Siena, Italy



Example Italian/Tuscany Itinerary

This itinerary is an example that you can use to plan and design your own trip. It is not a specific down-to-the-minute step-by-step schedule, but rather contains ideas and suggestions to help you in your planning.
If anyone would like to submit their input for this itinerary, please use the contact link above to make comments or suggestions. I will credit the submitted ideas with the name or id of whoever submits them.

Day One, Friday evening

Day one consists of getting to the airport, boarding a flight to Rome, and flying over the Atlantic Ocean.

Day Two, Saturday

On day 2 you will arrive in Rome, make your way to the hotel and then begin seeing the sights of Rome.

Arrival

On the morning of day two, the plane arrives in Rome at the Fiumicino International Airport, also known as the Leonardo da Vinci Airport.
First you will go through immigration (passport check,) and then enter the baggage claim area. Once you retrieve your luggage, you will go through the customs area, and on into the main terminal of the airport.

Money

You will then want to make your way to the trains, but along the way keep a lookout for the ATM machines. Get some money, whatever you feel you will need for the first few days in Rome, but be sure to put it in a safe place once you get it out of the machine. There are ATMs everywhere, so you can get more money when you need it.

Getting to the hotel

Once you get to the trains, get a ticket for the express train to Stazione Centrale Roma Termini. This is the central Rome train station, also known as just Termini. As of August of 2002, the fare was around ten Euro. Make sure not to get on one of the local (non-express) trains, as the trip into Rome will be much longer.

What you do once you get to the Termini station will depend on which hotel you will be staying at. Check a map, and maybe also call the hotel, to see how far the hotel is from the Termini station.

If it is within walking distance (only you can determine how far that is), and the weather is good, then pick up your small bag and pull your suitcase along the streets of Rome to the hotel. Get your map out and follow the route to your hotel. This will help you get your bearings in the city. This will be a great way to get an introduction to the city. Plus the exposure to the daylight will help with getting over jetlag.

If you feel that walking will not work for your situation, then get a taxi. When you take a taxi, make sure it is one of the official white or yellow taxi's with the "Taxi" sign on top. There should be plenty to choose from at the Termini station. Have the name and address of the hotel written on a piece of paper and show it to the driver to make sure there are no misunderstandings because of a difference in pronunciation. Also, have your map with you and follow along as he makes his way to the hotel. Not only will this help to make sure you are not being ripped off, but will help you get your bearings in the city.

Other options of getting from the airport to the city are:

  • Airport shuttles. Here are a couple of examples:
  • Take a Limo from the airport. Here is one example:
  • Take a taxi from the airport to your hotel
    • As of August 2002, the cost will probably be around 50-60 Euro
    • Make sure to take one of the official taxis -- white or yellow taxi's with the "Taxi" sign on top

The hotel

A few hotels that I have heard good things about are the Pensione Panda, the Hotel Trinita dei Monte (near the Spanish Steps) and the Santa Chiara (behind the Pantheon). I'm sure there are other fine hotels in this same general area. A few helpful web sites are Venere.com, Sleeping Italy and ItalVista. And be sure to check out other general travel web sites as well.

Adjusting to the time difference

Once you get to the hotel and get checked in, go ahead and "freshen up", but don't take a nap. Sure, you will be tired from the long flight and the difference in time zones, but you need to get your body adjusted to the local time. Get out of the hotel into the daylight. Even if it is overcast or raining, your brain will subconciously see that it is daytime, and begin to adjust its internal clock.
Try to go to bed at your normal time. For example, if you go to bed at 10:00 PM, try to wait until 10:00 PM local time before going to bed.

Day two, afternoon

OK, lets take a walk.
There are a lot of options here, and the best one will depend on where your hotel is located. Assuming that the hotel is in the general area of the ones listed above, here is one possible scenario.

Lunch

Find the Via Condotti and begin your walk there, site seeing and window shopping along the way until you find some nice little place to get some lunch. Standing and eating at the counter will cost a little less than if you sit at a table. However, if you don't feel like standing, it won't be a great deal more expensive to sit down.

