August 10, 2013, 11:09 AM
10 Days in Rome, Tuscany and Cinque Terre
I would really like your opinions to the following itinerary, which I am planning between 28/09 and 07/10:
Rome (3 nights)
Day 1: Arrival in Rome late morning
Day 2: Rome
Day 3: Rome
Florence (2 nights)
Day 4: Arrival in Florence early afternoon by train from Rome
Day 5: Florence
Siena (2 nights)
Day 6: Renting a car in Florence and driving through Chianti (and maybe San Gimignano if there's enough time) before arriving in Siena late in the evening.
Day 7: Siena and visit Val d'Orcia by car.
Pisa (2 nights)
Day 8: Siena in the morning (or San Gimignano if not 2 days before) and drive to Pisa late afternoon where visiting the leaning tower area until 7pm when it closes.
Day 9: Train from Pisa to Cinque Terre until late evening when returning back to Pisa to spend the night.
Day 10: Fly back from Pisa airport early in the morning.
I know that the above itinerary is quite hard and tight but I would really appreciate your help in making it as feasible as possible. I would also like to ask you if using Siena as a base in order to visit the Tuscan countryside makes sense or I should pick another small town as a base.
Thank you very very much and I look forward to your help!!
August 12, 2013, 06:33 PM
I think your itinerary is actually looking pretty good actually. You are trying to fit a good amount of things, so I'd just suggest these small changes:
Day 6 - go straight to Siena and spend that day there so that you can dedicate all of day 7 to the Val d'Orcia.
Day 8 - visit San Gimignano on the way to Pisa as soon as you leave Siena, that way you fit it in and is on route.... you'll love driving the countryside through here for the views, even if it takes longer to get to Pisa.
I think that will just better optimize the time you have in Siena, which I love! Be sure to visit the cathedral as the pavement will be completely uncovered when you're there!
Siena works great as your base for those 2 nights - just make sure to look for a place that either offers parking for your car or that it isn't too far into the center so that you can you park (at either one the main garages or outside the walls) and walk in easily to your hotel.
Take a look here: http://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/siena-city/
We actually stayed at Chiostro del Carmine last summer and we chose it because it was really central but it was also pretty close to the gate at Via San Marco - while they have parking right behind the cloister, it costs 15 euro per day. We chose to park on the Strada Comunale Giuggiolo right outside the gate, where the per hour rate made it come out to 12 euro per day. There is another garage right inside the gate too.
We've also stayed at the Locanda San Martino in a previous visit and also liked it, was really close to Piazza del Campo - but they didn't offer any parking and walking in to them from the closest parking was a little further. You can drive in to drop off luggage and then drive out to park, just make sure to follow the directions they send really well so that you won't have any problems with the ZTL.
If you have any other doubts, just ask! In the meantime, enjoy the planning!
August 14, 2013, 04:48 PM
Thanks a lot Lourdes for your great help!!
This modification to the itinerary sounds very good...!
It makes sense to visit San Gimignano on the way to Pisa on day 8.
I am still finding it a bit hard though how to best fit Chianti, Siena and Val d'Orcia in 2 full days.
As it seems Chianti and Siena should be on the same day (from 9am to around 3pm in Chianti and the rest in Siena) as Val d'Orcia requires (you are right...!) one full day.
Do you think this is feasible or I should eventually skip Cinque Terre entirely (which I wouldn't like that much) in order to spend 3 nights in Siena instead of 2?
By the way, the place I found in Siena is this one:
It looks quite nice with free parking and approx. 20 min from the city centre. Do you think maybe it's too far?
August 19, 2013, 04:07 PM
The best way to fit in Chianti and Siena on the same day is to drive through Chianti (take the SS222 known as the Via Chiantigiana from Florence) and enjoy the views, just stopping to take pictures and for lunch at one of the towns - I'd recommend either Panzano or Castellina in Chianti. Then continuing on to Siena to get there by 4pm at the latest. Siena just deserves more time than most people give it - you just have to visit the Duomo and see the pavement. The full pass gives you access to the Baptistery and to the Museo del Duomo, which has a view from the very very top of all of Siena. Cathedral closes at 6pm so you want to fit at least those 3 in.... the panorama from the "facciatone" closes at 7pm with last entry is at 6.30pm... then enjoy dinner and Piazza del Campo and the rest of Siena in the evening.
If you don't see enough, you could spend a few hours in the morning the next day before heading out to the Val d'Orcia... or just return in the evening for dinner in Siena on day 7 as well. Up to you... be flexible, don't fret about what you don't see, just enjoy what you do manage to get in... all of Italy requires patience and time to be enjoyed fully remember, long meals, siestas and quiet afternoons are still the norm outside of the big cities
The hotel in Siena doesn't look far, Siena is quite small... you'll be fine with that one too as far as location goes. Do let us know how you like it though - your feedback helps me then recommend more places to other people ;-)
Cinque Terre could be skipped but if your heart is set on it, I'd go that last day... you will be closer already since you're departing from Pisa. To spend more time in Cinque Terre, you could keep the car until your last day - drive up to La Spezia, park there and take the train into the Cinque Terre from there - about 15 min. That way you won't have to worry about train schedules for the day aside between the 5 towns... and head back to Pisa at leisure.