January 29, 2015, 09:39 PM
Car rental conundrum
Hi, I will be visiting Florence for the first time in May, and like most everyone who visits Florence, we also want to explore some other areas of Tuscany. We have five days in Florence and tentatively we plan to spend 2 days exploring Florence and 3 days exploring other towns/regions. While we haven't decided which towns/regions some that rise to the top of our list are Siena, Val D'Orcia, Chianti wine region, Assisi. I know we cannot do all...or maybe we can.
Our conundrum is this - we'd like to use Florence as a base as opposed to moving from hotel to hotel in different areas. Checking in and out of multiple hotels is not appealing to us. In other words, leave Florence in the morning, spend the day exploring these areas and return to Florence that same day.
Is this is a good/bad idea?
Better to take a train to any of these areas?
If we rent a car - from where and where do we keep it when we return to Florence each day, knowing there is limited parking as well as driving restrictions in Florence?
Or do we just rent a car for each trip and return it to the rental location?
Final yet unrelated question - we are looking at a hotel in the Piazza Santa Maria Novella. Does anyone have an opinion about this location in terms of safety, accessibility to points of interest within Florence, restaurants. etc.
February 4, 2015, 02:12 PM
Piazza Santa Maria Novella
Piazza SMN is a beautiful and fairly central location. There is a large square in stone in front of the church which has been recently rennovated and on the weekends they will many times set up markets ...lots of food for snacking! The position is ideal because you are literally minutes from the train station, buses for getting to Siena & Chianti and close to a rental car pick-up place.
The position is also central enough that the major sites are only a short walk...in a nice and picturesque area. If you prefer being in the city, with all the activity - this is an excellent location.
February 5, 2015, 12:38 PM
As far as the car rental conundrum.... you have 3 days dedicated to exploring Tuscany outside of Florence.
This is what I'd do:
- Day 1 - take bus from Florence to Siena and spend the entire day there
- Day 2 - either take bus to San Gimignano and enjoy that charming town on your own.... or join in on a group (or small group) tour into Chianti and San Gimignano. Take a look at the ones offered here: http://www.partner.viator.com/en/835...in-Tuscany/ttd and in general here: http://www.partner.viator.com/en/8357
- Day 3 - rent the car for 1 day, to go explore the Val d'Orcia. You can rent from the downtown location near piazza SMN (excellent central area to stay in, short distance to all of the sights) and return there at the end of the day. Take a look at the tips on this page: http://www.visitflorence.com/florence-car-rental/
Assisi is to far and out of the region, so I wouldn't include it unless after Florence you're heading to Umbria. Since it is the first time you are here, I really do suggest you spend more time here and enjoy it, you can always come back to another part of Italy (or back to Tuscany) on a future trip!