Planning a trip to tuscany: Things to Consider
In response to your many emails I have decided to make an article that brings you the answers to the most common requests that every day I receive to my personal email or Facebook. Let us begin.
A journey through the villages of Tuscany is not possible without a car. If you do not know how to drive or you don't want to rent a car during your voyage to Tuscany you will likely be reduced to the large cities such as Siena, Florence, Lucca, Arezzo, and Pisa. Among these cities is an efficient public transportation network of trains and buses. There are many connections via bus between Florence and Siena (every half hour) or by train between Florence and Pisa.
The connections between major cities and the most famous towns such as Montepulciano, Pienza, San Gimignano, Cortona are scarce and slow and in most cases only through the bus network as these cities do not have railway stations. If you have to visit them in taxi you have to know that in Italy unfortunately the Lobby of Taxis prevents the government to liberalize this sector strategically with success. The result is that this type of transport is expensive and scarce. Take Siena for example with 60,000 inhabitants it has only 24 taxis.
Tuscany has two international airports; Florence and Pisa. This second for climatic and geographical reasons has been further developed in recent years and has the most connections to international destinations. Alternatively if you stay in Southern Tuscany Perugia or in Rome would be a good choice, the second also has many international flights. If instead your destination is in Northern Tuscany then it is possible to land in Bologna.
Florence Airport is connected to the city centre with a tourist bus that runs every half an hour and that will leave you just in the station in the city centre. Pisa Airport instead has an efficient bus and train connection (the latter comes within the airport).
Rome Airport also has a rail network that connects it to the city, however, Bologna has a bus service that connects it to the train station. Perugia also has a bus station.
Restaurants and Osterias
Restaurants and Osterias
Most restaurants offer local cusine based on red meat, sausages, mushrooms and vegetables. In all the restaurants you will eat very well with healthy, local ingredients. International restaraunts are scarce unless you are in Florence. The price of a meal with wine is around 30 euros.
Tuscany is a particular and unique place in the world, it has developed a great capacity of very high quality properties. In Tuscany there are 3 types of accommodation: Hotels, Touristic Apartments or Agroturismos and Private Villas with Pool. Most of them are family run villas where a whole family works in this type of hospitality.
Besides the high quality holidays in these small hotels or bed & breakfasts you will come into contact with the culture and traditions of the region. I personally know very well Villa Vignacce, I have spoken many times about this house so I will not repeat, it is one Villa with only 3 apartments and it is almost always full so if you do not find an apartment available you can always visit the website of yourtuscanvilla which has many cottages and villas or alternatively search in Google where there are many agencies that offer these types of houses.
There are two high speed motorways: A1 Highway that joins Florence with Rome and the Perugia motorway with Florence - the first you have the pay whereas the second is free. The road condition is generally very good. Go through roads especially in Val d'Orcia or the Crete Senesi area which will make for an unforgettable trip.
Tuscany has many museums, all of which you have to pay. The most famous are in Florence and those are the Uffizi and the Academia. If you wish to visit these two I recommend that you reserve a time online in advance to avoid the dense queues, especially during the summer months.
Travelling with Children
If you travel with children, Tuscany is an ideal destination. The tourists who come to Tuscany are either families or couples that want to enjoy the beauty of the place and its nature. Most villas have a private garden for children to play.
Dogs and Pets
If you travel with dogs, Tuscany is again an excellent destination. All restaurants and shops by law have to accept dogs, cats or pets in general.
As always I hope that this information will help you in your trip to Tuscany.