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Week in Tuscany but where????

Montreal, Quebec
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Week in Tuscany but where????

We will be in Italy in September. Will spend 5 days in Lake Como area, then 5 days in Venice and then 7 days in Tuscany area but have no idea where. Would like to find a central place and day trip from there. Will take the train from Venice to Florence, then would really like to experience Italy and not the touristy areas. Live like an italian for a week. Any ideas?? We like to bike and would love to explore Tuscany by bicycle if possible and not too difficult. Will also be open to renting a car or is bus service acceptable?? Any ideas are welcome and definitely appreciated. Thanks in advance.

armchrtrvler
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1. Re: Week in Tuscany but where????

You might consider Lucca, about an hour and a half train ride from Florence. It's a medieval walled city, no cars inside the wall! Several reasonable bike rental shops there. Train service to Pisa (about half an hour away) and Viareggio (beach).

The population sans tourists is only about 10,000. Smaller city rich in history and tradition.

Volterra, Italy
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2. Re: Week in Tuscany but where????

Lucca, Siena, San Gimigniano are musts but are very very touristy. Do get a rental car. With 7 days in Tuscany and a rental car you will be able to see so much at your own pace. The Volterra region is very good as a central base, perhaps in an agriturism.

Ciao

Southern Tuscany
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3. Re: Week in Tuscany but where????

Somebody on this board wrote to me recently and they were staying near Asciano (south east of Siena) on the Crete on a week long cycling holiday. This is a great location as it's not quite as touristy as some of the towns a bit further south (Pienza, Montepulciano, Montalcino, etc) yet you could easily visit them with a car - or on a bike if you can handle the distance. The area has lots of dirt tracks that are great for biking and many of the agriturismo in the area have bikes available. It's certainly a very popular area for cyclists, I see groups of them up there regularly. The countryside is sensational but the bus service limited so I would recommend a car. Siena would be 25 mins away, San Gim around an hour.

Southern Tuscany
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4. Re: Week in Tuscany but where????

ps: Don't want to ignite a debate on whether it is possible to live like an Italian in an area that some believe is overrun with tourists but believe me you can if you're careful as to where. San Giovanni d'Asso (not far from Asciano) is a possibility, here are there two quick hotel suggestions. Someone told me about this place called Ankhura, a v small B&B in an old village house in a hamlet not far from San Giovanni: www.ankhura.com It's supposed to really nice. Alternatively, the main hotel in the area is exceptionally good: www.lalocandadelcastello.com The hotel attracts visitors, sure, but the village is far quieter than many in the area.

Montreal, Quebec
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5. Re: Week in Tuscany but where????

Thanks so much to everyone who has helped. Will be looking at the map this weekend to try to make our final decision. If anyone else has suggestions as to where to stay they would be most appreciated. How difficult is it to rent a car in Tuscany and what are the drivers like????

minnesota
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6. Re: Week in Tuscany but where????

We rented a house in Strove,a very small hamlet, two streets with views of San Gimigano and Motireggioni at the horizen. We rented a car for the week. We did this on the internet before we left US.We got our car in Rome and returned it there.Driving in and out of Rome is not for the faint of heart, but Tuscany is totally different. It would be like driving in rural Canada or US.

We were four women in our fifties. Driving was no problem. Good expressways and wonderful rural roads. Get a good map. With our car we took day trips and explored the area. I would pick up a rental car in Florence and find a place to stay within one hour drive from Florence. You will have a fabulous time!!

Montreal, Quebec
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7. Re: Week in Tuscany but where????

Thank you so much. Can't wait to get there....

Tulsa, OK
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8. Re: Week in Tuscany but where????

We will be in the area for a week in Sept for our honeymoon, and are renting a car in Siena because we plan on some day trips as well. We are staying in Chianti (between Siena & Florence) at Borgo di Pietrafitta (http://www.borgopietrafitta.com/en/index.htm). The reviews on here are great, and I've had excellent communication with the owner, Luigi. They have bikes you can use for free at your leisure, as we didn't want to spend the money for a tour.

I'm very excited about this place! So best of luck in your planning :)

Here is the link to the reviews:

tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g194720-d611…

Southern Tuscany
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9. Re: Week in Tuscany but where????

Renting a car is easy tho' some people are a bit wary of finding their way out of Florence initially if they pick up there. Driving on the highways is fast but it's not dangerously so, Italians by and large drive intelligently. On the smaller roads there'll be tourist traffic still in September so they'll be slower.

London
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10. Re: Week in Tuscany but where????

Hi,

I highly suggest southern Tuscany and Val d'Orcia.

I stayed in a wonderful villa in Sarteano a couple of years ago Il Maggio rented through http://www.tuscanviews.com is perfect for couples and the village is one of the less known of the area but still very nice (the old part not the modern one) and I know that a lot of people do bycicles tours from there. Pienza and MOntepulciano are just 30 minutes away and as it is near the Umbrian border Orvieto and Città della Pieve are within 40 minutes.

Easy to get there by train as there are a lot of connections from Florence to Chiusi station (10 kms from Sarteano).

There are some lovely restaurants: Osteria da Galliano, Taverna di Merlino and Tripolitana.

Most of all the villa has a outdoor heated jacuzzi that is worth the trip.

Meggy