April 2, 2015, 01:12 AM
2 Days for Driving Through Tuscany to Rome
Please help! My family (myself, 18 year old son, 1 year old daughter and mother) will be in Florence from July 8 to July 11, and I would really like to venture out and drive through Tuscany on our way to Rome. I am allotting 2 days (11th and 12th) to just drive around and explore. There's so much to choose from, I am completely stumped on where to go and where to stay on these two nights! I would really like to do some wine tasting and eating great food (this would be somewhere we would overnight as I don't want to drink and drive), as well as see some medieval towns. We are not really interested in seeing museums as we will have seen plenty at this point. I would also love to see the Saturnia thermal springs on our way, though is it too hot to go swimming during this time? Another option would be to drive along the coast. Is this advisable to drive to Rome? Being from Hawaii, I am always drawn to the ocean! I would love to make some beach stops and stay a night somewhere near the ocean. Any suggestions on maximizing our time for these two days?
April 3, 2015, 11:31 AM
You can certainly go down the coast as you make your way down to Rome! Just remember, it is the the Tyrehhnian sea, not an ocean, so it will definitely be more calm and warm waters ;-)
I suggest from Florence to head down diagonally toward the coast, making your way to Volterra and from there west toward the coast - you get to enjoy driving through the Tuscan countryside and great views!
Drive through Bibbona down to Bolgheri and to Castagneto Carducci, this is wine country.
Try to arrive at Campiglia Marittima by evening... this area is known as the Etruscan coast. Campiglia is magnificently medieval with remains of a fortress at the very top. We also enjoyed Suvereto, also medieval... if you head toward the coast and beaches here, I suggest the gulf of Baratti (Populonia just above is an Etruscan necropolis but not sure how much time you will have here by then).
The next day you can keep moving south along the Via Aurelia past Grosseto ( a quick stop downtown to see the cathedral and Medici fortress is recommended) then on to Manciano if you want to go to Saturnia. I suggest you spend the night in Pitigliano, it is a wonderful charming town carved into what is called "tufo" rock in Italian (the first pic you see at the top here: http://www.discovertuscany.com/maremma/what-to-do/). You should explore Pitigliano for sure... there are 2 more "tufo" towns in the area, Sorano and Sovana, but again, see how much time you have by then.
The hot springs are warm, but it is water... so even in summer it is nice to get in and out of it! And we aren't guaranteed super hot summers anymore, last summer was quite a wet one and thus very nice.
From there continue south back on the Aurelia, it is the fastest road.
Everywhere you'll go you'll get a chance to do lots of wine tastings - always go the "local" wine. Near Campiglia you have Bolgheri, in Saturnia are you have Morellino di Scansano, both red wines. You can always get other Tuscan wines anywhere in Tuscany, but these areas have wines that are less known abroad so will get you a chance to give your tastings buds the chance to try something slightly different ;-)
April 13, 2015, 06:25 AM
Lourdes - I have pretty much the same question, we are making our way from Florence to Rome and have 3 days / two nights. We're a family of 5 (my sister, 2 young kids, and me + husband). I'd like to stay in the direction of E35 (so not heading to the coast). We wish to visit the area of Chianti between Florence and Siena, but then also visit Civita di Bagnoregio and Orvieto. Any suggestions on where to make our nightly stops? I can't decide if we should pick one location in the middle for both nights, or do more hopping from place to place. We're not big drinkers, so I don't know how much wine tasting we would do. But we are a very active family and love to hike. You don't think there's a way we could squeeze Cinque Terre in those 3 days instead?
April 14, 2015, 02:33 AM
Originally Posted by Raya Budrevich
Not sure if you would rather drive, but I booked a day trip out of florence to Cinque Terre thru Viator. It's was pretty reasonably priced.
April 14, 2015, 11:04 AM
A stop at Orvieto
I have been to both Civita di Bagnoregio and Orvieto and they are a great stop - especially with the younger crowd. Orvieto has several things which are fun to visit, in particular the tour in the caves underneath the city. There is also several park areas for the kids and the Well of San Patrizio is also a fun stop.
There are also several delicious little restaurants so you can definitely plan on lunch and a taste of the famous Orvieto white wines.
A stop to both of these places is fairly easy because it is located right off the main highway and if you leave Rome early enough you can visit here and still arrive in Tuscany - perhaps look to stay around the Siena area, which would give you easy access to San Gimignano, Pisa, Florence, Chianti -- though I do believe Cinque Terre is a bit much to fit into such a limited time frame.
April 14, 2015, 11:55 AM
Since you only have two nights, I would suggest just picking a place in between and taking day trips. Are you spending time Florence right before? Because you could do the day trip to CT from Florence, since you're closer at that point. If you don't have the car rental at that point yet, I would do as
Elise suggested and do it with a tour (there are several, this is just one possibility:
Since you're looking at visiting Lazio and Umbria as well as southern Tuscany I suggest staying closer to the southern Tuscan border than too central.
You can head through Chianti on the first day and end up here, which is about half way down.... http://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/...ncrociata.html
or head further down and stop here:
April 15, 2015, 01:11 AM
Thank you soooo much for all of the information Lourdes!!! Wow, this is so exciting, but a little overwhelming at the same time! Perhaps I need to simplify my Tuscany itinerary lol! I'm afraid of spending more time in the car, than walking around and discovering. Being that we will be taking a day trip to Cinque Terre, perhaps we should just skip the coast and go straight down the middle? If I go from Florence to Chianti and overnight somewhere central there, where would be a strategic point to stay in Chianti? Also, I love the idea of staying in Pitigliano on the second night. Is it easy to connect from Chianti through Grosetto as suggested, then on to Saturnia and Pitigliano? Or should I just find a central point as you suggested to Raya?
So much to do... so little time!!! *sigh*
We will be staying right near Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence, and Testaccio district in Rome. Can you suggest a good place to pick up and drop off a rental car? I'm so afraid of driving into the ZTL zones. Also, do the car rental companies have carseat rental for baby? I am not bringing her carseat since I have read that american carseats are of a different standard from European carseats.
Oh, and one more question (I'm so sorry... I know I'm all over the place!). Can I count on just using GPS, or should I also rely on driving maps? I know that probably sounds silly, but I live on an island... we don't use maps and I'm not sure how good I will be at this since it's so new and unfamiliar!
April 17, 2015, 04:13 PM
Wow I'm so glad I came across this thread. Great information as I will be doing a similar trip later on in the year. I need help!!!
Lourdes- I will be travelling with my husband and 2 young children and have 5 nights to spend around Tuscany after flying into Florence airport. I was planning on spending 3 nights in Florence with a day trip to Lucca and Pisa. After the 3rd night, I was hoping to hire a car and travel through the Chianti region staying somewhere for 2 nights which will allow me to visit the Val d'orcia area, Montelpulciano down through to Orvieto.
I will then be travelling on through to a town near Venice (I realise I will be travelling South then back tracking but with flights and family commitments in Italy we have to fly into Florence first then onto Venice straight after). Any suggestions and tips would be greatly appreciated. I'm hoping I'm not trying to over do it but at the same time want to get the most out of the time we have there.
Thank you in advance
June 25, 2015, 01:10 PM
It sounds as if you have a good program set up. My only suggestion would be that perhaps Montepulciano should be as far south as you plan to go - especially with the kids in the car. Orvieto is beautiful - and offers a lot to see, but it makes for a long car trip.
I would concentrate in Chianti - Siena - Bagno Vignoni and Montepulciano.
A night in Pienza will give you great views and a nice small town experience.