March 30, 2010, 11:08 PM
4 college students spending 5 days @ Tuscany in June
We are all thrilled as we decided upon visiting Tuscany at the start of summer break this coming June for 5 days!
I and my friends all loved about the scenery of Tuscany, and we are definitely visiting FLORENCE. We are all on tight budget, for airlines we would choose easyjet/ryanair and start off from Pisa.
We are more into scenery but not that much into wine. So it would be great if anyone could suggest some nice routes to tour around Tuscany by public transportation!
March 31, 2010, 12:00 PM
5 days around Tuscany by public transportation
I'm happy and thrilled as well for your trip to Tuscany
First I'd like to share with you my thoughts about your trip. I'm actually thinking that it could be more convenient for you 4 renting a car for those days you're outside Florence. In fact if you think about the costs of round trips for 4 people, tours and time spent waiting you realize that the cost will be the same as a rental car. Furthermore driving around you'll be free to stop wherever you like and visit as many places as you wish to.
Anyway this is my personal opinion and I hope you'll think about it.
Back to your question Tuscany is a unique breathtaking panorama (and I'm not exaggerating ). Since you are flying to and from Pisa I suggest you spend some time there and visit the famous Piazza dei Miracoli where stand the Leaning Tower and the Cathedral.
In Florence you cannot miss the spectacular views of the city from Piazzale Michelangelo and from Giotto's Bell Tower.
I then suggest you visit Chianti, that of course is famous for wine and landscapes. Read the article about tips on moving around Chianti so that you can have a better idea.
The only problem regarding not driving in Tuscany are bus and train schedules, as well as connections. I strongly suggest you carry with you bus and train schedules. You can find bus schedules at Florence central station and download train schedules from the Internet.
Then you can visit Siena and from there move to San Gimignano and towards Valdorcia. Siena is the city of the Palio and Piazza del Campo is really stunning. The medieval city of San Gimignano has a beautiful city center enclosed in ancient walls.
Valdorcia is the classic scenario for Tuscany postcards. So if you want scenery you really have to go there. Montepulciano, Montalcino, Pienza, Buonconvento and San Quirico D'Orcia are certainly remarkable cities, as well as their surroundings. From Florence you need to go to Siena and from there get buses to other destinations in Valdorcia. You can even think to take a bus tour. Here you have information about public transportation in the province of Siena.
From Siena departs also a special steam engine train, called Nature train, that crosses the beautiful countryside. The only problem are schedules, since it departs only on determined days. I recommend you visit the website (unfortunately only in Italian) to check schedules and see if it fits your plans.
Well, I really hope my suggestions help you planning your thrilling trip to Tuscany.
I also hope you'll share you experience with us
April 1, 2010, 02:10 AM
Many thanks for your reply, I am just not too sure if it's safe for us to drive in Italy, cuz two of us just got our license.....
Is there anyway we could travel by train!? to Chianti or the scenic spots that you suggested?!
April 1, 2010, 10:24 AM
Moving by public transportation
I can understand your concern about driving in Italy. Especially if you've just got the license.
Regarding Chianti there are no trains that cross it. You can take the train from Florence Santa Maria Novella to Poggibonsi, then you have to take buses for other destinations.
It's the same for Valdorcia. You can take the train from Florence to Siena (even though bus is faster) and then from there take buses to your next destination.
Otherwise you can think about organized tours for visiting those areas. There are many different companies and tours you can choose from.
You can even think about renting 2 scooters, of course if you feel comfortable with it. You can rent them in Florence and go to Chianti and then in Siena going to Valdorcia.
Another option can be bike tours. I don't know if you like biking but you can consider it. I suggest you take a look at IBikeTuscany, company specialized in biking tours in Tuscany.
So in the end, if you don't feel like driving (either car or scooter) and biking, the bus is the best choice. I recommend you take schedules with you and a good book
Don't hesitate to come back with any other question and have a nice day