My parents and I are taking a last minute trip to Rome next week and are staying for 4 days, 4 nights. I haven't booked the hotel yet, but I'm thinking it would be nice to spend two days in Rome, then maybe spend a day and half in Tuscany before heading back to Rome for our flight out. Does anyone have ideas how to go about planning a trip to Tuscany and any suggestions on what to do there? If Tuscany doesn't work out, I'm thinking a day trip close to Rome would be okay, too - any ideas? I'm sorry for sounding so clueless, but this is truly last minute and my parents who aren't arriving from the States till tomorrow have my Italy book!
Are you sure you even want to leave Rome? There is A TON to see, and 4 days will give you just enough time. I was there for 4 days, and I still missed the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, and Nero's golden palace. You should definitely think about spending all 4 days in Rome and really getting to know the city.
Hi Ellie~ I've been to Rome twice already so this trip is really for my parents. I agree with you that Rome can easily take up our whole stay, but this is their first time to Europe(!!!) and I'd like to give them the option of seeing someplace new. Thanks for your message; if you have any suggestions, please let me know!
I have a similar question. I've budgeted 3 days for Florence and Tuscany. Should I spend all 3 in florence or take a day trip out to one of the Tuscany's small towns? If so, which one? There's so many to choose from...Siena, San Gimigiano, Lucca, etc. etc.
I'm looking for the quintissential tuscan hilltown, and if possible, the least overrun by tourists!
2 questions, 2 replies!
Rome/outside rome:if you want to see Tuscany, you can reach the south of this region in less than 2 hours driving from rome.You can visit Valdorcia, one of the famous touristic areas, of course you're going to find other tourists, but the hills and the towns really worth a visit. You need a car, because among the towns there are not frequent connections.
Your itinerary could be: taking the motorway at Rome north, exit at Chiusi/Chianciano Terme, proceed to Montepulciano (cut Chianciano because is not so nice) and visit: Montepulciano, Pienza, Monticchiello, San Quirico, Bagno Vignoni, Montalcino and S. Antimo Abbey. (there are other little towns if you take diversion from the main street, but you can't visit all in 1 day..so I suggest you the nicest).You can come back to Rome taking Cassia Road, for sure longer (because is not a motorway) but a little bit pictoresque.
From Chiusi to Montalcino, considering the diversion to Monticchiello and Bagno Vignoni (that really worth a visit)it would be around 100 kms.
In the immediate Rome surroundings worth a visit Tivoli, with its great ancient roman house and a recent restored "Villa" of a pope, surrounded by a park. In that case maybe you can get there by bus or by train, but to be honest I've no idea about the distances between bus/train stops and monuments.
2 question: Florence/outside florence: I'm sorry to tell you that in this period every town you've mentioned is crowded of tourists..I live in Siena. Anyway, Siena, Pisa are 1 hour far from florence (siena by bus, which go faster than train, Pisa by train), for sure they both worth a visit. San gimignano is also very crowded of people, I'm not sure you can reach by train, but maybe by train +bus.
Fiesole and Certaldo are very nice, and close to Florence.(you can reach certaldo by train, fiesole maybe by train or bus).
The quintessiental of Tuscany is not known by tourists...but you can find your quintessential of Tuscany renting a car and driving with a map along provincial roads, crossing little towns....Near florence you've Chianti area, or Mugello area. You can start from there.
amanecer- thanks for the suggestion! renting a car and driving around south Tuscany sounds fabulous! but.... what is driving in italy like? i remember the drivers being somewhat... carefree and unobservant of traffic signals. should it be pretty manageable for an american driver? and do you, or anyone else, have suggestions as to an area or hotel we should stay in? instead of hotels, are there nicer options in the countryside?
wow amancer, thanks for the comprehensive replies. I guess what I *really* want to get is if you had to take ONE daytrip from Florence, where would you go? What is a MUST SEE?
car driving: is absolutely not a problem if you drive outside the cities. Country roads are quiet.
if you are used to automatic gear be aware that we use the other kind of gear (I have a clue about the name in english..) and I'm not sure you can find different types of car for renting. That could be the only problem.
an itinerary in Chianti, among little towns, castles and old churches:
Greve in chianti; in its surroundings some castles of Uzzano, Verrazzano, Vicchiomaggio e Lamole, and the medieval church of Panzano (S. Leolino), which dates from X century.
Castellina in Chianti
Radda in Chianti and Volpaia Castle
Gaiole in chianti, and its surroundings: castles of Vertine, Brolio (beautiful view from there), Meleto and Barbischio
Colle Val d'Elsa (I've some pictures on my gallery of this town)[this town is no longer in Chianti but in Elsa valley)
THIS ITINERARY IS NOT A "MUST SEE", obviously the "must see" for a tourist are San Gimignano, Siena ad so on. So that, if you want to do the usual touristic route, go to Siena, Pisa, San gimignano and so on. If you want to visit the less known Tuscany, the itinerary I suggested you is a good chance.
Accommodations: no particular suggestions, but you can search something in the following web sites:
Entire Siena Province
(official web site of Senese Tourist office)
about agriturism, wine trails.. in Tuscany; the web site has a map that lists many towns and all the Provinces in which the region is divided.
to end with the official web site of Tuscanian tourist office
I mean, the chianti itinerary is one the itinerary I would go. But I'm Tuscanian, and I know my region pretty well..
My point of view could be different from yours..
Will your "tuscanian" itinery be hard to do using public transportation? I don't think I'll be renting a car, but you never know!