Italy Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona

Continue your walk from here by heading in the direction of the Piazza Navona, one of the most famous piazzas in Rome. Don't be in such a hurry to get there that you forget to see what's there along the way. You're still tired and jetlagged, so take your time and continue site seeing and window shopping as you walk.
Once you arrive at the Piazza Navona, begin to let yourself sink into the Roman experience. There will be artists of all kinds there, as well as street theater. Take it all in and just relax for a while.

Dinner

When it gets to be time for dinner, you again have many options. There are restaurants right there in the piazza, or you can begin to stroll back toward your hotel and find someplace along the way. If you are like me, you were checking things out on the way to the piazza, and may already have some place in mind by the time you are heading back toward your hotel.

Day Three, Sunday

On day three you can take a walk around the city of Rome seeing many of the well known sights, such as the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, ancient Roman walls, Borghese Gardens and finishing up at the Pantheon.

Information

This is some general information that will apply to the entire trip

Breakfast

Most hotels will have some sort of breakfast included in the price. At some hotels you can reduce the rate if you do not want to partake of their breakfast. Each day in this itinerary, you can either have breakfast at the hotel or get something somewhere else on your own.

Laundry

Check with the concierge or front desk at the hotel to find a place where you can either wash some clothes or drop them off to be washed. This will allow you to pack lighter.

From the ItalianTourism.com tips page: Most hotels have laundry and dry cleaning facilities. If the hotel does not provide these services, the desk clerk can direct you to the nearest shop (tintoria) or you can look in the classified telephone directory under Tintorie (cleaning and pressing) or Lavanderie (laundry.)

Tip from peggyo: The best thing I ever came upon in my travels was a combination Internet cafe/laundromat in Rome. It was called "SplashNet"! We could keep in touch with the folks at home while our whites were getting white again! I don't know if there are more out there, but it was a definite efficient use of time.
A laundromat/Internet point with international TV channels. Offers a drop off/pick up laundry service as well as information on hotels and hostels, and bike and scooter rental. Because of its close proximity to Termini, Splashnet also offers a baggage check service.
15 minutes of free Internet access while you wash your clothes. Additional time is reasonably priced. Via Varese, 33, 3 blocks north of Termini.

The pace of your trip

I have attempted to make this itinerary such that you will not have to get up at 6:00 AM and stay on the go until midnight. You can go at it at a more leisurely pace and still see the things I have outlined here. However, you can adjust this if you want to see more in the same amount of time.

Borghese Gardens/Walls/US Embassy

Start off by walking to the Borghese Gardens. After wandering through the gardens, you can see some ancient Roman walls nearby, and then stroll down the Via Veneto. Among other things, this will bring you by the U.S. Embassy, housed in the Palazzo Margherita.

Lunch

Along the way, whenever it feels like a good time to eat, go ahead and find someplace to grab a bite, whether is is along the Via Veneto, near the Spanish Steps or the Trevi Fountain, or after that.

Spanish Steps

From the U.S. Embassy, using your trusty map, find your way to the nearby Piazza Trinita dei Monti. Here you will find the French church Trinita dei Monti, with its twin cupolas. Inside is the fresco Descent from the Cross by Daniele da Volterra. The church closes at 1:00 PM and reopens at 4:00 PM.
This piazza is at the top of the Spanish Steps. These steps were actually built by the French, to provide access up the muddy slope to this church. The steps got their name due to the Piazza di Spagna below, where the Spanish Embassy is located.
Walk down the steps to the Piazza di Spagna where you will find the fountain Fontana della Barcaccia, shaped like a boat.

Italy Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

From here, make your way to the nearby Trevi Fountain. Be sure to throw at least one coin in the fountain, holding it in your right hand, with your back to the fountain, and throwing it over your left shoulder.
Remember to take your time with site seeing and window shopping. And some actual souvenir shopping as well.

Pantheon

Now we come to the highlight of the day, the Pantheon — the ancient Roman temple to all of the gods. Located in the Piazza della Rotonda, it is now a Catholic church.
This marvel of Roman engineering was the largest domed building in the world for centuries. Take your time and explore the Pantehon and the piazza.

