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Help with Tuscany Itinerary

Mechanicsville, MD
Level Contributor
194 posts
18 reviews
Help with Tuscany Itinerary

Thanks to everyone who contributes to the questions on TA forums. And I'm sorry to probably ask the same question over again, but I really need some feedback. (And thanks for the responses when I posted last month.) FYI we are a 50 year old couple in pretty good shape so able to walk a lot. We like history, architecture, churches, etc. but do not really care for art museums.

Visiting the first two weeks in October, really 12 days total, includes the day we arrive (which I know is hard from jet lag), but doesn't include the day we fly out. So 12 days and 12 nights. We want to fly in and out of Rome so we can go non-stop.

Originally I was thinking 7 days in a hilltop town (and doing the wagon wheel strategy) and 5 days in Rome. But after reading some guidebooks, posts on this forum, and talking to friends, I'm rethinking our plan. Here's my idea:

Flying into Rome and renting a car at the airport. Driving to Montepulciano (stopping in Orvieto on the way.) 3 nights in Montepulciano to see neighboring towns - so really only 2 days.

Drive to Siena and spend 2 or 3 nights (at a hotel that has parking - perhaps Palazzo Ravizza.) Maybe a day trip to San G or Volterra, but would be happy spending both days in Siena if enough to see.

Drive to Florence and drop off the rental car. Spend 2 or 3 nights in Florence.

Take the train to Rome and spend 4 nights in Rome. (Which would really be 3 1/2 days.)

I'm a bit torn about how many days to stay in each area (particulary Siena and Florcence.) I want to limit the time we're checking in and out of hotels, but would also like to sample the evenings in different areas as well. I know our plans really depend on what we like, but appreciate any feedback!

Edited: 5:03 pm, June 14, 2012
Muscatine, Iowa
Level Contributor
46 posts
28 reviews
1. Re: Help with Tuscany Itinerary

I like you overall plan, but why don't you just fly into Rome and out of Florence or Pisa? We are doing this in a few weeks and it really did not cost much more. Then it eliminates the travel to and fro... You could then do:

Rome: Day 1-4

Orvieto/Montepulciano: Day 5-6

Sienna: Day 7-8

Florence: Day 9-12

Mechanicsville, MD
Level Contributor
194 posts
18 reviews
2. Re: Help with Tuscany Itinerary

I actually did think about flying back from Florence, we can get a flight with only a two-hour layover. My DH really doesn't like to change planes because of all the "what ifs," but I can probably convince him. Thanks for the nudge in that direction.

Kansas
Level Contributor
3,870 posts
24 reviews
3. Re: Help with Tuscany Itinerary

Sue,

If you don't know how jetlag affacts you don't plan a long drive you have to make.

Possible alternatives:

Train to Chiusi and rent a car there to drive to Montepulciano.

Train to Orvieto and overnight there. Rent car in the morning to continue your trip.

ohio
Level Contributor
687 posts
8 reviews
4. Re: Help with Tuscany Itinerary

Maybe in Siena you could go to Volterra and San G the first day then drop the car off. Then the second day spend the whole day in Siena. The bus ride to Florence isn't bad. Bus and train station in Florence are at the same location. In Florence I highly recommend La Casa Del Garbo. Siena is our favorite. Enjoy a couple of evening strolls and a hot chocolate at Zest.

I think your plan is good, have a great time

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
11,697 posts
8 reviews
5. Re: Help with Tuscany Itinerary

Our plan last October was to train from Rome to Chiusi and pick up the car in Chiusi. This trip Rome was so crowded and hot, that we stayed by the Termini and just picked up the car there. We were staying in Montepulciano. We did leave the car near the Termini in Chiusi and trained for a day trip to Florence. It sure was an easy way to go! I second the suggestion!

Mason City, Iowa
Level Contributor
2,666 posts
153 reviews
6. Re: Help with Tuscany Itinerary

We just flew into Florence, rented a car and are staying nine days based out of San Gimignano. We'll go into Rome and stay four days, dropping our car off in FCO. We love basing out of SG and seeing the Tuscan sites. It's the small towns we enjoy.

Mechanicsville, MD
Level Contributor
194 posts
18 reviews
7. Re: Help with Tuscany Itinerary

Thanks for the replies. After not too much debate :) we agreed to fly to Rome, drive and stay the first night in Orvieto (we are actually pretty good with jet lag,) then 2 nights in Montepulciano, 2 nights in Sienna, dropping the car rental at Florence airport (mmm not sure about this part) and 3 nights in Florence. Take the train to Rome and stay for 4 nights. We figured we would trade off the train time vs a flight from Florence with a layover. Still stuck on flying nonstop. Anyway, can't wait for beautiful Italy! And thanks again for sharing your thoughts. I so love planning vacations! Sue

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
1,166 posts
48 reviews
8. Re: Help with Tuscany Itinerary

I think that sounds like a good itinerary Sue! Orvieto is beautiful and will be quite a treat after your long flight/drive out. You'll get there and at some point pretty early on, I'm guessing you'll say "yes! this is worth it!! this is why we traveled!"

We are pretty much as you describe yourselves...We just returned from a 2 week road trip around Veneto/Le Marche/Tuscany and enjoyed it immensely. Liking wine too much, we ended up getting a mixed case of amazing wines from Montalcino & Montepulciano, and having it shipped back home ("free" shipping with a case!).

You will have an amazing time! -Karl

Edited: 11:30 pm, June 19, 2012
Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
Level Contributor
8,670 posts
68 reviews
9. Re: Help with Tuscany Itinerary

The situation with dropping rental cars at Florence airport is all resolved now.

Edited: 3:14 am, June 20, 2012
Mason City, Iowa
Level Contributor
2,666 posts
153 reviews
10. Re: Help with Tuscany Itinerary

The Florence airport is small and easy to navigate. We're currently doing the reverse...piked the car up in Florence and will drop it off at FCO. note that the car rental in Florence is off site. The shuttle runs every ten-fifteen minutes.

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