March 25, 2010, 07:25 PM
School friends reunion in Tuscany
We are a group of 8 - 12 old school friends. Some of us are coming from the US and some from India, Australia, London, Singapore. We want to spend a week (June 10 to 17) in Tuscany. We would truly appreciate some approximate costs for this trip.
We would like to:
1) Stay in a villa near Florence or farmhouse in the country
2) Visit Florence (2 days) Siena (1 day) Pisa (1 day) Chainti (1 day) (2 days not planned yet)
3) Ideally we would like to rent a van which can fit all of us and find a guide to drive us around. dont know if this is possible... if not we will take buses/ trains
4) Do one cooking lesson
5) One wine tasting trip in Chianti
I would truly appreciate approximate cost for:
2) Transportation (for travel in Tuscany, not the international airfare)
3) Museum visits
5) Cooking class
Thank you in advance for your advise!
March 26, 2010, 06:30 PM
Oh dear..I was hoping to get some responses today No tips anyone?
March 29, 2010, 04:02 PM
For a group of 8-12 I definitely think the best thing would be to rent a whole villa to share - a valid alternative would be to stay at an "agriturismo" that has been divided into apartments. You could then divide your group into 2-3 apartments. Most apartments can accommodate up to 6-8 so maybe just 2 apartments might be fine. With either apartments or a whole villa you have the advantage of having your own kitchen and you can decide to cook a few meals together, as well as maybe have a cook come to your villa to carry out the cooking lesson there.
Rates per week vary greatly upon the type of accommodation and the services offered as well as location. For example, here are a few villas that come to mind that might work for your group:
Villa La Dogana - euro 2600 per week - in Mugello north of Florence
Orticaia - euro 660 per week - border of Mugello with Casentino forest, to northeast of Florence
Villa Piaggia - near San Gimignano - rates not published on site
Cabbiavoli - in Chianti near Castelfiorentino - has both a villa and farmhouse departments, rates vary for each
Fattoria il Milione - farmhouse just outside Florence with restaurant has many apartments, check the site for rates.
For transportation, the easiest and likely best choice is for you to hire a minivan with driver.... but if you're closer to 12 people, then a minivan is too small and you might want to get a small bus for 14 people. SITA, for example, offers rentals with driver of their small buses. If you use this form you can ask for an estimate of the cost and see whether it is convenient. Generally a driver is just that, you'd need to look for a separate person to be a guide if you want to be accompanied along and have things explained to you.
Other minibus rentals in Florence are offered by Lazzi and FlorentiaBus.
Otherwise, you can easily move around the region by train and bus but for total costs you'll need to program your itinerary better and then calculate cost. You can see the Trenitalia website for schedules and those show costs as well.
Museums in Florence cost from euro 4-10 each, so cost depends on how many museums you want to visit.
Some ideas for wine tasting in Chianti but if you search through the forum you'll find more.
For cooking lessons, I recommend you look into the classes offered by Vinarium or like I mentioned before, hire someone like Ginny and Fiamma to come to your place and do the lesson there.
Dining out - lunch can be anything from 3 to 20 euros per person, depends what you eat and where. Dinner can be from 20 to 45 euro per person on average, again depending on what you eat. For example a full meal would consist of an appetizer, first and second course, dessert, wine and water. First course is generally a pasta or risotto, a second course is generally some type of meat, chicken or fish to which you can add a side dish. Generally a meal like that is like a 2-3 hour dinner so you can imagine you might not have many of those, maybe on a special night.
I hope this helps you start getting an idea of the relative costs, remember that much depends on what you end up doing.
The above are just suggestions to get you started, it is a good idea to start contacting some of them and getting info on availability and costs so you can plan your itinerary.
March 29, 2010, 07:02 PM