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Thread: Tuscan itinerary!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    10

    Default Tuscan itinerary!

    In September, my wife and I will be spending a week at a retreat in Umbertide (having visited Orvieto and Assisi while enroute from Rome), after which we'll make our way by car to Florence, where we'll spend 3 or 4 nights, then head by train to the Cinque Terre, and then to Venice.

    Having never been to Tuscany (or anywhere outside of Rome, for that matter), I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed trying to create an itinerary for that portion of our trip. Here are the broad strokes I have so far:

    Day 1 - leave Umbertide mid-day, stay the night in Montepulciano.
    Day 2 - explore Montepulciano, Pienza, Montalcino, Val D'Orcia. Spend the night in Siena.
    Day 3 - explore Siena, Monteriggioni, Santa Gimignano, Volterra, Chianti. Drop off car and spend night in Florence.
    Day 4 - explore Florence and spend night there.
    Day 5 - explore Florence and spend night there.
    Day 5 - travel by train to Lucca and/or Pisa - spend night back in Florence.
    Day 7 - depart Florence for the Cinque Terre.

    I welcome any suggestions regarding this itinerary! For instance, are we moving around too much prior to Florence? Are there places you would add/subtract from this itinerary? Am I overnighting in the right places? I realize everything is subjective, but I welcome any input or ideas!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    1,347

    Default Full Itinerary

    Buongiorno,

    You have a pretty full itinerary - I hope your retreat preps you to be exploring!

    Everything looks pretty good - however, a word of caution day 3 is jam packed, and you will probably spend all your time traveling and not visiting. I suggest that you narrow it down to one or two towns. Maybe just Siena and San Gimignano or even a leisurely tour through Chianti. But Volterra is (beautiful) but definitely adds lots of extra km to your route.

    Buon Viaggio,

    Donna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    10

    Thumbs up Revising our Tuscan itinerary

    Thank you so much! This is very helpful. I will streamline our day 3 as you suggest -- we don't want to spend the entire day on the move, and see nothing!

    Does overnighting in Montepulciano and Siena make sense? Are there better options, considering our route, time and itinerary?

    Thanks again.

    P

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    1,347

    Default Accommodations

    Ciao -

    they are both excellent stopping points!

    You can check out here for some ideas of where to stay:
    http://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/montepulciano/

    and in Siena:

    http://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/...tto-rosso.html

    or not too far off from Siena - but giving you a vineyard experience:
    https://www.discovertuscany.com/sien...ontanelle.html

    Buon Viaggio,

    Donna Denise

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    10

    Default Florence?

    Thanks Donna, these are great suggestions!

    Do you think 4 nights is a good amount of time to spend in Florence (including a day trip to Lucca and/or Pisa), or would we be better off staying in Florence for only 3 nights and spending an additional night in the region south of the city?

    P

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    2

    Default waaayyyy too much on day 2,3

    Day 1 - leave Umbertide mid-day, stay the night in Montepulciano.
    Day 2 - explore Montepulciano, Pienza, Montalcino, Val D'Orcia. Spend the night in Siena.
    Day 3 - explore Siena, Monteriggioni, Santa Gimignano, Volterra, Chianti. Drop off car and spend night in Florence.

    Hi Paolo!
    Just got back a few weeks ago....this is a mighty ambitious itinerary and I'm a real trooper!

    Pienza was lovely but only offered a guided tour (reserve) of Palazzo Piccolomini-- which was really neat-- and the Duomo which is like all the other magnificent Duomo's in Italy. It's a town like all the others, so I would skip it.

    Montalcino was a real downer; it was so hilly and had so many steps; the fortress like a fortress you can see elsewhere and the enotecas on every corner nothing worth the steps.

    The Val d'Orcia offers a lovely drive but nowhere I would stop again.

    Monteriggioni is a must! sweet, easy, little town with a neat museum and sweet shops; take about 1.5 - 2 hours; parking easy, walking pretty much flat, and you can walk the fortress wall. We already have reservations to go back!

    Siena bigger and not condusive to a quick look...
    San Gimignano, hilly, touristy, crowded....not planning a return.

    MAY I suggest some wonderful, easy substitutions?

    Fattoria Barbi Winery and Peasant Museum.....between Pienza and Montallcino....we will return many times; the Peasant Museum is sooo wonderful! as interesting and delightful as any well-known big-time museum; easy to get to, easy access, a few Euro, and a great winery and restaurant.

    About 25 minutes away is Castel Banfi il Borgo; Mamma Mia, what a place...big, gorgeous, eay to get to, and the wine! and the prices! will return many times!

    Cinque Terre is exhausting, beautiful though. Stayed in Portovenere and did the ferry to the other towns, shoulder season, extremely crowded. big hills to climb, lots of steps; be sure to coordinate parking/ferry times; not easy

    San Galgano Abbey, north east of Montalcino on the way to Monteriggioni; has the original Sword in the stone....absolutely amazing.....easy parking; one of life's must-sees!

    Well, I hope that gives you some good ideas!
    Have a wonderful trip
    Barbara

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    10

    Default streamlining Tuscany

    Thanks Barbara! I'm certainly looking to streamline what we do and see on those two days, and these are some very helpful suggestions. I'm also considering spending one less night in Florence (3 instead of 4) so that we can spend some more time in the regions south of the city, but I haven't decided yet.

    What towns/cities in Tuscany did you overnight in on your trip? We're making our way from Umbertide to Florence over two nights, and I've been trying to figure out what makes most sense. Currently I'm thinking a night each in Montepulciano and Siena.

    Best,
    P

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    Default streamlining Tuscany

    Thank you Barbara! I do intend to streamline our Tuscan itinerary, and these are very helpful suggestions! I'm also considering spending one less night in Florence (3 instead of 4)so we can spend more time in the regions south of the city, but I'm not sure yet.

    Where did you overnight? Since we're driving from Umbertide to Florence over two (possibly three) nights, I'm currently thinking Montepulciano and Siena, but nothing is writ in stone yet.

    Thanks again. I appreciate your insights!

    P

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1,347

    Default Country Girl

    Buongiorno,

    When ever I have a choice I like to stay in the countryside

    However, it really depends on how much you want to visit the museums, monuments and city - and you can seriously invest time in all of that while in Florence!

    I think you should plan one day of just down time - or at least half a day of just down time where can enjoy a cooking lesson or some pool time or a good wine tour.

    Buon Viaggio,

    Donna Denise

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Florence, Italy
    Posts
    2,812

    Default

    I second Donna's suggestion - an extra day in the countryside as you make your way up from Umbria into Tuscany would not be a bad idea. Let's you take more time to see the countryside, spreading day 3 onto day 4...

    You can thus do Siena and Monteriggioni on day 3, heading into Chianti as you circle back and head back to Siena for the night (or if you're open to moving every night, you could overnight in the Chianti area).

    Then on day 4 visit San Gimignano and Volterra. I would do Volterra first, then SG. As Barbara says, SG can get crowded but this is mostly during the day when groups come in. Since you're coming in September, I think you'll do better.... but leaving it to afternoon is a better idea when more of the groups are gone. You can make your way to Florence by that night.

    Another note on the itinerary:
    Day 6 - why not spend the night in Lucca instead of backtracking back to Florence? You're closer to CT this way to start your day 7!

    Most trains do have you go to Venice passing through Florence, but any time saved between Lucca and Florence on prior days makes the passage through Florence faster after your visit to CT.
    What to see in Tuscany? Check out ideas on our main website DiscoverTuscany.com!!

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