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Day trip from Livorno - winery


gypsys

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We have been to Florence and Pisa before, so we are looking for a day trip to Tuscany wineries and small towns. Thinking of Sienna by rental car. Has anyone done this journey? If so, how long did it take and what winery did you stop in. Thanks.

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We hired a driver right when we got off the ship - we went to Volterra, San G and opted not to go to Sienna because we had our kids with us and they wanted to see Pisa - so we went to Pisa. We stopped at a couple of wineries along the way that were recommended by our driver. It was one of our most memorable days of our trip.

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We have driven to Siena by rental car from both Livorno (on a port day) and many other times while we were on extended stays in Italy. If you do rent a car in Livorno, you will be forced to make some tough choices on your itinerary because of time. My advice is to drive to your furthest point first (this would be Siena if you choose to visit) and than work your way back towards Livorno. A combination trip to Siena and than San Gimignano is possible. Volterra is a favorite city or us (as is San Gimignano) and personally we would probably prefer doing San Gimignano and Volterra and than see how much time you have left (this would mean skipping Siena). Another smaller town we like is Colle de Val Elsa which works well if you do San Gimignano and Volterra. As to wineries, the main wine area in this region is Chianti and the best way to see that region is to drive the S222 road that runs between Florence and Siena (sometimes called the Wine Trail). This is a nice drive through the countryside with a few smaller towns and lots of wineries. But, this would mean an entirely different kind of itinerary. For instance, you could try to do the S222 drive and than make a quick visit to San Gimignano on the way back (Siena would also be possible...but its a real stretch of your time). We have spent weeks exploring this part of Italy and most of the time we start off with a plan, and than totally abandon our plans because we find something of interest that makes us change our minds. That is the fun of having a car.

 

Hank

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We have been to Florence and Pisa before, so we are looking for a day trip to Tuscany wineries and small towns. Thinking of Sienna by rental car. Has anyone done this journey? If so, how long did it take and what winery did you stop in. Thanks.

 

We had a fiasco in Monte Carlo, so were afraid to go independent in Livorno. We signed up for a ship's excursion to Tuscany. We went to San Gimignino for a couple of hours, then on to Castillo Olivetto (an old castle turned winery). Both stops were wonderful. San Gimignino is actually an old feudal walled city. I'd never heard of it, but now that I've been there, I hear the name frequently. And the castle was unbelievable. It's still totally intact just sitting out there in the middle of the vineyards. You see it long before you arrive at it.

 

Wonderful trip for $99 pp. One of our good memories from the cruise.

 

Cars in Italy are expensive, because you can't decline insurance. I checked it out, and for one day they wanted $450. I declined. I'd recommend checking out sharing tours on your roll call or taking the train.

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We had a fiasco in Monte Carlo, so were afraid to go independent in Livorno. We signed up for a ship's excursion to Tuscany. We went to San Gimignino for a couple of hours, then on to Castillo Olivetto (an old castle turned winery). Both stops were wonderful. San Gimignino is actually an old feudal walled city. I'd never heard of it, but now that I've been there, I hear the name frequently. And the castle was unbelievable. It's still totally intact just sitting out there in the middle of the vineyards. You see it long before you arrive at it.

 

Wonderful trip for $99 pp. One of our good memories from the cruise.

 

Cars in Italy are expensive, because you can't decline insurance. I checked it out, and for one day they wanted $450. I declined. I'd recommend checking out sharing tours on your roll call or taking the train.

 

Do you know how far the train is from the port?

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Cars in Italy are expensive, because you can't decline insurance. I checked it out, and for one day they wanted $450. I declined. I'd recommend checking out sharing tours on your roll call or taking the train.

 

This statement left me scratching my head. We routinely rent cars in Italy, and when we are doing a one day rental off a cruise ship, we generally pay less than 100 Euros (including gas). I cannot imagine paying $450 unless you are trying to rent a Mercedes or a car with automatic transmission (sometimes hard to find and very expensive). For what it's worth, we just booked a car for 18 days in Italy (with full insurance and zero deductable) for the total cost of $610 (about $33 per day).

