Venice to Tuscany and travelling around Tuscany for 1st timers


New member
Hi, so grateful to have found this forum.

We are planning our first trip to Italy - and of course we want to do far more than we have time to do.

We arrive in Venice and will spend a few days there before heading towards Tuscany. We're leaving Venice the morning of the 22nd Oct and want to arrive in Rome on the 27th. That gives us 5-6 days.

On our way to Tuscany or during our stay there we need to visit Parma for a few hours on business - but we're not sure how to fit that in to the trip.

We want to spend a few days in Florence and also see San Gimignano, Siena, Lucca - maybe Bologna (although we aren't foodies). There are lots of other towns and places we'd like to visit but time is limited.

Would you recommend we base ourselves in one place or stay a few days in one location and then more to another location. Where would you recommend we stay?

We have considered hiring a car (although I am a little nervous as Italians drive on the other side of the road to us in Australia). Maybe we could hire a car for a few days if that made seeing places easier and then the rest by train.

I'd be incredibly grateful for any advice you can give us. Thank you :):)


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
I know the struggle -- taking things out to make things fit in the days you do have!

First, I'd recommend trying to fit Parma in on you way down from Venice. You can do this by train, continuing on to Florence after your visit. Since you need to go through Bologna on your way to Parma (or way back to Florence), I'd also fit Bologna on the first day. Up to you whether you decide to take it easy and spend the night in Bologna before continuing on to Florence.

You can then use Florence as your base for the time you are in Tuscany --- although a car would make it easier/faster/more convenient to move around, if you're uneasy driving then there is no need to do it at all.
You can take a train to Lucca for the day, or divide a day between there and Pisa, returning to Florence in the evening. Then another day take bus to Siena, doing SG first
You most definitely need to give yourself time to spend in Florence, at least 2 days, so thus far this works out pretty good ;-). Make sure to read our suggested 2 day itinerary for Florence here:


New member
Thank you so much Lourdes for your reply and advice. Incredibly grateful for the information and feel far more confident to go ahead and make bookings. Kind regards Janine :)


Well-known member
visiting Tuscany


With the five days you have between Venice and Rome (and the large list of places to visit on the way) you may find that instead of renting a car, you could look at a well organized tour that will have you visit Siena, San Gimignano and the Chianti area.

Have a look at this article which highlights some great fall tours, we especially like Tuscany in a day.

Buon Viaggio,

Donna Denise


New member
Thank you Donna. What a great idea. Unfortunately the link doesn't work. Could you please type in the internet address for the tour you mentioned. Thank you again. Janine