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Please tell me about Tuscany

(18 Posts)
jumpingjackhash Mon 21-Jan-13 21:10:47

Hi there, we've just booked flights for 8 days in Tuscany in July smile smile smile and now looking for places to visit and stay to make the most of it and would appreciate any pointers or recommendations.

No kids, just me and DH in a hire car, so pretty mobile, happy to travel (until dodgy map-reading or DH ignoring my directions gets too much and we flop on a beach or by a pool). We're keen to see the area, do some touristy stuff and enjoy good food and drink.

Any thoughts, must-dos and don't bothers very welcome - the collective experience of MN has inspired great trips before wink.


ihatethecold Mon 21-Jan-13 21:59:58

San gimeniano is lovely. My spelling might be wrong though. blush

The beaches are not amazing on that side of Italy. But some of the cities are amazing
Florence is amazing but very busy and very hot.
I'm sure you will get many recommendations on here smile

TooMuchRain Mon 21-Jan-13 22:10:11

South of Siena is beautiful (Murlo, Montalcino, Pienza sort of direction) and well worth taking time to explore. At that time of year somewhere with a pool to cool off might be handy - a lot of the agriturismi prefer saturday-Saturday stays in high season, but you can usually find somewhere for a one/two night stay if you want to keep moving. The coast isn't very beautiful (apart from Giglio) , though there's a nice un-umbrellaed bit of beach south of Grosseto and Monte Argentario is ok, also if you are over that way I think Pienza is a much nicer base than Pisa.

jumpingjackhash Tue 22-Jan-13 18:12:05

Thanks - am I right in thinking the region is pretty easy to get around in a car? So we could stay in just a couple of places and still get to see/experience a fair bit?

ihatethecold Tue 22-Jan-13 19:11:53

A few years ago we took the kids to a place called Saturnia!
It's a hot river that we all swam in.
Really warm and supposed to be good for the skin.
We parked at the side of the road and walked about 10 mins.
Hopefully it's not commercialised now.
That was in Tuscany.

TooMuchRain Tue 22-Jan-13 20:40:09

There are a few free natural spas in Tuscany which are really lovely (though I think Saturnia is one of the biggest) - others in that sort of area are San Filippo, Petriolo and Bagno Vignoni (which is also a very pretty village).

I think you could easily pick a couple of bases or one longer base in the country plus a couple of city days and see quite a bit without it getting tiring

ceeveebee Tue 22-Jan-13 20:47:08

Where are you flying to?
If Pisa then Lucca is very nice for a night or two, a medieval walled town with nice restaurants etc and home of Puccini so lots of free/cheap opera concerts etc
The coast to the west of Lucca is lovely if very expensive. And there is a nice walk called Cinque Terra (five villages) which is a good day out depending on age of your DCs

jumpingjackhash Wed 23-Jan-13 10:50:01

We're flying in and out of Pisa. I first thought we'd need a few bases but looking at maps and speaking to people it's not that huge an area we can't easily get around.

Saturnia sounds interesting - a couple of hours south of Siena?

Will certainly look for Lucca - that sounds the image we have of Tuscany, with the architecture, restaurants and opera for me to drag DH to

We don't have kids, so no need to worry about entertaining them!

Ponders Thu 24-Jan-13 21:51:26

we flew into Pisa & stayed in Sinalunga last time we went. It's well placed for getting about & has a lovely municipal pool - also it's on the railway which is handy if you don't want to drive & park, we went to Siena that way. (We thought about going to Rome or Florence on the train too but couldn't summon up the energy - it was quite a restful trip wink)

we also visited Montepulciano, Montalcino, Castiglione del Lago, San Gimignano & the coast at Porto San Stefano (near Giglio where the Costa Concordia sank). On the way back from the coast we passed Pitigliano, which is an amazing looking place, but it had been a long day & we wanted to get back so we only looked, didn't go in.

Tuscany is lovely for pottering about, you never need to go very far.

Our flight home was quite late so we visited Lucca on the last day on the way to Pisa & had a fabulous lunch smile

gregssausageroll Fri 25-Jan-13 17:58:16

Don't bother with Pisa or if you do half a day will cover it. Train to Rome cheap and easy.

achillea Fri 25-Jan-13 18:03:23

Get a satnav - will make your life a LOT easier. Not suitable in all parts of Italy but it will keep you generally in the right area.

TheAccidentalExhibitionist Fri 25-Jan-13 18:57:12

Oh, watching this thread with interest, we are planning to go this area in April \ May this year. Will take notes...

Ponders Fri 25-Jan-13 20:40:01

agree that Pisa doesn't need a lot of time.

But you don't need satnav, honestly.

We took one - Tomtom, full of online updates, for reference grin. It was hilariously confused when we landed at Pisa, I mean it was showing simultaneously on the same screen maps for London, Italy & France, & never recovered shock

But we managed in Tuscany with a fairly basic map (which we bought in Pisa, becuase of the useless Tomtom). Just get a decent map before you go & you will be fine smile

jumpingjackhash Sun 27-Jan-13 19:21:35

Thanks for all this advice, sat-nav will be packed! So it seems we can see quite a bit with little stress?!

Going to book hire car and hotels in the next week or so, thinking Just south of Florence for the hotel so it's easy to visit places, with the last couple of nights on Elba.

MadameCastafiore Sun 27-Jan-13 19:27:25

Arezzo is beautiful too.

We go to Tuscany every year and always visit Arezzo, sienna and lucca.

Fluffy1234 Sun 27-Jan-13 20:28:09

I stayed in Poggibonsi and visited Sienna and Florence...such a beautiful part of the world.

MmeLindor Sun 27-Jan-13 20:38:21

Montepulciano is lovely, as is San Gimigniano but also check out Arezzo - not quite as touristy.

Greve in Chianti is lovely - drive around that area - Castellina down to Siena. Don't go on the motorways if you can help it.

We stayed in Figline Val d'Arno - campsite in the mountains if you want a few days relaxing - they also have holiday homes etc.

FlouncingMintyy Sun 27-Jan-13 20:43:33

It is very well worth spending a day in Sienna.

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