Tuscany, Italy suggestions

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by AudiNick, Oct 8, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. AudiNick

    AudiNick Member

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    Newbie to the forum so my apologies in advance if I am posting in the wrong area.

    I am in the planning stages for my wife and I to take our honeymoon (belated) to Tuscany, Italy in the June/July 2013 time frame for a week.

    I was wondering if there was any advice or suggestions from the other members.

    We did a quick search and found the Renaissance Tuscany II Ciocco Resort and Spa which did appeal to us. No attachment to it though if there are other similar Marriott properties that would be recommended instead.

    Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Need waaaaaaaaaaay more information to help.
    1. Have you been to Italy (or Europe) before?
    2. What's your price range or, conversely, are you looking for a stay on points?
    3. Do you prefer a rural or city location?
    4. Do you intend to rent a car?
    5. What are your interests? Food? Wine? Art? Nature?
     
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  3. AudiNick

    AudiNick Member

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    Larry,
    1. Not long enough that it counts (military transports with no time to explore during stops).
    2. I'm hoping to use points for as much as possible for travel/hotel.
    3. Rural
    4. Most likely.
    5. Definitely Food & Wine. Horseback riding & spa would be nice as well.
    Cheers
     
  4. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    I'm not a chain-hotel person (and I'm not particularly into the spa experience either), so I can't help you too much in regard to selecting a hotel. I did stay in a nice castle hotel two summers ago (the Borgo Pretale outside Sienna) which I would recommend (outstanding restaurant, as well). I can also give you the name (which I would have to look up) of a B & B west of Florence run by my friend's sister where they also produce biodynamic wine but I don't think it's particularly fancy (maybe not what you're looking for for your honeymoon).

    Here are some general tips for Tuscany:
    1. Sienna is an infinitely more atmospheric city than Florence. In fact, Florence, as a city, is one of my less favorite towns in Italy.
    2. In Florence you can (and should) reserve an entrance to the Uffizi galleries in advance on-line. I believe you can also reserve for other museums, but it's pretty much mandatory for the Uffizi.
    3. Also in Florence, the central market is nice and the leather market in the surrounding streets in one of my favorite places for bags, briefcases, and the like.
    4. Pisa is worth an hour or two but the nearby town of Lucca is, again, much nicer as a town. Like Sienna, you park outside the walls and the town is mostly pedestrian. Make sure to see the Piazza Anfiteatro and the main shopping street.
    5. In Tuscany, the smaller roads which tend to follow the tops of the hills are much more interesting than the larger ones in the valleys. Try to have at least half a day to simply find the smallest roads you can (there are still dirt roads in some areas) and get lost.
    6. Produtto Surgelato means "frozen item". Watch out for it on menus.
    7. You can make a day trip to the Cinque Terre by car or train if you want to see a very different part of Italy.
    Also, before you go, buy and charge a couple of spare batteries for your camera.
    Sorry I can't help you on the main issue (hotel), but I hope some of this is interesting to you. Please feel free to ask any other questions.
     

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