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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Default 3 days in Tuscany - outside Florence

    Hi all,

    Found this website/forum 2 days back and found amazingly informative...
    Too happy to post my first Q here to get some expert advise

    Wife and I (in our early 30s) are planning for a trip to Italy for about 2 weeks starting from Milan - Venice - Florence (Tuscany) - Amalfi and ending in Sicily... A bit of travel, I know but people like us living in Oz don't often travel to EU (and so when we do, we try to see as many places as possible)...

    Post spending a day in Florence, I'm planning to do below:

    Day 1 (11th Nov) - Pick up a car. Drive from Florence to Chianti region and visit few wineries/villages incl Lunch. Then driven to Sienna and spend rest of the day including overnight stay in farm house.
    Day 2 (12th Nov) - Visit spots missed in Sienna (from previous day), if applicable and then drive to San Gimignano (lunch) and then drive to Volterra to spend rest of the evening before finally resting in Pisa (overnight).
    Day 3 (13th Nov) - Visit Pisa in the morning and then drive to Lucca. Return back to Pisa to stay overnight - Car would be returned in Pisa.
    Day 4 (14th Nov) - Pisa - Cinque Terra - Pisa
    Day 5 (15th Nov) - Looking for options to travel to Naples/Sorrento. Would ideally like to do overnight journey on 14th to save some time - any suggestions?

    My Qs are:
    (a) General feedback on above itinerary.
    (b) Suggest any tips/tricks to make above itinerary better - including tips on which other towns/villages we should visit.
    (c) Any suggestion on overnight journey to Amalfi Coast region?

    Note that we're travelling in mid-November (autumn? & wet season?) and therefore may not have sunlight till late. Also we wouldn't want to visit too many museums/art galleries etc - prefer to enjoy towns/villages streets etc.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014


    Your itin looks complete and fun.

    You could probably leave your car in Pisa and do Lucca by train (save a day of $$).

    Going down to Naples via train offers many solutions and since is only a 4 hour trip (trains run constantly) I don't think you need to do a night travel to save time...personally I wouldn't want to arrive in Naples too late and if you do have the hotel arrange for a person or taxi to meet you at the station ...

    You can leave from Pisa and change in Rome then Naples:

    or go to Florence (easier train change) and they straight to Naples:

    Buon Viaggio

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Red face

    Thank you DonnaDenise for you feedback and tips.

    I agree re car return on 12 and do Pisa - Lucca - Pisa in public transport - that was my plan but some unknown reasons, I typed it to be returned on 13th !!!

    Also, I'll keep looking for the best option to travel from Pisa to Sorrento/Amalfi as opposed to Naples. I will probably have 4-5 days in the region and may be I can do a day trip to Naples from my base in Amalfi Coast.

    Still prefer overnight journey, especially in the bus directly to Sorrento/Amalfi as I believe trains only go to Naples and then I need to catch another line, if I were to go to Sorrento/Amalfi.

    Also as we are planning to spend 3 nights in Pisa (12-13-14 Nov), started reading a bit of about things to do in Pisa, especially after early evening, and almost all reviews I found were around Pisa being not such a great city in terms of evening/night life. If that's the case, should we be based in another city to ensure optimal time spent on travelling vs evening/night life options? - any suggestion here....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014

    Default Night Travel

    One consideration about night travel is that the distances are so short it's not like you get a sleeper train...However, certainly the later you go the more time you get in your departing city :-)

    For as much as Pisa is famous for the tower once the university starts again Pisa settles down to being more of a "real" city. Personally, I live in Florence so I can attest to the "night" life here. As it gets closer to your arrival date the city usually puts out calendars with concerts and activities that are enjoyable.

    My thinking is that you might not even really need a night life - after all your traveling in the car the first night in you might just be zonked after a delicious dinner and a bottle of wine. You can definitely plan on doing Luca later in the day and there are trains getting you back to Pisa running all night until almost 10pm (only 30-40 min)

    And believe me, once you get to Cinque Terre ... you will never want to leave :-)

    I would go with the travel ease as opposed to night time activities.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Florence, Italy



    You will have a busy time, no doubt. To be honest, the itinerary looks a bit too full.

