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what to do

Wexford, Ireland
Level Contributor
79 posts
65 reviews
what to do

Hi a group of us girls (40 ish) staying for 5 days in Castiglion Fiorentino, soon. What would be a good shopping town near there. Also which towns or places do you suggest we visit. We will have a car, I see its not recommended to drive in Florence. Are trains available to Rome or Florence. Thanks in advance

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
Level Contributor
8,671 posts
68 reviews
1. Re: what to do

What kind of shopping are you talking about? Do you mean food shopping?

You will be well placed to visit Arezzo and Cortona, both quite closeby and if you were prepared to drive a little further, could consider Siena or Montepulciano. There are trains to Florence and Rome. See www.trenitalia.com for timetables.

Wexford, Ireland
Level Contributor
79 posts
65 reviews
2. Re: what to do

Thanks for your message. the girls like to shop for clothes and shoes etc. But we have never been to this area and I'd like to know what we should try to fit in on our trip. Many thanks for info so far

irish 61

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
Level Contributor
8,671 posts
68 reviews
3. Re: what to do

Florence is the best place to shop for gorgeous clothes and shoes, but they won't be cheap. I'm sure there will be some nice shops in Arezzo too, but can't recommend any myself as clothes shopping isn't really my thing in Italy.

Wexford, Ireland
Level Contributor
79 posts
65 reviews
4. Re: what to do

Thanks very much. Any advice you have would be great, we like a mixture of sightseeing, shopping and eating and drinking out, so I see your an expert on the area so any tips would be welcome. I'm a little scare of these zlt's but may keep my eyes open, thanks again

irish 61

Magnolia, Tx.
Level Contributor
57 posts
256 reviews
5. Re: what to do

I just got back from 5 days in that area (again). I've been to all the major Tuscan cities/towns except Pisa & Lucca, but can guarantee the best clothes/shoes shopping will be in Florence. You can take your car to Florence & park it at a garage outside the pedestrian area for the day, but you can also take the train. The place to get bargains is the huge bazaar next to San Lorenzo, one of the many churches of Florence. Behind all the stalls are actual stores where I got fantastic bargains on a leather coat & purses because the vendors haggle price. There is some shopping in Arezzo but not much in Cortona unless you want food or wine. Siena also has some good shopping, but Florence would be the best for a whole day of it. As for sightseeing, Florence takes 2 weeks to see everything, but you can spend just 1 day visiting all the medieval places in Arezzo & another day in Cortona. If you want to see the famous frescoes of Piero della Francesca inside Arezzo's Basilica of San Francesco, you need to make a reservation at least a week in advance to get your desired time. You can do it online - just Google Piero della Francesca & you'll find their web site. Be sure to wear super-comfortable walking shoes because there's a lot of up & down cobblestone streets since the town is at the top of a hill. There's a beautiful cathedral at the very top, but take your car up because the walk is quite grueling if you're not in very good shape, altho there are very pleasant views along the way. You can also take your car to Lake Trasimeno just 15 min. south of Cortona. It's a beautiful lake with some tiny quaint medieval towns on the north & east sides. If you are flying into Rome & renting your car at the airport, plan to stop & spend several hours in Orvieto if you've never been there. Plan a whole day if you can - LOTS to see & it has an entire city underground, too. Be sure to take the Underground Orvieto tour you can book at their ticket office on the Piazza del Duomo. It takes just under 2 hrs. The Orvieto Duomo itself is one of the most magnificent cathedrals in Italy with famous frescoes by Signorelli (no reservation required). Don't forget to try Vin Santo after dinner. It's a Tuscan dessert wine that's sweet & goes with any dessert. And if you can find a pasta dish on any menu that includes truffles or white truffle sauce - GO FOR IT! Got more questions? Let me know & I'll try to help.

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
Level Contributor
8,671 posts
68 reviews
6. Re: what to do

Be a bit careful if driving in central Arezzo as I have recently read that they now have a ZTL zone too.

Magnolia, Tx.
Level Contributor
57 posts
256 reviews
7. Re: what to do

The best thing to do regarding driving in Arezzo (as with ALL medieval city centers in Europe) is find a public parking lot just outside the walls of the city or just inside the walls & leave the car there for the day. It might cost from $1-5 Euros, but walk wherever you go once inside the walls because it's usually very difficult to find parking once you're inside the walls. Rome is the exception. You don't want to drive your car anywhere in Rome because it's so easy to get lost, and the locals drive much differently than U.S. drivers. Best to take public transportation or walk when in Rome.

Florence, Italy
Level Contributor
1,046 posts
34 reviews
8. Re: what to do

Hi Irish61, I think you'd love to go the one of the main outlet around Florence, is this right???? On the way in between Arezzo & Florence, the designersì outlet is called THE MALL (Armani,Gucci,Burberry,Fendi,etc) good place and good prices also. Very easy to get there by car. AREZZO enter the A1 towards Florence approx 40kms exit INCISA follow ther directions to THE MALL (directions to Pontassieve-Firenze on regional road) - Other place is SPACE OUTLET (Prada group outlet) It's closest to Arezzo, in Terranova Bracciolini. Another outlet is in VALDICHIANA, from Arezzo direction to Rome, exit VALDICHIANA - You can reach this place from castiglion Fiorentino in 30min.

Enjoy yr shopping girls!!!!

Ciao, Dany60

Firenze
Level Contributor
557 posts
16 reviews
9. Re: what to do

For shopping in that area: the outlet at Valdichiana highway exit is the closest big outlet mall and it's a pretty good one!!

On your way to perugia and assisi, before you get to perugia on the right off the superstrada you'll see a factory that says "vanucci cashmere". Swerve off at the next exit and double back along the road to your right. This is a real quality cashmere manufacturer, the kind that makes those heavy things that cost 500 euros, and their outlet has some amazing deals!

For more girly fun, go to a nearby thermal baths/ spa resort at Rapolano! http://bit.ly/13qqgO

Wexford, Ireland
Level Contributor
79 posts
65 reviews
10. Re: what to do

Thanks so much for the very detailed information, I will endeavour to try at least some of this and may go back to do what I miss.

many many thanks

irish 61

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