April 14, 2014, 04:02 PM
April 16, 2014, 11:30 AM
A lot of questions, easiest to go down the list!
1. You can look at car rentals on this page:
The search box searches across various of the main car rental agencies (Avis, Hertz, Europcar, Budget, etc) to find the cheapest rates.
2. Cheap accommodation - there are lots of options for accommodation in Tuscany, for all tastes and all budgets. You can start your search on http://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/ and see what you like... not knowing your budget, not sure what range you are looking at for "cheap" - we all have different ranges in our minds for what classifies as cheap!
3. There are lots of open markets in Tuscany, many with household items, both new and used. But if you're looking for antiques in particular, you should head to Florence to the Fortezza da Basso on the 3rd weekend of every month to the see the antiques/flea market that takes place outside the fortress.
Another great option is heading to Arezzo on the first weekend of every month when the entire center hosts the antiques market.
4. Parma ham is from Parma, which is not in Tuscany but since you're driving down from Milan, you can definitely make a stop in Parma and taste the local specialty directly there! The website for the official consortium - http://www.prosciuttodiparma.com/ - has a list of all producers. I suggest you contact the consortium itself since they'll be able to tell you which of their members actually might be organized for visits as it is likely most might not.
5. Tuscany pretty much equals great wine. There are wineries most everywhere! I suggest you find a place to stay first, maybe at a wine estate - then you can certainly do lots of tastings there and even get drunk since you won't be doing any driving!
Hope you enjoy your trip planning!