8 days for Tuscany and Umbria
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Sep 26, 2012 1:34 AM Last Post By: flapic
Sep 21, 2012 5:29 PM
To narrow it down a bit, I will be travelling exclusively by train or bus, don't want to spend a vast amount of time waiting around for connecting buses during my short trip, and will only be spending 40 euros or less per night for single accomodations. So no exclusive or expensive B&B's. I'll need to go by rail back to Rome at the end.
Sep 21, 2012 9:09 PM
1You're going to spend one more day in your "must see" destination than in the places you don't have to see?
Offhand, I can think of 4 truly great museums in Florence, and two other really good ones. Plus churches, a tower, a baptistry, public spaces.
On my first visit to Florence, I spent 7 days and was never bored. I've been back a few times and still haven't been bored.
Why not play it by ear. You don't specify any other particular destinations--just types of places. Go to Florence, see how long you like it and move on when you're ready.
40 euros or less per night for single accomodations
If you mean a private, ensuite room, I doubt 40 euro will be enough anywhere in Florence.
Sep 22, 2012 12:39 AM
2Agree with Craig in #1
Florence will 'take'2 days (even one) if you just want to walk through it. If you are interested in the Renaissance and art in general you can easily spend 5 days-a week just in the museums there.
If you are not into museums at all...then some nice places around Florence could include Siena,Lucca,Pisa (the most popular,if only for the tower),San Gimignano,Arezzo.The smaller towns of Chianti are beautiful but not so easy by public transport.
I think there is more than enough in Tuscany for a week,but if you want to go down to Perugia,Assisi etc. in Umbria you could stay there for a few days as well.
Sep 22, 2012 12:46 AM
3On the accommodation....are you looking for a room in a hostel? A B&B? Or a hotel?
There are a couple of cheaper hotels in the centre of Florence that have a single room for about 40-45 euros a night...one is Hotel Nella.Shared bathroom though...I doubt you will get a private room with bathroom that low.
Sep 22, 2012 1:19 AM
4Quoting Luca above. I often recommend a cute little B&B in the center of Florence, but you won't stay there for less than €70 per night. And 8 days are not really that much. You might do as following:
1st Base in Florence:
- 2 days to see Florence (more to see museums such as Uffizi or Accademia);
- 1 daytrip to Lucca and Pisa;
- 1 daytrip to Siena;
2nd base in Perugia:
- 1 day in Perugia;
- 1 day in Assisi;
- 1 day in another town in Umbria such as Norcia, Todi, Spoleto, Foligno, Orvieto, Castiglione (Trasimeno Lake), ...
And you're already seeing a lot for few days.
Sep 22, 2012 1:49 AM
5As you're using buses and trains, you have a dilemma about which way you go south of Florence.
Direct (stopping) trains to Rome run via Arezzo, Chiusi (regular bus to Montepulciano) and Orvieto. There is a train from Siena to Chiusi which (in general) connects with southbound trains towards Rome - or you can go direct by SENA bus from Siena to Rome (and while we are talking about Siena, just to mention the direct hourly bus from Florence which arrives in Siena by the city walls - the train station is a couple of km away)
Alternatively there are direct trains from Florence via Arezzo to Perugia, most of which go onto Assisi, and Foligno. There are also trains from Perugia and Assisi to Foligno, Spoleto, and then down to Rome via Terni (a modern industrial city- no need to go there!).
In view of your short time in this area, you really need to decide whether you are following a direct north- south route (possibly incorporating Siena) or go round through Perugia, Assisi and Spoleto. It would not make sense to try and do both. Train details on trenitalia.
Sep 23, 2012 6:33 PM
6Thanks to all for the comments. Now I've halfway developed a 9 day plan starting from Rome:
Siena 1 night
Florence 4 nights w/ possibly a day trip to Lucca, or not
plus 4 more nights to visit Assisi, Spoleto, and possibly Todi.
Then back to Rome from Spoleto or Todi. But I'm not sure about the transport between these places in Umbria. Can anyone tell me is it possible to go from Spoleto to Todi by bus? Sorry #4, I don't think I want to spend my nights for Umbria in Perugia; I'd rather experience smaller towns during that part. So, can I get transport w/out being based in Perugia?
And for #3, I've just booked a shared bath room in Florence (close to Campo Marte rail station) on the airbnb website for less than 30 euros per night. They have pictures, so you can see if the rooms are worth it. So there are quality low price options available.
Sep 24, 2012 12:52 AM
Sep 24, 2012 1:37 AM
8The advantage of staying in Perugia is that it's the main town of Umbria and better connected to other places. And still it's a relatively small town, nothing like Rome or Florence! You could even base in Foligno, which is pretty central and a trains hub.
About Lucca, you should go. Best Tuscan city IMHO.
Sep 24, 2012 10:26 AM
9In Assisi, you can walk through forest to St. Francis's hermitage, nice country walk for a morning. Another lovely place is the church of San Damiano convent, but it's just below the town (the hostel is also outside the town walls), Otherwise, Assisi, like most towns in Tuscany/Umbria, is bypassed by highways and it's actually fairly hard to get into real countryside without a car.
Sep 24, 2012 12:34 PM
10Todi is a really difficult place to get to and from - even the rail station is 15 minutes away by bus. For travel in Umbria, use the Umbriamobilita web page, but the only way to get from Spoleto to Todi is by train changing either (southbound) via Terni or (northbound) via Perugia. The problem is lots of (very scenic) hills and not a lot of people, so the transport services reflect this.
Sep 25, 2012 1:16 AM
11Yes, that's a great price for Florence--well done.
However, it looks like you're quite a ways outside of the center, where all the good stuff is. Even this might be a blessing in terms of restaurant prices and being in a "real" neighborhood, if that's what it is (and not university student-land--I don't know the neighborhood, so I'm guessing).
Assuming you'll be walking your legs off once you get to the center, you might want to find public transportation to get you there.
Reminds me of when I was making arrangements for my first visit to Florence. I had only a map of the center to go by. The place I settled on had an address on Lungarno Amerigo Vespucci. On my map, this street went off the edge. But all the other lungarnos were only a block or so long before changing names, so I figured, what the heck. Of course, Lungarno Vespucci was the exception, stretching a good kilometer or so, and I was at the far end. This too, ended up being a blessing in disguise, with long walks along the river, past both the then, post 9/11 heavily guarded American Consulate and the seemingly totally unguarded Anti-Mafia headquarters. And good cheap food in the neighborhood restaurants with menus only in Italian--imagine my surprise at my first pepperoni pizza.
Still, the less often you pack, move, and unpack, the happier I think you'll be. If you day-trip, I hope you won't be deducting it from your days in Florence.
FInally, there's never a queue at either of my favorite museums in Florence: the Bargello (some early Michelangelo statues and Donatello's David) and the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo (another Michelangelo and Donatello's haunting Mary Magdelene)--maybe that's why they're my favorites--quality face time with great art without being elbowed. Besides, I think you need to see Donatello's David to fully appreciate Michelangelo's David, which was arguably a belated response to Donatello's, of which M was certainly aware.
Sep 25, 2012 5:09 PM
12There has been some really good advice given here, and I want to thank especially
flapic: For the itinerary suggestions on the towns in Umbria I hadn't thought of
mike9: Your suggestion for the SENA bus was really helpful. That's how I'll try to go from Rome to Siena.
#11: these suggestions for museums and restaurants in Florence look to be very helpful.
Now I'm thinking for Umbria, I'll just stick to places easily accesible along the rail line that goes from Perugia to Terni. There seem to be a lot of options that way.
Sep 26, 2012 1:34 AM
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