July 7, 2014, 11:46 AM
Tuscany with 8 month old in September
We are visiting Tuscany at end of September with our 8 month old and also with my parents. This will be our first trip with the baby and so plan to take it easy, enjoy the scenery, and eat some great Tuscan food. We will have a car, we enjoy walks, and I love photography.
We have already booked an 2 bedroom apartment (self-catering) in an agriturismo in Monteriggioni, we will be using this as our base as we prefer not to pack every few days and move with the baby.
I have narrowed it down to the following itinerary, not necessarily in this order, I just tried to group places according to distance to/from our agriturismo:
Day 1 - Florence
Day 2 - Lucca and Pisa
Day 3 - San Gimigniano and Volterra
Day 4 - Monteriggioni and Siena
Day 5 - Chianti region (Castellina, Panzano, Greve, Radda, Gaiole)
Day 6 - Val d'Orcia region (Montalcino, San Quircio d'Orcia, Pienza, Montepulciano)
Day 7 - Free day to relax at agriturismo
My questions are:
1. Is the above doable? We really want to savour the moment and enjoy the Tuscan countryside at a slow pace.
2. Specifically re: Chianti and Val d'Orcia days - Is it too much? Should we drop some places? - We don't want to feel like we're spending our day mostly looking for parking, getting out the stroller and strapping the baby only to spend a few minutes and back again. Can you suggest view points/spots where to photograph the classic Tuscan rolling hills? Or is everywhere at these places?
3. Are there are any self-guided walks we can take? we prefer to avoid tours because of the baby.
4. We are not wine drinkers, but I know its a must do in Tuscany. Any suggestion for a nice winery where to enjoy some scenery/views, maybe have a picnic lunch?
5. Are these places baby and stroller friendly?
6. Finally re: logistics - we will have a car, are there driving restrictions in the towns we have selected? Will it be difficult to park?
Looking forward to hear your comments!
p.s. apologies for reply to someone else's thread, but could not find how to create a new thread
July 9, 2014, 12:16 PM
Ciao Fiona and welcome to the forum!
Your plans and itinerary look already pretty good. This is a pretty full schedule so with baby along, just see how things go and maybe cut back when the need occurs. Agree one base is ideal, you don't want to move about every night.
With our baby at that age, we could move about and explore various places quite easily as long as we remembered to followed her meal and nap schedule. So even if we were about, if it was a time for her meal, we stopped and fed her to keep her happy - which made it easier to be out.
You might not be able to visit too many indoor places at each place, because your pace will be slower, no matter the best intentions. I think two stops each day is about the best you'll do, just because of the logistics of baby stroller, baby meals and diaper changes and all... but you can definitely do Chianti and Val d'Orcia with less stops and still get to enjoy the essence and beauty of the landscapes.
In Chianti, I'd recommend stops in Castellina and Radda and Greve - skip Gaiole as it is further away - the town itself doesn't have much to see, its the drive there and the countryside that are beautiful. Drive through Panzano and to Gaiole if there is time.
In Val d'Orcia it's harder to say what to skip... all are small towns, so it doesn't take that long to see them... but you don't want to stop and do stroller and everything to then go back in after just half an hour. So I'd recommend stopping in Montalcino in the morning, then driving to Pienza (so skipping San Quirico as a full stop - do stop by the road to take pics!) and doing lunch in Pienza, then heading on to Montepulciano for the rest of the day (and dinner).
I'd put those two days separate (Chianti and Val d'Orcia) from each other, since they are the "fullest" you can spend some more time at the agriturismo to rest in between.
If you can, plan more time at the agriturismo - maybe a few evenings you eat dinner there rather than out. Even if it is September, if we happen to have nice weather enjoy the gardens there too (and pool if they have it)
If you're not wine drinkers - skip the winery but enjoy some good wine at meals out. Tuscany is a wine region, everywhere you go there is good wine and food to be eaten. Take your time to enjoy those. You'll get beautiful views everywhere you go, if you see a winery around Montalcino and Montepulciano with a sign on the road that appeals to you, do stop It is better to be flexible and do things like that spur of the moment, it makes it less "required".
