Well I have just booked flights to Tuscany for May next year for me, dh and kids 10 & 8 and need some advice where to stay!
We are flying into Pisa and planning on having a few days in a city for a bit of culture before hiring a villa and car for a (lazy) week. I was thinking of a night in Pisa to do the Tower (cheesy I know!) before heading to Florence for a couple of nights - is this sensible and how easy is it to get the train between Pisa and Florence? Does anyone know of some good reasonable hotels in Pisa and Florence with family rooms for four and are there any areas we should avoid?
I could also do with some advice as to where to rent a villa with a pool as I am getting befuddled looking at all the options. Ideally want somewhere not too far from a village so we can eat out occaisionally but close enough to a town / city if we get bored and want to go sightseeing.
I can only comment on the train as we stayed in a villa in the middle of nowhere somewhere near sienna. Got the train from middle of nowhere station on a day with strikes all the way to Pisa airport (2.5hrs) and it was fantastic. Cost us less than €7 each and was totally seamless, on time, air conditioned etc. Fantastic value and very easy. Unlike trains in this country might I add!!
The main train line runs from Pisa to Siena. You can get a train from the airport into Pisa. When hiring a car, check out ZTL areas that you mustn't enter in the towns, villages and cities - they attract a fine otherwise (restricted access zones, designed to protect the buildings / heritage).
Driving is easy. We have just returned from Italy, drove from Pisa to just south of Arezzo. We stayed in an agriturismo we found via booking.com; place is called La Spiga d'Oro and it has an outdoor pool. The house is really centrally located for Umbria (Trasimeno, Assissi) and then the "treasures" of Tuscany, ie: Siena, Montepulciano, Arezzo, Pienza, etc. Arezzo was 20 mins away by car, Siena 40 mins.
Lots of options on booking.com for different types of accommodation, and also picked up another website recommendation on mn earlier in the week - link in English for you www.agriturismo.it/en/
Enjoy Italy, but remember also to have the occasional day off, as there is so much you can see and do and it's all so wonderfully old and historical and cultural and inspiring!
Sorry - the train runs from Pisa to Florence, oops! It does it does it does!
Ps - Pisa is small. The journey from airport to central train station is quick, and is easy to walk from train station to the leaning tower. I spent a few weeks in Pisa a number of years ago so walked to and for regularly. You can see the leaning tower from the autostrada that runs past the airport!
Thanks Bangers and Jill. Sounds like the train will be a good option to go Pisa to Florence.I will have a look at the agriturismo site and bookings.com as a starting point. How long did it take to drive from Pisa to Arezzo Jill?
This is where we stayed in Tuscany, it was about 30 minutes drive from Pisa:
Both Pisa and Florence are lovely. We also went to San Gimignano, Sienna, Monteriggioni, Volterra and lots of other wonderful places. It is such a beautiful area.
We went to Tuscany in July - flew in and out of Pisa, hired a car, stayed outside Florence.
We visited Florence, Pisa, Lucca and San Gimingnano.
Driving was fine but I made sure I parked well outside the centres to avoid the ZTLs.
Hi - it took 2 hours to drive from Pisa to Foiano(a bit further south of Arezzo), including a stop for lunch. The autostrada was pretty empty during the lunch hour!
We spent 2 nights on the coast at the end of our holiday, driving from Foiano via Siena, Monteriggioni, Volterra to Bibbona. It is beautiful driving country, landscape changes and amazing scenery.
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