Advice needed on basing in Umbria or Tuscany
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Nov 20, 2012 12:50 AM Last Post By: neckervd
Nov 19, 2012 7:49 AM
Should we book a third night in Florence and do a day trip or two into Tuscany (thinking Lucca and maybe Siena or Volterra) and stay 4 nights in Umbria to explore that area or would it be better to stay 5 nights in countryside and day trip from there?
We plan on renting a car for Umbria. We are both adventurous and love food, local artisans and crafts, love to shop and will probably be a little less interested in looking at every church or historical site or museums once we leave Florence.
There are so many wonderful sounding places to visit and I want to not try to do too much so we can really soak up the atmosphere. Any advice on this is greatly appreciated!
Nov 19, 2012 8:40 AM
1You need al least 2 FULL days for a somewhat decent visit of Florence. As you will hardly arrive at your hotel before 10am, you need to book 3 nights, unless you plan to leave Florence on day 3 in late afternoon.
It's perfectly possible to visit Lucca, Pisa and Siena in day trips from the Tuscan capital. Train and bus connections to these places are excellent.
You may also rent a car at Florence and drive to Lucca - Pisa - Volterra - Siena - Monte Oliveto Maggiore - Buonconvento - San Quirico - Pienza - Montepulciano - Chiusi - Orvieto - Todi - Assisi - Perugia .....
Nov 19, 2012 9:21 AM
2Agree with above - 7 days not really enough!! Are you coming all this way from US just for a week and how are you arriving / departing Tuscany / Umbria - plane? train ? which airport? Have you looked at agriturismo accommodation? - might give you a bit more of a feel for soaking up atmosphere if you don't want to stay in a town or city.
When touring with a car, remember to look for accommodation with parking otherwise it might be both difficult to find and expensive. Just remember that towns were built in the days when luxury transport was a donkey, and the streets were built on that scale.
Nov 19, 2012 10:55 AM
3Thanks for replies so far. We are flying into Rome and staying 3 nights there and then going to take train to Florence for 3 nights (I will update reservation to add 3rd night) and then we have 4 nights undecided before we go to Venice for last 4 nights. We only thought to rent a car for the time outside Florence and before we get to Venice.
Mike9....definitely looking at Agriturismo and thought to stay in quieter area to mix it up a bit. Any additional advice is greatly appreciated!
Nov 19, 2012 1:42 PM
4So if your're starting in Rome, why are you going to Florence and then coming back to Umbria. Your train from Rome to Florence passes through Umbria (admittedly the western extremity of Umbria ). You might be better taking a local train to Orvieto or Chiusi, for exmaple and taking your spare 3 or 4 days to wander through the country up to, say, Arezzo or Siena - depending how far north you get - and catching another local train into Florence for your break there, then go direct by train to Venice. Incidentally, I hope you've got an open jaw ticket to enable you to fly home direct from Venice, and not retrace your steps back to Rome
Nov 19, 2012 1:46 PM
Nov 19, 2012 4:39 PM
6We are flying open jaw and in retrospect we probably should have done Umbria and then Florence but our hotel in Florence is booked and we cannot change it. We weren't sure where to stay in between and in truth I don't mind driving for an hour or two daily as long as its not thru a big city. I have driven thru NYC during a weekday so I am pretty sure I can handle the countryside in Italy but I know we don't need a car in the big towns or cities.
That said..we are looking at an agriturismo outside Assisi and we have looked at places near Arezzo too and other locations all over in Umbria and Tuscany. It really seems to be almost too many choices to decide as a first-timer. So..what towns would you visit? We don't need to see the same places everyone goes to and are pretty adventurous overall and wouldn't mind doing something different.
Nov 20, 2012 12:36 AM
7As you say..too many choices.
You can't go everywhere interesting in that area,even in a year of travel.
I'd just choose an agroturismo that sounds nice..there will be plenty to see within an hours drive of anywhere in Umbria or Tuscany.
On the specific two you mention..personally I prefer Arezzo to Assisi...and there are fewer tourists there too.
Nov 20, 2012 12:50 AM
8"So..what towns would you visit?"
I listed some charming, resp. interesting places in post #1. Make a choice (google)!
Orvieto is a nice town in Umbria too (200 kms from Florence and 120kms from Rome).
But first of all, adapt your hotel reservation to the Italian geography:
it doesn't make any sense to go by train from Rome to Florence (300 kms, 43 EUR/pax) in order to backtrack immediately 200 kms up to the Assisi area.
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