Dinner

This would be a good place to find a restaurant for dinner. Or you may have seen someplace that looked good as you made your way to the Pantheon.

Day Four, Monday

Today is a day for more of Rome's tourist sights, like the Forum and the Colliseum.

If you are gong to drop off some clothes to be washed, do it this morning, and then pick them up later today or tomorrow before leaving Rome.

Monument to Vittorio Emanuelle II

Check your map for the Piazza Venezia, it should be a short walk from your hotel, about a mile from the hotels listed. If it is farther than you want to walk, then get a taxi or use a bus to get there. You can check with the concierge or front desk at the hotel for information about the busses.
At the Piazza Venezia is the monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, the king of Italy responsible for uniting the individual city-states into one country.
Here you will find a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, with changing of the guard at certain times. Also, you can climb stairs to the top of the monument for some fine views of the city of Rome.

Capitoline Hill

Nearby is the Capitoline Hill, or Campodoglio. You will climb some stairs from the street level to the Piazza di Campidoglio. On each side of the piazza are the two buildings that make up the Capitoline Museums, and in the center is a copy of one of the finest equestrian statues in the world, the statue of Marcus Aurelius. The original is in the museum. Spend some time exploring the Capitoline Museums.
Directly oposite the top of the stairs is the Monte Capitolino, which is still the seat of Rome's city government. Make your way behind this building and you will see a view of the ancient Roman Forum. Many famous Romans walked the ground you will see below you.

Ancient Roman Forum

From the Capitoline Hill, make your way down to the Forum. Use your guide book to figure out what each ruin was. You will see such things as the Temple of Saturn, the House of the Vestal Virgins, the Curia (Senate House), the Forum Square, and a lot more.

Lunch

Sometime before or after the forum, you can stroll around the area and look for someplace to get a bite to eat.

Palatine Hill and Circus Maximus

At the other end of the Forum, is the Palatine Hill. At the ticket booth at the entrance to the Palatine Hill, you can buy a ticket which will gain you entrance to both the Palatine Hill and the Colosseum.
The main attraction on the Palatine Hill is the Imperial Palace. Among the other things to see are "the hut of Romulus and Remus" and a view of the Circus Maximus. Be warned ahead of time, however, that there is only the barest of rubble left here to see.

Italy Colosseum

Colosseum

From the Palatine Hill, make your way down the Via Sacra, past the Arch of Titus, to the Colosseum. The Colosseum is just another Roman amphitheater. It came to be called the "Colosseum" because of its colossal size.
Outside of the colosseum, you will probably see people dressed as gladiators. They will gladly let you take pictures with them, for a fee. Explore the exterior of the structure, and then go on inside. Your guide book will come in handy again to describe some of the things you're are seeing, and to give some history of the Colosseum.

Dinner

Explore the area around here, and along the way back to your hotel, and find a likely place for dinner.

Day Five, Tuesday

Today you can tour the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica before catching a train to Florence.

If you haven't picked up your laundry yet, make sure you do so before leaving Rome.
Check out of your hotel, and you should be able to leave your bags with them while you are at the Vatican. Then you can stop by the hotel to retrieve your luggage before going to the train station.

Vatican Museums

This morning, you can make your way to Vatican City. It will be between one to two miles from your hotel, and you can use a taxi, or the bus or underground (subway.) If you use the underground, take Line A. The "Cipro" stop is closest to the museums, but not all trains stop there. The preceding stop is Ottaviano, and is just a little farther from the museums.
Take your time and see as much as you can here. There is a lot to see.
When you buy your ticket, you should get a pamphlet describing the museums, and how to get through them to the Sistine Chapel.

