April 20, 2014, 06:19 PM
Beach/lake resort in Tuscany
We are planning a trip to Italy in July. We fly into Venice, then take a train to Florence. We plan to spend 3 days there and after that we would like to go somewhere relaxing for 4-5 days. We would like to be by the water as we will have a toddler with us. Can you please suggest where we could go on the bus/train? Thanks
December 18, 2014, 03:02 PM
If you're depending solely on train+bus once you leave Florence, then you certainly want to head west and stay in the area between Follonica to the south and Carrara to the north. This whole area and the seaside is easy to reach in July with public transport - generally by train, and if the station is little further inland, there are often buses that take you right to the coast.
With a toddler, most of the beaches are perfectly fine. I'd recommend the area around Pisa, near Tirrenia and down toward Livorno. The beaches are sandy, clean and calm. They tend to get more pebbly under Livorno for a bit, then turn more sandy. Places with a small bay are more protected as far as high waves go. We were near Riotorto and teh Sterpaia beaches this last summer and they were perfect for our toddler. In this area, depending on where you stay, having a car would definitely be more convenient but it is still possible to move around... but in that case, I'd suggest staying in Follonica, Tirrenia, Marina di Bibbona... the towns themselves, as it will be more convenient when you have a tired, sun-and-wind tired toddler on hand.
You'll want to look for a place to stay at that is in town, not in the countryside as most roads are not pedestrian friendly (unless you are on a town right along the sea, during the season there are buses that help get back and forth). Take a look here to start looking at the many possibilities, with the "Etruscan Coast" as a first departing area: http://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/etruscan-coast/
If you have any questions on what you see, need more specific suggestions, let us know!