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baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
10873 posts

Where to stay in Tuscany for 2 weeks in November?
We are taking our 3 kids under 7 for about 2 weeks next November to Tuscany and will have a rental car. Plan is to rent a house within walking distance to a restaurant, some stores, bakery, etc. We can be in a bigger town/ city but just don't want to be so far in the country we can't walk to a restaurant, bakery, etc.

Thinking somewhere like Empoli or Prato area? Will go into Florence multiple days, and then day trip throughout. I know one location is not ideal but that's our plan. Thoughts?


geauxpurple
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jul 2014
3995 posts

re: Where to stay in Tuscany for 2 weeks in November?
This is where you want to stay. I have stayed there twice, most recently last year. It is in the heart of Chianti Classico country about half way between Florence and Siena and is an easy drive to both. The restaurants and shops may not be within walking distance, but the town of San Donato in Poggio is about a five minute drive away. There are some very good restaurants there. www.chianticortine.it La Canonica di Cortine
This post was edited on 12/2 at 8:45 pm


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jsquardjj
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2009
1017 posts

re: Where to stay in Tuscany for 2 weeks in November?
Normally I would say near Montepulciano, but a lot is closed there in November. I think staying in Chianti, where you are close enough to Florence is your best bet. You can get deals on Villas, but walking to restaurants/shops would be tough.

Check out Pienza or San Gimignano too


VABuckeye
Ohio State Fan
Oak Hill, VA
Member since Dec 2007
25284 posts

re: Where to stay in Tuscany for 2 weeks in November?
Greve


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hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
10024 posts

re: Where to stay in Tuscany for 2 weeks in November?
quote:

Plan is to rent a house within walking distance to a restaurant, some stores, bakery, etc. We can be in a bigger town/ city but just don't want to be so far in the country we can't walk to a restaurant, bakery, etc.

Since you're spending 2 weeks, I'm going to suggest that you split the time between two different locations. One in a walkable town, as you suggest, but why not do a week on a well-located agriturismo?

Plenty of farm-stay properties are kid friendly: a few animals, room to run around, lots of farm activities to observe, some have playground/swings, etc. You will still be able to drive into Florence or a nearby town, but you will gain room to spread out. I googled kid-friendly agriturismi in Tuscany and got this list: LINK Can't vouch for any of them, obvi, but there are enough pics to give you an idea of the sort of place I'm suggesting.

In addition, most agriturismi include breakfast in the room rates, with the option of adding dinner as well. It can be nice to NOT have to think about dinner after a long day of touring, driving, kid-wrangling. You can relax on-site, drink as much wine as you'd like, and stroll back to your room.


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
10873 posts

re: Where to stay in Tuscany for 2 weeks in November?
Everyone seems to really recommend between Florence and Sienna. I appreciate it. My only concern is we’d like to head to Pisa, Lucca, and the coast for a day or probably 2 and thats the opposite way. Also further from Florence then I’d prefer. Really like Greve though that is probably number 1 spot for me.

I’m trying to go to one spot because I’ve never done that before. Would like to make friends with the local baker, hit up some spots multiple times, and overall not rush anything. If we go to 2 spots why not 3 or 4? If I commit to doing more then I have a hard time not trying to do everything, then you are constantly rushing to see more. Plus it’s a slow time of year and if we rent a place for 2 weeks we can probably get a pretty good deal.


hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
10024 posts

re: Where to stay in Tuscany for 2 weeks in November?
quote:

Would like to make friends with the local baker, hit up some spots multiple times, and overall not rush anything.

How's your Italian? As a baker and pretty hardcore bakery tourist, I can tell you that smaller towns in Tuscany rarely have independent bakeries. (Far fewer in my experience than similarly sized towns in rural France.) So if a bakery is a dealmaker, look to larger towns rather than smaller ones.

Yes, you can do just 2 places instead of 3 or 4. 2 also hedges your bets: if, by some chance, you don't like the lodging you've booked, you're not stuck in the same place for the entire vacation. I'd put an agriturismo stay toward the end of your trip for 2-3 nights. A rural farm stay can be tremendously relaxing and a chance for some outdoor kiddie time.


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
10873 posts

re: Where to stay in Tuscany for 2 weeks in November?
Bakery not a big deal at all that was just an example. Just mean its nice to have an espresso or glass of wine and BS with someone you see more then just one time sometimes. I'm not planning on meeting someone I'll talk to ever again or anything.

I'm not a fan of driving the day of arrival due to being extremely tired usually. So we will likely stay the first night somewhere then rent car the next day. Which is likely Florence if we fly in there or somewhere else along a train route.

Plus, the biggest thing is we'll have 3 kids under 7. Its nice to settle in which we rarely do on vacation. I mostly want to walk because its nice for one person to stay back for naps while the other can be out and about. If everything is necessary to drive then it makes that harder. Also, we both drink and uber/ taxi with kids is a PITA and I'm not gonna have them not in car seats in Italy. So its nice to walk to dinner and be able to have an extra glass of wine without a worry a couple of times.

