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slasher

Tuscany / Driving in Italy

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We've booked a villa near Barga/Lucca for next summer. Intending on doing a night in Florence and Pisa as well and looking for other tips of areas worth visiting for a day trip. We've hired a car for the duration but I've heard some horror stories of driving in Italy so any tips would be appreciated. Thanks in advance 👍

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On 9/21/2019 at 6:26 PM, scottincarlisle said:

These are worth a visit https://www.florence-museum.com/boboli-gardens-tickets.php

To the north of Florence is a nice mountain village called Fiesole.

That looks brilliant and I'd never even heard of it. We'll definitely add it to the list. Any coastal resorts worth a visit? I notice Livorno is around a 90 minute drive away for us. One and a half to two hour drives are pretty much the limit for a day trip I think. 

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5 hours ago, slasher said:

That looks brilliant and I'd never even heard of it. We'll definitely add it to the list. Any coastal resorts worth a visit? I notice Livorno is around a 90 minute drive away for us. One and a half to two hour drives are pretty much the limit for a day trip I think. 

Apart from a day trip to Pisa we went to Siena & San Gimignano. We spent most of our time in Florence.

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I preferred Siena to Florence but both are magnificent. Siena smaller and more intimate. I lived on Ice cream. 😂

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We hired a car and found the drive really easy, Pisa/Lucca and down into Chianti.

Stayed in a few villages , Panzano, Castellini, Greve, Radda, San Gimignano. 

We preferred the smaller villages as the tour buses didnt congregate to the same extent.

San Gimignano was brutal for crowds until the tour buses left for the day.

We also used the local buses for trips into florence and Siena- so we could sample the local wine!

 

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Horror stories about driving are mainly put about by car hire companies who will do their utmost to scare you into taking out additional insurance. Suggest you avoid Gold Car Hire for these reasons, we took out an annual policy for excess car insurance in advance of going.

We drove Livorno airport to Lucca , nice area but beware driving inside the walled city as there is a zone that whacks you for a 100 euro plus fine if you enter it.

From Lucca to San Gimignano then down the coast to a seaside resort called Porto Ercole then back up to Livorno

My own horror story was following satnav when trying to find our hotel in San Gimignano and getting caught inside the walled city in the pedestrian only streets scattering tourists right, left and centre. We stayed in the Relais Santa Chiara which was about a 5 minute walk into the walled city and it had parking outside. We took a bus to Siena and it dropped us right down town, I wouldn`t fancy driving in Siena as parking is scarce and what I saw seemed miles outside where you want to be 

      

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Thanks people, I've noted Siena as a must do 👍

We are having an overnight in Pisa on arrival so car hire will be from somewhere there. Probably looking to get a Fiesta or something similar as I don't fancy navigating windy roads in an SUV or similar. 

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Did a five day short break in Tuscany with Wife, her sister and man, last year. Were based in Viareggio, and toured about. Lucca is really nice, and Pisa ( Tower) worth seeing. We drove up to Rapallo and Portofino, on the coast, lovely places, also went to San Gigiminano and Siena, both awesome  In  Siena we parked in the perimeter of the football stadium a short walk to the centre. I didn’t really like Florence, but can say I’ve been there. Viareggio on the coast close to where you’ll be has loads of good places to eat, this steak place is fantastic.https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g194946-d10093524-Reviews-Otto_Etti_e_Mezzo_L_Osteria-Viareggio_Province_of_Lucca_Tuscany.html

One point, watch your speed. In the five days we were there bro in law got two fines for speeding and I got one for going being in a restricted area in Pisa. 

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