Staying and travelling rural Tuscany - help and advice needed!

Stu Williams

New member
Hi, my girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Tuscany in early June and we would be extremely grateful for your advice and experience in order to help finalise our plans.:)

We’re looking for a nice relaxing holiday with a couple of trips into the wonderful cities Italy/Tuscany has to offer – preferably minimising fuss and cost.

We do love art and culture but are not going with that as a main priority. We would like to have some nice walks/hikes, enjoy the culture, scenery and go into a city/town on for a day but would be aiming stay clear of floods of tourists where possible (apart from Rome where it is inevitable but we live in London so are yearning for at least a nice break away later in our vacation / holiday).

Our plan is to spend 10 days in total starting with a few days in Rome followed by the rest of the time in and around southern Tuscany with the aim of maybe briefly visiting Siena and flying back to the UK from Florence (assuming its best to travel back from Florence as we would be closer to Siena / Florence?)

Here’s a couple of ideas of what we’d like to do but are not sure the best way/ cost effective way of doing it. We would really like to know if this is a feasible plan and preferably advice on how to achieve it in the best way!

Day 1 - Fly to Rome arriving about 1230pm
Day 2 – Rome (we have a good idea of where best to stay here such as….)
Day 3 – Rome
Day 4 – Travel to and stay in rural Tuscany for 5 days. Open to suggestions but here’s what we’re thinking of doing:
- leave Rome 8am and get the train to Orvieto – pick up hire car and drive to a nice rural tuscan location (not a vinyard or a hotel or an overpopulated place) - perhaps Civitella Paganico / Civitella Marittima / Volterra or even East / Umbria side? - Open to suggestions here on location (there are so many its difficult to decide!).
Day 5-9, Stay in rural Tuscany in small apartment / villa - relax in location and walk around the local area – perhaps driving out to pick up food/drink supplies and driving around hillside towns and Val d'Orcia (Montepulcciano, Pienza, Montalcino, Lake Trasimeno)
Day 9 – Drop hire car off near Siena and stay in Siena 1 night – really not sure how easy I this would be in practice!
Day 10 leave Siena by train/bus to Florence – have a look around florence and then get to Airport early evening back to the UK

Same as idea 1 but somehow going to Siena on a day trip from our location in rural tuscany instead of driving?
Can we hire a car from anywhere else?
Should we get a train to Siena from Rome instead of driving? Is it easier to pick up a car from Siena?
Should we avoid Florence all together and go back on a city break another time?
Day 10 – if we are in rural tuscany, should we drive to Florence airport or drive back to Rome airport – which is easier in terms of traffic / tolls etc?


Very many thanks in advance!

Stu and Theresa


Well-known member
Rome - Orvieto and then ?


I have looked at the rental options - and it seems completely possible to collect your car at Orvieto and then drop off (my suggestion is Florence) without having extra fees.

If you train it to Orvieto, be sure to visit Orvieto - there is so much to see (il Pozzo di San Patrizio and the Underground tours)

You could easily drive to Assisi/Perugia (or if you are looking for a great little town I like Spello). Stay the night and then leisurely drive over to Tuscany, passing by Lago Trasimeno.

I would look into staying in the countryside between Lago Trasimeno and Siena - convenient, in a very rural setting - many times not as touristy as the more northen Chianti area. Have a look at Borgo Argenina or the self catering apartments at San Giovanni in Poggio. Both strive for a genunie Tuscany experience.

For your daily explorations, from this point I would add the towns of Cortona and Arezzo both are unique and a good visit.

Buon Viaggio,

Donna Denise

Stu Williams

New member
Thank you Donna


Thank you for getting back to us and for the advice Donna, its very much appreciated.

We have a couple more questions we were hoping you could answer based on your feedback

- do you suggest Assisi/Perugia on the west side then?, rather than what we were considering (Civitella Paganico / Civitella Marittima / Volterra) which are all on the east side? I think we'd just like to know which is best for us as a young active couple who would love to go for local walks/ hikes in the countryside but also be close enough to visit the Val d'orcia area, hilltop towns and Siena etc.

- we did follow your link to San Giovanni in Poggio. Although lovely, we feel that this is a little too remote for us - we would like to go to a local restaurant and have a drink of wine without thinking we have to drive home also :). Do you have any other suggestions at all?

- How is best to get to Siena - is it actually realistically fine to drive to and park outside the centre for a day or should we maybe think about staying the night in Siena instead?

- dropping the car off in Florence - where would you recommend we drop the car off exactly? Just out of interest why do you suggest Florence? :confused: I thought the general rule is NOT to drive into florence due to incredible amount of traffic and ZTL systems!? and I wouldn't want to drop the car off at the airport only to be going back to florence and/ or Siena Would it not be easier to drop the car somewhere in Siena? Stay the night there and then head to Florence and then the airport for our journey home?

Many thanks again


Well-known member
More questions


I wouldn't say one is better over the other - however, for your traveling I think Assisi would have you maximizing your road time thus the time you spend enjoying the stops along the way.

As for a place where you can walk to a reastaurant, you can have a look at this list:

The first place Hotel Athena, is a nice option - close enough to walk but a bit set outside of the city of Siena. I would definitely suggest it as a solid option: park the car and then enjoy Siena.

Or you could look at these two places which will take you a bit outsdie of Siena in the countryside to the north, very picturesque and with a restaurant. It is not a bad drive and parking is not as confusing as the bigger cities so you could potentially enjoy staying a bit outside and driving in:

I know people suggest not driving in Florence, and I would too if you were just driving to move from one side to the other of the city - but a nice liesurely trip from Siena to Florence (passing thru Monteriggioni or Chianti) is defintiely worth keeping the car.

If you are worried about navigating the streets of Florence - then by all means drop it at the airport (actually the drop off is close to the airport and you take a shuttle bus to the airport where you can catch the bus or a taxi to the city center). But check with the car rental place, a drop off in the city center (as long as you avoid rush hours) should be pretty painless. :p

Have Fun,

Donna Denise