    You want a day in Florence, a full day in Chianti, a day in Siena.... day 2 is the one that sounds like you'll be running around and might not be enjoyable... if you're not staying in the center of Siena, you have to drive in, find parking, do some walking (remember it is on hills!) and then at least visit the main sights.
    Even if you don't spend time in any museums at all, I really do think you should head into the cathedral in Siena and climb the Torre del Mangia. You'll see all of Siena from above, see the Piazza del Campo and Duomo and that's the minimum I recommend. Have lunch there... and then head to San Gimignano in the afternoon, skipping Volterra altogether and end up in Pisa by the night.

    Can you return the car in Lucca? And do the night there? That way you don't have to head back south to Pisa only to then return by Lucca again on your way to Cinque Terre. If you can, spend the night in Cinque Terre of day 4, leave the next morning and pass through Florence, just since there will be more options heading down to Naples. Not to put down Pisa at all, but as Donna mentions, Pisa is above all a college town in November (summer has a lot of events going on) and so will be quiet in the evenings. But even without that concern, as far as the places you're interested in visiting, it makes more sense to not head back down to Pisa when you're heading in the opposite direction the next day.

    It is fall, you might get some wet weather but overall it tends to be mild. Dress in layers, bring a waterproof layer (umbrellas are sold by street vendors for 5 euro if you really feel the weather merits one) and yes, sunlight might go around 6pm... but the cities are still beautiful and monuments well-lit at night, so enjoy them then as well!

    And the night in CT... is to give you more time there! once you see it, you'll fall in love and won't want to leave so just letting you know you can spend more time there by spending the night
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Default Night Travel to Amalfi and Pisa

    Once again thank you DonnaDenise and Lourdes for your responses.

    As far as night travel is concerned, I think I’ve started to realise (having searched enough on the web) that unless I return back to Florence on 14th, options are almost none – at least for train travelling. Not sure if there is any bus ex Pisa.

    In regards to spending a night in CT, although it would be preferred, I just think that given all the stops I’m trying to make through my 2 week visit, I would spend lot of time checking-in/checking-out, travelling with luggage etc than actually spending time at locations. Also, I am assuming that transport options would be far more suitable from Pisa to Amalfi region than from CT.

    Understood the point re ‘night life’ in Pisa. By mentioning it, never intended to mean clubs/music scenes/pub etc. Few good eateries and places to have a bottle of wine would be enough for us … I just hope that places is little buzzing at least until about 9-10 pm. As you mentioned on 12th, might get tired after driving from San G and Volterra. Would like to go to bed early on 13th given that we’re planning to spend whole day in CT on 14th and then on 15th, would like to leave for Amalfi early.
    @ Lourdes - we’re planning to spend abt ¾ of a day in Florence on 10th and then leave for Chianti + Siena on 11th early morning from Florence (so not a full day in Chianti). Agree with your points re places to see in Siena (i.e. cathedral + Torre del Mangia + Piazza del Campo and Duomo) and ideally would like to see these on 11th.

    In regards to CT, I’ll keep 13th and 14th flexible to ensure that we go to CT on a day when weather is better. Given that Lucca is only 30-40 mins by public transport from Pisa, I would like to return the car on 12th (a) to save some money and (b) more importantly, from convenience perspective so that I don’t worry about ZTL and parking – also so that I can stay in the city centre in Pisa from location perspective as well.

    In regards to spending a night in CT, completely agree with spending more time there but once again, given the places we’re trying to visit in less amount of time (unfortunately we don’t get to come to EU that often and hence need to make the most of it, when we can), purely from convenience perspective, I thought to do Pisa-CT-Pisa in a day rather than spending a day there (luggage trf etc will be difficult) – but happy to look in to changing the itinerary further.

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