July 20, 2014, 03:42 PM
Trip to Tuscany
I am wanting to plan a trip to Tuscany in the next month and really don't know where to start.
I am a 40+ year old, married woman and this is a trip of self discovery.
I have the following questions which I'd really appreciate some advice on:
* Is it better to plan my trip for August or September ie. weatherwise / availability
* I'm not really wanting to do the whole tourist thing, I am more interested in staying in a small village and
getting to know the locals and their traditions. Learning to pickle olives and cure meat etc. and perhaps
do one or two day trips
* I plan to stay for approximately 3 weeks but funds are limited as we do not get a good rate of exchange
July 22, 2014, 08:05 PM
Weather wise generally September is better, a little less warm when it does get warm. But if you're in the countryside, even August can be pleasant if you're located on any type of hill.
Given what you've said are your preferences, would you like to stay at an active farm/farmhouse and offer your help in exchange of maybe a lower fee on the accommodation?
As I read your post, I thought that contacting and staying with Lara at the Fattoria dell'orto degli Ulivi might work out perfectly for you. The farm is in Molin del Piano, less than 30 min from Florence and very close to the train line that would connect you to Florence, for when you do want to do day trips. Other than that, the town is quite small although not tiny, is not touristy at all (mostly lots of Italians that commute into Florence) and you'd have the experience of the farm/animals/canning/olive picking (although olives are not ripe until end of October so if you come earlier that part won't be possible). I know she makes soap, jams and cheese, among the many things she does. She's full of energy and new projects, that's for sure. You get yourself a bike (she might have one to loan, not sure) you could easily make your way to the train station at Sieci and ride in on the train. Check out her site here
http://farmholidaysortodegliulivi.weebly.com/ and contact her if it seems of interest to you. I'll also email her and send her the link to this page, so that if you write she'll know who you are ;-).
She doesn't feel she speaks English well, but I can assure you she does and, in any case, a stay at her farm might be perfect for your needs.
If you think this isn't what you're looking for, let me know and I'll think of something else to recommend ;-).
July 22, 2014, 08:09 PM
Oh, here's her farm's FB page so that you can follow along with what she's up to:
July 23, 2014, 08:58 AM
Aug vs Sept
September is definitely nicer for your budget. The later you come in the month the more likely you are to see the grape harvest...olives usually don't get harvested until Nov./Dec.
If you have a chance to take a quick full immersion language class while you were here it might help you get a true sense of the culture and the people.