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Best plan with 1 and 4 year old

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chicago
posts: 7
reviews: 1
Best plan with 1 and 4 year old

Hi, we're going to be in Brighton, England to see family this July. We've decided that we would love to go to Tuscany and take it easy for a little while, since we'll be so close (relatively speaking - we're from Chicago). It seems that there are flights into Pisa and Rome from Gatwick, which is what we prefer. My main questions are ...

1) Should we fly into Pisa or Rome?

2) Should we go to Rome or Florence for a few nights, or both? (We are flying out of Florence, and can skip Rome altogether)

3) What would be the best town to stay in without a rental car?

Boston...
posts: 625
reviews: 1
1. Re: Best plan with 1 and 4 year old

Travelling with children, you should keep it simple. Fly into Pisa on Ryan air, catch the bus to Florence and stay there. There's plenty to do, and if you want more you can buy a tour of other parts of Tuscany from Florence, or visit Lucca and/or Pisa on the way back.

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
Destination Expert
for Tuscany
posts: 6,694
reviews: 51
2. Re: Best plan with 1 and 4 year old

I'm not sure Florence is the best place in July with very young children, it can get so ho and crowded. Is there absolutely no way you would consider getting a hire car? If you had one, you could stay in a lovely villa with a garden and a pool and kick back and enjoy the countryside, local villages and a slower pace of life.

chicago
posts: 7
reviews: 1
3. Re: Best plan with 1 and 4 year old

Thanks for the responses! The plan is to fly into Pisa, then make our way into the countryside. We were thinking villa with a pool and kicking back. I only wanted to get to Florence for the last night before flying out of Florence. What would be the ideal place to stay for a week in Tuscany? I see that Lucca is close, but many of the other popular towns seem closer to Siena. A car is possible, but right now they seem very expensive. What would be the best place with a car, and what would be the best place without one? Sorry for so many questions :)

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
Destination Expert
for Tuscany
posts: 6,694
reviews: 51
4. Re: Best plan with 1 and 4 year old

If you want a villa with a pool, you really need a car. If you don't want a car, then you'll need to stay in a city or large town and that means usually means an apartment or hotel.

If you don't want a car, then for me the best option for people with young children is Lucca. It is a small city, traffic is largely prohibited within the walls so it is very safe. The walls form a large high park encircling the old city and these are dotted with kid's play parks and have lots of shady spots for picnics. You can also easily hire bikes to cycle the walls, you will find bikes with child seats, adult and child tandems etc. My daughters loved these when they were youngeer. The city itself has enough to see for 2-3 days, has many good restaurants and decent shopoing. There is also a train station and within half an hour you can be on the beach at Viareggio or looking at the leaning tower in Pisa. Florence is a bit over an hour away. What you won't have is a pool, the countryside or views (Lucca is flat).

If you want your villa with pool then you will be outside a town and that it why you'll need the car. To get to and from the airport, to and from nearby towns, to and from local restaurants. I would be looking at the Chianti area which is not too far to drive from Pisa airport, has beautiful countryside and has plenty of nearby picturesque towns and villages.

In July my preference would definitely be the latter option. On a hot summers day for a young family in Tuscany it is hard to beat a garden and pool for the kids and a view to die for and a few decent glasses of Chianti for Mum and Dad.

Have you checked http://www.auto-europe.co.uk for prices for a hire car? They are a broker and seem to get very good deals from the big hire firms. Just choose one of the big three - Europcar, Avis or Hertz. Don't be tempted by cheaper prices for companies like goldcar - they get very poor reviews.

chicago
posts: 7
reviews: 1
5. Re: Best plan with 1 and 4 year old

Thanks for the detailed response! I did put a car on hold, and hopefully it'll go down in price a bit as the day gets a bit closer. The plan is to pick it up at Pisa airport and return it at Florence airport. The big question now is where exactly we should stay!? We get in at about 8:00 in the evening, so I'm not sure if we should stay in Lucca for a night or two, as it seems close, and then move on to a villa for the rest of the stay (about a week)? But where?? Any recommendations on towns or good villa rental companies?

posts: 2,455
reviews: 1
6. Re: Best plan with 1 and 4 year old

First, check rental prices at autoeurope.com and kemwel.com, they are often much better than booking directly with the rental agency even though you get the car from them.

As for where to rent, I'd look in the Chianti area, perhaps Greve in Chianti or Tavernelle Val di Pesa.

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
Destination Expert
for Tuscany
posts: 6,694
reviews: 51
7. Re: Best plan with 1 and 4 year old

If you are going to have a hire car you do need to read this:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187893-c140065/Tusca…

Don't let it put you off, you just need to know about it so you are prepared and avoid driving in Florence. But it is a consideration if you plan to spend a night or two in Lucca.

Try the owners direct websites such as homeaway, owners direct, holiday rentals. Most have an advanced search facility so you can search for specific dates, a pool, number of bedrooms, budget etc. Just type in Chianti for the area and see what takes your fancy. I would say finding the right property at the right price is more important than being close on one particular Chianti town.

8. Re: Best plan with 1 and 4 year old

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