay in Tuscany
I am a new subscriber and am impressed with the information I have read to date. We are in the process of planning a trip to Tuscany next spring and I have a coupe of questions. We prefer to have a car and do day trips and always return to the same accommodation (preferably B & B's while in Tuscany. We like to do this because we want to eat in the evening in local restaurants (so we do not have to drink and drive). What would be a good town/village for us to base our stay where there will be several choices of restaurants throughout the 14 days we will be there? Also, what town/village would allow us to do day trips? We do not mind driving and distance is not an issue as long as we can return to our base accommodation at the end of the day.
April 20, 2012, 07:08 PM
I'd divide the trip into two so that you can stay 7 days in two different areas
Finally got to your questions, sorry for the delay and hope to be of help!
The forum seems to be pretty popular this month
I would also go for a single place from which you can do day trips - although you could also divide it up into two different locations staying 7 days at each. Since you'll have enough time to explore the region overall, you could do 7 days in southern Tuscany and then another 7 days in northern Tuscany and that way your day trips are also a bit shorter on the driving time. For example, from Florence down to Maremma the trip takes about 2 hours one way so I'd definitely find it difficult to recommend it as a day trip if you're closer to Florence.... but it is a lovely area of Tuscany so I highly recommend it!
Ok so some good towns to base yourself in.... if you do the one place for 14 days, I'd say stay around Siena, even just outside of it. You could then dine in Siena and have lots of choices. Small towns/villages at most will have about 3-4 options to dine at - so you might yourself eating out a little further away the longer you are there.
Siena is really central and makes it easy to go north and south for your day trips... and close by there are a lot of charming villages to visit, less than 30 minutes away so you might even find yourself eating dinner there before heading back.
If you were to divide your stay in two, I'd suggest staying in the Val d'Orcia area - San Quirico has about 4 restaurants where you can eat at, Pienza is less than 15 minutes away with another like number of places to eat at and in the other direction Montalcino also provides a good base with restaurants. From here you can head east and west and south to explore southern Tuscany.
In that case, then the second part of your stay could be closer to Florence - either around Greve in Chianti to be in the wine area or to the southwest of Florence on the western part of Chianti. There are several towns here - Castelfiorentino, Certaldo, San Gimignano - that would be ideal for both places to eat at and day trips around.
Hope these suggestions help you out!!