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Seven days in southern Tuscany - Will this work?

Los Angeles...
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Seven days in southern Tuscany - Will this work?

For our honeymoon, my new bride and I are flying into Rome and staying a week at Il Pelicano in the Monte Argentario area during the first week in October. We've both travelled to other parts of Europe, but this is our first trip to Italy. We're renting a car at the Rome airport and would like to mix a few relaxing days at the resort and two or three day trips.

One idea is to drive to Pitigliano, Sorano, and Sovana for the day.

We could also take a morning train from Ortobello Scalo to Sienna via Grosseto and walk around Siena for the day, have dinner, and return to Orbetello via train.

And we might take an early train to Florence (apparently via Pisa) for the day with the same plan---sightseeing, dinner, and return by train. I have considered a big train loop, going from Orbetello to Rome to then taking the fast train to Florence, then returning to Orbetello via Pisa. We know this would be a long day, getting back to the hotel in the wee hours of the morning.

Can we see Pitigliano, Sorano, and Sovana in a day? Orbetello to Sienna appears to be about two hours each way, so this one is a no brainer. Are nine hours in Florence worth seven hours of train travel? We're thinking the fast train might be fun and since neither of us have been to Italy before, we should see something of Florence.

This plan would give us three busy days (one by car) and four lazy days at the hotel. The restaurants at Il Pelicano are proably very expensive, but we may do one nice meal there. On the other lazy days we could drive into Porto Ercole or Orbetello for a long lunch and have some snacks and a nice bottle of wine back at the hotel for dinner.

If we decide on this plan, can I buy all the train tickets at the Orbetello Scalo station?

Suggestions and advice are greatly appreciated.

Montepulciano, Italy
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1. Re: Seven days in southern Tuscany - Will this work?

What a fabulous place for a honeymoon. Yes, you can easily see Pitigliano, Sorano, and Sovana in one day; I do often from here and you'll be nearer. Try (if you can) to squeeze in Saturnia too. Re Siena, why not drive for it's ever so easy on an excellent road, the route is very beautiful plus parking is not a problem when you arrive. It gives you far more freedom than being tied to train timetables and will probably be cheaper too. Re Florence by train, that's a long day out. You couldn't manage an overnight tagged on the end before returning to Rome?

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2. Re: Seven days in southern Tuscany - Will this work?

lastraniera - Thanks for the suggestions. My thinking on the train to Siena is that the times en route are about the same (2 hrs?) and I might want to try a couple of nice wines.

Your suggestion about Florence is one we'll consider. Our return flight is late morning, so this might just be possible. My finance booked the Il Pelicano and I'm not sure if we can shorten our stay there by one night.

Are you familiar with Il Pelicano?

Thanks again for the input. This website is a wealth of knowledge!

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3. Re: Seven days in southern Tuscany - Will this work?

Its doable to see Pitigliano, Sorano, and Sovana in one day. I also agree - hire a car & drive - it gives you so much more freedom than sitting around waiting for a train.

Cars are used a pest in the bigger cities like Rome, Florence , Milan etc.etc.

capital district ny
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4. Re: Seven days in southern Tuscany - Will this work?

We were in that area in July, although we stayed at a lovely agriturismo. We especially loved the little fortress town of Capalbio. Even stayed for dinner.

Los Angeles...
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5. Re: Seven days in southern Tuscany - Will this work?

lastraniera - We're locked into a 3-day package attached to a 4-day package at an excellent price, so we'll have to save Florence for next time. I have a feeling this may be an annual (anniversary?) trip.

Bellinda - We will surely have lunch in Capalbio. Thanks for the suggestion!

Montepulciano, Italy
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6. Re: Seven days in southern Tuscany - Will this work?

Forget Florence, leave that for another time but do try to visit the other smaller towns for they're not far and very charming. I was down in Sorano earlier this week buying something from a guy who'd sourced some art for us and was reminded once again of what a gloriously unspoilt part of Tuscany this is; it's like stepping back in time 40+ years. I've only driven by Il Pelicano several times, haven't yet stayed. Now what you shouldn't try and do when on Argentario is circumnavigate the island via what looks like a perfectly passable road - at least on a map. It starts quite close to your hotel but is nothing of the sort. It's a hellishly bad beaten up, boulder-strewn track that I got stuck on alone in a Fiat 500 back in the spring and it was terrifying. If you want to go over to Porto Santo Stefano, go back round the island anti-clockwise, don't try and go the scenic route. (Unless you have a Hummer!)

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7. Re: Seven days in southern Tuscany - Will this work?

lastraniera - Great advice, especially about the circumnavigation. It was on my list of short trips but it sound like it might have been a very long one. Thanks!

Upper Maremma...
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8. Re: Seven days in southern Tuscany - Will this work?

Forget about trains. Drive to Grosseto and go by bus to Siena. The trainline is painful. you might want to go to Isola del Giglio for the day, it's lovely. And the Golfo di Baratti and Populonia are also very beautiful. Massa Marittima is another lovely place.

Montepulciano, Italy
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9. Re: Seven days in southern Tuscany - Will this work?

But Siena's an easy and very beautiful drive and parking's no problem. It's actually such a beautiful drive (especially the first 40 mins out of Siena) that I took someone over that way recently just for the scenery, we weren't going any place.

Edited: 11 September 2011, 17:27
Upper Maremma...
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10. Re: Seven days in southern Tuscany - Will this work?

Of course, I mentioned the bus just because I thought they might not want to drive, as an alternative to the train. It's a secondary line veeeeeeeery slow.

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