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Thread: Without Car - Coast and Florence.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    3

    Default Without Car - Coast and Florence.

    1. Hi,

    Planning to visit Tuscany next month (mid-July) for 8 days and we are flying into Pisa (as it is cheapest from UK!). My girlfriend & I would ideally like to spend 5-6 days at the beach and then travel to Florence to have a short city break to round off our trip. However...

    While I am familiar with the geography in terms of cities of Italy I am pretty green when it comes to Tuscany. I know from Pisa, the coast is one way and Florence is more inland. We won't be driving so are relying on public transport.

    Basically I would be really grateful for any help/recommendations with:

    1) Nice coastal towns/beaches. We ideally want some where not very touristy and quite rustic?
    2) How we can get there and to Florence?

    Thanks a lot!

    Jim
    Last edited by jimcross; June 14, 2012 at 07:08 AM. Reason: grammar

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Florence, Italy
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    2,835

    Default beaches and Florence - both can be done with train+buses

    Ciao jimcross!

    It is kind of hard to suggest coastal towns and beaches at the height of high season in Tuscany and have them not be too touristy.... but maybe what don't intend them to be empty, just not too "commercialized" and full of sun chairs and umbrellas. So in this case, one perfect location would be the Gulf of Baratti.
    Still quite rustic even if it is popular, but it definitely does not have the commercialization of other areas of the coast such as in Versilia.
    Another great area is Castiglione della Pescaia, as well as Marina di Alberese. You won't find these beaches deserted, but you'll find a more rustic feel with lots of Italian families carrying their ice boxes, sun umbrellas and deck chairs to the beach and back to spend a day in the sun. Take a look at this articles on the top beaches along the Tuscan coast - it will also give you an idea of the various types of beaches - if you go into satellite view on the Versilia, you can see all the sun chairs.... and know that as you head south, the beaches get a bit more rustic.

    The difficulty with these areas is traveling without a car. You can definitely do it, but plan on staying nearby (and where you can get to by train from Pisa) such as Piombino or Castiglione (train to Grosseto and then bus) and then being very patient about using buses. If you're close to a train station, then it will be easy to get back inland to Florence (since it is the capital of Tuscany, there is good train service there wherever you might be)!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    3

    Red face Re: Without Car - Coast and Florence.

    Thank you Lourdes!

    I have a few more questions if you may...

    While we aren't looking for a remote paradise to ourselves...as far away from English tourists would be nice! We would like to spend time around the local people etc...?

    What about the Island of Elba? is it easy to reach? We saw a few nice apartments around there, Rio Nell'Elba?
    We are struggiling to find a fairly priced small apartment as we don't really wish to stay in hotels.

    Many Thanks again!

    Jim

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Florence, Italy
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    Default Elba is beautiful! lots of locals but also foreigners

    You'll definitely find lots of locals, particularly in the area of San Vincenzo and the Baratti bay toward Piomibino and to the south of Piombino all the way along the Maremma coast up Monte Argentario.

    Elba is beautiful and not too difficult to reach from Piombino - but the catch here is that once you're on the island, having your own transportation is certainly a must - or be limited to what is available as far as bus service is on offer. It will also be crowded - with locals and foreigners - as it is the height of the season. When we went to Elba a few summers ago, we went in early June when it is was still not too crowded and stayed at this residence not far from Campo nell'Elba - but we still needed a car to move around, particularly for dinner and getting back. Roads are narrow, not walker friendly (no sidewalks) once you're out of the small towns. So even in the day, if we happened to be on roads on foot, we had to be pretty careful. We liked the residence, it was pretty basic but it had a bed, kitchenette and bathroom and was fine for us . Also cheaper in the low season.

    Having said this, towns with bus service for sure are Portoferraio to Capoliveri; Porto Azzurro to Rio nell'Elba; Portoferraio and Campo nell'Elba. There are buses that circle the whole island but take a long long time.... so definitely use Google Maps and plot two towns and then use the "bus" directions to see the routes -some have you go through Portoferraio no matter what, making a 16km distance by car (and around 20 min drive) to a super long roundabout way of getting there that takes over an hour. So that is why cars are so useful on the island
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    5

    Default Re: Without Car - Coast and Florence.

    Dear Jim,

    in my opinion the best of tuscan coast is:

    Calafuria (just south of Livorno) / rocky
    http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Li..._Calafuria.JPG

    Cala Violina (in the Grosseto area) / sandy
    http://www.maremmapromotion.com/engl...-cala_violina/

    Carbonifera (near Follonica) sandy
    http://www.maremmapromotion.com/engl...ra_follonica1/

    for a complete view of "Costa degli Etruschi", the whole tuscan coast, visit this:
    http://www.costadeglietruschi.it/defaulten.asp

    enjoy your summer holiday! ciao!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Without Car - Coast and Florence.

    Hi,

    We ended up choosing to go to Elba, we are staying in an apartment in Rio Nell'Elba. Can you recommend the best beaches?

    Also, how difficult is it to rent a scooter? We have provisonal driving licesnses in the UK and are both 25?

    Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Florence, Italy
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    Default renting scooters in Elba + beaches around Rio Nell'Elba

    Here is a map with numbers for the beaches
    http://www.elbaspiagge.com/testi/cat...te/cartina.jpg

    As you can see, from Rio nell'Elba you have #64-70 that are really close by, with #60-63 also not being that far away. You can check them all out and see which one you like best

    From this page: http://www.elbaspiagge.com/isola_d_e.../rio_elba.html
    you can click on the beaches by number and see some pics of each.

    As for renting a scooter, it seems to be pretty easy - most of the rental places are based in Portoferraio, some will deliver to other locations... but since you already might arrive in Portoferraio with the ferry, it might be worth renting there! Take a look at their websites:

    Rent Mondo
    Via R.Fucini 6 , 57037 Portoferraio
    http://www.rentmondo.it/uk/index.php

    Noleggio Rent all'Elba
    Spiaggia di Naregno, 57031 Capoliveri
    http://www.rentallelba.it/en/

    TWN Rent
    Viale Elba, 32, 57037 Portoferraio
    http://www.twn-rent.it/car-rental-el...ho-we-are.html

    Happy Rent
    Viale Elba, 5, 57037 Portoferraio
    http://www.renthappy.it/uk/index.htm

    Rent Chiappi
    Calata Italia, 57037 Portoferraio
    http://www.rentchiappi.it/frame.asp?link=terra/scooter
    What to see in Tuscany? Check out ideas on our main website DiscoverTuscany.com!!

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