My family of 5 (2 adults, and 3 school-kids/teens) will be travelling in Italy for two weeks starting mid August. We are arriving to Milan on Aug 12 and taking a train to Florence, where we are staying for 6 nights on the first leg of our trip.
I am having trouble deciding how to strategically organize some of the days because of possible bus/train schedule changes due to Ferragosto on Aug 15.
Aug 14, Tuesday: Florence walk and Accademia tour
Aug 16, Thursday: Uffizi Gallery tour
Originally, I planned to go to Siena on Monday, Aug 13 and have a 2 hour tour at 10:30 am, but now I am worried that with the jet lag we won't be able to be at the bus/ train station by 8 am.
I know that there will be Palio horse race on Aug 16, so when is better to visit Siena? So when will it be best to visit each town? Aug 13 Monday , Aug 15, Wednesday or Aug 17, Friday if we go by bus/train?
As an option, I have been looking at some organized tours to take us to Siena and San Gimignano, but it looks like all tours pack 3-4 places with wineries and lunches we aren't particularly interested in. I am afraid we won't have enough time in each town to enjoy it.
Is Aug 15 a bad day to travel in terms of crowds and bus/train schedule changes?
Or would you advise us to stay in Florence and explore it on Aug 15, making it 3 full days there, and drop San Gimignano/Voltera (by car)?
So confused. Please help!