February 4, 2015, 11:03 AM
Visiting italy for the first time in Sept_itinerary advice please
My husband, 12 yr old son and I will be visiting Italy this Sept. After 4 nights exploring the Cinque Terre we plan to spend 7 nights in Tuscany before heading to Rome for 3 nights and then home to Australia. This will be our first time in Italy and we are keen to explore the beautiful countryside, quaint villages and sample traditional food - authentic italy
As we plan to have a car whilst in Tuscany we were thinking of basing ourselves somewhere for 6 nights - and explore the region through day trips by car. We thought we would then spend a night in Florence and catch the train to Rome. However we are not sure though where the best place is to base ourselves. On our list of places to see are of course Siena, Luca, Pisa, San gimignano, thermal springs. There appears to be a wealth of information on this great site which I am slowly discovering, so no doubt our list will grow. Are there any other must see's that I should consider including? Would love to know of a special village or two that is a hidden gem and still yet unspoilt by tourism. My son would also be interested in where the best ice cream or treats can be found.
A farmstay or something in the countryside but with a village nearby or similar appeals. Something personal and friendly rather than a hotel. Can anyone recommend somewhere where it may be good to base ourselves?
I'd appreciate any suggestions or advice that anyone is willing to offer.
February 4, 2015, 02:05 PM
As for a hidden gem - I have two places to suggest:
Arezzo, perhaps a little too large to be considered hidden, but it is definitely a gem for all ages. There are enough monuments that appeal to all ages, that your 12 year old should enjoy the as much as yourselves. There is the Medici Fortress and the Roman Amphitheatre as well as an excellent archelogical museum and modern art (1100's and up). What I like most about Arezzo is that it is walkable and very "real"...not overrun with tourists. You will also find lots of places to eat, including traditional restaurants to some not so traditional.
My second suggestion for a hidden gem is the town of Poppi, located between Florence & Arezzo...considerably smaller than Arezzo BUT with just as much draw. There is a castle from the 1200's which is open to the public and it will certainly entertain. You will find several good - traditional restaurants, a beautiful national park, 2 interesting monasteries and tons of history.
Located in the valley of Casentino, you can find more info about the area here: http://www.discovertuscany.com/casentino/
and about Poppi have a look here: http://www.castellodipoppi.com/en/