April 8, 2010, 06:29 AM
3 1/2 days in Tuscany
I fly into Pisa on May 9th arriving noontime and fly back out on Thursday May 13th early morning. That gives me 3 1/2 days in Tuscany. I am planning on renting a car and would like to make my way down to visit Greve, Sienna, San Gimignano, Montepulciano, Montalcino, Pienza and anywhere else in the region worth visiting.
I'll be travelling alone and wish to find a "base" to stay Sunday-Tuesday night. Because I have an early flight out Thursday morning, I plan on staying in Pisa Weds night.
What I am looking for are itinerary suggestions and where to stay in order to see all of these towns and enjoy some scenic drives and local eateries and wine tasting along the way. Would it be feasible to see all these towns while staying at one location? If so, what daily schedule do you recommend and what town/area would be best for accommodations if travelling by car? Many have suggested I stay at an Agriturismo. That sounds exciting but since I am travelling alone, I don't want to be far from restaurants, nightlife etc. My budget is around $150 US a night for accommodations
I speak a bit of Italian and have been studying the past year but I am not fluent
Thanks for any tips/suggestions you can offer. Richard
April 9, 2010, 07:07 PM
Suggested itinerary in Tuscany for 3 and half days
Three days aren't enough for visiting Tuscany since there are so many things to see but you will still manage to see a lot of different things in those days.
The cities you mentioned are a great choice and it is realistic to visit them during your short visit.
We just published a suggested itinerary for visiting Tuscany in 3 days where you'll find ideas on what to see and do.
You also mentioned Valdorcia (Montepulciano, Montalcino, Pienza) that I personally love. So I recommend you also read the article about spending 5 days in Tuscany where there are some details on visiting the Valdorcia.
Regarding accommodations in Tuscany, I can recommend the following:
- Villa il Poggiale - This elegant B&B hotel is set in a Renaissance villa. It is located in Chianti near San Casciano Val di Pesa. It is strategically located close to the Firenze-Siena Superstrada.
- Palazzo Malaspina - a charming bed and breakfast in Chianti in San Donato in Poggio set in an historical building overlooking the countryside and the main square of the medieval village.
- Romitorio di Serelle - a classic Tuscan farmhouse near Castellina in Chianti set in an ancient convent. They generally have weekly rentals, but I think in May you might not have problems staying just a few nights.
I hope these suggestions help you in planning your holiday in Tuscany and that you'll share with us your experience when you're back home
Last edited by Cristina; May 16, 2011 at 06:10 PM.
April 9, 2010, 07:17 PM
3 days in tuscany
Thanks, I will read through the information you provided. I am trying to determine if I should stay in one place for 3 days and take day excursions to the towns I'd like to see or if I should stay at various locations. I will read through the info you sent me and see what I com up with. Richard
April 10, 2010, 04:17 PM
Whether to stay in one place or difference ones depends on your personal preference. You could stay at a different place each night, in that case I'd recommend staying in a small hotel or B&B within a town and not necessarily in the countryside. The places Valentina recommended above are all in the central area of Tuscany between Siena and Florence so that they'd work out for staying put in one place and every morning from there go in a different direction. It is feasible because you'd be close to the Florence-Siena two lane road that makes moving between the two cities pretty quick but you would need to head back there every evening.... if you map out your itinerary though you'll see that the distances aren't great so the decision remains on whether you're fine with unpacking and repacking every morning and moving along.
Since you didn't mention Florence in your list, I am assuming this isn't your first time in Tuscany. From Pisa you can head toward Chianti and visit that on the remaining of your first half day. Your first night could be in Palazzo Malaspina as suggested above since it is on the edge of Chianti in San Donato in Poggio close to the Firenze-Siena road. It is a small b&b so stay for 1 night would not be a problem. The second day you can make your way to San Gimignano and then head toward Siena, visiting the small medieval walled village of Monteriggioni on your way in and sleep in Siena. That way you make your way down and not have to backtrack. Your third day could be spent in Siena and then head to the Valdorcia area in the evening. The ideas would be to visit Pienza, Montepulciano and Montalcino on your last day and head toward Pisa in the afternoon or evening. Have you already seen Pisa and the Square of Miracles? How early you head back to Pisa depends on whether you've already seen it.
Hope these suggestions for an itinerary are useful. To look for places to stay, take a look at Tuscany Accommodation. Agriturismos are nice places to stay at but generally make sense when you stay put for several days. Most rent by the week so for such a short stay might not be possible.
April 10, 2010, 06:55 PM
3 days in Tuscany
Thank you for your response and feedback. Yes, you are correct, I have already been to Florence and was not planning on visiting again this trip. I actually lived in Rome 25 years ago and am heading back for a college reunion. I have returned to Italy many times since but have never seen Tuscany so this trip I wanted to go somewhere I had never been before. I like the idea of staying at different places along the way and am trying to figure out the best itinerary to visit the towns I mentioned, enjoy beautiful drives and also, easily being able to find accommodations along the way.
My only concerns are parking, since I will be renting a car (I hear Siena is difficult to find Parking), and finding a place close to each town so I may easily walk around the town centers at night. Being that I will be travelling in May, which looks to be High Season, do you think I will have trouble finding places along the way or should I reserve in advance?
Thanks again for the info. I'll check out the sites and itinerary you have recommended.
April 11, 2010, 12:27 PM
Sounds like a wonderful trip! May is really more in the mid season although the major towns like Florence and Siena already consider it high as they have more visitors then than in August - August is hot in the city and many people head to the seaside or mountains to escape the heat.
I do recommend you plan out the route you want to take and book your places ahead of time. Obviously if you don't want to, the local tourist office in each place will help you find places with last minute availability for that same night. But then you'll get a room and not necessarily one you would have chosen yourself from the start.
As for parking, you won't have problems in the smaller towns. They often have better parking areas than the larger cities because they are designed for the tourist in mind. Siena's historical center is closed off to cars in any case so regardless you'd have to find space outside of the main center. None of the towns in Tuscany are the size of Rome so walking distances are not great from the parking areas to the area of interest. There are parking areas around the whole center and during the day they might be crowded but with a bit of patience you will likely find space. We don't have lots of patience and in Siena we've always just headed to the train station; the underground parking there always seems to have spaces open. We've walked up the hill to the center from there but there is also a bus that takes you up.
If I remember correctly, parking in San Gimignano in the parking areas costs around 5 euro for the day..... but I also remember many people park on the side of the roads that head away from the town where they don't have to pay anything. You'll have to see the situation when you get there. Don't be in a hurry to park, there are several parking lots around the whole town, I think everyone stops at the first one. Just keep going in and you'll likely find more spaces toward the "back" of the town, furthest from where everyone comes in.
Have fun planning your itinerary, let us know if we can help with more ideas!
April 22, 2010, 10:28 PM
Hello, Does anyone have any suggestions for Hotels in Siena. I will have a car so somewhere that is close to parking would be nice.
April 23, 2010, 10:16 PM
Accommodations in Siena
Siena is a beautiful city and like Florence has many different accommodations.
You can have a look for Siena accommodations here. You find the list of hotels, bed and breakfasts, farmhouses and all other lodgings in the city and its surroundings. You can book directly your room.
Since you have a car I suggest you stay outside Siena city center. In the center you cannot enter and parking can be expensive. If you would like to book you hotel in Siena online you can visit Booking.com and find hotels with parking in the center and its surroundings.
Don't hesitate to come back with any other question. I hope you'll share with us your experience in Tuscany
Last edited by Valentina; April 26, 2010 at 09:40 AM.