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Thread: Is anyone reading these??? Please help!!

  1. #1
    Bella007 is offline Junior Member - Learning about Tuscany
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    Default Is anyone reading these??? Please help!!

    Good afternoon,
    I've tried posting before and have not received a reply and while some of the threads here resemble our questions, they're not quite the same. I am once again attempting to see if someone will reply.
    My husband, small dog, and I are traveling to Florence for three weeks in April. We would like to use Florence as our home base for the first leg of our journey so that we may visit the cities of Lucca and Pisa. We are planning on staying here for 3-4 days. Will that be enough time to see all these places have to offer?
    Additionally, we'd like to see Siena and visit some of the towns close to it. Lastly, we'd like to spend the last week staying in either the Chianti or Val D'Orcia region. We hope to relax this last week, drink good coffee, discover wonderful cafes, and take in the beauty of the region. Based on this information, can you please recommend an itinerary starting with Florence and ending in either one of the aforementioned regions? What cities are a must see? Is the Chianti region the most beautiful for our relaxation purposes or is Val D'Orcia a better match? Are there affordable places to stay in these regions? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I should mention that we do not want to rent a car and will have to depend on public transport.Thank you and have a wonderful day!
    Bella

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    Three or four days should be fine for Lucca &/or Pisa. We recently spent 12 nights in Florence and were happy we had time to see the city in a leisurely fashion. We spent 5 nights in Lucca in the past and found that to be a good amount of time to casually explore that city. We have only taken day trips via train from Florence to Pisa. Three weeks in the region should be fun.

  3. #3
    Bella007 is offline Junior Member - Learning about Tuscany
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uomo Grasso View Post
    Three or four days should be fine for Lucca &/or Pisa. We recently spent 12 nights in Florence and were happy we had time to see the city in a leisurely fashion. We spent 5 nights in Lucca in the past and found that to be a good amount of time to casually explore that city. We have only taken day trips via train from Florence to Pisa. Three weeks in the region should be fun.
    Thank you for your reply! We were only planning to make a day trip to Lucca. In your opinion, is it worth staying in Lucca overnight? Do you feel Lucca is a better base than Florence for this leg of the journey? I think accommodations might be less expensive in Lucca. I'm grateful for any advice you may have!

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    DonnaDenise is offline Super Moderator - DiscoverTuscany Team
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    Default Travelling in Tuscany

    Buongiorno,

    Depending on public transport will limit your travels a bit, but that doesn't mean it is unrealistic.

    Florence is the perfect place to start, basically because it is the hub for most (good) public transport connections. You can most definitely visit Lucca, Pisa or even Pistoia, Arezzo and Prato from Florence with convenient and frequent train travel. As per affordable accommodations, you will find all kinds of price ranges - perhaps the more difficult part is finding one in the city which will allow for small pets. The link I provided puts you in touch directly with the owner, so you can make arrangements for your pet.

    Siena, located further south from Florence, also has a good network of public transport which will cover many of the towns nearby and in the Val d'Orcia area. You could enjoy staying in the city and depending on the buses that travel nearby (this article has several places you can travel to with public transport.)

    As for positioning yourself in either Chianti or Val d'Orcia... if you are looking for absolute relax you could look at Podere Monti, which I have visited (see my review) or stay in San Gimignano, which is a small hub for public transport.

    Buon Viaggio,

    Donna Denise

  5. #5
    Lourdes's Avatar
    Lourdes is offline Administrator - DiscoverTuscany Team
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    I replied to your first post just yesterday, seems we crossed paths!

    Dividing time between Florence and the southern part of Tuscany
    Where to stay in Tuscany? Read this if you will have a car and this if you won't!
    When is the best time to visit? Make sure to read this!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bella007 View Post
    Thank you for your reply! We were only planning to make a day trip to Lucca. In your opinion, is it worth staying in Lucca overnight? Do you feel Lucca is a better base than Florence for this leg of the journey? I think accommodations might be less expensive in Lucca. I'm grateful for any advice you may have!
    I would certainly encourage you to stay at least one night in Lucca. It is so peaceful and beautiful there in the evening. As I said before, we stayed there for 5 nights and thoroughly enjoyed our time there. I encourage you to consider renting a bicycle for riding along the wall. It can be walked, but it is quite a lot of fun to do on a bike.