Sistine Chapel

You will enter the chapel, from the museums, at the altar end of the chapel. As you go into the room, behind you will be Michelangelo's Final Judgement which was painted 23 years after he finished the ceiling.
On both sides of the chapel, below the ceiling, are paintings of the life of Jesus on one sde, and of Moses on the other, attempting to show correlations between the lives of the two major biblical characters. And above them is the famous ceiling by Michelangelo.
Take some time to appreciate what is here. When you are ready to leave, look diagonally across the room from where you entered. There is a door there that is used by tour groups. (Your normal exit would take you back through the museums, and a long walk to St. Peter's Basilica.) Try to go out through this door as a tour group exits, and it will take you close to the entrance to the basilica.

Italy St. Peter's Basillica

St. Peter's Basillica

This basilica was designed and built by many people. The trancept area, including the dome, was designed by Michelangelo, who built on unfinished work by several others.
As you enter the front doors, if you turn to your right, you will come to Michelangelo's famous Pieta, behind a plexiglass screen. As you make your way around the basilica, you will see many pieces of art that appear to be paintings. However, there are no paintings here. These are all mosaics.

Lunch

At some point while you are here at the Vatican, you can walk around and find someplace to get some lunch. Depending on how long you spend in the museums and Sistine Chapel, you may do this before or after viewing St. Peter's Basilica.
Just outside of St. Peter's Square (Piazza di San Pietro) are some likely places.

Train to Florence

Although there are many more things to be seen in Rome, it is time for us to move on for this trip. A future trip should be planned to return and see more of this great city.

The schedule of trains between Roma and Firenze (Florence) is pretty flexible. You can leave as late as 9:30 PM (21:30) which would get you into Florence at about 11:17 PM (23:17). However, you will probably want to get an earlier train. The 4:30 PM (16:30) train will get you to Florence by 6:06 PM (18:06), for example. This will allow you to get to your hotel at a reasonable time, and be able to find a nice place for dinner.
Once you have decided on a time, make sure to leave time to get back to your hotel to retrieve your luggage.

Florence

Here are some links about Florence that should be helpful.

  • AboutFlorence.com ...your tourist guide to Florence
  • Florence Guide and Hotels
  • Click Florence Hotels
  • Agli Uffizi B&Bis situated inside a renaissance florentine palace, in one of the most typical, characteristic streets of the historical centre of the city, close to Piazza della Signoria.
  • the Hotel Casci, very conveniently located, moderately priced, not deluxe but clean and comfortable, and run by very nice people. As with most hotels, if you ask for a room in the back, it's usually considerably quieter,
  • the Hotel Hermitage, its a small B & B right off the Ponte Vecchio with a rooftop garden where you can have breakfast
  • Florence Restaurants and Cafes

Dinner

Once you get settled into your hotel, it's time for dinner, a leisurely walk around the area, and then to bed.

Day Six, Wednesday

There are as many things to see in Florence as there are in Rome. Some would say there is more. I will attempt to outline a few of them here, but as with Rome, you should plan another trip to Florence in the future to see more of it.

As you did in Rome, check with the concierge or front desk at the hotel to find a place where you can either wash some clothes or drop them off to be washed.

Florence Art Lectures

One way to get an introduction to Florence and its art is through an Art Lecture:

Art Lectures (Information from Anne) My husband and I just came from a fantastic Art Lecture and we promised to let people know about it. We were only in Florence for a few days but we should've gone our first day here. I actually understand this amazing art that surrounds us now! They are called Florence Art Lectures and they bring you into this beautiful Palazzo right in Santa Croce Square (with wine too!!) It only lasted about an hour and a half but she (the historian) made the art fun and interesting. We thought we couldn't afford something like this - too extravagant - but they gave us a deal so that we could. I highly recommend contacting them upon your arrival to Florence. Don't know the phone number but they are at 21 Santa Croce Square and they do lectures every day, and they have a website - www.florenceart.org. Happy and safe travels!

Check this out ahead of time, and if you are interested go ahead and book a lecture. I have not done this, but I probably will the next time I go to Florence. They also have walking tours of Florence which include art lectures.
If you do schedule an art lecture or a walking tour of Florence, or anything like that, you will have to adjust this itinerary to account for that.

