April 16, 2013, 06:09 AM
Surprise trip to Tuscany 7+ days
I’m planning a 17 day surprise trip for my wife’s 30th to Italy in late Oct through to mid Nov. We both travelled through Italy in May 2009 on a for 2 week bus tour, visiting Rome, Pisa, Florence, San Gimignano, Milan, Stresa, Verona, Venice, Assisi, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast.
This time around I would like to see Italy self guided, spending approximately a week in Tuscany to slowly explore some of its highlights, following the initial 2- 3 days in Rome. I would also like to spend 3 – 4 days in the Cinque Terre and possibly finish off in Venice with a surprise visit from a family member in Croatia. I would like to arrange car rental once we leave Rome and return it somewhere before the Cinque Terre.
The following is an itinerary that I have put together:
Rome 3 nights
Cortona 4 nights
Chianti 3 nights (Radda in Chianti)
Vernazza 3 nights
Portafino 2 nights
Venice 2 nights
I welcome feedback or suggestions for my trip itinerary.
Last edited by swarve; April 16, 2013 at 12:58 PM.
April 19, 2013, 08:33 AM
Re: Surprise trip to Tuscany 7+ days
Is there any chance that someone could provide feedback or suggestions for my trip itinerary? I'm happy to change my itinerary based on any feedback.
April 23, 2013, 12:30 PM
great itinerary so far!
Sounds like a wonderful birthday surprise!! I am sure she will be very very happy
Wow, you've already seen more of Italy than me! We tend to stick closer to home and explore Tuscany a lot (to get to know it better to answer all of your questions, of course ) but hope to make it down to Amalfi and Sorrento eventually
You can definitely do all of Italy on your own. The plan to get the car from Rome and return it before Cinque Terre is perfect, the same I would have suggested you do! You can easily then use the train to move from Vernazza to Portofino and then on to Venice.
You could also, depending on where you stay in Rome, catch the train out of Roma Termini station and go to Orvieto and from there pick up your car rental - just one way I've seen many do to avoid driving around the large "ring" highway out of Rome as it can get quite congested with traffic.
Since you will have a car once you're in Tuscany, the 4 nights in the Cortona area and 3 nights in Chianti are super fine as you can use Cortona as your base to see the Val d'Orcia (Pienza, San Quirico, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Arezzo) and then Radda to see the entire of Chianti.
You have several choices for drop off before the Cinque Terre: the Pisa airport, Lucca or La Spezia.... La Spezia is obviously a longer drive, but then the train ride is very short (like on a slow train, about 20 min or less) to Vernazza. The 3 nights there are fine if you plan to use one day to get there and pretty much arrive in the afternoon/evening.
I think overall you already have a great itinerary as far as the stops and days at each place, then what to see at each place can totally depend on your mood and what you feel like. In Tuscany, it will be exploring nearby villages, eating good meals out, enjoying the views.... in the cities, seeing monuments, visiting museums and also eating good meals. Just stay away from the restaurants in the main piazzas, those usually are very touristy where quality can be below standard... head away from those and look into side streets, good places are not far away, just generally not on the main squares ;-).
May 27, 2013, 09:22 AM
Re: Surprise trip to Tuscany 7+ days
We found it easy to travel on public transport like car hire service. Sometime tiresome and boring in own car, but public transport is safe and secure.