You will be able to visit all of the places with a stroller - but many are at the top of hills, so you'll just need to do some pushing uphill as parking is generally below the town. They are doable, just plan to do the workout. Does your baby like to be worn in a carrier? Mine did, so we often opted to doing that instead of the stroller on short stops.
As far as driving and parking - yes, there are restrictions, always with the historical centers. Florence, Siena, Lucca and Pisa have ZTL (limited traffic zones) which correspond to the historical center of the city and where only those with permits can enter. You'll find useful details on the two main ones here:
All work similarly - in Pisa and Lucca the center is closed, but you can park just outside of it without a problem and walk in. The centers are small.... most everything is walking distance. The smaller towns all have their centers for "pedestrians" and have walls around... just follow the "P" signs for parking lots, you shouldn't have problems then walking in with the stroller. As long as you know the centers are mostly old villages at the top of the hills, and know that the parking lots are below the town, and not expect to "drive through" most of them, you'll get the hang of how things are generally set up in no time!
P.S. I moved your post to a new thread, as you can see !
If you keep looking through our site, you'll find info on what to see and do in all of the places you're interested in visiting so in essence, that's your "self guided" tour and you can visit each town knowing what the main sights are.
August 26, 2014, 01:15 PM
how to plan our stay in Tuscany
I have the same situation we are travelling fort the first time with our ten months baby, will stay in Rome for three days afterwards will visit Tuscany, i want to know more about the weather in October? and if moving around Tuscany cities using the train with a baby stroller will be easy??
i want your advice how to plan a four days visit to Tuscany and what the top places we must see, and if we want to visit Siana, Lucca, Florance and Pisa in which city shall we stay to be the central of our tour and the one with easy access to the other cities.
Thanks in advance.
August 29, 2014, 09:03 AM
October should have great weather, not too hot or too cold but plan to dress in layers so that you can adjust as needed, since mornings and evenings do tend to get cooler.
Yes, using the train with a baby stroller is not too difficult, although there are many trains that have quite steep stairs to get on and not at all that stroller friendly. But with one person on and the other below, it is doable.
Another alternative is to invest in a baby carrier or backpack to use for baby. Mine was so comfortable in hers she often fell asleep in it.
With 4 days and moving around by train, I'd suggest to stay in Florence the 4 nights using it as your base. You can dedicate 2 full days to Florence, then one day to Siena (you can get there by bus easier than by train, the bus station is right next to the SMN train station in Florence) and another day to Pisa and Lucca, doing one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. They are close by and connected by train. There are many trains to both towns throughout the day from Florence, you can choose to do either one first - many do Pisa first so maybe you could do the opposite to have less crowds ;-)
For accommodation in Florence, take a look at http://www.florenceaccommodation.com/ - once you see places you like, if you need specific suggestions let me know what is appealing and I can recommend specific ones.
August 30, 2014, 11:07 AM
Thanks for the helpful information's, actually I've been going through websites for a long time now, and cant decide the accommodation place, please help me I'm looking for a reasonable price hotel not too low or high prices, i want the hotel to be in middle of some places to visit supermarkets and restaurants most important to be close to the bus or train station please recommend some names!!!
Thanks in advance
September 2, 2014, 09:20 PM
five days in Tuscanybb
you've been so helpful so thanks a lot, we booked in hotel casci in via cavour area for five days, hope you agree with our choice, and hope it be near to bus and train station and markets or down town as we like shopping. we will visit Pisa Lucca and Siena any other places we should not miss in Tuscany??
Thanks in advance
September 17, 2014, 03:55 PM
Kindly I would like to know what are the cities or places can be visited that the same day of the The Mall tour, we will be in Florance in the 5th of October for five days, we booked in Casci hotel, i don't know how far this hotel from the mall and whats the easiest way to reach it from there especially with a baby with us, we are planning to spend the morning in The mall not the whole day so any advices where to go after we are done with shopping any of the tourism attraction in near the place?? am not sure if the have sale season on the first of October too??
Thanks in advance
October 3, 2014, 06:00 PM
You're almost here! Not sure how I missed all of your last posts, so very sorry!!
Via Cavour is still very central, you will be walking distance from everything.
Are you going to The Mall with the local bus that goes there or as a special tour? The Mall is outside of Florence - you can get the bus from the SMN train station. There's more info here: