In April my husband and I and our best friends are planning on doing a 12 day trip to Italy. I found excellent airline tickets flying into Munich and flying out of Genoa. We plan on taking the train to Bolzano stay a few nights there then take an overnight train (to save time) down to Florence. Does anyone have any suggestions or tips about taking an overnight train trip? This is how we think our trip will map out. Bolzano Days 1-3, Tuscany area Days 4-8, CT the remainder of the trip. These are the three home bases we would like. Does anyone have an opinion on what the most convenient home base in the Tuscany area would be for us? We do plan on renting a car to do some of our own adventures to hillside towns. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
In Bolzano you will need a car to visit the nearby Dolomites(a must).By bus is very difficult and close to futile. Bolzano only warrants the museum visit. Consider staying in Castelrotto instead.
For Tuscant :Siena, Assisi or Orvieto are great home bases depending on which hilltowns you wish to visit. My vote if you are a first timer is Siena.
Genoa does not warrant any time as it is a large port city.
Your best home base will depend on what you want to see. I like the southern Tuscany area, the Val d'Orcia. I have a very large file on this area if you are interested e-mail me. email@example.com
Thank you JS and Henry for replying to my questions. We have traveled other places in Europe on our own, but not Italy. It is nice to hear opinion of others that have been there before. I truly appreciate your input. We are having a meeting on Sunday to discuss our exact home bases. I will share your feedback and let you know what we decide. JS, even if we stay in Castelrotto will we need a car?
I have never taken an overnight train trip, but I did stay for 5 days in Tuscany last May and made that my home base. My husband and I stayed at the beautiful Borgo Argenina B&B (Rick Steves recommended). Location in Gaiole,(Chianti in Siena) was convenient for day trips to Siena, Florence, Arezzo, all of the Chianti region especially Castello Brolio, Volterra & San Gimignano. Her breakfasts are very good and the rooms are very charming. But the view her property has is so breathtaking it was worth the splurge! She also has a little house with two beds and a full kitchen with a porch. www.borgoargenina.it. 170 Euros. Hope this is helpful. PS. Delicious food in Monti, up the road, at the only restaurant in this small medival town.