February 1, 2013, 09:44 AM
9 days in Tuscany
My friends and I (4 of us) are planning a trip to Tuscany this year and after reading this forum, we have come up with a tentative itinerary
12 Oct : Arrive in Florence International Airport, Pick up car rental and drive to San Gimignano area for farmhouse stay
17 Oct : Check out San Gimignano and drive to Florence ; check in Florence B&B/apartment
20 Oct : Check out; Drive to Florence International Airport to drop off rental car and fly home
We plan to visit Chianti (wineies) for 1 day and Siena and Monteriggioni for 1 day while making San Gimignano our base, moving around in our rented car. The rest of the days will be free and easy (for now) exploring the area around the farm, hiking or bicycling.
As this will not be our first visit to Florence, we plan to set aside 1 day to visit the designer outlet malls and remaining time in Florence to visit our favourite sites.
We checked out the car rental options on this site and noticed that there are very few rental cars on automatic transmission - most of the cars offered are on manual transmission.
Is there any other source for rental cars?
Also having gone through the Autostrade website I am still not able to figure out how much toll I'd have to pay just by driving from Florence to San Gimignano, to Siena and to Chianti - we just wanted to have an inditcation for budgetary purposes.
Would you have any suggestions on our itinerary and recommendations for accomodation (car park is required) ?
Last question : How will the weather be like generally - would the rains have started?
Thank you so much for your help!
February 1, 2013, 03:12 PM
very good itinerary so far!
Ciao Soo, seems like a very good itinerary so far! I really like the idea of having your base near San Gimignano and from there doing day trips and taking some time to take it easy and explore the area slowly :-)
One suggestion I'd make is this: return the car rental once you return to Florence as you don't need a car in the historical part of town (unless you're in the outskirts and have parking included). You won't be able to drive it in the historical area, will need to have it parked those last few days and it is around 20-30 euros per day of parking - so if you're central, return the car and your last day catch the bus shuttle from SMN to the airport or call a cab (especially if you're catching an early flight).
As far as car rentals go, there are automatic transmissions but since they aren't as commonly used here, their cost is higher than the manuals --- so scroll through the entire list of results, you'll see they tend to be at the bottom since the list is organized by price. The search with rentalcars.com is pretty good since it searches through all of the major agencies (Hertz, Avis, Europcar, etc.).
As for tolls between Florence, Siena, San Gimignano - luckily for now, the Firenze-Siena road that connects all of these places is still toll-free! As are the regional roads off of this one, so no tolls for you Only the A11, A1, A12 have tolls, the Florence-Pisa-Livorno is also toll-free.
For accommodation, start by taking a look here http://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/
You can navigate the maps to find places around San Gimignano or that general area in any case.
For Florence - if you return the car when you return to town, you'll have more options.... but if you want one with parking, start from this list:
I'd recommend Hotel Principe and Apartment Guelfa as both are in the center, then head outwards...
Hope I've answered most of your questions, if I missed something or have more questions, let me know!
February 2, 2013, 11:02 AM
Re: 9 days in Tuscany
Thanks so much Lourdes for all the useful information! xx Soo
February 5, 2013, 09:41 AM
Re: 9 days in Tuscany
We have another question : We intend to drive directly to THe Mall in Leccio, Regello and stay one night in Regello before driving towards Florence to drop off the rented car (yes we are taking your advice on this!) - as we will travel on a tolled road for this - how much are the toll rates likely to be?
February 5, 2013, 09:55 AM
Re: 9 days in Tuscany
Also any suggestions where we can stay close to Leccio Regello - so far the accomodation we have looked up only seems to take in weekly guests and not for one night.
Thank you so much!
February 5, 2013, 08:28 PM
Glad to help!
You could definitely head to the Mall and do your shopping before going back to Florence and dropping off the rental... from San Gimignano area, you could actually cut across Chianti area (and get to see beautiful landscapes ;-))
Can you see the mapped route on here?
The time difference between taking the provincial roads vs heading up toward Florence and then taking the A1 is just 11 minutes longer... so I'd head for the scenic road and you'll end up saving on tolls.... but if you want to check how much you'd pay for tolls, go to http://www.autostrade.it/en/autostrade/percorso.do
- the toll road part is just from Florence to Reggello... they say toll should be € 1,70
As far as accommodation goes, you have to look for hotels or B&Bs for a 1 night stay - other places require at least 3 days or week stays in the low season (which October is BTW).
Take a look at these options.
Another option to consider - head to Florence and drop off the car, then on another day take the bus shuttle to the Mall - see details here: http://www.discovertuscany.com/what-...n-tuscany.html
As you can see, there are many buses throughout the day and 10 euros per person might not be that much?? What do you think?
February 6, 2013, 12:42 AM
Re: 9 days in Tuscany
Your sugggestions are very helpful - we will have to consider how much time we wish to spend at The Mall before we decide to drive or to take the bus - but I do like the idea of driving through Chianti.
And yes the links you provided is useful - appreciate your pointing out the various routes and hotel suggestions.
OK more planning to do ....
August 30, 2013, 05:15 AM
Driving into Florence Train Station
Our trip is getting close and we are planning some final details.
If we were to drive from The Mall (Reggello) into Florence (paying toll is ok!), will we pass through any ZTL gate? Can we avoid it and still get to Santa Maria Novella parking lot?
Thanks so much,
August 30, 2013, 08:59 AM
Hello there Soo!
Yes, it is almost time!
From Reggello, you can take either the toll road (the A1) to Florence or take the provincial roads that pass through San Donato in Collina (the old Aretina road) or the one that passes through Pontassieve. You don't have to pay on either, they are pretty scenic to do, particularly the one the passes by San Donato in Collina.
Where are you staying in Florence? Of all the parking lots, the SMN lot is the most expensive. If you follow the very precise instructions to get there, you won't pass under any ZTL gates at all.
The mapped route here - http://goo.gl/maps/64Rxp
shows the final part in Florence - follow it exactly and you won't go into the ZTL.
August 31, 2013, 12:38 PM
Hi thanks for the tips.
We'll be staying along Via Fiume 5, 10 minutes walk from the train station. We thought that'd be the nearest place to park the car if we can't return it earlier for whatever reason. Your suggestion is a good idea about taking the bus shuttle!
What will the weather be like in the second half of October?
Originally Posted by Lourdes