October 25, 2013, 06:45 AM
Six Days in Tuscany
Hi, I posted in this forum earlier under “Other Destinations” but didn’t receive a reply so am trying again….
We have six days in Tuscany and would appreciate some help with where to base ourselves, unsure of whether to stay in just one place or move onto a second or even third.
We fly from Australia to Rome, arriving late on 24 July 14 with two nights’ accommodation giving us just the one full day in Rome. We have been to Italy some years ago and spent time in Venice, Florence, Pisa, San Gimignano and Rome.
We are renting a car in Rome from Saturday 26th July and plan to drive straight to Tuscany with places that have caught my eye being Lucca, Chianti, Siena, San Gimignano, Monteriggioni, Volterra and Montepulciano. We love good food and wine and apart from that just plan to explore, relax and enjoy. We would probably not go to Florence this time around, but spend our time in places we haven't been. On 31 July, we will make our way to La Spezia, park the car, then train to Cinque Terre, but are happy to make the most of the day catching a mid/late afternoon train from La Spezia. We will then have two full days/three nights in Cinque Terre before heading to France.
We would really like some suggestions of where to base ourselves in Tuscany to visit the places above and anyone else's favorites in the area we might not have thought of. Also any thoughts re staying in one place or moving onto a second, or even a third. We are aware that we can’t take our car into Siena, but still think this might be a lovely first stop? We also know that we have chosen peak tourist season so I’m finding it a little overwhelming as to what we should do. So many of the places I have looked at are already booked out I was hoping we could keep our accommodation costs under 150 Euros per night if possible. A pool would be a lovely bonus. Any suggestions re places to stay would be very much appreciated.
Dates we are working within -
24 July - Arrive Rome 8.50 pm
25 July - Rome
26 July – Drive to Tuscany
27 July -
28 July -
29 July -
30 July -
31 July – Travel to La Spezia / Cinque Terra (park car)
1 Aug - Full Day Cinque Terre
2 Aug - Full Day Cinque Terre
3 Aug – Drive to France
We would be most appreciative of any help/suggestions. Thanks
October 28, 2013, 05:08 PM
Sorry for the delay, I had started replying to your earlier post and then got interrupted before finishing... so here I go again, I see you've made changes to your plans already so the update is useful ;-)
End of July IS high season here, and since you already have your dates, it definitely would not hurt to start looking for where to stay. As you've already seen, many do book early for those dates... but I am sure you can still find very nice places to stay in for your time.
Have you considered maybe staying in just one central place and using that as a base to travel around? That way you would have a kitchen as well as a pool at your disposal. Seeing the places you want to visit, I'd suggest first to look into the area south of Siena, then in Chianti along the western edge.
Only thing is that in that period most all of them require a week long stay, from Saturday to Saturday. In that case, I'd see it would work out well since you arrive in Tuscany on Saturday the 26th... but you'd have to extend your stay until the 2nd to complete the full week taking some time away from Cinque Terre. Personally, we've spent two nights there with the full hike along the coast (which I wouldn't recommend in late July) and thought it was sufficient.
south of Siena:
San Giovanni in Poggio
Romitorio di Serelle
Rocca di Cispiano
La Roccaia (near San Gimignano)
These are my suggestions on what you can do with 7 days in Tuscany, not considering Florence since you've already been:
day 1 - drive from Rome - depends on where you end up staying, I'd go there directly and then spend the rest of the day in the area
day 2 - Siena - you can't drive into the center but you can certainly get to the city and park right outside of the walls and walk in.
day 3 - Monteriggioni, San Gimignano, Certaldo if there's time
day 4 - Volterra and Colle Val d'Elsa + San Galgano if there's time
day 5 - Lucca and San Miniato on the way there
day 6 - Montepulciano and Val d'Orcia which means Pienza and San Quirico and Montalcino
day 7 - Arezzo and Cortona
There are definitely plenty of places to see in Tuscany if you do extend your stay to the week before heading off to Cinque Terre and France... maybe just by leading to France one day later you'll spend enough time in Cinque Terre, too ;-)
What do you think?
October 28, 2013, 05:09 PM
I just reposted the above, I had replied Friday but for some reason it didn't show up! Sorry again for the delay, I had seen your request earlier and can't understand why it didn't post last week
October 29, 2013, 09:27 AM
Thanks Lourdes, you have given me plenty to consider and work with. I really don’t know that we can extend as we are meeting relatives in France, but your advice re long walks in the heat in Cinque Terre makes sense and has me thinking.
Prior to receiving your post, our thoughts had been
Day 1 – drive from Rome via Orvieto to Montepulciano – overnight Montepulciano
Day 2 – Pienza, San Quirico, Montalcino & Sant’Antimo Abbey – overnight Montepulciano
Day 3 – Siena, then drive onto new accommodation – Greve?
Day 4 and 5 - leave free for Montenggioni and Volterra or wine tour ? – overnight Greve ?
Day 6 – Drive to La Spezia via Lucca
I think I will research your suggestions and see if things become clearer. However, if you have a minute I would be interested to know what you think of our thoughts.
One thing I did notice when looking at accommodation is that some prices were hugely expensive on the Saturday night (western Chianti), which is one of the reasons we looked at staying down south for the first couple of days. Is this common or just coincidence for the places I looked at ? We also have been told that Montepulciano has some damn fine wine, so that caught our attention too No matter where we stay it would be lovely to have a pool for either all or part of the week as a lazy day would be lovely. Thanks for your help.
November 6, 2013, 01:13 PM
If you're fine with moving place every 2 days, then it definitely makes sense to stay first around Montepulciano while you see that area and then moving north to see the area to the north of Siena. You can also consider staying in Siena itself, there are many accommodations outside of the city center where you won't have problems with parking or with driving into the dreaded ZTL area.
As far as higher pricing on Saturday nights, I've seen it only with hotels... and for sure with those that are attached in one way to an international chain or group. They tend to have the software and staff to adapt rates to the days of the week, making the weekend more expensive. If you look at smaller hotels or B&Bs, rates tend to vary by the season and are flat throughout the week. So it just really depends on the individual hotels you are looking at.
I've found Montepulciano itself to be more expensive that other towns in the area, maybe just because of the name and thus higher popularity in searches. If you stay in the area, but in nearby towns, you'll still enjoy the views, wines and more but at a smaller price tag.
July and August are high season so you'll see higher rates than in other periods of the year, all over.
Montalcino also makes great wine so you can spread your search in that direction.... and many of the places outside of the towns and located in the countryside will have a pool for you to enjoy. I say keep looking and browsing and you'll find a place to fall in love with ;-) Take a look at the places I suggested above, because they are also good choices for one location as a base and day trips - overall, you can get from south of Siena into Chianti in about an hour.