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First Trip to Toscana

Toronto, Canada
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First Trip to Toscana

We are planning our first trip to Tuscany this summer. We will be driving there from Nice, France as part of a larger summer vacation. So here are the initial questions.

1. How long is a good first visit, assuming we want to see the country side, drink some good Chianti, and visit Florence as well?

2. Having a car, what would be a good base (or two) we love the B and B idea.

3. Do not want to drive into the city centre of Florence, so any suggestions re this would be appreciated.

I am sure that there will be more question as we begin to plan this vacation.

Florence, Italy
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1. Re: First Trip to Toscana

I think 5 -7 days is a good number for Florence. There are lots of agriturismos surronding Florence. Grieve is a nice base - right at the mouth of Chianti and there is bus service to Florence nearby (1/2 by bus) and parking isn't the issue it is in the center. So you could leave the car parked and just take a bus in.

Los Angeles...
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for Venice, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur
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2. Re: First Trip to Toscana

Do you want to base in Florence or base somewhere in the countryside and do a day trip into Florence? If you have never been, then Florence is good for more than a day trip, IMO. I agree with bliss that a week for this general endeavor would be good.

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: First Trip to Toscana

more interested in countryside than the city. I am sure that a one day whirlwind of the city would be fine. would rather base in a small town, or countryside and drive to Florence (where to park?) and see wineries ETC

Olympia, Washington
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4. Re: First Trip to Toscana

This isn't Tuscany, but the Umbrian/Tuscan border in a small village near the Chiusi train station where you can get the train for a day trip into Florence, meanwhile have central Umbria and Tuscany nearby for day trips to Siena, Cortona, Perugia, Assisi, Orvieto, etc. Check www.anticavetreria.net as a base. Colleen is from Seattle and has a very info rich website. We have booked this September and July of 2012 there. Hope this helps.

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: First Trip to Toscana

I would base in Florence if you have never been to Florence -- it is not a town for one day 'whirlwind' visits unless your only goal is to see the town -- the glory of Florence is its Renaissance art treasures and those are viewed in the many churches and museums. I cannot imagine spending less than 4 nights, 3 full days in Florence if you have any interest in Florence.

There are hotels with parking outside the ZTL e.g. Villa Carlota and other hotels on that road that leads from Porta Romana up to Piazzale Michelangelo -- it is a long but manageable stroll into town on via Romana and across the Ponte Vecchio from there -- or one can take a bus from Porta Romana to the center -- and up to Piazzale Michelangelo and down that road as well.

If you decide to stay outside Florence and day trip in, there is public parking at Porta Romana -- no guarantee it won't be full of course but we have had luck there.

Another good base is Siena in one of the hotels with parking like Palazzo Ravizza or Hotel Athena - both inside the wall and an easy stroll to the Campo but a good base for also driving to other Tuscan cities like Pienza, Montepulciano etc. Florence is an easy bus trip from Siena if you want to just spend the one day there.

The good thing about basing in a town is that you have restaurants and pleasant evening life.

We are spending a couple of weeks in Tuscany next fall and although we adore the beauties of the countryside decided against a villa in the country. By staying in a place with a view over the countryside but on the edge of a small town, we have the benefits of both.

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
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for Tuscany
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6. Re: First Trip to Toscana

If you want to stay in the countryside and just have a day trip to Florence, then you do that. In fact, my first ever holiday in Tuscany was just the same. Clearly, you just scratch the surface of a city in a day, but, in my case, it was enough of a taster to fall in love with the city and I've since been back many times. The countryside is stunning and there is absolutely nothing wrong with weighting your holiday to see more of that, if that is what appeals to you.

You mention drinking Chianti, so basing yourself in the chianti region makes sense. It is also a good base in terms of not being too far from Florence, and Siena come to that. There are some lovely towns and villages in Chianti Greve, Castellina, Panzano, Radda and Giaole being some of the most popular.

It is best to use public transport for your trip to Florence, there are some local buses or you can take the train from Figline or Poggibonsi.

One thing you must do, if you plan to drive in Italy, is read up on the limited traffic zones and parking regulations, as many unwitting tourists end up receiving nasty fines in the post. The following article gives you all the information you will need:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187893-c140065/Tusca…

As for how long to stay for a first visit, I can guarantee you won't want to leave, so at least a week and ideally two would be my suggestion.

Once you have selected your b & b come back to us and we can help you with transport to Florence and other places to visit near your base.

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: First Trip to Toscana

Thanks to everyone so far. On a very cold canadian winter day i have begun to think seriously about this.

Still open to any suggestions

Peter

8. Re: First Trip to Toscana

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