2 Months in Tuscany

MichaelG

New member
Hello,

My wife and I are planning to spend 2 months in Tuscany (with a few days north of Tuscany in Cinque Terre) beginning September 1, 2020. We are seasoned travelers who have spent the better part of the past 30 years traveling primarily in Asia, as well as Mexico, and Central America. Have not been to Europe since the mid-1970s. We enjoy nature, rural settings, immersing ourselves in local culture - everything from local village life to museums, music, cuisine, handcrafts, and history. we enjoy walking.

We plan to spend 5 weeks of our time renting a place just south of Siena as a base to get a better sense of the area and culture. During this 5 week period we are planning to rent a car, which will allow us to explore the area south and east of Siena, as well as some exploration of nearby towns/villages in the Umbria and Marche regions.

The remaining 3 weeks we plan to spend exploring the northern part of Tuscany and Cinque Terra. However we will no longer have a car and will rely on public transport to travel from place to place. We are not in a hurry (we don’t like rushing around from place to place, rather enjoy getting a sense of a place) and will probably spend a few to several days in each place. Let me know if you think we should spend more time in any of the places we have listed. We feel less is more, so spending more time in fewer places is okay with us.

Here is our tentative itinerary:

Arrive in Genoa, then immediately travel to Cinque Terre

4-5 days in Cinque Terre & Porto Venere

3 days in the Pisa & Lucca area

5-6 days in Florence

3 days in Volterra & San Gimignano area

5 weeks in a rental just south of Siena

I would really appreciate advice on a few things.

1) Since September and October are considered peak travel months, considering crowds (especially in
early September)and weather (especially at the end of October)is our plan to start in Cinque Terre
and move south recommended or would it be better to start our trip in reverse order starting with
a long stay in southern Tuscany and the head north?

2) Should we book a rental car prior to arriving in Italy or wait until we arrive in Italy? Would
Siena be a good place to rent a car or would Florence be a better option?

3) Althogh Elba is not currently on our itinerary, would you recommend a visit there? If so, for how
long?

Thank you for reviewing our plans and any feedback would be appreciated.

MichaelG
 

DonnaDenise

Well-known member
Taking our time in Tuscany

Buongiorno,


4-5 days in Cinque Terre & Porto Venere
Good

3 days in the Pisa & Lucca area
There is so much to do in this area, You could easily double your time, read through this link for sites, vineyards and small towns to add to your itinerary
https://www.discovertuscany.com/lucca/


5-6 days in Florence
Good

3 days in Volterra & San Gimignano area
If you really want to enjoy the area, stay for a bit longer, this is a good stopping-off point for exploring a landscape that is definitely less traveled and amazing, it is a beautiful mix of the classic Tuscan hills and the lovely green forests AND vineyards.
This link will give you ten good reasons to extend your stay
https://www.discovertuscany.com/san-gimignano/day-trips-from-san-gimignano.html


5 weeks in a rental just south of Siena
Good


I would really appreciate advice on a few things.

1) Since September and October are considered peak travel months, considering crowds (especially in
early September)and weather (especially at the end of October)is our plan to start in Cinque Terre
and move south recommended or would it be better to start our trip in reverse order starting with
a long stay in southern Tuscany and the head north?
Personally I wouldn't say that Sept & Oct are heavy tourist seasons, in fact, in the countryside, you will find that things start to thin out where the tourists are concerned. But your arrangement is perfect, because if the weather starts to change too much, then 5T is not always as practical.

2) Should we book a rental car prior to arriving in Italy or wait until we arrive in Italy? Would
Siena be a good place to rent a car or would Florence be a better option?
Get the rental car from Florence, and I would book ahead - I believe you get better prices that way

3) Althogh Elba is not currently on our itinerary, would you recommend a visit there? If so, for how
long?
Definitely find a couple of days to explore Elba - on the back end of your travels, it will be MUCH less busy and a fantastic experience. I have always stayed there in end of Sept & beginning of Oct - and it was beautiful


Buon Viaggio,

Donna Denise
 
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