As Hungryone likes to say its not necessary to try and see it all every time. I'm planning on being hindered quite a bit, and planning to try and just enjoy the small things here. I want to feel like I live there for a bit and not just dropping in to visit. It may be too romantic of an idea, but hey its worth a try.
This post was edited on 12/3 at 1:10 pm


hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
10024 posts

re: Where to stay in Tuscany for 2 weeks in November?
quote:

As Hungryone likes to say its not necessary to try and see it all every time. I'm planning on being hindered quite a bit, and planning to try and just enjoy the small things here. I want to feel like I live there for a bit and not just dropping in to visit. It may be too romantic of an idea, but hey its worth a try.

LOL, yes, I am usually a huge fan of settling in. The one obstacle I can see is the three kids under 7. Most town-center rentals are going to be apartments/flats/part of a house. Tuscan hill towns aren't known for yards or much outdoor space, especially in town centers. So you're looking at three little kids cooped up in a not-necessarily-kid-friendly space for two solid weeks.

Have you considered Fiesole? It's just 5 km from Florence proper, and indeed is served by public bus (abt a 30 minute trip one way). This agriturismo, Fattoria di Maiano, looks pretty nice & kid friendly: LINK


Are you planning on flying into Florence or Rome?


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
10873 posts

re: Where to stay in Tuscany for 2 weeks in November?
Not sure on flights yet, Milan isn't out of the question with a fast train to Florence. Hopefully Florence but with 5 airfares (using points but still) I'll be working with our options.

We stayed in an estate in Kent, England that was amazing but it was a couple miles from the closet pub and further to anything that sold groceries or what not. Looking to repeat that experience but with places within walking distance. I don't mind walking close to a mile, closer to 1/2 would be preferred. But if you are in the country you are just really stuck with only one car. I also like to wake up early and usually take a kid or two to breakfast while my wife gets ready and holds on to the slowest kid. Same thing with dinner. Nice for one to head out with whoever is ready and grab a cocktail while the straggler catches up.

There's quite a few rentals all around with a yard/ pool (don't need that obviously) that are well within walking distance to towns. I just wasn't sure what area is the best to stay in to most easily see the most. I fully understand Tuscany is 3+ hours driving north to south so I'm not expected to cover everything nor be in a perfect spot to see everything easily.
This post was edited on 12/3 at 3:12 pm


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Zappas Stache
Utility Muffin Research Kitchen
Member since Apr 2009
26581 posts

re: Where to stay in Tuscany for 2 weeks in November?
Gotta talk to Ciccio.

This post was edited on 12/3 at 3:24 pm


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Cash
SMU Fan
Vail
Member since Feb 2005
35525 posts

re: Where to stay in Tuscany for 2 weeks in November?
Well if you're thinking of getting a place there don't bother. There's really nothing available. The houses are passed down from generation to generation, it's very hard.


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
10873 posts

re: Where to stay in Tuscany for 2 weeks in November?
Ha, no I'm not planning on buying a place there. I would never own a home in another country at this point. Just more hassle then it would be worth.

I simply meant I like to go on vacation and imagine how different your life would be living wherever you are currently visiting.


hungryone
LSU Fan
river parishes
Member since Sep 2010
10024 posts

re: Where to stay in Tuscany for 2 weeks in November?
It was a Seinfeld reference, from The Maestro episode: LINK


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VABuckeye
Ohio State Fan
Oak Hill, VA
Member since Dec 2007
25284 posts

re: Where to stay in Tuscany for 2 weeks in November?
Greve is a great location. It has a great enoteca, a butcher shop that opened in the 1700 or something like that and they're on a nice big piazza. It's a town I've been to several times and would certainly like to spend more time in. In our stays in Tuscany we've stayed in a small village (Gaiole in Chianti) and I want something a little bigger but not on the level of a city.


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Drew Orleans
USA Fan
Your CZ
Member since Mar 2010
21001 posts

re: Where to stay in Tuscany for 2 weeks in November?
Book marked for later. I will be doing this next year for a month in September. Could slide a little bit earlier or later. Want to just “move” there for a month, do a little vacationing here and there but mainly just chill and act like a local


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VABuckeye
Ohio State Fan
Oak Hill, VA
Member since Dec 2007
25284 posts

re: Where to stay in Tuscany for 2 weeks in November?
There are a couple of bakeries right on the piazza in Greve.


Toula
Chicago Cubs Fan
504
Member since Dec 2006
34911 posts

re: Where to stay in Tuscany for 2 weeks in November?
Second all the Greve recommendations. Spent 3 nights/4 days there this summer and want to go back for an entire week.



geauxpurple
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Jul 2014
3995 posts

re: Where to stay in Tuscany for 2 weeks in November?
I will say this about Greve: It has the best wine store I have ever been to - Enoteca Falorni.


jsquardjj
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2009
1017 posts

re: Where to stay in Tuscany for 2 weeks in November?
If you are not set in stone on November, you may want to consider another month. November is Tuscany’s rainiest month of the year. We were there 17 days last month, and it rained 16 out of 17. It wasn’t horrible because the rain is light and on/off, but it may be more difficult with 3 kids. There was also flooding in cities outside of Tuscany and the Arno was at its highest level in a long time.


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