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Driving Tuscany

Australia
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126 posts
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Driving Tuscany

My wife and I are planning an Apri/May trip to Italy. As part of this, we would like to pick up a car in Florence and spend between one and two weeks on a leisurely drive through Tuscany stopping where we liked and when we liked. The problem: some of the places we would want to stay in eg Siena don't allow cars, at least in the city centre.

Would appreciate thoughts on this. Thanks

Manchester, United...
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1. Re: Driving Tuscany

First you need to give us an idea of what accommodation budget you have per week and the services you require?

Best Regards

Dr L

Saint Marys, Ohio
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2. Re: Driving Tuscany

If you stay in Siena some of the hotels have free parking inside the walls. Palazzo Ravizza is one of them. There are also parking garages just inside the walls in certain areas. Day trippers and some who stay overnight park in those.

italybound@verizon.net

Umbria, Italy
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for Sunshine Coast, Umbria
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3. Re: Driving Tuscany

Yes we do need to know where in and out as i find a car is a hindrance unless the itinerary is well mapped.

What are your thoughts or is it get to a village and base yourself for the whole period.

Australia
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4. Re: Driving Tuscany

Sorry. Should have been clearer. The plan we are considering is to stay several nights in each of two or three towns like Lucca, San Gimignano, Siena, Montepulciano. We would also stay in a smaller town if we liked one but the car should not be a problem there. We would like not to pre-book accommodation more than a day or so ahead if possible to give us more flexibility. We are budgeting on finding good quality B&B's for around 100 euro per night. Our real worry is the car - would it restrict us too much. But at the same time we think we need a car to get the full benefit from the type of trip we're contemplating.

Thanks

Tennessee
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for Chattanooga, Blowing Rock, North Carolina Mountains
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5. Re: Driving Tuscany

You do need a car to best travel Tuscany and possibly discover some of Umbria. You are so close. I would think you would be best in the countryside, outside the hilltowns and go visit each day. It is more expensive to stay within the hilltowns and parking adds to your cost. There are wonderful inns found in the hills around Tuscany.

Be aware that your time of travel is a very popular and busy season. You may find yourselves spending much time trying to secure a place a stay, if not prearranged.

Umbria, Italy
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for Sunshine Coast, Umbria
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6. Re: Driving Tuscany

Do heed the warning re accommodation as in the past I have wasted/worried about these issues on arrival......(had the odd small blue with Missas Mausgras)....whilst settling for sometime lesser than best places.

Australia
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7. Re: Driving Tuscany

Thanks for your input. Reading through the posts here and and in other threads in the Tuscany forum, the concensus of opinion leans towards staying outside but close to the towns we want to visit. This option might be a bit harder to research as comments, reviews etc on TA are more focussed on the better known places. I'm also a little concerned by the suggestion that we could encounter problems with accommodation if we don't book too far ahead. I had thought April/May would be not so busy.

Of course any comments/suggestions would be gratefully received

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Driving Tuscany

It is possible to get to a town, seek out the Tourist Centre and ask about accommodation, but you may then spend an afternoon checking these out. It does rather chew up the holiday time.

You need to balance "free and easy" vs "I have somewhere to sleep tonight". In the long run we always opt for number 2.

We also tend to rent for a longer period than 2 days and make forays into the countryside each day, minus the headache of bags and the need to find somewhere to stay that night.

I agree with the car. You don't want it in cities such as Florence but you do need it to drive to several locations in one day. Eg, out of Montepulciano last trip we spent one day going to San Antimo abbey, then to Montalcino for lunch, then to Santa Anna convent, then back to town for a siesta followed by a fantastic dinner in town. However, this does mean you have to have done your homework and planning first.

Greve in Chianti...
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9. Re: Driving Tuscany

I agree with Lynnb48 - "free and easy" looks great on paper but is not really practical, especially during the spring when things get busy.

I also agree with her that stopping for more than 2 days makes sense. If you choose a centrally located b&b or agriturismo in the countryside, you can make lots of really great road trips to the various spots that interest you without having to waste time packing up, checking out, traveling, finding your next place, checking in...

Texas
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10. Re: Driving Tuscany

I found a good base not far from Volterra and I was able to do daytrips to each of these towns without any problems at all. I would suggest staying put in one place, I did and it worked out well.