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Thread: 6 day Tuscany road trip with gate 1 travel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    1

    Default 6 day Tuscany road trip with gate 1 travel

    Good morning, my husband and I will be taking this tour through gate 1 travel...Which says it is a "self" guided tour..in mid may. We have traveled a bit... But, this is our first trip to Italy. Usually we plan everything and book everything individually ourselves. This year because of time restraints we are using this tour. We are however becoming increasingly concerned about the horror stories we are reading about ,concerning driving, parking, toll exspences and gas prices? This tour has us flying into Milan and driving down to montecatini. We will then be based out of that hotel in montecatini and continually back tracking every day ? We are interested in Pisa, the vineyard tours and exploring all the lovely small towns in between like Lucca . are there any suggested tips, itineraries or basic help that you can give us to ease our concern about this trip so that we may truly enjoy it?! Thank you , Lydia

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lydia Anderson View Post
    Good morning, my husband and I will be taking this tour through gate 1 travel...Which says it is a "self" guided tour..in mid may. We have traveled a bit... But, this is our first trip to Italy. Usually we plan everything and book everything individually ourselves. This year because of time restraints we are using this tour. We are however becoming increasingly concerned about the horror stories we are reading about ,concerning driving, parking, toll exspences and gas prices? This tour has us flying into Milan and driving down to montecatini. We will then be based out of that hotel in montecatini and continually back tracking every day ? We are interested in Pisa, the vineyard tours and exploring all the lovely small towns in between like Lucca . are there any suggested tips, itineraries or basic help that you can give us to ease our concern about this trip so that we may truly enjoy it?! Thank you , Lydia
    We were in Tuscany this past fall. We rented a car and this is the best advise I can give you. I believe it was maybe $10-15 a day for a gps and wi-if for the car. Both came in very handy and I highly recommend! Driving was not an issue, parking is tough to find especially in Siena and the self parking ticket machines were a little tough to use the first time, but u will figure it out! We had no issues navigating the roads one bit! You can do it. Make sure you have an international drivers license tho!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Florence, Italy
    Posts
    2,812

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    Ciao Lydia,

    Sounds like you will have a wonderful trip in Italy!

    We've seen a lot of recent questions posted using Montecatini as a base, so we're in the process of writing up an article with suggested day trips from Montecatini and how to move around, with a car or without, from there.

    I think this package with car is one of the most popular. If you feel comfortable driving abroad, then driving here won't be too difficult. You are already aware that there are some things that need particular attention, so you're ahead already! There are many who don't even discover what the ZTL areas are until AFTER they go back home.... and months later get a fine in the mail.

    So, as far as driving here, make sure to read:
    - Driving to Tuscany - since you will be driving from Milan
    - Some of the articles on Driving around Tuscany that have general tips
    - Tips for driving in Florence, the ZTL area in Florence and parking in Florence and parking in Siena

    The ZTL areas that exist are to protect the hundred years old buildings in the city center from excessive traffic. Of course, residents can still drive into the center and their homes, as well as commercial business. But traffic is limited and only those with permits can enter.... so as long as you know this, and pay attention to ZTL signs (most will have "beware" signs and "do not enter" signs and often times there are cameras mounted over the street - they take photos of car license plates to check that they have permits), you can always turn away from entering into a ZTL area - generally a right or left turn before continuing into the limited traffic area. They are usually the heart of the old historical center, and many towns in Tuscany have them. Even small walled towns. It just means you can't drive into the center, there are usually parking lots around the center and town and you park there, then walk into the center. When towns are really small, you aren't parking far away. Lucca, for example, has its historical center surrounded by a large Renaissance-era wall. Anything within is a ZTL area, so just don't drive into and through the wall Anything outside the walls you can navigate normally and park at.

    Like suggested above, a GPS will help tremendously to map your route and help you get where you are going. It won't be able to tell you about the ZTL areas all of the time, so you do need to watch for that! Map your routes ahead of time for each day you are out and plan to drive to an address outside the center or specifically to a parking lot (in the case of Florence or Siena this will help a lot).

    As far as gas and toll fees -- those are high in Italy and all of Europe. So there isn't much you can do other than consider them part of your travel expenses.

    As far as itineraries, take a look across our entire guide, there are lots of itineraries and useful information offered. For Lucca, for example, take a look at the articles in the Lucca category.

    Either I or Donna will come back on here and post the itineraries from Montecatini as soon as it is online to give you more ideas -- soon, we promise ;-)
    What to see in Tuscany? Check out ideas on our main website DiscoverTuscany.com!!

    Stay updated: FOLLOW us on Facebook!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,351

    Default Montecatini

    Buongiorno -

    Just like Lourdes promised your post was what encouraged us to put together an article with a few day trip ideas using Montecatini as your base. The article includes suggestions for both for those with a car and for those who are taking advantage of the public transport.

    Here is our article:

    https://www.discovertuscany.com/mont...ntecatini.html

    Buon Viaggio,

    Donna Denise

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