    I would not say Lucca is better than Florence, though it is much quieter. It's a nice change from Florence. Personally, I would spend more time in Florence, but if you have the luxury of time, I would strongly encourage a stay in Lucca. Also, Pisa is a short train ride away, about 30 minutes, which I believe is on your list. The main thing is to give yourself plenty of time wherever you choose to go, so you don't have to rush. In my experience, the quality of your experience is more important than the quantity. Seeing less at a slower pace is often more enjoyable than rushing through lots of places...

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    Lourdes's Avatar
    Lourdes is offline Administrator - DiscoverTuscany Team
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    Wholeheartedly agree with what UomoGrasso wrote in the last post above! Better to slow down and spend more time at each place and you'll enjoy it better.
    Where to stay in Tuscany? Read this if you will have a car and this if you won't!
    When is the best time to visit? Make sure to read this!

  8. #8
    Bella007 is offline Junior Member - Learning about Tuscany
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    Default Advice regarding Val D'orcia

    Quote Originally Posted by Lourdes View Post
    Wholeheartedly agree with what UomoGrasso wrote in the last post above! Better to slow down and spend more time at each place and you'll enjoy it better.
    Hello Lourdes,
    First of all, thank you and the wonderful people who took the time to answer my questions. We took the advice given and decided to spend a leisurely time in Florence to start off our holiday. We have booked eight nights in Florence but still have 10 more nights in Tuscany before returning home. Like I mentioned in my previous post, we were looking forward to staying in the Val D'orcia area. We dream of witnessing the winding roads and Cypress landscape we've only just seen in post cards. However, we are at a loss regarding where to stay. Siena was an option but it appears to be more expensive than we thought. We really just want to relax in one place and take in the scenery. As such, where do you recommend we try to find accommodation in the Val D'orcia? As a reminder, we are relying on public transport.

    We would be grateful for any recommendations. Also, since we're going to be in Florence for 7 nights, what are your top three must not miss day trips from this base? Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon!

  9. #9
    Lourdes's Avatar
    Lourdes is offline Administrator - DiscoverTuscany Team
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    Ciao Bella,

    Did you read my answer to your first post here?
    Dividing time between Florence and the southern part of Tuscany

    I, in fact, recommend you stay in Chianti over the Val d'Orcia, as you were asking this question from the first -- without a car, it is really difficult to move around the Val d'Orcia and see places there. So while it is beautiful and there is lots to see, wander and take your time, unless you're planning to hike places or rent a bike to get around, it won't be easy to navigate around the area. If you do bike or are willing to bike, it would be a great way to move around -- there are a lot of smaller roads or even unpaved roads that are perfect to use to get around without worrying too much about biking in traffic. Also the lay of the land has low hills so it isn't too tough on the legs.

    Otherwise, you can get to Buonconvento easily enough by train from Siena, but that's pretty much as far as you get in terms of exploring the area easily with "public transport".
    I've tried buses between Pienza and San Quirico, they do exist but schedule is not great. We hiked between the two towns but one time got caught by a rain storm so took the bus back -- we had to wait over an hour for the next one.

    We go back about once a year to the Val d'Orcia, and we always choose to stay in that area between Pienza and San Quirico as it is the most central and convenient for getting around.

    In my previous post, however, I was suggesting Chianti as a better area to stay in without a car, it will be easier to move around because towns are a bit better connected with bus and trains.
    Where to stay in Tuscany? Read this if you will have a car and this if you won't!
    When is the best time to visit? Make sure to read this!

  10. #10
    JAB is offline Junior Member - Learning about Tuscany
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    Default Florence and Tuscany

    Florence is a great base I think. Loved Rome which only made Florence seem like an intimate little city. You can base there and do some of your desired spots in day trips. I've heard one covers Pisa, Lucca and maybe one other place I can't think of, but you get to be escorted to the highlights. Pisa is supposed to be overloaded with tourists so I wouldn't suggest making that a base point. If you google your choices, like i've been querrying between, Mantua, Verona and Padua and reading many posts makes a huge difference (Padua=clear winner btw).

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