 

Hank

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This statement left me scratching my head. We routinely rent cars in Italy, and when we are doing a one day rental off a cruise ship, we generally pay less than 100 Euros (including gas). I cannot imagine paying $450 unless you are trying to rent a Mercedes or a car with automatic transmission (sometimes hard to find and very expensive). For what it's worth, we just booked a car for 18 days in Italy (with full insurance and zero deductable) for the total cost of $610 (about $33 per day).

 

Hank

 

Wow, Hank, I'm impressed. Haven't seen prices like that in Italy. In '98 when my husband and I drove Italy, they wanted $1600 for the month. Our TA rented us the car in Germany for $450 for the month. Had a nice little purple Fiat.

 

For my cruise in Oct '08 I checked out renting a car at FCO to go to Civitavecchia and drive ourselves around Rome, not into Rome proper.

The cost was $450 for 1 day (and yes it was for an automatic, I don't do manual). I again checked for rental in Livorno, and it was a little better at $399, until I put Sunday date, the car rental wasn't open on Sunday. So I gave up on rental cars for this trip.

 

And you are right, I just checked and for an automatic Ford Fiesta for the 3 weeks it would be $1529. Whereas the manuals are $659, so that's over double the price.

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Last May 1 we rented a 4 door car for 1 day at the port of Livorno. Because it was a major holiday, the rental car company charged double the normal price for a one day rental...which cost us about $150 total (we had a 4 door car...cause we were two couples). For longer term rentals, Kemwel has those great rates of about $33 a day....and that is using Hertz. But, asking for an automatic can add hundreds a day to your rate. If you want to rent cars in Europe it pays to learn how to use a manual transmission. It's not that European can't have automatics...but rather they do not like em and manuals are a bit more economical. I just looked at one day rentals (on Orbitz) and small manuals are available for as low as $84 a day. Even a mid-size from Budget is less than $200. And, if you use the local dealers (there are some right in the port terminal building) the price is even lower.

 

Hank

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Last May 1 we rented a 4 door car for 1 day at the port of Livorno. Because it was a major holiday, the rental car company charged double the normal price for a one day rental...which cost us about $150 total (we had a 4 door car...cause we were two couples). For longer term rentals, Kemwel has those great rates of about $33 a day....and that is using Hertz. But, asking for an automatic can add hundreds a day to your rate. If you want to rent cars in Europe it pays to learn how to use a manual transmission. It's not that European can't have automatics...but rather they do not like em and manuals are a bit more economical. I just looked at one day rentals (on Orbitz) and small manuals are available for as low as $84 a day. Even a mid-size from Budget is less than $200. And, if you use the local dealers (there are some right in the port terminal building) the price is even lower.

 

Hank

 

Thanks for all the insight Hank, but as two old women travelling alone, didn't really plan on renting cars. Was just trying to beat the 120-150 EUR transfer fees. But the car rental turned out being worse, so we joined up with others on our roll call and shared a transfer, and at 30 EUR pp was a lot more affordable. We are looking at doing the Baltics in '10, and again don't plan on renting any cars.

 

My husband has decided he will not do any more foreign travel, he will keep his $$$ here in the U.S., so that forces me to find another travelling companion, and neither she nor I want to learn at 62 or 79 how to drive a stick shift car, and fight the traffic in the cities in Europe. I know the open road isn't a problem, but having been to Budapest, Vienna, Bern, Zurich, Paris, Rome, Naples, Salerno, Athens, Amsterdam, Luxembourg City, Brussels, and Brugges, I will let them do the driving, I will take the train or a private tour.

 

I'm not as independent as you are, nor do I want to spend hours sitting anywhere. When I go to a restaurant, it's to eat, not sit and linger watching folks walk by. And I rarely eat off the ship, unless lunch is provided with the tour I'm on. And I've had enough of Salami, crackers, & cheese with our month in Italy, to last a lifetime. Even pizza has lost a lot of it's appeal to me after 3 days in Rome of almost nothing but pizza to eat because of the cost, and a hard crust pizza at that. I don't travel to immerse myself into their life style, I travel to meet the people and see the sites of importance. Everyone has their own preference as to what to see and do, how to do it, and when to do it.

 

Your information is invaluable to a lot of travellers.

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