The Baptistery of St. John

In the Piazza del Duomo, standing in front of the duomo (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore), is the much older Baptistery of St. John, who is the patron saint of Florence. It was built over some ancient Roman ruins, probably walls, as was typical for the time. This building was the cathedral of Florence until 1128, when they put the baptismal font here.

The Gateway to Paradise

There are three dorways in the Baptistery of Saint John. The south doors, which are usually open, were built by Andrea Pisano of Pontedera and were installed in 1336. The north doors, completed by Lorenzo Ghiberti, were installed in the east entrance in 1424. This set of doors was moved to the north entrance when Ghiberti completed the last set of doors in 1452. The set of doors completed in 1452 was considered so beautiful that they must be set in the honored position in the east entrance, facing the duomo. When Michelangelo first saw them, he was so awed by them that he called them the "Gateway to Paradise".
The doors which are in place now are copies. The originals are in the nearby "Museo dell'Opera del Duomo".
Be sure to go inside this beautiful church as well as admiring the doors.

Italy Florence Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore

Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore

Although this cathedral was begun in 1296 during the Gothic period, it was designed without the flying buttresses normally present in Gothic churches. The present facade of the church was completed in 1887, replacing the original. The three stained glass windows over the doors were designed by Ghiberti.
Be sure to have your guide book available when you tour the interior of the church. Among the art inside is an unfinished pieta by Michelangelo, in the first chapel, which he worked on between 1547-1555.

Brunelleschi's Cupola (dome)

When Arnolfo da Cambio designed the cathedral, his design included a huge cupola. At the time, no one, including da Cambio, had any idea how to go about building this dome. In the early 1400's, as the time was growing near to actually build the cupola, the question of how to go about it was still unanswered. The traditional method, which consiusted of building wooden arches and then building the dome over them and removing the wood after it was done, was not practical for such a large dome. Filippo Brunelleschi, who grew up in Florence, set himself the task of figuring out how to build this dome, and making sure that he was the only logical choice to do so. When the competition for designing and building the dome occurred, Brunelleschi won the commission.
At the beginning of the first nave is a small door that leads up to the cupola. Be sure to climb to the top (463 steps) to get a fantastic view of the city. If the weather is bad on the day you plan to do this, schedule it for another day.

Lunch

At some point, you will be ready for some lunch. On the piazza, right near the church and baptistery, there is a cafe, but it will probably be crowded. If you walk down the same side of the piazza, away from the church, there is another cafe which will probably be less crowded, and your business will be more appreciated. If that one is not to your satisfaction, walk a block or so away from the piazza and find someplace less crowded and touristy.

Giotto's Campanile (bell tower)

Next to the cathedral is the bell tower designed by the brilliant pre-renaissance artist Giotto. He began building it in 1334, three years before his death. It was finished by Andrea da Pontedera.
You can climb to the top of the campanille also (414 steps) if you are so inclined.

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo

In addition to the original Ghiberti panels from the Gateway to Paradise, there are works here from Donatello, Pisano and others, including a fine pieta by Michelangelo. This museum is located on the Piazza del Duomo, behind the church. You will find that this museum is usually less crowded than the other more famous museums in Florence.

Dinner

When you are ready to find a place for dinner, take a walk from the Piazza del Duomo in the direction of the Ponte Vecchio. This is an old bridge across the river with jewelers shops along both sides.
As you walk north from the bridge you will find the Paizza della Republica. There you should be able to find a nice place to spend the dinner hours. There are many restaurants with inside and outside seating that will be happy to acccomodate you. Or use your guide book or online references for recommendations.

Day Seven, Thursday

Today you can see many of the wonderful sights of Florence, including getting views of the city from the Piazzale Michelangelo and visiting the seat of power of the city and the nearby gallery.

Italy Florence Piazzale Michelangelo

Piazzale Michelangelo

You've seen views of Florence where the duomo and its cupola dominate the skyline? The Piazzale Michelangelo is one place where you can get views like that. Your guide book and map will help you get here.
In the middle of the piazzale is a huge bronze copy of Michelangelo's David. Around the piazzale there will be stalls set up with artists, craftsmen and vendors. Take some time and admire the views as well as check out the stalls.

