Twelve Days in Tuscany, Planning Vacation in Tuscany

Twelve Days in Tuscany

Yash asked 4 years ago
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Twelve Days in Tuscany

Hi Elena –
Your blog site is extremely informative and helpful. Thanks for doing such a wonderful job!
We (I, wife and one year old baby) are planning a trip to Tuscany. This is our first vacation after the baby. We are planning to visit for two weeks from Sept 30th and return Oct 13 (including travel dates). We will coming from US. We get about 12 days in Italy. This is our first trip to Italy. We looked at your suggested two weeks itinerary “A Two Weeks Itinerary in Tuscany”. We would like to follow your itinerary with some customization based on the following information. Could you helps us to customize it?

  1. The goal of our vacation is to enjoy, relax, and experience natural beauty/landscapes, culture, local food and country. One of us is wine lover. We cannot do marathon trips because of the baby.
  2. We have not yet made up our minds whether we should spend entire 2 weeks in Tuscany or add few other places outside of Tuscany. We are open for suggestions.
  3. We prefer to stay in farm house (country side), apartment or 3-4 star hotels (in that order) where its possible. We would like to have accommodation which is convenient to attractions, view, clean, hygienic and safe for family.
  4. We are planning to rent a car as you suggested. Do you know whether we need to bring a base for the car seat? Are any specific things we should be aware when renting a car in Italy?
  5. Do we need a GPS in the car? If we follow your two weeks itinerary, how many Kilometers we will be driving?
  6. One of us needs to get the visa (schengen ). We are counting on getting the visa done before Sept 30th but it all depends on Italian consulate. There might be possibility that the travel dates might get pushed by few days if we don’t get our passports on time (hopefully not). What are the typical accommodation policies? Can it be changed without paying penalties? The only reason we have wait till Oct for vacation because there are no visa interviews available till Sept 14th.
  7. Since we are going to be in Tuscany for 12 days, we would like to do a cooking class for one person (other person will take care of baby :). What are the options and can we add it to itinerary.
  8. We read somewhere on line that people are not that friendly with tourist travelling with a baby. Is that true? Do you have any specific tips regarding this?
  9. Budget – I know it’s a very generic question and typical answer is “depends”. However, I would like to get an idea. What will be our estimated expenses for accommodation, rental car, food (three meals) and tickets for the above dates?
  10. Are grocery stores/super market (to get milk) conveniently located?
  11. For the above travel dates, do you see any holidays or weekly day offs may pose any impact on travel schedule?
  12. Anything I am missed? J

I am sorry for the long email. Thank a lot! We are looking forward to hear from you.

2 Answers
elena nacci Staff answered 4 years ago
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Hi Yash,
thanks a lot for coming here 🙂 So happy you find my blog useful 🙂
1. Coming to my suggested itinerary of 2 weeks in Tuscany, certainly avoid marathon trips with the baby.
2. As for other places outside of Tuscany, you may get some ideas as to some of the best Italian destinations from my tour of Italy. Umbria is at the border of Tuscany and is full of wonderful little towns like Assisi, Gubbio, Perugia and an the enchanting Trasimeno Lake; it may be a good choice.
3. As for an accommodation which is convenient to attractions, have you already an idea about that? a good central location in the region is certainly San Gimignano, but also Chianti.
4 and 5. Renting a car is definitely recommended, you can rent it when leaving Florence; the GPS can be convenient, but any mobile phone with GPS will be even better. For info on driving in Tuscany see my info here. My two weeks itinerary may cover around 300 km depending on how many places you’re going to visit on your way. 
6. Accommodation policies always vary from place to place, though for a modification of dates they are not generally strict; you may ask about that to the owners of your chosen accommodation.
7. A cooking class in Tuscany is a good idea! Many farmhouses and agriturismo organizes cooking classes, so you only need to choose the place, let me know for any specific suggestions, that is where you will intend to do it.
8. As far as I know people are friendly with tourists traveling with a baby, I have a baby too 🙂
9. The budget actually depends on how many places you will use as a base and a lot of other things..
10. That depends on where you are staying, generally also a farmhouse in the countryside is near a grocery.
11. No worries for your dates.
Feel free to contact me again for any other question,
Have a nice day,
elena from Florence

Yash replied 4 years ago

Hi Elena-Thanks for your response. After doing some reading, here is the plan we came up.We will reach Florance on Sept 30 evening. <br>From Sept 30 to Oct 3 – we will be staying near the Duomo. We have three days and four nights in Florance. <br>Oct 1 and 2 – two days sightseeing in Florence<br>Oct 3 – Pissa/Luca – day trip<br>Oct 4 – morning around 8:00 AM go to the airport to pick up the car. We are hoping to leave the airport around 9:00 AM for Tuscany<br>Oct 4 to Oct 10 – We may stay at La Foce, Chianciano Terme. This is where we are a bit confused over the next plan.<br>Option 1 – On Oct 4 – on the way to La Foce, stop to check out San Gimignano and reach out to La Force in the late evening. <br>Option 2 – On Oct 4 – on the way stop to check Sienna and reached out to La Force in the evening. And visit Sam Gimignano on the way back.Oct 5 to <br><br>Oct 9 – full five days – we were thinking to cover Sienna (if not covered above), Montalcino + Bagno Vignoni, Montepulciano + Pienza, Crete Senesi and a cooking class. Please suggest if we are trying to do too much here or you have any better suggestion. We like beautiful landscapes and natural beauty.<br><br>Oct 10 – around 9:00 AM we will leave for Gaiole in Chianti. We may prefer to stay in a Castle in Gaiole area provided we get the booking.<br>Oct 10 to Oct 12 – ( 2 days) – we were thinking to spend 2 days in Gaiole Chianti area assuming we have seen Sam Gimignano. Another option is spends 1 day in Chianti and go to Sam Gimignano for a day trip.<br>Oct 12 evening – return back to Florence to stay somewhere near the airport.<br>Oct 13 morning – leave Italy at 10:00 AM!<br><br>Can you see whether the above itinerary is realistic? Do you have any suggestions? We will be traveling with one-year-old baby.Thanks,Y

elena nacci Staff answered 4 years ago
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Hi Yah,
Here I am!
I think your itinerary is realistic and doable with a little one:-)
As for October 4, I would do the second option, Siena on your way to La Foce, and San Gimignano on your way back.
5 days are the right time to discover the Val d’Orcia and its many beautiful cultural and natural sights. Here you can also take your time and relax surrounded by a unique countryside.
San Gimignano can certainly be visited also as a day from Chianti.
Have a nice day,

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