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Thread: Tuscany Road Trip

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    1

    Default Tuscany Road Trip

    Hi,
    I'm planning out the details of my honeymoon for late March/early April, and we will be spending part of it in the Tuscany area.
    My tentative plan so far for this part of the trip is:

    Sunday March 26 (morning): Arrive in Florence (train from Venice). Stay for 3 nights.
    Sun-Tuesday March 28: Explore Florence, possible day trip by bus to Lucca
    Wednesday March 29 (morning): Rent a car and head into the countryside. Spend two nights (Mar 29 and 30) at an agriculturismo (likely Ancora del Chianti in Greve, but I'm very open to suggestions)
    Friday March 31: Overnight in Siena area as we are working our way south
    Saturday April 1: Overnight in Orvieto; return car there
    Sunday April 2: Train to Rome (my fiance really wants to go to the Roma soccer game that afternoon)

    A few questions --
    - Is there a significant chance of running into issues with snow driving in the area that time of year?
    - On the autoeurope website, it was much easier to find manual than automatic cars. I don't drive manual; is it doable to get an automatic, or will we run into problems with that?
    - Is it correct that it will be much easier to experience this part of the country via car than relying on public transportation?
    - I'm from the US and don't have any sort of international data plan. What is the best way to manage navigation in an unfamiliar area: GPS, buying an international plan of some type, etc? How do you go about this?
    - Does it make sense to do the multiple overnight stops on the roadtrip rather than having a single home base? It looks like it is an hour drive from Greve to Siena, so I was leaning towards just making our way south since we are heading that way anyways, rather than backtracking several times.
    - Any tips on where to stay when in the Siena area while we still have a car - better to stay outside the city center to avoid dealing with parking, or leave the car at the bottom and lug our luggage with us up to the city?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    955

    Default

    Buongiorno,

    Lots of questions! Try to answer as many as possible:

    A few questions --
    - Is there a significant chance of running into issues with snow driving in the area that time of year?
    Of course every year is different, but it is highly unlikely that you will find snow south of Florence. HOWEVER, you will still be required to have snow chains in your car so double check that the rental agency includes them.

    - On the autoeurope website, it was much easier to find manual than automatic cars. I don't drive manual; is it doable to get an automatic, or will we run into problems with that?
    Manual is the car of choice in Italy (and I believe in Europe in general). You can specifically request an automatic, but they will tell you right up front that many will not guarantee you an automatic. If it is important then you should rent with someone who will guarantee.

    - Is it correct that it will be much easier to experience this part of the country via car than relying on public transportation?
    Yes, basically because you don't have to always be checking your watch to make the next bus/train...and not all areas are well served by public transport. However you can also look into private or organized tours...which can really help you cover a lot of ground and leave you free to relax and really enjoy. Sometimes the extra cost can be a benefit for you.

    - I'm from the US and don't have any sort of international data plan. What is the best way to manage navigation in an unfamiliar area: GPS, buying an international plan of some type, etc? How do you go about this?
    I had friends that came and got the GPS in the car, the explanation was so fast that they were more frustrated then relieved to have a GPS and they wound up using the free WIFI to look up maps and then refer to them later. But they were also cool with the idea of getting just a bit lost. And then you have to know that the GPS is not always the best route, sometimes it helps to have a map that will give you a "lay of the land" so to speak - so that you can choose the panoramic areas. They came to my house in Strada with the GPS and it took them all around Florence (an hour and then some) ...when they could have easily picked up a main highway and in 30 minutes would have been at my door step.

    - Does it make sense to do the multiple overnight stops on the roadtrip rather than having a single home base? It looks like it is an hour drive from Greve to Siena, so I was leaning towards just making our way south since we are heading that way anyways, rather than backtracking several times.
    the home bases you indicated in your request are perfect, each will give you a chance to experience a different piece of Tuscany (and Orvieto) -

    - Any tips on where to stay when in the Siena area while we still have a car - better to stay outside the city center to avoid dealing with parking, or leave the car at the bottom and lug our luggage with us up to the city?
    http://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/...tto-rosso.html
    http://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/hotel-athena.html

    Or you could stay two nights here (instead of Ancora Chianti, which is a lovely place, and the city center of Siena)
    http://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/...ontanelle.html

    Buon Viaggio,

    Donna Denise

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Florence, Italy
    Posts
    2,786

    Default

    Donnas has amply replied to your other questions, so I'll just focus on adding a few details on some...

    Do you already have a GPS or experience with a GPS? I think it is nice to have to navigate, but I'd also suggest stuyding your routes ahead of time on a mapping service such as Google Maps so you know more or less which roads you're supposed to take. You never know how it can go with technology. When we travel, we take our own GPS, just download the maps for the country we're going to.

    Florence is a good base, and I'd also do like Donna suggested and head further south than Greve -- Siena would make a great base but also Castellina in Chianti - take a look here: http://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/...na-in-chianti/
    But I personally also really like Palazzo Malaspina for its romantic touch in San Donato in Collina:
    http://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/...malaspina.html

    In Siena, I second the recommendation for Hotel Athena as it is right along the walls with its own parking -- so no worries about going into the limited-traffic zone.

    For your Florence plans, make sure you plan any visit to the Uffizi or Accademia for Sunday or Tuesday as they are both closed on Mondays. There are many other museums open on Mondays, you can see a list here: https://www.visitflorence.com/floren...n-mondays.html

    Enjoy the planning!
    What to see in Tuscany? Check out ideas on our main website DiscoverTuscany.com!!

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