October 28, 2009, 03:46 AM
how to do tuscany without a car
I would really appreciate some help! My husband and I are travelling to Tuscany around the 11th of January 2010 for 4 nights. We would've already been staying in florence and done a day trip to Pisa. I would really love some help in where to stay/go/do. From reading other posts I can see that Chianti has been suggested as a good place to base yourself. Is there easy public transport to and from Chianti? We will not have a car. Is it best to stay in just one place and do day tours? We love food and wine and really hoping for a true tuscan experience. I feel very overwhelmed on how to do Tuscany, we'll be travelling Europe for 7 weeks and it's the one place where I don't know how to begin! Will winery's etc be opened in winter? Are there better places to stay in the winter time? This has been the best site I have found, thank you, I feel a little more relieved!
first time australian traveller!
October 28, 2009, 07:19 PM
Chianti without car
First of all, take a look at these two articles -
Best base to stay in Tuscany - http://www.discovertuscany.com/tusca...n-tuscany.html
Best base for Tuscany without a car - http://www.discovertuscany.com/tusca...out-a-car.html
I agree with you when you say that Chianti deserves a visit. Not only because of its beautiful landscapes and great wine, but also because it's full of many interesting things to see. Even though driving makes your trip to Chianti easier, moving around with public transportation is not impossible
From Florence to Chianti I suggest you take the bus SITA, that goes across the main cities of this area.You can see the schedule here.Please check again when you will be in Italy, because they might change before January.
I suggest you use Greve in Chianti as your base since it can be considered the gate into Chianti and it's well connected to the other towns and villages. Of course it's a very nice place to stay as well. It has many good restaurants and all around you find wineries. I suggest you the following places where to stay close to the center of Greve:
- Residenza Verrazzano - small rental apartment right on the main square
- La Casina - a small rental apartment 2 minutes from the center
- Montechiari - Guest House with 2 rooms for rent
- Albergo Casa al Sole - 3 stars hotel
- Albergo del Chianti - 3 stars hotel - no prices on the website
Otherwise you can choose one of the many farmhouses nearby. They are generally really nice places to stay at, but are mainly located outside from the center and not easy to reach without a car.
You can start your wine tasting tour with the Wine Museum in Greve. There are several wineries nearby you can reach by bus - read this other thread for details.
From Greve you can easily reach other points of interest in Chianti such as Gaiole, Panzano, Radda and Castellina. All these are small villages with beautiful panoramas, good typical restaurants and wineries.
I noticed that you didn't mention Siena in your post. I strongly suggest you plan a day-trip to Medieval Siena, it really deserves a visit and you can contrast it to Florence. There you should taste the panforte a local specialty on the sweet side
I hope my suggestoins are helpful - don't hesitate to ask if you have further questions!
October 29, 2009, 01:00 AM
Thanks for your advise, it is very helpful. I honestly don't know much about tuscany, would you suggest staying in Sienna over Chianti? Or do you have any suggestions on other places you think would be better to stay in? Would it be better to have 2 nights in one place and 2 nights in another? Thank you again. I really appreciate your help.
October 29, 2009, 04:00 PM
4 nights in Tuscany: Chianti and Siena
I'm happy to know that my suggestions were helpful.
Tuscany has so many things to do that it is even hard for me to list all of them. But I think that visiting Florence, Pisa, Chianti and Siena during your first visit to Tuscany is a good start. You will also have a good excuse to come back again
I understand your doubts on where to stay. I suggest the following options:
- 2 nights in Chianti & 2 nights in Siena
You can spend 2 nights in Greve and have the chance to visit most of the places I listed before and have plenty of time for wine tasting.
Then you can stay 2 nights in Siena. One day for visiting Siena and tasting its magical atmosphere. The second day for visiting the Val d'Orcia and particularly the towns of Montalcino (famous for the Brunello wine) and Pienza (famous for its precorino cheese made from sheep or pecore in Italian, therefore the pecorino). The easiest would be to go on an organized tour from Siena so that you don't have to worry about driving and moving around. I'm sure that in Siena you will find plenty of information about tours to Val D'Orcia.
- 3 nights in Chianti & 1 night in Siena
On the other hand, you can spend 3 nights in Chianti and have the chance to take your Chianti experience in a more relaxed manner. Then you can spend 1 night in Siena and have enough time to discover its beauty.
The first option gives you the chance to visit more towns and villages, but spending less time in each. The second option lets you experience a little bit more the Tuscan lifestyle and still visit several places. Of course the final decision is up to you and your husband
I hope I've answered your doubts, if not let me know!
November 2, 2009, 11:33 AM
Moving Around Chianti - Tips
Just wanted to let you know that I published an article on all the ways one can move around Chianti, either by car, bus or train, which might be useful in planning your trip. Check it out here:
Moving Around Chianti