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Base for Tuscany

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Cairns, Australia
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Base for Tuscany

Would Lucca or Montecatini be the best base for Tuscany.

Brussels, Belgium
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1. Re: Base for Tuscany

Travelling by car or public transport? And do you know exactly where you want to go to?

Pending clarification, see tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g194830-r275… and tripadvisor.ca/ShowTopic-g187893-i67-k650390…

Cairns, Australia
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234 posts
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2. Re: Base for Tuscany

Public Transport.

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
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for Tuscany
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3. Re: Base for Tuscany

Best base depends entirely on where you plan to visit. Neither Montecatini or Lucca are very well placed for visiting central and southern Tuscany by public transport, but if you just want to visit Florence & Pisa then either would do, but I much prefer Lucca of the two.

Cairns, Australia
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4. Re: Base for Tuscany

If Montecatini and Lucca are both not well placed for public Transport, then where would you suggest we base ourselves. We want to visit lots of places not just Florence or Pisa. Want to visit Orvieto, San Gimignano, Cinque Terre, Viareggio, Montecatini, Montepulciano, etc etc.

Lucca, Italy
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5. Re: Base for Tuscany

I think that Lucca is better than Montecatini, Lucca is more beautiful than Montecatini, but if you want to visit olso Orvieto is better that you stay some day there, because, orvieto it's far away from Lucca, Orvieto is in Umbria another region of Italy.

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
Destination Expert
for Tuscany
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6. Re: Base for Tuscany

How long do you have? Lucca is a good base for many of those destinations, but Orvieto and Montepulciano are too far to really do day trips from Lucca and even San Gimignano would be the best part of three hours each way. If you could base in Lucca for part of your trip and then move on to a second base in the south of the region that would be better. Somewhere like Chiusi old town would be a good base to visit Orvieto and Montepulciano by public transport, but again San Gimignano would be a real slog from there.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Base for Tuscany

Truly, I would not attempt such a wide ranging itinerary without a car for at least some.

From Pisa/Lucca you can go to La Spezia by train and then to Cinque Terre. It won't be a quick trip.

Getting around central Tuscany, such as San G, Montepulciano really requires a car for any efficiency and it is certainly the most enjoyable way to tour there.

Orvieto is much further south towards Rome. It can be done via train but it would be easier to drive and drop the car in Rome.

It depends on your time available.

Lucca, Italy
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8. Re: Base for Tuscany

If you want to visit Montepulciano you have to visit Santantimo's abbey in a very beautiful place try to find pictures of Santantimo on google. In this abbey live five or six french monks and they are specialized to sing gregorian. Near San Gimignano you have to visit San Galgano, it' an abbey with out the roof, and the legend say that there is the sword in the stone.

Cairns, Australia
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9. Re: Base for Tuscany

Thank you everyone for your comments. I might have to look at staying further south to cover places like Orvieto. I wish I was confident enough driving in that area, just not so sure getting out into the country. Would it be easy enough to drive out of Lucca into the countryside to visit all these places like San Gimigiano. Do I have to get an international Driver's Licence from Australia before I go or do I purchase on in Italy. Has anyone driven around Tuscany area who was apprehensive at first?

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
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10. Re: Base for Tuscany

To drive in Italy, you need to get an International Drivers Permit from the RACQ. Take your Qld license too.

Driving on the right is terrifying for the first few hours, and requires continual concentration over the first few days. Outside the major cities, driving in Italy is not difficult. See my notes at www.nickbooth.id.au/Tips/ItalyDrive.htm