December 15, 2013, 04:32 PM
Filling the itinerary- 6 days Tuscany
Finally getting my time frames down for our Italian experience come June 2015 (will be here before we know it!).
Arriving in Rome and staying 4 days, we will train to Orvieto to spend one night. Renting a car from there, and doing a quick trip down to Civita di Bagnoregio , we will move up and start our 6 day stay in Tuscany.
I'm figuring 3 days in the Montepulciano/Pienza/Montalcino area, followed by 3 days more north to be able to tour Lucca/Pisa/Chianti areas.
After that would be 3 days in Cinque Terre, and then ending with 3 days in Florence. (we may add a 4 day trip to Nice, in which we'd flip CT and Florence in order).
On our Tuscan leg, we will visit the other towns by car, including Siena, and while sight seeing we like to buy local food/wines to take back to our accommodations to spend the rest of our evenings....we're definitely day people.
Given all that, and the 2 regions in Tuscany I want to base in, I'd like suggestions for country accommodations in both areas. A pool would be nice, air conditioning if thought to be a necessity in June.
January 20, 2014, 04:26 PM
Glad to see the itinerary has taken such good shape and definition! I do apologize for it taking me this long to get back to you, the forum has been really busy this whole past month and I am really behind in answering to lots of questions but hope to be able to finally catch up this week.
Seeing as you are coming in June, the pool would definitely be a nice addition to have - even if the weather turns up not being incredibly hot, you'll still have the option to hang out by it and catch some rays of sun! And most of the buildings in Tuscany are made of brick and rock, with thick walls - most are cool in the summer, keeping heat out so that A/C is not required.
For the Montepulciano/Montalcino area, I'd recommend staying more centrally in San Quirico d'Orcia or Pienza, rather than Montepulciano - take a look at what you can find here and here.
We've personally stayed at Casa Lemmi in San Quirico and really enjoyed it - even it is in the town, there is lots of parking around the small town's walls and it was a very short ride to Pienza, Montalcino, Buonconvento, Siena, Montepulciano.
As for the area closer to Florence, I'd recommend staying centrally between Florence and Pisa, more or less. There are many options here, from B&Bs to luxury villa hotels to more rustic accommodation in farmhouses. Most of these are in the countryside:
Villa Dianella - a small B&B in a villa in the countryside near Vinci
Villa il Poggiale - a villa transformed into hotel/B&B outside of San Casciano, quite elegant and with its own restaurant.
Tenuta Quadrifoglio - a residence offering B&B rooms as well as apartments near Gambassi Terme
Residence Santa Maria - family-run residence offering apartments, with pool, near Montaione
Relais Poggio Borgoni - luxurious B&B also near San Casciano
Casolare di Libbiano - farmhouse B&B closer to San Gimignano, with pool
Agriturismo Montalbino - working farm, with apartments, near Montespertoli
Palazzo Malaspina - B&B, only one located in a small hilltop village, San Donato in Poggio.
I've listed quite a variety of different lodgings, to give you an idea of the range in options. All of these offer stays of days, even if the farmhouses will require generally a minimum of 2-3 nights in apartments. Take a look and see what you like, if you need more ideas let me know! I'm also curious to know where you end up at, so do share with us once you decide ;-)
Hope you're enjoying the planning! I revisit all of the areas in offering comments and ideas on all of your itineraries lol!
February 15, 2014, 08:41 PM
Here I am!
Hi Lourdes, been sometime since I checked in, glad to see such a detailed response.
The San Quirico d'Orcia or Pienza area looks like a good one to me too...gives a lot of opportunities in every direction, just need to find the right place.
The suggestion of Villa Dianella is an excellent one...one I hadn't seen before. I love the rooms displayed, and its proximity to Florence , Pisa, and Lucca. If I read right, it is located just a bit north of Empoli, where we can catch a train to all 3 of these cities?
Am enjoying the planning very much, I always do. Both a challenge and a delight, it helps me get to know the areas we will spend time in. Doing your homework on the trips abroad is an absolute must!
We've cancelled our Nice, France plan, and will end our 3 week vacation in Venice and fly home from there. It all looks very exciting, thanks for your help as usual.
February 26, 2014, 07:39 PM
Yep, Empoli would be the place to use to catch trains to all 3 cities if you don't feel like driving. To Florence definitely, to avoid having to worry about parking! Pisa and Lucca are also small and very walkable - gives you a chance to see more than just parking near the Square of Miracles and not seeing much else - and the station is very close so it would be nice to also get there by train without the need to drive.
I agree, the planning is half the fun of a trip! And the reason why I love replying on here - I get to travel with all of your itineraries, especially on busy work days when it would be impossible to get out. I travel/day dream with all of you ;-)