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Best Road Trip in Tuscany?

Gray, Maine
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2 helpful votes
Best Road Trip in Tuscany?
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Hi everyone! My wife and I are in the early stages of planning a trip to Italy and we're hoping to rent a car and tour Tuscany to do some wine tastings and see some of the countryside that's off the beaten path. I came across Auto Europe's road trip guide highlighting what looks like a great route to use as a starting point for planning our trip, but I thought I'd ask for feedback from those who have already been. Does their guide look like a good itinerary to you? Do you have additional suggestions? Other resources you'd suggest I look at?

Here's the URL for the Auto Europe Tuscany Road Trip guide I'm referencing in case you'd like to provide some feedback and help me out:

www.autoeurope.com/go/road-trip-planner/italy/tuscany-italy-casentino-valley/

A bit more information about us:

* We like to travel on a budget and get the biggest bang for our buck, but if we're going to Italy we don't mind spending a little extra to make the most of our time there.

* We enjoy cities but want to spend most of our time in smaller towns where we can enjoy great food and wine without fighting the crowds.

* We're planning to go in the early fall in an effort to save a little money by avoiding travel in the summer.

Thanks in advance,

Joe

Edited: 5 years ago
Chicago, Illinois
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54 reviews
54 helpful votes
1. Re: Best Road Trip in Tuscany?
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Welcome to TripAdvisor Joe

A few things that you should know - 1. a .05 blood alcohol content is legal drunk driving and roads have a lot of sharp curevs. 2. Do not rent a car and drive in a ZTL zone (restricted access) 3. There is really nothing off the beaten track in Tuscany 4. Get a good guide book on Tuscany Rick Steeves or frommers is pretty good, and skip the AutoEurope agenda.

So some questions for You-

How long are you staying?

Where are you flying in and out of? - Make sure you do not back track in Tuscany

Popular cites/towns in Tuscany that you may want to look into - Lucca, Siena, Pisa, Florence, and the Val D'Orica are were there are small town and gorgeous views. San Gimignano is a tourist heavy but you should stop there if you have a chance

There are destination experts that will chime in, but I recommend that you at least spend some time In Florence for your 1st trip.

Edited: 5 years ago
California
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2. Re: Best Road Trip in Tuscany?
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Lonely Planet's "Italy's Best Trips--38 Amazing Road Trips".... you may find something; it looks pretty good.

Los Angeles...
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3. Re: Best Road Trip in Tuscany?
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Michelin Green Guide will also have proposed driving itineraries, so I would definitely look into it. Get a Michelin Road Map for Tuscany or, better yet, a Touring Club Italiano map of Tuscany. If you can get a hold of a GPS, that will add to your enjoyment but still get the maps.

You will also need to obtain a mandatory International Driving Permit from your local AAA. Bring passport photos and they will take a photo of you there. It will cost about $25.

Just know that early fall and fall in general, until about the last of October, is still very much high season in Italy and also in Tuscany, so you are not likely to save on places to stay. There are places for every budget though.

Los Angeles...
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4. Re: Best Road Trip in Tuscany?
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Do rent your car through AutoEurope. It is a wonderful company.

Ottawa, Canada
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5. Re: Best Road Trip in Tuscany?
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We have done 2 road trips in Tuscany. The first thing is purchase a good map of just Tuscany and most include Umbria and you will see that the most interesting route are highlited in dark green.

Also since you like the small towns, search for market days and plan on visiting those towns on market days.

There are books on 1-prettiest drives and 2-prettiest villages. I basically highlite the drives and put a dot on towns and link them together. Both times we rented a villa, once for a week and then for 2 and used it as our base going out almost every day. Also extremely helpfull was a GPS, you can buy one at COSTCO (online) for the same price as renting from the car rental company and you get to keep it.

Chicago, Illinois
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828 posts
54 reviews
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6. Re: Best Road Trip in Tuscany?
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Anna I just bought a international driver permit at AAA its $15 and I agree auto Europe is nice to work with

Kansas
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3,870 posts
23 reviews
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7. Re: Best Road Trip in Tuscany?
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joe,

This may help http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/tuscany/hs_planning.htm

Pittsboro, North...
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6,635 posts
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8. Re: Best Road Trip in Tuscany?
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I looked at your link provided, it looks perfectly reasonable and interesting to me. I offer one idea: plan that the driving times will run longer than they estimate - whenever i see estimated driving times for Italy, I always add about 25-30% onto the estimate. Otherwise, driving in Tuscany is fun, easy, provided that you stay out of Florence.

Gray, Maine
2 posts
1 review
2 helpful votes
9. Re: Best Road Trip in Tuscany?
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Thanks for all of the helpful responses everyone! Appreciate the help and the warm welcome.

Ocean City, Maryland
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10. Re: Best Road Trip in Tuscany?
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The driver should be familiar with the Italian driving laws, ZTL's and the dreaded bus lanes:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187893-c140065/Tuscany:Italy:Driving.In.Italy.html

www.viamichelin.com will give you an idea of distance, time and costs.

September would be a lovely time to visit.

Here's a thread regarding insurance:

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187768-i20-k7192848-Car_rental_insurance-Italy.html#55989794

Happy planning!

Edited: 5 years ago
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