Italy Tour plus time on our own

We will travel with an orchestra tour from Rome, Florence, Vienna, ending in Milan. Eleven days with a group, then we want to add another two weeks to that. Any tips,etc for this idea: An extra day or two in Milan, ten train to Genova and Cinque Terre for 2 or 3 days, then up to a full week somewhere in Tuscany as we want to STAY PUT for awhile with only short day excursions, for shopping, cooking and eating at home. Then on to the Amalfi Coast for 2 or 3 days with a train back to Rome for the trip home to Portland, OR. Thanks for all input.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Sounds like a great opportunity and a great plan. You just need to figure out where in Tuscany you want to stay for a week. Would you rent a car? Or rely on public transportation? Both are good choices, they just point in different directions in terms of a base.

Posted by Marilyn
Portland, OR, usa
4 posts

Thanks for the input! Have you stayed in Tuscany? If so, where, when, etc.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
5444 posts

Yes. Most recently in 2010. We spend two nights in the obligatory Florence, which is not my favorite place. Then two nights in an apartment in Lucca, which welcomed. Mthe apartment was inside the city wall, well-located and moderately priced. Mthe two bedrooms accommodated us and our two daughters nicely. The kitchen was modern and well-equipped for cooking, which we did one night. MIT is Casa Olivieri f you want to have a look. Then one night just outside Siena at an agriturismo we chose for its amazing swimming pools. This was halfway through our vacation and a perfect place to relax. We did go into Siena in the evening for dinner and a stroll, and wished we had allowed more time for Siena. The agriturismo is Il Mulino di Quercegrossa. It is set among vineyards with nice views. Me had a suite with a separate bedroom, balcony, and bedsin the main room for the girls. Mthe kitchen, however, was rudimentary and not really suitable for cooking. It was OK for making tea but that was it. And then we were off to Cinque Terre. I am sure you will get lots of recommendations for a Tuscan base, but t I sounds like you want a town, not a country villa or agriturismo. Lucca is very well located for visiting Florence. Pisa, and even Siena, but there may be other places equally, dependingonnwhat you want to see.