August 22, 2013, 05:43 PM
4/5 days in Tuscany....help!
I'm planning a short trip to Tuscany in October for 4 or 5 days to celebrate my 30th birthday and there is just so much information available I am slightly overwhelmed and confused as to what to do/where to go!
I am travelling with my boyfriend and like the idea of staying in a Tuscan-style villa/farmhouse/B&B in the countryside. However, I don't want to be completely cut-off from the world, as we get bored if there's too much sitting around :-)
My question is, where would you recommend staying? I've decided on the Chianti region but not the exact location....I was thinking maybe Greve? Would you recommend somewhere more suitable? I am thinking that we will have to rent a car (so will then have the freedom to make day trips to other towns/villages in the area, or wineries of course!). Would it be reasonable for us to drive to Chianti from Pisa? I know we can rent cars in Florence, but flights from London seem to be significantly cheaper into Pisa than Florence. Also if we fly into Pisa it gives the option of visiting the Tower etc before driving down to Chianti. It's possible we may have to stay in Pisa for 1 night before travelling to Chianti if we do this..
I hope you can give me a bit of advice, as at the moment my thoughts are all over the place! If I can decide on a base then it will be easier for me to search for suitable accommodation.
August 23, 2013, 10:28 AM
Yep, you should just rent the car in Pisa - most flights from the UK are into Pisa and it is just 40 min car ride from Florence (about an hour by train or bus).
Depending on what time of the day you arrive in Pisa, definitely visit the main square, the Piazza dei Miracoli, where the Leaning Tower can be admired ;-). If you arrive late, spend the night there before driving - Chianti is not far away, about an hour drive... but most accommodations require earlier check-in.
October is a great month - you can definitely stay in the countryside in a farmhouse or villa or B&B and with a car do day trips all over the area. Greve would be a great base, as would Radda or Castellina. San Donato in Poggio is also a very charming village to stay in, even if small has several restaurants... all of the towns have several places to eat at.
I'd say spend a whole day driving around Chianti and the hilltop towns, another day in San Gimignano and driving to Volterra, another day in Siena. Have you been to Florence before? I'd also include that as another day trip! There you go - all of the days are already accounted for ;-)
As far as accommodation, take a look at
Romitorio di Serelle
Palazzo Malaspina B&B in San Donato in Poggio
The above 3 rent by the week in high season but by October will rent for shorter stays - contact them directly to ask for availability and cost for your stay.
Here are more Chianti accommodations: http://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/chianti/
and if you need something in Pisa for the first night, take a look here: http://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/pisa/
August 23, 2013, 01:39 PM
Thank you so much for replying so promptly to my message, you've helped massively!! I now have a much clearer idea of what I need to do to get this organised. I've never been to Florence either, no, and didn't realise it was such a short drive from Pisa. Perhaps we'll try and squeeaze that in on one day. All of your suggestions are great, and I really appreciate you taking the time to reply.
Thanks again, you've been extremely helpful.
August 23, 2013, 02:40 PM
Oh, just one more question - will it matter that neither of us can really speak Italian? We are happy to try and learn while we're in Italy, but there is really no way we're going to be able to converse and travel around if the locals don't speak any English... :-/
August 26, 2013, 03:38 PM
Don't worry about the language barrier at all! Many Italians at least know some very basic English to communicate and understand... but of course you'll also find those who don't or pretend they don't know any! It doesn't matter, gestures are an international language and one way or another you will be able to communicate. You'll be fine at all of the main sights, hotels, and restaurants :-)