Visiting Tuscany - Montelpulciano base


New member
Hello! My fiance and I are traveling to Italy for our honeymoon this May. We are spending the first 4 nights in Tuscany, staying in (or I think right outside of) Montepulciano. We are flying into Pisa and wondering the best way to get around. I had wanted to rent a car but we are a little nervous about driving in a foreign country, it is both our first time to Italy. We want to be able to do a few day trips -- I'd like to visit one of the natural thermal springs and a nearby city, maybe Siena? as well as wine tasting and get to see some of the hills and landscape of Tuscany. Is renting a car the best way to get around or are there trains/buses that are easily accessible? If renting a car, are there any recommended places to rent from?

Any help would be appreciated!


Active member
my opinion


While there is public transportation available in the countryside, it is neither flexible nor is it intuitive.
Getting from Pisa to Montepulciano by train and bus looks intimidating to me, but it is possible.
If you have some driving experience it shouldn't be a problem. There are 2 exceptions:
- Florence, small and confusing streets and the risk of being stuck in traffic for hours on end
- If you are driving you won't be able to drink ( a small glass of wine will put you right below the limit )

There should be 2 thermal centers near Montepulciano aswell, " Chianciano Terme " and " Sant'Albino "


New member
HI from Cortona!

I agree, although there are busses and a good train system in Italy, Tuscany is best seen by car. There are so many great towns and little areas that you will discover by having your own car. Trains are good for major destination Rome/Florence etc.

Driving in Italy isn't really that bad! I promise :). Yes, they do drive fast on the highways, but if you stay in the right lane they will just pass you, not to worry. Just go slow any enjoy.

Be sure to get a GPS though, as it will give you a lot more confidence and not worry about getting lost. When going into any town, look for a white sign with a circle inside a circle. This means town Centre and then search for a Blue P sign. This is parking.

Rules are: white lines, park for free. Blue lines paid parking (meters will be close by) and yellow lines do not park (permit or reserved).

Also, do not loose your toll tickets. I have had many people tell me that they lost it or misplaced it and had to pay the full whack at the exit.

We live in Cortona, the town made famous by the book/movie Under the Tuscan Sun. It isn't far from Montepulciano and I highly reccomend a visit to Cortona. Very beautiful!

I hope this helps!


Well-known member
Getting to Montepulciano


I can imagine that coming from another country it is a bit "overwhelming" to start driving (add into the mix all the stories one hears about the Italian drivers) - but with an arrival in Pisa and going straight to Montepulciano you will find yourself on major highways (which are the same all over...)

So that should help you get you used to driving and take some of the edge off of it. From Montepulciano you can definitely do a leisurely (and beautiful) road trip to Siena (passing thru Pienza, San Quirico). There are LOTS of places to wine tasting in Montepulcino and you can walk through the town and find many main offices of wineries that you can stop in and make an appointment for a visit - or you could leave it all up to someone who really knows the area and do an organized tour - Sure you might share your day with another couple but it would be more fun if both of you can enjoy the tasting and not worry about driving!

Cortona is definitely a nice place to visit from Montepulciano-I would combine it with a day trip to Arezzo...and there are several vineyards in that area as well. Visit the Arezzo wine consorzio located next to the Duomo in Arezzo and they will help you arrange an itinerary.

Buon Viaggio,

Donna Denise

PS if you haven't already selected your accommodations in Montepulciano - check the Politian Apartments (and always book direct with the owner!)
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