February 15, 2016, 07:26 PM
Advice for free days vs optional tours on a 9 day package tour
Buongiorno. I'm signing up for a package tour for Nov 1-9, 2016. (not typically how I like to travel, but price is really good) We're staying in Pistoia and taking a day trip to Florence, and going to Castellina, Radda, Gaiole.
There are 3 optional tours to sign up for. (1 day to Pisa & Lucca; 1 day to Siena & San Gimignano; 1 day to Cinque Terre). I'm thinking to book the tour to CT and renting a car or taking train/bus for day trips. So many places I want to see and just not enough time!
I have to sign up for the optional trips when signing up for the package tour.
Thoughts on whether I should go with the optional tours or go off on my own? I would like to see Siena & San Gimignano plus hike some on the Via Francigena. Any suggestions/ideas would be most welcome. I'm open to any recommendations.
There is also an optional Rome extension (we'll be flying out of Rome). We'll be in Rome in the afternoon and fly out the next morning. The extension is for 2 extra days. One day would be a tour to the popular tourist sights (Sistine chapel, Vatican museum, the Roman ruins) and 1 day free. Does the extension sound like a good idea. I know it'd be a packed 3 days but I'm not sure I'd ever make it back.
February 16, 2016, 09:46 AM
you can most definitely do those two day trips on your own. From Pistoia you can catch the train to both Pisa and Lucca - though if you had the car you could throw in a wine tour as well. have a look at this article which gives you an idea how a day could play out: http://www.discovertuscany.com/blog/...-tasting-3171/
you can also put San Gimignano and http://www.discovertuscany.com/itine...-in-siena.html together if you want --- though if you were going to walk a piece of the via Francigena, maybe not combine the two. This article might give you some help for the Francigena.
If you had the time I would do Siena on its own and then San Gimignano and teh Francigena together on another day. And definitely don't forget to visit Pistoia! Beautiful little town.
PS I would add the days for Rome!
February 16, 2016, 09:49 AM
I would recommend adding the Rome extension at the end, 3 days will be packed but you won't regret spending that time in Rome.
As for the day trips in Tuscany - from Pistoia, you can easily do Lucca and Pisa by train on your own and at your own pace. The same applies for CT actually, since you can take the train.
Siena and SG are a bit more complicated to get to by train or bus, so that's the one I would recommend to with a tour if it includes the driving. In this way, you can totally skip renting the car. You can also easily do day trips to Florence by train from Pistoia ;-)