February 20, 2011, 06:24 AM
Itinerary - ????
just thought I would ask for suggestions on what people may think in terms of itineraries for doing Italy over a week or so with a few days in Tuscany?
I was thinking of hiring a car with a mate and driving.
Roughly thought of maybe Rome(2 nights) - Tuscany(3nights) - Venice(2)
Will be there Mid June
What do people think if that?
Is driving even a good idea?
Anywhere people would say are must do's??
What are the best farm/vino stays in Tuscany?
All the best
February 23, 2011, 05:19 PM
car useful for Tuscany in particular - you could use train for other travel
Your itinerary is definitely doable -- lots of people that come to Italy for the first time follow an itinerary very similar to yours that allows them to see the main cities of Rome, Florence and Venice. Keep in mind though that you will be rushing each city a bit and that June is already a month with lots of visitors - Venice in particular gets really crowded because there isn't that much space.
I think the car is definitely a good idea because you could drive up from Rome and once you enter Tuscany enjoy the countryside, stopping for each night as you make your way up to Florence. For example, spend the first night in the area south of Siena in the Valdorcia region - great wine (Brunello di Montalcino and Montepulciano wine regions). Then make your way up and visit Siena - either sleep there or outside north of the city in Chianti. Spend your third day driving through Chianti, stopping along the way and arriving to visit Florence for your last day.
A week overall will fly by, you'll see you can won't be able to do everything but this gives you a taste of everything. You likely won't have time for lots of viewing art in museums or churches, but it should give you a chance to walk and wander around and enjoy the beauty of the monuments in the cities themselves, people-watch, eat lots of good gelato as you wander around.
In Florence, you could return the car rental and take the train to Venice - the train would take you right into Venice Santa Lucia on the lagoon. If you're planning on staying on the islands themselves, you'd have to leave the car in Mestre in any case. Or you could drive up to Venice and return the car when you arrive; there are shuttles and taxis that take you the airport on your last day so that you don't have to pay for car and parking those last 2 days.
Of course, you could also take the train from Rome to Florence and just rent a car for those 2-3 days in Tuscany and use the train to get to Venice if it turns out more convenient for you.
Hope these suggestions are useful!
Thanks for your help so far. I have booked in 3 nights in rome on arrival.
I was now thinking of train straight to florence.
From there I had thought of the following what do you think?
2 nights staying just outside of florence to experience see some real tuscany.
Maybe a day trip to siena and wine tour of chianti. then 2 nights in Florence city itself before going to Cinque Terra for a night or two.
Accommodation I was looking at just outside of florence was this.
Do you think I should bother or just stay in florence the entire time.
Basically I want to do a day of tuscany wine touring. Any suggestions? LOL
day of tuscany touring of the smaller nicest places.
2 days of florence browsing?
Also how far from tuscany to cinque terra and which is your favourite town.
From there I will go to Venice for a night or so to finish. Very excited and love your website.
a possibility is to stay in Florence and not rent a car at all...
Ciao again! I'm glad you're finding the info on the website useful, there is so much we need to add but there just never seems to be enough time to do and add all the info and pictures we have. I guess we just have to go slowly and little by little the site will get richer in content.
Were you still thinking of driving?
Because if you are, then I'd concentrate the non-driving parts first so that you only get the car once you need it.
For example, Rome to Florence by train. Stay in Florence first (you don't really want or need a car in Florence).
Then here is where you have two options:
- you could rent a car and spend a few days in the countryside - the one you found looks nice and is near Vinci but you definitely need a car for this especially if you want to go into Chianti on your own (as opposed to doing a tour). This allows you to explore on your own and drive around the hills, the landscapes which you see everywhere of Tuscany. Another very charming accommodation in the countryside, easy to get to and within a small medieval hamlet is Palazzo Malaspina - a B&B actually but the atmosphere is very charming and definitely Tuscan! You can then return the car at this point before heading to Cinque Terre and Venice.
- the other option is to not rent a car, stay in Florence or in the surroundings where you still won't need a car (see for example: Poggio al Sole just behind Fiesole or Poderino, or Paggeria. All are in the hills the surround Florence but with public transportation really close by that then takes you into Florence and to the train station from where you can go Cinque Terre.
You can visit Chianti with a tour such as this one.
From Florence you can reach Cinque Terre by train and then from there continue by train to Venice so that you need to backtrack. For the Cinque Terre, train is by far the best way to get there especially since parking is really limited (you'll understand once you see pictures of the five towns - they are on the coast right on steep cliffs, it isn't flat, roads are narrow and parking lots small, we saw cars just parked on the road sort of on the shoulder but that reduced the space for the road so that only 1 car could pass at a time! Will have to post some pictures of the Cinque Terre shortly so you can get a better idea of what I mean - I'll post the link here as soon as I do that! But you can get an idea from here).
My favorite towns of the five are Manarola and Vernazza..... Vernazza and Monterosso are the most popular and most crowded, also surely with the most restaurants as well, Riomaggiore and Manarola less crowded and smaller in general. Corniglia is definitely the smallest and gets a bit ignored because it is not directly on the water AND you have to climb like 300 stairs to get to it .
If you love to walk and hike, I highly recommend Cinque Terre - beautiful and fun to walk (a very good workout - we've done the whole trail in one day from Monterosso down to Riomaggiore).
You'll have a great trip, just change your days around to use the car when you really need it... although you might be able to do it all without it at all!