There’s lots to see and do in Tuscany. From art to history, to wine and food - there's really something for everyone - did we mention food?!? Our favorite thing to do is la passeggiata. This evening promenade, generally between 5pm and 8pm, occurs in virtually every town, village, or big city in Italy.
We suggest folks fly in around Aug 29th/30th and stay through Sept 6th. For West Coast folks - arrive at least three days before the wedding as jet lag can be brutal. Be aware that many businesses close in August particular in the days surrounding the 15th, for Ferragosto, Italy's national holiday. Tourist sights typically stay open, and towards the end of the month everything should be open.
Montepulciano is the closest hill town to Terre di Nano. It is small and quaint, there's enough for a day or two of exploring. We don’t recommend staying longer without a car. From Terre di Nano you can see both Monticchiello (the next hill over with a tiny medieval town) & Pienza which is renowned for its pecorino cheese and is similar in size to Montepulciano. Siena is the next largest hill town, about 45 m away and a nice daytime visit on the way to/from Florence.
Florence (FLR) –1 HR 40 drive
Florence is our favorites for food and culture. The city center is compact and you can walk everywhere. This is the closest airport to the venue. It is smaller than Rome’s airport and typically more expensive to fly into.
Rome (FCO) –2 hr 30 m drive
Rome is a bit further than Florence, but has the most nonstop flights from the US. Rome is great for sight seeing and fun for the family. We recommend it as a stop if this is your first time to Italy.
Pisa (PSA) – 2 hr 20 m drive
If you are traveling from other European cities before our wedding (i.e. London, Madrid, etc), Pisa will be the most cost efficient option. Bologna Airport may also have cheap flights and would be 2 hr 45 m drive / 30 m by train.
B Y C A R
The easiest (and most beautiful) way to get around Tuscany is by car – this gives you the freedom to explore the entire region so you can really get a feel for its charm.
Reserve a rental car in advance. Pickup and drop-off at the airport for the best rates. Manual transmissions are the norm. If you must have an automatic, make sure you arrange in advance.
For Americans: An International Driving Permit is required. You can get one from AAA
D R I V I N G T I P S
Map your destination while on WiFi/LTE. Even in city limits, there are areas of 3G or no service.
Italian drivers will ride your butt :) Don't worry, they will flash their lights or go around you at the first opportunity. Young and old, they all drive like this.
There are speed cameras all over - on the A1, around small towns and on country roads.
If you take the A1, the most direct highway from Florence & Rome to Montepulciano, you will have to pay tolls. When entering the tolls, ignore signs for Telepass and drive into a regular toll lane. To exit the highway, you can pay with cash or credit card.
B Y T R A I N
Italy’s train system makes it convenient to travel all over the country. Trentalia is Italy’s official rail company and tickets are cheapest directly through them.
If you plan to spend time in both Rome and Florence, a direct train is the easiest way to travel between the two. The train from Rome to Florence is 1 hr 30 m and leaves twice hourly.
There are regional trains from Rome & Florence to Montepulciano. Regional trains take longer as there are multiple stops from the airport. However this is convenient for those that don’t want to rent a car and plan to only stay in region for the wedding.
T R A I N T I P S
Do not purchase train tickets ahead of time for your arrival into Italy. It’s hard to tell how long it will take to clear customs. Purchase tickets at the airport station once you arrive (at the red ‘Biglietti’ machines).
Is premier or 2nd class worth it? For long train rides and hauling a lot of luggage, we think it’s nice as the seats are roomier. You get free snacks and water which you may not have leaving the airport.
Train tickets need to be validated (stamped) on the platform before boarding the train. How to validate and read train tickets.
Hang on to train tickets, conductors will come by to check them. You will also need them to exit the train area at Rome airport.