October 13, 2016, 10:16 PM
Best way to get from Venice to Rapolano Terme
I would really appreciate your advice. Nest week, I'm taking my Mom on her first trip to Italy. Unfortunately, we can only stay 4 nights. We're flying from US to Europe, spending 3 nights elsewhere. Then:
1) Fly to Venice Friday morning.
2) Saturday night, Rapolano Terme.
3) Sunday and Monday, (2 nights) Terme di Saturnia.
4) Tuesday, drive to Fumicino and fly to the US.
The idea was to spend half a day in Venice and two full days at Saturnia terme, with Rapolano Terme as a nice stop to rest on Saturday night. We'd also like to make short stops at Barberino, the Mall and Space on our way down to Rapolano Terme.
The question is, what is the best and easiest way to get to Rapolano Terme from Venice:
1) Rent a car in Venice, drive to Rapolano?
2) Train to Bologna, then drive?
3) Train to Florence, then drive?
October 14, 2016, 10:01 AM
How to get to Rapolano Terme
My thinking is - if you take the train to Florence then you can enjoy the more "beautiful" part of the travels by car - stopping and taking advantage of the many photo opportunities.
Catch an early morning train and pick up the car near the train station. It is about an hour and a half driving time to Rapolano and depending on the route you will cover some of the more classical landscapes of Tuscany. I suggest you take the route that will take you through Impruneta, Monteriggioni, around Siena thru the Crete Senesi and over to Rapolano Terme. It takes the same amount of time just a bit more curves but definitely a bit more of Tuscany for your Mom, especially if it is the first time.
Last edited by DonnaDenise; October 14, 2016 at 10:07 AM.
October 14, 2016, 12:11 PM
I also suggest train to Florence, then car.
As far as the shopping goes, I would suggest either Barberino or the Mall, not both. The first has a wider variety of brands, the second is just high-end luxury brands (like Gucci and Prada).
Make sure you book your hotels at Rapolano and Saturnia so that you have that taken care of before you travel.
October 14, 2016, 04:01 PM
Thank you. I'll certainly take the scenic route. I'm sure my Mom will love it!
Could you recommend a reputable B&B agriturismo nearby Rapolano, where we could stay the night while going to the terme?
I've already booked Saturnia, but I'll have to wing it with Rapolano. During weekends, San Giovanni Rapolano Terme does not allow advance bookings for less than two nights. (They suggested giving them a call 24-48 hours before Saturday to see if they'l have a room available for one night.)
As far as shopping, it's a very limited number of shoe shops that we're interested in. Barberino has MaxMara, but The Mall has Tods, and both have Prada - it would be nice to visit both places. That's why I thought of maybe getting off the train in Bologna, so that we won't have to double back to Barberino.
October 15, 2016, 08:56 AM
As far as the outlets go, then I would still head to Florence and then rent a car there and head to Barberino first, which is only about 30 min back north. The road between Bologna and Florence is a mountain pass, and you'd have more driving along the way. Doing it by train you'll enjoy the scenery much more (although there are a lot of tunnels too).
You'll have to see about timing -- at the outlets I can end up "wasting" too much time myself You might end up still be shopping when you should be closer to Rapolano, but consider if you want to take the scenic drive that Donna recommended above, you are not driving near The Mall and the drive will take longer to do. If time is more limited, stay on the A1 and go to the Mall then continue on the A1 down to Rapolano.
As far as B&B in Rapolano, the most convenient option is of course to stay directly at the springs hotel but if they don't have the room at the last minute, try Albergo da Annita which is pretty close by.
October 15, 2016, 12:36 PM
not sure what exactly what stores you are looking for, but there is outlet shopping south of Florence so yu can avoid backtracking.
Check out this link for a list of stores and brands:
October 15, 2016, 03:48 PM
Girls, you're life savers! You've just saved me from a totally unnecessary trip to Barberino.
Two main stores I was interested in Barberino were Prada and Diffusione Tessile (MaxMara), along with Bally. Valchiana doesn't have them - but apparently, no longer does Barberino! I've just called Barberino outlet to double-check, and sure enough, they no longer carry these stores, which were the only reason for us to go to there.
But instead I've found a Diffusione Tessile store in Sesto Fiorentino. I hope it's the same one as used to be in Barberino!
So now it looks like my only sane bet is to take a train to Florence, and drive from there.
I would prefer to take the train on Friday night instead of Saturday morning, but there's a national strike announced for October 21, so I'm afraid the trains might not be running on that day. Is there any way to check before hand whether the strike will affect Venice-Florence trains?
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