Traveling to Italy in Sept/Oct 2013- Tuscany, Rome, Venice perhaps...


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Wow! Let me start by saying that this site is amazing!! What a wealth of information! I've already got 12 pages of useful info for my upcoming trip!! I went to Trip Advisor and somehow ended up here and I'm sooo glad I did!!
My mother and I (and possibly my sister) will be traveling to Italy in September or October 2013. We are planning to go for 2 weeks, give or take a couple of days. I would like to go when the weather is nice but not chilly at all. I HATE cold weather! I saw that it is about 81 degrees in sept (low in the 50s) and 72 degrees in October (lows in the 50s). So I am thinking perhaps the last 2 weeks of September? I am flying from the US and my mom will be meeting me as she is flying from Canada. I read on here that it may be better to fly into Pisa because it is a larger airport. I don't want to fly with RyanAir at any point (as someone suggested) because of the baggage limitations. We used to live in Belgium for 3 years so I am well used to traveling with RyanAir.
Ok, so we are wanting to explore Tuscany and fit Rome into the trip as well as Venice, perhaps. I have never been to Tuscany but I have been to Rome and Venice and would love to show these places to my mother who has never been to Italy. Is it possible to fit all this into a 14 or so day trip? Is Florence the best place to stay and take day trips to the other places in Tuscany or should I look into Pisa instead? I was thinking maybe 3 days in Rome and maybe 2 days in Venice (maybe there is a night train we can take?) We will just do Venice and not Murano or Burano, if this is even possible.
In Tuscany, I read here that 1/2 day in Pisa is enough and then move onto Lucca. I would obviously like to visit Florence. Some other places I'm consiering are: San Gimignano, Chiani, Viareggio or Argentario, Montepulciano or anywhere else you guys may suggest. Has anyone out there done a trip like I am describing? What would a possible itinerary for a trip like this look like? Actually, ANY info you guys are willing to share would be greatly appreciated...

Thanks sooooo much!


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
end of September/start of October would be ideal time :)

Ciao Ellen and welcome to our Forum!

I am very glad to hear you've found the site and forum useful, glad you found us and hope we can help you with figuring out your itinerary :).

Generally September and October are great months as far as weather goes - evenings can start getting chilly but generally it is very nice during the day. Last two weeks in September are actually very good as the "high" season is also winding down and you might be able to find some better deals as far accommodation goes... you can also try last week in September, first week in October.

You can definitely fit in Rome and Venice into 14 days. I'd suggest dedicating 7-8 days to Tuscany and Florence, the rest of the remaining week to Rome and Venice - maybe 3 full days to each, taking the other day of travel into consideration as you move around.

You can fly either into Pisa or Florence - Pisa is larger but it really depends on where you're coming from. Some airlines might have better connections with Florence, as most make you transfer in Paris, London or Frankfurt or Munich before coming into Florence or Pisa, regardless... so you'll have to look at both and see what you find. RyanAir only flies within Europe, so not an option for intercontinental flights... I'd recommend AirFrance/KLM or Lufthansa as the better companies to fly with (speaking from personal experience - I have to fly to LAX when I go back home and generally use Florence airport).

Another option you can look into as far as flights go would be to look into starting off with Rome and then work your way up to Florence and Tuscany and then to Venice.
Since Rome is a larger city, you might have more options as far as direct flights from where you and your mom fly from.

So you could do this:
- fly into Rome - 3 days
- head up to Tuscany/Florence - 7-8 days. A car rental would be ideal to get to see more of Tuscany, were you thinking that might be a possibility? If you have a car, you could stay in a farmhouse apartment in the countryside, maybe in Chianti or Val d'Orcia but if you won't have a car, I would recommend staying in Florence so that you can use trains to move around.
- Venice - 2-3 days.

As far as trains go, there are really fast ones now so you catch trains either with or with the new italo private company (has good deals - check them out for sure:

As far as Tuscany goes:
with trains, from Florence you can easily get to Pisa, Lucca, San Gimignano, Viareggio, Arezzo, and Siena of course.... Chianti and Montepulciano are harder to get to without a car though....
With a car, you would get around much easier around Chianti and the hilltop towns - you can add much more to your itinerary so I'd highly recommend it if you feel up to driving here. It would only be for Tuscany, you don't need a car for Rome or Florence or Venice.

You can do a search on the box here: to get an idea for car rental rates - this one shows you various car rental companies at the same time so is great for starting off and getting an idea.

Ok, I know this is a lot of info so hope it is just a start - let me know what else I can help you with!


New member

I travel to Italy from Australia several times a year and absolutely love Tuscany. Yes, spend 3 or more days in Rome, then find your way up to Tuscany by either fast train (to Florence) or hire a car (best way). I wouldn't necessarily stay in Florence even though it is a beautiful city, but I would recommend staying in her rival town of Siena, which is in the heart of Tuscany. From Siena, you can travel short distances to Montepulciano, San Gimignano, Pienza and even across the Umbrian border of Perugia. In saying that, Firenze (Florence) is a beautiful city and you should spend at least 2 days there if you're an art historian, but for the real essence of Tuscany, Siena would be my best bet.
I am travelling back there in the first week of October and my wife & I will be staying a few days just outside of Amelia (on the Tuscany & Umbria border) and several days in Rome before heading back to Sydney. I hope you enjoy your stay and the hospitality & friendliness of the Tuscan & Italian people.


New member
Hello friend, I think venice is the most wonderful place to spend vacation. Last year I went to venice with my wife to spend our vacation. Tripadvisor and this forum helped us a lot with great useful information. I booked my apartment in venice through online. You cal also check the site for beautiful apartments in venice italy. Check for available apartments online. Do share your travel experience here.


