June 29, 2009, 08:26 AM
Planning to Visit Tuscany
We are planning to visit Tuscany next year and would like some advise to plan our holiday well. Here are some questions which we would like to receive information on:
1. Which are the best months to visit Tuscany? We prefer it when it is not overly crowded and hot. We like good weather, no heat and no rain
2. We intend to spend a week in Tuscany. We have in mind to spend the days as follows, 1 day in Pisa, 1 in Florence (we sleep overnight in Pisa or Florence) and for the remaining days we thought we should seek accomodation in Chianti as Chianti seems central to the other parts of Tuscany. What do you think of this itinerary? Do you think it a good idea to hire a care on the 3rd day when we arrive in Chianti to be able to roam about the other places? We would like to visit those small villages in the very heart of Tuscany.
3. In your opinion which are the places we should not miss when visiting Tuscany bearing in mind that we have a child who will be 3 years next year. We would also appreciate any advise on places to visit with a child like gardens, perhaps a zoo etc.
We thank you a lot for your assistance.
July 1, 2009, 03:48 PM
Ciao Rosalynn and welcome to our Forum!
Tuscany is beautiful throughout the year but the hottest months are July and August. We sometimes have some short hot weather spells in June and even May, but those are not the norm. May this year had a lot of rain but normally May, June and September are the months with the best weather. The beginning of October is often still very nice. From November the weather is decisively a bit more chilly but there are still many days when the sun shines (just not as warmly).
Florence is pretty crowded most of the year but there is noticeably less people in the colder months. Other towns tend to be crowded right around the main square but as you move around and sight-see you see that in general it isn't too bad. Siena gets quite crowded around the Campo (not counting the time around the two Palio races) but as you move towards other sights you have no problems moving about. This generally applies just to those more popular destinations, as we've gone around to visit different villages we've sometimes felt we were almost the only tourists around.
Your itinerary seems good so far. Another possibility is to rent a car and a single place in Chianti like an apartment for the whole week and then doing Pisa and Florence as day trips. It might be a bit more practical with a toddler. Look into where you want to stay, map it out on Google to see distances and times. Chianti is really central but wide so depending on what you exactly want to see in that week, you might decide to stay closer to the Siena end of the region or maybe closer to Florence.
In addition to Pisa and Florence, you should definitely see San Gimignano, the various villages in Chianti (Greve, Panzano, Gaiole, Radda) as well as Siena. If you can, visit Certaldo and Volterra.
As for parks and gardens - most towns have play areas and small parks/gardens so that your child can play at any time you need a break from museums and sightseeing. If you want to go to something specific, there is a wild animal zoo in Pistoia as well as a zoo dedicated to European and Italian animals outside of Poppi to the east of Chianti. You can read more about that one here:
Near Collodi you'll find a park dedicated to Pinocchio and to other characters and scenes from the classic novel. Siena has a nice botanical garden, and in Cavriglia on the eastern edge of Chianti there is another animal park - see more here http://www.parcocavriglia.com/
Hope this helps you out as you start planning your vacation, let us know whether you have any other doubts or questions!
July 2, 2009, 06:55 PM
Planning to Visit Tuscany
Thanks a million for you tips and advise. I am sure we will find it very useful and definetely will come back with more questions