June 8, 2014, 10:19 AM
And another advice request on Tuscany!
I know that you have been asked this a lot and I have read through a bunch of forum posts over the past few days and thought it was time I place my own advice request, so here goes!
I will be traveling end of July to Italy with my wife and we'll be spending two days in Rome (Mon and Tue), we will then rent a car and want to head out towards Milan.
We want to go through Tuscany of course and enjoy a bunch of vineyards and amazing food on the way.
So basically Wednesday morning we would take the car from Rome and drive stopping along the way across various towns and vineyards, then reaching a sleeping destination in the middle of all this, where we would spend the night and resume our trip the next morning Thursday to reach Milan Thursday evening.
I would love to hear what you have to say about the drive from Rome and where to stop, for accommodation I am looking into the two recommendations seen on these forums, either Palazzo Malaspina or Casolare di Libbiano (are they still valid as nice and comfy?) and how to resume our drive the next day up to Milan and where to stop?
Hope you can help, thanks!
June 9, 2014, 09:51 AM
Yes, either Casolare di Libbiano or Palazzo Malaspina would make great stops for the end of that night as you head up to Milan. Casolare di Libbiano is in the countryside a little to the north of San Gimignano, while Palazzo Malaspina is in a medieval village a bit closer to Florence but still in the area. So either would work great.
As you make your way up from Rome, I'd suggest leaving the A1 at "Chiusi-Chianciano Terme" and head first to Chianciano Terme and then on to Montepulciano. From there you can drive on to Pienza, San Quirico d'Orcia and Montalcino. I'd suggest lunch at any of these last 3 places, then from there drive up north to Monteriggioni, past Siena. It is a beautiful, small walled castle. From there head on to San Gimignano, passing through Colle di Val d'Elsa so that you enjoy the countryside drive. Arrive in San Gimignano for dinner.... this way you can stay at either of the above but spend the evening there.
The next day I'd suggest visiting Certaldo, then continue the drive up through the countryside through Castelfiorentino, Montespertoli if you stay near San Gimignano... if you're in San Donato, head into Chianti to Castellina, then Panzano, then Greve...
then you should arrive in Florence. If you've never been, I suggest at least a quick stop before continuing on to Milan!
You won't be able to do much of anything aside from enjoying the beautiful drive and scenery, but if you like what you see, I suggest returning for at least a full week in Tuscany
June 9, 2014, 06:16 PM
Thank you so much Lourdes!
Sounds like such a full and interesting plan!
A few questions if I may, your suggested plan is as you say just a drive and enjoyment of scenery, without stopping at any wineries for tasting? Just a lunch and dinner stop before reaching the hotel?
The next day as well no stopping just driving through?
I know that I'm asking for so much in just 2 days! and as you say we will need to come back for more than a week to really soak up all the wine!!
June 9, 2014, 07:56 PM
You can't stop at every single place, it will take too much time.... but definitely DO stop at several. I highly recommend Pienza and Montalcino as definite stops, Montepulciano is a bit bigger and very nice as well but I'm afraid it might take up too much time that you won't be able to then stop at the others.
As you drive from Pienza to San Quirico, there are two "postcard" locations that you can stop at.... you'll see the cars stopped along the road so will know where to stop. They aren't that easy coming from Pienza to San Quirico since they both are on the other side but you will manage - I am talking of this view:
and this one:
http://www.tuscanypictures.com/valdo...163423.jpg.php (different seasons, same trees).
You can have wine at your stops here - this is prime wine country too, especially Montalcino, but Pienza is famous for its pecorino cheese. Either are great choices for lunch. The wine shops offers tastings, but with so much driving, make sure to really only taste or to only drink with a meal and to give yourself time to digest it before getting behind the wheel. You don't want to have an accident! And that's why a week here would be better, with more time in between all the tastings ;-)
If you drive through Chianti, the stops will depend on whether you need time for Florence or not.... so you will have to come back, for sure .
June 10, 2014, 09:54 AM
Lourdes, you have gotten us quite excited about staying more in Tuscany - so we are thinking of changing up the plan..
We initially wanted 2 nights Rome, 1 night Tuscany and 2 nights Milan - we are thinking of doing 2 Rome, 2 Tuscany and 1 Milan instead!
This would give us more freedom to drink away the lovely wines of Tuscany!
We know that Florence is a must see in general, but do prefer staying out of crowded touristy areas and going through greenery and grapes!
I believe that adding that 1 night would give us more time to actually stop at the different suggestions you have given us...
If you have more thoughts, please do share.. If not then thank you so much for your rich advice..
June 10, 2014, 10:56 AM
One more night in the area will make your second day a little more relaxed.... the options are this:
- you can drive up to Florence through Chianti, spend some time in Castellina or Panzano.
- arrive in Florence and spend the rest of the day here - a walk, even if you don't go into any museums, through downtown will already be a great visit to the past.
As for a place for the night, you could stay in Florence at a place that offers parking so you don't have to worry about the car for the day or night. I suggest Hotel Principe.
Otherwise, you could stay in the surrounding hills of Florence, such as at Agricola Poderino or Poggio al Sole.
Or decide to leave in the late afternoon and head up north through the Mugello and stay in the Tuscan countryside at a heavenly, green place at Le Due Volpi where Heidi and Lorenzo will welcome you to their home.
You could obviously also stay the 2 nights at Casolare di Libbiano or Palazzo Malaspina and do the second day as a day trip, heading back there for the second night and then head out the next morning to Milan.
I like this new plan better, even if you could spend the entire 5 days in Tuscany and not be bored. Are you flying out of Milan, is that why you have to end there? How early will you want/need to be there on the 5th day, if you do change plans as above?
June 11, 2014, 08:12 AM
Again we thank you for suggestions and help!
We are taking all this in consideration and will come up with a fully loaded Tuscan plan!
We need to end in Milan as we have a friend we want to visit - so basically Friday evening we can arrive after 3pm, check-in to the hotel and have dinner.
The next morning Saturday we head to Lake Como for 2 nights where we have a wedding and then we travel back from Milan airport on Monday...
A nice full Italian experience
June 11, 2014, 03:28 PM
It sounds like you will have a great trip to Italy, with a little bit of some of the main stops and thus a great taste into very different cities and areas. The lake area should be beautiful at the end of July for a wedding!! Have lots of fun and while you can have lots of things on the checklist, just see as you go how things go. The one piece of advice I give over and over on this forum is to remain flexible with plans and not treat them as a list to be checked off, rushing from place to place. Maybe a little more time in one place you enjoy means skipping the next stop altogether, but you will end up feeling more happy with your experience and, if you can and enjoy it the first time, there is always a way to come back again!!