February 15, 2014, 11:34 AM
Italy in Easter 2014 !!!
I am planning a trip to Italy this Easter and needless to say, I am super excited about it!! As a result I am trying to fit in as much as possible within 8days, while at the same time trying to maintain a balance and not make it too hectic. I have chalked out a rough itinerary and would like input on where experts here think I should make changes.
day 1: Reach Pisa in the evening. Stay overnight.
Day 2: Cinque Terre. Try and experience as much of the 5 villages as possible and take the evening train to Florence.
Day 3: Explore Florence. Stay in centre.
Day 4: Explore Florence. Stay overnight.
Day 5 - Drive to the Chianti region - Pick up car and drive to Siena(80km/2hrs away) via the Chiantiggiana scenic route, stopping at Greve, Panzano (lunch?), Castillina, San Gimignano and Siena. Stop at a winery. Explore Siena if possible. Overnight in Siena. Suggestions for stay ??
Day 6: Explore Siena if not done the day before. Then Drive from Siena to Val d’Orcia stopping at Montalcino, Pienza, San Quirico and Montepulciano.
Stay somewhere in Montepulciana (Suggestions please? )
Day 7: Spend till afternoon in Chianti/Val d’Orcia region and drive back to Florence. Return car and take train to Pisa. Stay overnight in Pisa.
Day 8: Half day to explore Pisa. And then take the late afternoon flight out.
While I understand it may not be possible to stop everywhere along our drive in the wine regions, the idea is to enjoy the scenery, wineries and food as much as possible. Any suggestions for wineries and restaurants would be appreciated.
Most importantly, is this itinerary doable ? Or have I tried to cram in a lot of things in very little time ?
Look forward to hearing from you guys !
February 21, 2014, 05:39 PM
Well, hard to say your itinerary will be too relaxing!!
Anyhow, I understand your desire to visit as much as you can once you get to Tuscany.
Your itinerary is doable even if I think it will be a bit packed.
Two days in Florence are necessary if you don't want to leave the city with the feeling you've seen just a few things!
When driving to Chianti, I'd recommend you enjoy the panoramic route and the villages you've mentioned stopping for lunch (or better, for more than just one bigger tasting: you could arrange several wine-and-food light tastings, but be careful when driving!!) and leave Siena and San Gimignano to day six and Val d'Orcia to day seven (maybe you could stay overnight in Florence and then take train to Pisa next day, get out and visit the city center and finally take the late afternoon flight out...)
The only destination I'd eventually delete is Cinque Terre: they're actually very beautiful, but maybe the ones that less belong to a Tuscan itinerary...
As regards accommodation in Siena, have a look here: you may choose if lodging in the old city center (hotel or B&B) or in a farmhouse located close by.
Here a list of all accommodation in Montepulciano.
Hope you'll find useful my suggestions, should you need any other tips or help, don't hesitate to write!!
February 24, 2014, 04:14 PM
I agree with Chiara, you could definitely do the week as you've planned and get to see lots of Tuscany (and Cinque Terre) but it won't be a "relaxing week" as you'll always be on the go.
To have a little more time enjoying Tuscany, I'd also suggest cutting out Cinque Terre so that you have more time between Chianti, Siena and the Val d'Orcia.
Day 4 - As you drive down from Florence, you will not have time to stop everywhere except for wine tastings (right before you arrive in Greve there are several along the road, where you can stop without reservations) and lunch (Panzano is a good choice, more wineries around the town too). Then continue on to San Gimignano for the rest of the day. Spend the night there or head on toward Siena by night. You'll have gone through two wine regions: Chianti and San Gimignano Vernaccia so you will get a chance to taste great wines and taste good food. Restaurant recommendations are really difficult, because most all of them offer good food, have yet to eat someplace I wouldn't recommend.
Day 5 - Spend the full day in Siena. There is enough to see and you don't want to do the drive down when there is no light, you'd miss the views.
Day 6 - Drive out to Val d'Orcia, with another great chance to stop along the way and do wine tastings in this area. Two more wine regions here.
Day 7 - As planned, seeing anything you missed the day before.