March 27, 2010, 08:12 PM
car rentals to tuscany
My family and I are arriving in Rome and will spend two days in Rome car free. Our plans are to then drive from Rome and spend a week in Tuscany and fly out from the Pisa airport. Can you recommend a car rental company that will lend us a car from Rome and let us return the car to the Pisa airport? Also what 5 villages can you recommend we visit while in the Siena area. Thank you very much for you time and interest.
March 29, 2010, 12:00 PM
Renting a car and driving to Siena surroundings
In Italy you'll find the big, international car rental companies. They all offer picking up in a place and dropping off in a different one. I suggest you choose some big names, such as AVIS, HERTZ or SIXT that have offices at Pisa Airport.
When you book the car you can arrange dropping the car directly in Pisa.
Regarding small villages and towns in Siena surroundings, I'd like to reassure you that around Siena, as well as all around Tuscany, there are plenty of beautiful places to visit.
Heading North by taking Superstrada Firenze-Siena towards Florence, I recommend you stop and visit Monteriggioni and Colle Val D'Elsa.
Monteriggioni is a charming Medieval fortress. Its big walls with 15 towers circle around the beautiful city center. I suggest you take the time to walk along the walls.
Colle Val D'Elsa is a beautiful town located on top of a hill dominating the entire valley. It was an important center during the Middle Ages, as well as in the Renaissance, because it's located along the via Francigena, a pilgrim road connecting Canterbury to Rome. Don't miss the Crystal Museum, since crystal is Colle's biggest industry making it known worldwide.
Heading South-East towards the breathtaking Val D'Orcia on road SR 2, also called the "via Cassia", I suggest you visit Buonconvento, Montalcino, San Quirico, Montepulciano, Sant'Antimo and Montepulciano.
Buonconvento is listed among the most beautiful towns in Italy. The historical center is enclosed within 14th century walls and is really picturesque.
Montalcino is famous for its wine production, as well as Montepulciano. Both towns are characterized by a delightful historical center full with shops and wine shops.
Sant'Antimo is a Romanesque Abbey founded by Charlemagne in the 9th century. It really deserves a visit, you'll likely hear verpers being sung by the monks and it is an incredible experience.
San Quirico D'Orcia is certainly another charming town. To visit: the ancient walls, the Grand Duke's Garden and the Collegiata Church.
Pienza is famous for its particular square Pio II and is listed in the World Heritage Sites. The square is a splendid example of Renaissance architecture with famous buildings and the Cathedral looking upon the square.
I hope these suggestions help you plan your holiday in Tuscany. I also hope you'll share your experiences with us once you're back home, we'd love to hear how everything turns out
April 13, 2010, 03:58 PM
Thank you so very much for your informative reply and can't wait to reach Italy and those lovely villages you mentioned.