First Time Tuscany

Hi Everyone

I'm surprising my wife with a trip to Tuscany next year for her 40th birthday. It is her dream to visit. I have no clue what region to stay in and we will only have 7-10 days max.

Please can any of you help me out. I want to give her a traditional Tuscan experience.

Regards, Todd ??????
 

craigmillar

Well-known member
Three queries to help formulate a reply:

1. What time of year? If you can be precise with the dates this will help even more.
2. Are you prepared to drive for a few days?
3. Are you keen walkers? Thinking of Cinque Terre here even though it is not in Tuscany.
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
I would suggest planning to stay in the countryside at one place for the entire time, rent a car to get around and do day trips. If you stay central, anywhere between Florence and Siena, driving times to places should not be too long.

Do not wing accommodation -- places in busy season get booked months ahead, particularly for longer stays. Take a look at https://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/ to browse around and see what you like, contact as many owners as you want and see about availability and cost.

You can do the classics:
- Florence
- Siena & Monteriggioni
- Chianti ( a wide area)
- San Gimignano & Volterra
- the Val d'Orcia (another entire area with many towns).

These places should cover you for the entire time, but if you do want to squeeze in Cinque Terre, I would plan it at the end, giving it 2 days and leaving your accommodation and staying in the area. Early May is still early season for CT so it should not be too crowded yet, you can always stay in nearby towns and use train to move around and hike in between some of the towns. Here's some info on moving around there: https://www.discovertuscany.com/cinque-terre/getting-around-cinque-terre.html
 

craigmillar

Well-known member
Lourdes as always has covered (just about) everything.

I would say that Lucca & Pisa should be included in the classics and geographically they could be done the day you travel to the Cinque Terre if they are included in your plans.
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Lourdes as always has covered (just about) everything.

I would say that Lucca & Pisa should be included in the classics and geographically they could be done the day you travel to the Cinque Terre if they are included in your plans.

I agree and would add Pisa and Lucca generally - if they have time, even if he doesn't include CT, they can add one or both.

I say remain flexible and where you head to every day is up to you once you're here! :D
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Rome might be easiest but also Pisa is a good option, if you find any good priced flights.
 
So Lourdes we will only have 8 full days (maaaaaaaaybe 10 but def 8). Where do we start? Sorry for questions I just don't have a clue.

Definitely have hire car.
 
Lourdes I've decided we'll have 10 full days. Will we stay 7 in one location and spend 3 in the area at the end that you suggested? 😁
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Wonderful news!! Yes, I'd suggest doing one base for 7 days in a central location (anywhere between Florence and Siena would be good) and then for the last 3 moving west, maybe 1 night in Lucca and then head on to Cinque Terre for 2 days. You'll enjoy it more if you're not in a hurry and can do some hiking in between some - I suggest the path between Monterosso and Vernazza, while it is steep it is quite spectacular view from above. You could base in Monterosso. Also keep in mind you could return the car before heading to CT, as you don't need a car there at all.
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
You can go with local companies and save as compared to the international brands. There are a lot of local companies, but you should be able to price compare for similar services.
 
So this is frustrating...My wife and I don't use credit cards, only debit and we can't seem to get a rental, yet Auto Europe say that they accept them. Ugh!!
 

craigmillar

Well-known member
Basically, all hire car companies require a credit card rather than a debit card.

Those that might accept a debit card would normally require full payment in advance as well as a substantial deposit - normally at least 5,000 Euros - as well as having to accept full insurance options.

You may only use debit cards but you generally need a credit card for hire car purposes. Why not apply for one and only use it for such purposes?
 
All sorted! Indigo Car Hire based in the UK booked through Europcar and they are happy to take a debit card. Woohoo! Have got confirmation as well.
 

craigmillar

Well-known member
Todd

I wouldn't want you to face a disaster when you arrive in Italy and find that the local Europcar office refuses hiring to you since you do not have a credit card.

You must be absolutely sure of this and the written confirmation must come from Europcar and not just from Indigo.

Also have you ascertained what deposit Europcar will block on your debit card?
 
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