We're planning our Big Summer 2010 Italy Trip. My husband and I were last there in 1988 on our honeymoon. We're planning this 19 day trip with our 14 year old twins. Preliminary plans are: 7 days Rome with day trip to Pompeii; 7 days Umbria/Tuscany with day trips to Assisi and Pisa; 5 days Venice with day trip to Murano, Burano and Torcello? My question is where is a good central location in Umbria or Tuscany to do day trips? We'll be renting a car for this leg of our trip and traveling by train for the other legs. Also flying into Rome and out of Marco Polo? What do you think? Going with self catering apartments during stay. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. L
Sounds like a great trip! (and a long time to wait for summer 2010 to arrive)
I'll repeat what everybody always says about Pisa: nothing to do that but see the tower. 2 hours in Pisa is plenty. Nearby Lucca is much better for the rest of the day. Rent bicycles and circle the city atop the 3-mile old city wall.
Regarding a central location for day trips to see Tuscany/Umbria, you'll spend a lot of time in the car each day if you try just one central location, like Arezzo, and try to drive out from there each day.
I'd recommend staying a few days in western Tuscany for shorter daytrips to see places like Siena, Montalcino, Montepulciano, Volterra, and San Gimignano. Perhaps base near Siena.
Then move your base to the east (Assisi area), for a few days for short daily drives to see Umbria.
You have to look some for apartments that rent for less than a full 7 days, Saturday to Saturday, but there some that do it.
Great trip! Umbria and Tuscany together cover a large area. With a car, I'd suggest somewhere in the Chianti region. There are many agriturismos there and, being north of Siena, you can get to Pisa and Lucca fairly easily and also east to Assisi. On your day trip there, consider also going to Gubbio.
Lori, What an exciting trip you have planned. We stayed in an apartment in the Tuscan Hill town of Pelago. their webiste: www.lafornella.com
The owner is from Arizona and is married to an Italian dentist. Its a lovely place and easy to take day trips to Pisa, Lucca, Cortona, etc. The train to Florence is only minutes away. We also arrived in Rome and rented a car. We drove to Naples, stayted 4 days, drove along the Adriatic coast, stayed in Rimini for 1 night then on the Venice for 4 days, stayed in Pelago for a week, then to Rome for our final 4 days. We never had a problem driving around. There really isn't much to see in Pisa, except the tower..so you won't really need to spend a whole day there.