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What area of Tuscany should we center outselves in?

Surrey, Canada
13 posts
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What area of Tuscany should we center outselves in?

My husband and I are planning a trip in Sept/12 to both Provence and Tuscany. We love the idea of slow travel and plan on staying in one location for a week or two and driving to points of interest including Venice and Amalfi Coast. We want to be in the countryside but close enough to walk to local market and restaurants. I have heard that driving in Florence is a challenge also. We are considering Lucca, Montepulciano, Chianti or ??? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. We are into good food and wines and are not needing nightclubs etc. Once I find a home base I can start some planning:}

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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1. Re: What area of Tuscany should we center outselves in?

Either Lucca or Montepulciano would make a good base for visiting this part of Tuscany.

However, you cannot reasonably do day trips by car to Venice or the Amalfi Coast. It is 230 miles to Venice and a one-way journey would take about 4 hours along a boring motorway. Amalfi is 260 miles and 5 hours away.

alaska
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for Siena
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2. Re: What area of Tuscany should we center outselves in?

First, driving in Florence is not only a challenge but not at all necessary and should be avoided.

Venice and the Amalfi coast from Tuscany are not day trips in my opinion especially with a car. For a one week trip you can not really stray to far. With a two week trip choose either Venice or the Amalfi coast area for the second week and stay in the location

Lucca is certainly a wonderful place but not centrally located for exploring much of Tuscany

I admit I am biased to Siena, not just for the city itself but for its central location to the rest of Tuscany, You can day trip in all compass directions and be able to enjoy the 100"s of restaurants within the walls of Siena

.

Surrey, Canada
13 posts
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3. Re: What area of Tuscany should we center outselves in?

Thank you so much, I guess we should look at Venice at the start for a few days then somewhere central and finish on the coast for another few days. Thanks for the distance and times you provided.

Surrey, Canada
13 posts
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4. Re: What area of Tuscany should we center outselves in?

Many thanks - Siena sounds like a good place to start cyber exploring.

Cheers

Poulsbo, Washington
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5. Re: What area of Tuscany should we center outselves in?

Sienna is a lovely city and easy to get in and out of. I would first decide is a city what you want?

Wisconsin
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6. Re: What area of Tuscany should we center outselves in?

Siena is a wonderful city and it's great at night so it'd be a good choice for a base.

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
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7. Re: What area of Tuscany should we center outselves in?

I agree that Siena is an excellent base to explore much of Tuscany. If you choose somewhere just outside the walls you can get wonderful countryside views, yet still be close enough to walk into the city centre for restaurants, markets etc.

Very few places give you the realistic option of being in the countryside yet within walking distance of a town and its amenities. Steep hill towns, no pedestrian walkways, no street lighting and untarmacked roads all play their part in making this request somewhat of a holy grail!

If you are planning on having a hire car make sure you have read up on ZTLs and parking regulations to avoid getting nasty fines. This is another reason why accommodation on the edge of Siena is a great idea, many have free parking and you will be outside the camera enforced ZTL.

Article about driving in Italy here:

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

Edited: 15 November 2011, 08:31
florida
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8. Re: What area of Tuscany should we center outselves in?

any thoughts on a villa on the outskirts of Sienna but still within walking distance of the restaurants? thanks

Montepulciano, Italy
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for Tuscany
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9. Re: What area of Tuscany should we center outselves in?

I would have thought that would be quite a challenge. Siena is spread across three hills (correct me Expert) and like any medium size town has residential / commercial suburbs. In places, the countryside literally does come right up to the city walls - around Porta Tufi in particular - but even here you'd have to walk some way until you found a villa in open countryside. However, there are numerous small villages on the outskirts of the city, which would be only a short drive away in the evening or, alternatively, would have their own local trattoria. I'm very fond of the area immediately to the east of Siena heading towards Castelnuovo (and there are some gorgeous villages in stunning countryside) and some of the villages on the hills either side of the Via Cassia / Arbia Valley are also very lovely and even afford views of Siena in the distance.

10. Re: What area of Tuscany should we center outselves in?

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