Scooters

This might be a good time to rent some scooters (motorbikes). By this time, you've seen them all over Rome and Florence. Check into renting a scooter for the day, or just the morning. The concierge or front desk at the hotel should be able to help you find a place to rent them.

Use the scooters to get to the Piazzale Michelangelo and back.

Nearby sites

A short walk will bring you to the Church of San Miniato which is surrounded by a cemetery (delle Porte Sante) within a fortress built by Michelangelo during the seige of Florence in 1530.
Among the things to see in this church is the chapel of the Crucifix by Michelozzo in 1447 for the miraculous Crucifix of San Giovanni Gualberto.
As you leave the church, on the right is the Bishop's Palace, which was begun in the 13th century and enlarged in 1320.

Back to the city

Use your scooters to get back to the city. If you are through with them for the day, take them back to where you rented them. If not, then head for the Piazza Signoria.

Lunch

Depending on how long you took at the Piazzale Michelangelo, you may be ready for some lunch. You should be able to find a nice little place along the way to stop and eat.

Piazza della Signoria

This is a piazza dominated by the Palazzo Signoria (Palazzo Vecchio, old palace,) the seat of Florence's ancient government. In front of the palace is another copy of Michelangelo's David. This one is in the place where the original was unveiled. There is another statue near it, and on the other corner of the palace is a fountain with another nude statue. These two statues were inspired by the David, but do not come close to the perfection of Michelangelo's David.
Also here is Cellini's Perseus.

Galleria degli Uffizi

This would be a good time to visit the nearby Uffizi Gallery, one of Italy's finest museums of art, with most major Italian artists represented: Cimabue, Duccio, Giotto, Fra Angelico, Paolo Uccello, Piero della Francesca, Filippo Lippi, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Caravaggio and many more. Take your time, spend the afternoon here.

The gallery is open Tuesday-Sunday 8:15 AM through 6:50 PM
To guarantee your choice of museum visiting hours from May to October, reservations should be made 10 days in advance.

  • FlorenceArt book tickets for museums in Florence and several other cities.
  • GoPorta.com book museum tickets throughout Italy.

Dinner

You should be able to find a nice place nearby for dinner. Or use your guide book or online references for recommendations. One good option is Trattoria del Pennello, located in Piazza San Martino, on Via Dante Alighieri in the building where Dante lived before he was exiled from Florence. It has been there since the late 1400's and has great food.

Day Eight, Friday

If you are gong to drop off some clothes to be washed, do it this morning, and then pick them up later today or tomorrow before leaving Florence.

Galleria dell'Accademia

At some point during your visit to Florence, you must go to the Accademia Gallery to see Michelangelo's David. The gallery is closed on Mondays, as are most museums in Italy. It opens at 8:15 AM and closes at 6:50 PM. Because it is a very popular site, you should probably get your tickets ahead of time so you don't have to stand in line.

Palazzo Pitti, Palatine Gallery, Museum of Modern Art

If you still want to see more art, head to the Palazzo Pitti, on the other side of the river, for the Palatine gallery, where you can see works by Titian, Rapahel, Rubens, Tintoretto, Caravaggio and many others.
Check out the Royal Apartments in the Pitti Palace for tapestries, furniture, china, vases, gems, porcelains and fabrics.
Also located here is the Museum of Modern Art if you are interested in a change of pace.

Meals

You can fit lunch and dinner into this schedule wherever and whenever it feels right.

Italy Florence Church of Santa Croce

Church of Santa Croce

Finish the day by visiting the Church of Santa Croce, in the Piazza di Santa Croce (Holy Cross). Among the things to see here are the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, Macchiavelli and others. You will also find the Pazzi Chapel and cloisters designed by Brunelleschi and art by Donatello, Giotto, della Robbia and Cimabue.


Day Nine, Saturday

If you haven't picked up your laundry yet, make sure you do so before leaving Florence.

