Hi! This is our first trip to Italy, but have done many multi-location trips. Travel in July...I know...hot, busy, but it's the only time for extended vacations. I have been reading and reading...originally confronted with the Florence vs. Siena question as a base and feel that based on all the reading, Siena is where we will base. Montepulciano, Pienza, Chianti Region, just read about Buonoconvento...the list goes on...so many places seem appealing! So the itinerary at this time is:
5 nights in Rome
6 nights in Tuscany
4 nights in Venice
We will most likely rent a car. So here are a few questions. Is it best to rent a car and drive from Rome to Siena or take public transport to bus (which I read is actually a good option due to minimal train departure times.) I read this but do not know if it is accurate or if train departures change much or increase from season to season. From what I've read they do not. Anyway, read about Orvieto and renting car from there.
I also have not written Florence off the list. I realize it isn't that far, but a day is not really a plan for the city! However, several hours is better than none. To add it to the list during six nights as a day trip is a thought (but probably not ideal), but also feel we should add a day in order to do this. If the last part of the journey is Venice, maybe this would make sense as far as access to the train. I would appreciate any thoughts/advice/guidance. I have not researched taking the train from Siena yet. Nothing has been booked, so the plan is fluid. Apologies for length of info. and questions, but it may help with responses. Thank you so much to all who are willing to take the time to respond! I appreciate it!!