April 26, 2011, 10:00 PM
3 days in Southern Tuscany - Help please!
We are attending a wedding in San Casciano dei Bagni. We will drive there on a Friday, after spending 3 days in Rome. Can you suggest places to visit on our drive from Rome? We will be able to take a short trip on Saturday morning and are thinking of going to Citta della Pieve. Sunday we will have all day to spend visiting towns, but will need to return to San Casciano Sunday evening. We will leave San Casciano on Monday morning, and must be back in Rome for our flight on Wednesday at noon.
Can you tell me how long it would take us to drive from San Casciano to Siena? Does anyone have suggestions for day trips on Saturday and Sunday? And suggestions on where to go and stay for the next couple days? We especially love art and architecture, wine, food and exploring local culture. Our flight on Wednesday is not until noon, so we can drive to the airport in the morning as long as we aren't too far away.
Last edited by SusanM; April 29, 2011 at 03:27 PM.
Reason: added content
two days in Tuscany: Siena and Valdorcia!
San Casciano dei Bagni is really close to the border with Umbria and Lazio so on your drive up from Rome you're passing through places I don't know very well (yet!) as they're not in Tuscany. But one place I can definitely recommend is Orvieto, a spectacular small medieval village built on a tuft stone outcrop - its treasure is its cathedral. So as you drive up you should definitely stop there.
Your plans for Saturday sound good (although Citta della Pieve is not Tuscany) -- you'll be driving past Cetona so stop and see that too.
On Sunday, head in the opposite direction to Radicofani. At the top of the hill over the town large sections of the old fortress still stand, what remains was restored and you can climb up the last remaining tower to have an amazing view over the valley and town below.
Your time on the weekend will be limited, since you don't want to head out too far considering you have to be back for the wedding
Now the hard part is what direction to head for your Monday and Tuesday - so many choices! Siena is a definite must as well as the Valdorcia area to the north of where you'll be. I highly recommend you head north into Valdorcia territory: you can stay in Montepulciano and use that as your base for Monday and Tuesday. Definitely also visit Pienza and San Quirico d'Orcia on Monday. On Tuesday head up to Siena (drive is about an hour). On your way back, you can stop and briefly visit Buonconvento and Montalcino.
The drive from Montepulciano to the Rome Fiumicino is about 2.5 hours - if you get an early start from San Quirico, you should be able to make the drive that morning. Otherwise consider from Siena driving further south to spend the night so that you're closer to Rome in the morning. Take a look at Booking.com to find hotels in Montepulciano for your two days.
Another option would be to drive up directly to Siena on Monday and see that first, it really deserves a whole day. You could stay 1 night in Siena or just outside. Then head down into Valdorcia on Tuesday morning, stopping and visiting San Quirico, Pienza and Montepulciano. Then drive from there to the airport on Wednesday morning. There are lots of options, check the link above to see what is available on your dates and use the map to see the location of the hotels in the surroundings.
Enjoy the wedding and your trip in Tuscany! You'll love it and even if 3 days are really not enough, you just might come back again and see more of Tuscany!!
Grazie mille for your wonderful suggestions. We booked a hotel right outside Siena for Monday and Tuesday nights, but from what you have said it sounds as though Siena might be a bit far from Rome to make it to the airport on Wed morning. I found a website - viamichelin.com - that provides driving directions and approx. travel times between sites. They said Siena is about 2.5 hours from the Rome airport - do you think that is correct? Or is it a longer drive?
Again, your ideas are much appreciated!
Saluti a tutti,
You're very welcome!
I think there isn't much difference between departing from Siena or from a bit further south - from Siena you already start on a larger road where driving speed is faster than if you are in the countryside and driving on two lane roads where you can't go faster than 70 k/h.
From Siena, the distance to the airport is about 270 km (so says Google maps). The road you have to take to get back to Rome is basically the A1 the whole way where speeds allowed are 110-130 km/hr. Depending on traffic and other conditions, I think 2.5 hours is a good general estimate of the drive down. As long as you tell the owners you might need an early start the night before and maybe can arrange an early breakfast and formal checkout the night before, I think you might be able to make it. You can better judge that since you know your flight time (generally 2 hours before is sufficient for check-in and going through security).