Drive to an Agriturismo in Tuscany

After a leisurely breakfast you can pick up your rental car. Depending on the auto rental company you use, there are several places you can pick up the car without having to go to the airport. From all that I have read, your best bet is to arrange the rental from your home country before leaving.

Here are some links that might be helpful for finding an agriturismo in Tuscany:

If you are interested, find one that has cooking classes.

Another interesting option is:

Landscape Painting Art Workshops in Tuscany Cooking Class available for non-painting companions attending certain workshops. Experienced Artists only for some workshops. The workshops are held at a 600 acre farm located in a small valley on the outskirts of San Gimignano, a picturesque medieval hilltop town known for its beautiful towers. The close proximity to Florence (30 miles) and Siena (15 miles) provide an ideal base from which to explore Tuscany.

Market days

Most towns in Italy have weekly market days. You can check Slow Travelers Italy for the days when you can find markets in various towns. For example, Siena's market day is Wednesday, Monteriggioni's day is Thursday. The market day in Castellina in Chianti is Saturday, so if you are staying near there, you can check out the market today also. Check out the possibilities before leaving home to maximize you options.

The rest of the day

Spend the rest of the day exploring as you drive to your lodging. Once you arrive, you can make a decision whether you want to take advantage of any facility they may have regarding dinner, or if you want to do more exploring and find a place to eat somewhere else. This is a good time to kick back and relax. Remember that you are on vacation. Don't stop exploring, but take things a little slower.

Day Ten, Sunday

Today is a day to explore.

Options

As with most of this itinerary, there are several options:

  • San Casciano dei Bagni

    • Take a nice Sunday drive to San Casciano dei Bagni and have lunch at Ristorante Daniela outside in their outdoor area.
      Ristorante Daniela, Piazza Matteotti, 7, San Casciano dei Bagni.
      Be sure to explore along the way, and take a different route back.
  • Monteriggioni

    • Take a ride to the medieval town of Monteriggione, mentioned in Dante's Inferno. Have lunch at the Ristorante Il Pozzo, Piazza Roma, 20 53035 - Monteriggioni (Si) tel. +39 0577 304 127
  • Vinci

    • Visit the childhood home of Leonardo da Vinci. Although he was not born in Vinci (he was born in Anchiano, 3km away), you can visit the Museo Ideale Leonardo da Vinci and several other museums.
      Have lunch at the Ristorante Leonardo, Via Montalbano nord, 16 50056 - Vinci (FI)

Day Eleven, Monday

Today you can visit the very interesting town of Siena. Be sure to walk around the duomo and see the unfinished walls which will show you the size that they originally intended the church to be.

Italy Siena Piazza del Campo

Siena

A most worthwile place to visit in Tuscany is Siena.
Siena, made up of seventeen "contrada", or city-states, is one of the best preserved medieval cities in Italy.
One sugestion for a place to eat is the Gallo Nero. In addition to a "local menu", the Gallo Nero Restaurant offers a wide selection of dishes which are a faithful reconstruction of the recipes found in medieval cookbooks.


Day Twelve, Tuesday

Today you can take a day trip to Pisa and its most famous sight. And stop in Pistoia on the way.

Pistoia

On the way to Pisa, stop off at Pistoia. In addition to an interesting facade, the Romanesque Cattedrale di San Zeno also contains the Dossale di San Jacopo, a magnificent silver altar. The two half-figures on the lower part its left side are by Filippo Brunelleschi, the architect of the dome in Florence. These are some of his earliest works, and represent some of the beginnings of the Renaissance. The church is in the Piazza del Duomo in Pistoia.
Phone: 0573/25095
The church is open daily 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM and then again from 3:30 PM to 7:00 PM.
The altar is open daily 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM to 5:45 PM.

Pisa

From Pistoia, continue on to Pisa. The Pisa Tourist Guide will help with information about the city. When you arrive at the parking area for the Piazza del Duomo, also known as the Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles) because of the beauty of the architecture, there will be a shuttle that is made to look like a little train. This will take you to the entrace to the piazza.