New member
Thank you soooooo much for all the info, Lourdes, and the other 2 people that responded. I am slowly making my plans. It is taking me much longer than I was hoping because I have a friend visiting from France for 3 months and the kids are out of school. I did take your advice, Lourdes, about arriving in Rome and starting from there. This is what I have planned thus far:

16-20- Sept ROME
20-23- Sept Florence
23-27 Sept Chianti (day trips to Cirque Terre, Pisa & Lucca, San Gimignana & Siena and exploring Chianti)
27 Sept - 1 Oct Venice
1 Oct- Train to Rome
2 Oct- Fly home

I am looking for a reasonably priced location to stay in Florence as well as Venice and Rome. Any ideas, anyone? I booked a B & B in Chianti as a base point to explore the rest of Tuscany. I thought I would stay in Florence for a couple of days so we could just explore that city without a car and then rent a car to go to Chianti. Does anyone have any more input on our trip? Does this sound like a good itinerary? I know dazza commented that they like to stay in Siena. Should I change my B & B from Chianti to Siena? Is it closer to the other day trip locations?
Also, I looked at the link you sent me for the car rentals but I'm not sure where to rent from. I will already be in Florence but will be renting a car and going to Chianti for 4 days. Is it best to rent from the rail station or somewhere in the city of Florence? I will drop the car off, I guess at the train station the morning we are leaving for Venice. Is there a train station in Chianti somewhere to take us to Venice or do we have to drive to the Florence train station? And I'm assuming that it will cost more to drop the car off at a different location anyway...
Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated...Thank youuuuu!

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The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Ciao Ellen,

Glad we could help! Sounds like you've gotten a good division of the days in order so far. A B&B in Chianti is a great base point to see Tuscany - and definitely get the car once you're ready to leave Florence, returning it before heading on to Venice by train. Just search for "Florence train staion" - the results will show ALL of the car rental companies near the station, they are all located in the area of Borgo Ognissanti. Take a look at the article again, there is a map on there that can be enlarged. If you rent from there, return there and you'll be just blocks from the SMN train station once you're ready to head to Venice.
To go to Venice, you'd necessarily have to go from Florence's SMN, so there is no shortcut... even if you dropped off the car rental in Poggibonsi and took the train, you'd have to change trains in SMN to head to Venice.

In Tuscany, you can do Pisa and Lucca on one day, you can do San Gimignano and Volterra on another, dedicate an entire day for going around Chianti's hill towns, and another full day to Siena. Your B&B in Chianti sounds good, where is it exactly? I wouldn't necessarily change it, Chianti is very central for all of the day trips (except for Cinque Terre - you realize it is in another region outside of Tuscany right? It is about a 2.5-3 hr drive from Florence, so what if you instead go to the Val d'Orcia instead and see Pienza, Montalcino, San Quirico d'Orcia and Montepulciano? All to the south of Siena, much closer and definitely TUSCANY as you see it on the postcards and in the movies, it would be a shame to miss it!


New member
Tuscany in 1st week of October with a little girl

Hello Loudes and Ellen,

I'm very glad I had found this BLOG and forum. I'm planning a trip to Tuscany and France in October. We are from Brazil. I will go with my 5 years old girl. As much as I read, as much as I realize how beautiful this region is.
My plans are:
- Florence 1-4 oct
- Tuscany 4-8 oct
- Rome 8-11 oct
Then we will travel do Chamonix and Paris. It will be a long trip…
We decided to rent a car at the end of Florence, as you suggested. But I really have no idea which city to choose as base. We would prefer a farm hotel with this typical Tuscany scenario. But do you think it would be better to stay in a city? Do you think that Sciena is better than Chianti? Is Chinti in google maps Greve in Chianti, right?

Thanks a lot in advance!!!

Brian Mikesell

New member
Florence to Lucca on SUNDAY

Greetings...great site! I am looking at trenitalia and it doesn't show any trains going from Florence to Lucca on Sunday June 15th. Is that true? Is bus the only way to get there? We are looking to go from Florence to Luca to Pisa back to Florence as a day trip and looking how to coordinate travel on a Sunday. Any tips would be great.


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Ciao Luiza,

Glad you found us! Sorry for the delay in my replies, the forum has seen a lot of posts recently and I am behind.... but slowly and surely will get to everyone!

Your itinerary looks perfect. Chianti is a whole area between Florence and Siena, so it is pretty wide. Since you will have the car, I highly suggest you stay in the countryside - keep in mind that distances here are shorter so you are never ever really more than 10 minutes away from the closest towns.

With a 5 year old girl, I think you'd both love to stay at a traditional "agriturismo" that has animals that she can visit ;-).
I highly recommend Montalbino in that case:
Another one nearby, with no animals but with a lot of spaces dedicated for kids are these two:

All three are in Chianti, just in different areas.. some closer to Florence, another closer to Siena.

Contact the owners directly through those links - October tends to be lovely both for weather and less crowds ;)


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Ciao Brian,

Unfortunately, the Trenitalia website has this quirk - it shows no travel solutions at all for X time into the future...... it used to be 2 months but since we are less than 2 months from June 15th, I am not sure why it doesn't show any results!! Argh <hands in hair> is my usual reply to these types of situations --- they make no sense!

As Florence - Lucca is a regional train, you do NOT need to buy tickets ahead of time. Just consult the schedule online for any Sunday - like next week. You'll see the times. They are pretty much every hour. You can definitely do Florence - Lucca - Pisa - Florence all by train on a Sunday. I just don't know why that site works as it does most of the time. (Like I can't link to results on their site here on my reply because they just don't work!)