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Florence Tuscany

florida
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Florence Tuscany

We will be travelling in September to Florence and have 5 1/2 days (6 nights) to spend in Florence and will be spending 2 nights in Pienza. We are definitely going to Cinque Terra for one day (know its along day but are determined to see this area,) and one day taking a trip to Lucca. We also wanted to take a day trip to Volterra and San Gimignano. We thought we would visit Sienna on our way to Pienza or while we are in Pienza. We also plan on visiting Montepulciano and Montalcino while in Pienza. Any itinerary help would be appreciated. We were going to rent a car when leaving Florence, but maybe I should get the car the day before going to Pienza and visit Volterra and SG by auto. (Thoughts)?????

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Florence Tuscany

You do not want to have a rental car while you are staying in Florence. The centre of Florence is closed to visitors' cars, but there are many many posts from people who have accidentally driven into this area, or in a bus lane, and have been hit with multiple €100 fines months later.

On the other hand, I don't think you could visit Volterra and San Gigignano on a day trip from Florence by public transport.

Maybe you should re-think your plans. Perhaps stay one night in San Gimignano or Siena.

Florence
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2. Re: Florence Tuscany

I think you are planning to spend way, way to much time on the side dishes and not nearly enough time on the main course.

Believe it or not, 5 1/2 days is really very little time for Florence itself. With day trips to the Cinque Terre and to Lucca and to San Gimignano and Voterra, you really won't have any time at all to see Florence. Florence has much, much more to see and do than all of those other places combined.

On top of that, your plans call for spending a whole lot of time getting to and from places, with little or no time to see anything except what's along side the road.

I agree with Nick that you really ought to re-think your plans.

florida
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3. Re: Florence Tuscany

how far from sienna to volterra and SG.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Florence Tuscany

See www.viamichelin.com

florida
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5. Re: Florence Tuscany

What are your suggestions?

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Florence Tuscany

Maybe spend 4 nights in Florence, using one of the days for a trip to the Cinque Terre and the rest to see the sights of Florence. Then travel via Volterra to San Gimignano and spend a night there. Then 2 nights in Pienza.

Florence
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7. Re: Florence Tuscany

If it were me, I would start out by cutting down on the amount of traveling you plan on doing.

We love Pienza and, even more, the other towns in southern Tuscany - such as Chiusi and Montepulciano. If you've only got two days in the area, there is far more than enough to do, and I would not drive down to Pienza and then drive back up to Siena. You have enough driving on your plate already.

San Gimignano, unfortunately, has really become a terrible tourist trap. What we generally do now with visiting friends is drive them to Volterra and then drive past San Gimignano, so they can see the towers from a nearby hill, which is really the best way to see it, and then back to the superstrada or the Chiantigiana. In short, I would cut out San Gimignano. While we love Volterra, it is a bit of a hike to get there. Siena is one of the greatest gems in Europe. Siena has far, far more than enough that is really spectacular to fill several days. It is possible to see a bit of Siena and a bit of Volterra on a day trip from Florence, but you really are giving both towns less time than they deserve.

The Cinque Terre have been way oversold by Rick Steves, et al. It used to be a backwater of the Ligurian coast suitable, more or less exclusively, for visiting by yacht. Now the Cinque Terre have been turned into a rather seedy tourist trap. I would simply leave out a long, exhausting day trip to see something not all that great. If you really cannot live without going to the sea, there really are much more interesting and beautiful towns not far away. If it were me, I would go to Carrara, which is not exactly on the sea, but close to it. If you absolutely, positively have to go to the sea, I would go to Santa Margherita Ligure and/or Portofino, or Rapallo. But again, you are talking about a really, really long day trip.

In short, I would spend four full days in Florence. I would make one day trip from Florence to Siena, and, possibly to Volterra.- after exploring Siena a bit and deciding, only then, if you want to leave it and spend some time in a really small village (with a spectacular archeological museum and a stupendous castle now turned into Italy's maximum security prison). I would spend two days in and around Pienza, Chiusi, Montepulciano, Montalcino, etc.

Spend less time traveling and more time seeing stuff.

florida
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8. Re: Florence Tuscany

Thank you all I'll have to re-think our schedule and do some more research on whether we go to Volterra and SG. What are your thoughts of doing a tour of Chianti Region instead of gooing to Volterra and SG?

Thanks,

Florence
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9. Re: Florence Tuscany

If it were me, I would spend four days in Florence, then take a leisurely day to meander down the Chiantigiana from Florence to Siena. Spend a night and most of a day in Siena, then take a leisurely drive down to Pienza, and then spend your two days in Southern Tuscany. You will see a whole lot more and wear yourself out a whole lot less.

Montepulciano, Italy
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10. Re: Florence Tuscany

And I would do exactly the same.