Back to the agriturismo

When you are finished here, drive back to the agriturismo for some winery tours tomorrow.

Day Thirteen, Wednesday

Today, you can visit some of the famous and not-so-famous wineries in the Chianti district of Tuscany.

Wineries

Here a some options, but there are many more.

Rocca della Macie

The Rocca della Macie winery makes several wines, including the Chianti for which this region is famous. Free guided tour with wine tasting every Wednesday from April to October at the following times: 10am-11am, 11.30am-12.30pm. Advance booking is required for all visits. They also offer "Farm Holidays" so you could make this your base in Tuscany.

Castello di Verrazzano

Located in the celebrated Chianti Region, Castello di Verrazzano began winemaking in 1170. In addition to great views, gardens and fountains, you can taste their wines, along with snacks, for somewhere around $14.00 US. (The price and menu may change at any time.) In addition to tasting the wine, with expert instruction, you get a complimentary glass. You also get to taste the wild boar salami and proscuitto along with the wine.
To reach the Castle, take the Highway A1 till the exit FIRENZE SUD. Take the state road SS222 to Greve in Chianti. Right after the sign GRETI turn right to the Castello di Verrazzano.

Castello Banfi

Another option is the Castello Banfi in Montalcino. They produce many types of wines, including Brunello di Montalcino. The following is information from their web site:

Visitors are always welcome to the Castello Banfi estate in Montalcino, where a range of activities appeals to many interests. If you just drop in, you will find our enoteca open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., plus the same hours for our glass museum. Our casual dining style "Taverna Banfi" is open for lunch between 12:30 and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and winery tours are offered at 4 p.m. daily Monday through Friday, though in both cases it is best to make reservations three or four weeks ahead of time. Advance reservations are mandatory for dinner at the more formal "Ristorante Banfi." Ristorante Banfi is open for dinner only, Tuesday through Saturday from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Winery tours and restaurant service are available throughout the year except for two weeks in mid-August when the estate closes for vacation.

Spend the day tasting the produce of Tuscany at the source at these wineries, or others you may find by searching the Internet, or through other sources.

Antica Macelleria Cecchini

You can also drive to Panzano in Chianti and visit one of the most famous macellerias (butcher shops) in Chianti, the Antica Macelleria Cecchini.
Dario Cecchini descends from a long line of butchers and has recreated an antique-style macelleria on the site of the family shop which was destroyed during the war. As well as being an extremely creative butcher and an excellent cook, he's a showman who has done a lot to promote Panzano and traditional food. His shop is a tourist attraction as well as a place to buy unusual cuts of fresh meat and prepared meats.

Day Fourteen, Thursday

Today we can go outside of Tuscany and see a little more of this beautiful country.

Umbrian Pottery

Today, leave Tuscany and take a drive to the Italian region of Umbria to check out the pottery. Some likely places to visit are Deruta, Gubbio or Orvieto. Check out the Deruta pottery, Pottery - Gubbio and Orvieto Italy web sites for information. You can get more information about Umbria at Bella Umbria.

Day Fifteen, Friday

Today you can check out of the agriturismo and drive back to Florence.

Return to Florence

Today, you can make your way back to Florence and return your rental car. Take your time, explore any places you may have found out about during your time in Tuscany. Use a different hotel in Florence this time to get a little variety of the city.

Day Sixteen, Saturday

Now it is time to head back to Rome.

Return to Rome

Today you will take the train back to Rome. You can get an early start so you can have more time in Rome on your last day, or take your time and get there when you get there. Try to get a hotel near the airport.

Ostia Antica or Tivoli

A couple of options for your last afternoon and evening in Rome is a side trip to Ostia Antica or Tivoli.
A great place to eat in Tivoli is the Ristorante Antiche Terme di Diana.

Day Seventeen, Sunday

It had to come sometime — today you have to leave Italy behind and go home.

Fly home

If you stayed at a hotel near the airport, they should be able to shuttle you to the airport for your flight. If not, you will have to make your own way. Refer to the resources at the beginning of this itinerary.









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