September 1, 2015, 01:55 AM
2 Days in Tuscany with a Group of 5 and a Minivan!
I was looking for a little help with planning out the last portion of our trip. We're on a 2 week excursion through Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and back to Italy. Lots of places, I know. We've been in the major areas of Italy (Rome, Florence, Venice Cinque Terre) before but are just looking to dabble in each of the places to get a feel for what they're like and really hit the high points (i.e Oktoberfest; Lake Como; Old Towne district in Zurich; Innsbruck, Austria; Tuscany and fly out of Milan).
I'll be with the group for 2 full days coming from Austria heading to Tuscany. Most of us have done the Florence site seeing in the past however, this time we would like to focus more on the Chianti wine regions and anywhere else recommended. I'm the designated driver for the trip and enjoy partaking in the socializing when we're out and about. Areas that allow us access to go out to get food would be preferred but not a requirement. This way I don't have to worry about consumption and driving everyone around. Side notes to add about our intentions and group we're traveling with: We're pretty laid back group and will probably be looking to relax by this time of the trip. We are willing to possibly cook one or both of the nights if we can get some good recipes and/or ingredients. We're looking to see some nice scenery, drink some good wine, enjoy good company and maybe meet some good people.
After the 2 days are done, I drop off 2 of the guests in Florence and we have another 2 more days with 3 of us remaining. The general consensus is to spend the last 2 days (before we head to Milan for the final night) near the water. I saw some other posts recommending the Island of Elba. I was also thinking La Spezia would be nice. I'm open to suggestions if anyone has any.
We'd like to probably stay in a Villa or farmhouse that we could rent for 2 days at each stop. Any help with recommendations of a home base and things to do on the last 4 days of the trip would be very much appreciated! We've been using Homeaway and Airbnb for booking most of our visits on the trip. Are there any other good sites for groups of people to stay for just 2 days?
Thanks again for the help and look forward to hearing back!
Last edited by skolacziii; September 1, 2015 at 02:02 AM.
September 2, 2015, 05:16 PM
Staying in a Farmhouse
Sounds like a lot of fun. You don't say when you are arriving so keep in mind that if you are travelling in mid and especially high season, places usually rent for a whole week.
You could look at Le Due Volpi, which will put you in the countryside and give you access to a kitchen. Heidi and Lorenzo are easy going and will work with you and your schedule.
Since it is a B&B you could take all the rooms or only two when the others go into Florence. That way you don't have to be moving around too much. From here you have easy access to Florence, Fiesole, Casentino and of course Mugello. (PS all of these place have great food and tasty wine!!)
September 3, 2015, 12:39 AM
Hi Donna Denise,
Thank you very much for the reply! I reached out to contact Heidi and Lorenzo and will hopefully hear back soon. We'll be in that area at the end of this month. Trying to wrap up some last minute planning.
It sounds like if we were to stay with Heidi and Lorenzo, we would get a rundown of things to do with them and maybe learn some cooking and relax the first evening. Perhaps the second day we adventure into the Chianti area to find a few more good wine tastings and enjoy what the scenery has to offer.
On the last morning we could enjoy a relaxing breakfast and drop two of the friends off at the airport then head west to La Spezia or something? Do you have any more suggestions on what we should do in the area where Heidi and Lorenzo host? What do you think of a coast place to visit for another 2 nights? Any recommendations?
Thanks again so much!
Respectfully and Gratefully,
September 4, 2015, 08:46 AM
How about a little more south?
I am glad you made contact with Heidi and Lorenzo...they are are great couple.
I have another suggestion: http://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/borgo-sicelle.html
great views and another very "family" style atmosphere.
September 4, 2015, 12:57 PM
Hi Donna Denise,
Thank you again for reaching out to me. It looks like things may be moving forward with the original plans. It seems like a very interesting and relaxing experience that could occur with Heidi and Lorenzo. I again, thank you for your time and patience in helping us out.
On a side note, do you have a favorite region to visit (again for relaxation) on the west coast towards the end of September that's not much further south in latitude than Florence? We'll have another 2 days to visit there before heading north to Milan for a night and fly out.
September 7, 2015, 08:42 PM
We're looking for bed and breakfast or similar lodging to become more intimate in the Chianti culture. It's a group of 5 people about 30 years old each. We'll be there September 24 -27, 2015. Some things we'd like to consider:
2. Walking access or short drive to restaurants/bars. Possible downtown.
3. Possible cooking classes,wine tastings,olive oil tastings
4. Good views Chianti area
5. Outdoor activities, pool
If anyone has any good experiences and recommendations it would be GREATLY appreciated.
September 9, 2015, 04:03 PM
I would recommend Villa il Poggiale - has all of what you're looking for!
September 9, 2015, 10:15 PM
Will Keep Looking
Thank you Lourdes for your recommendation. I took a look at the website and it sure does look like a nice place that myself and the group would enjoy. I think since I waited too close to our departure date to reserve a place, I'm running into a few problems regarding availability.
I will continue my searches and see what I can come up with. I'm very close to reserving with Heidi and Lorenzo up in Mugello as their place is also something that looks very appealing to us.
If we stay there for 3 nights I was thinking that one day we could adventure into the Chianti region and plan out a self-guided wine tour and the second day I was hoping to maybe do some horseback riding around the area, up to an hour away from the home base. I'm just having trouble finding a place locally that would be good for that. Mugello has some things to offer but we're looking for things that have the sense of relaxation but engages us to do something besides hang around the accommodation.
Might you have anything to add for advice on this Lourdes? I'm getting into crunch time unfortunately and feeling the pressure to wrap this part of the planning up.
Thank you so much,
September 22, 2015, 10:50 AM
Ciao! Don't be afraid to ask Heidi and wherever else you are staying for assistance is seeking out things to do in the area.
This is a suggestion for you as well as for everyone else - the owners themselves (and this is why we highly and always recommend being in touch with the owners directly as a special way to experience Tuscany) know their area best and can help you find who and where you can do things you're interested in doing, such as the horseback riding. There are centers and farms across Tuscany but it makes no sense to cross the region when there is one closer by.
Just as an example, not that far away and still in the general area - Vallebona offers horseback riding just to the north of Pontassieve going toward Rufina. So not exactly in the Vicchio area but not too far away either.