This is your guide to planning your stay at Woodfarm Tuscany. We’ve taken the legwork out of airport parking, flying, and car hire. You don’t have to do it my way, but I’ve done it loads now and have some tips that might be worth listening to. Or not.
Many of our guests, like me, will fly out of Stansted to Pisa. I have forged a relationship with a great meet & greet service that offer a discount that we can use.
Parking Compare offer a range of services from all the major UK airports, so you can book here, and use the Voucher Code WOODFARM2024 to get an exclusive 15% Discount!. They are a nationwide airport parking platform, wherever you’re travelling from in the UK.
They have access to a network of over 70 secure car parks at over 20 UK airports. Their secure website is available 24/7 for obtaining prices, availability, information about the car parks they offer and of course booking your space.
EV Products: Remember to bring a three-pin plug.
Part of their service is Stansted Easy Parking, which is the one I personally use. You’ll find it on there. It’s a great meet & greet service, and really competitively priced. You book online, and just call them when you’re 20 minutes away. They’ll be right by the terminal to meet you, and take your car to secure parking nearby. When you return, simply call them once you are through customs, and like magic, they will be there with your car! As a rough guide, I paid about £75 for a week in June 2023. Go online to get a price though.
Just note that there is also a small charge to pay the airport for the privilege of being close to the terminal. £7 each way at Stansted in June 2023.
Use Coupon Code WOODFARM2024 when booking. This offer is available from Monday to Sunday between 0400 & 2200.
Flying to Galileo Galilei airport in Pisa
If you’re not a frequent flyer, then I’ve tried to outline some tips here, having done this particular journey a lot. You can of course completely do your own thing.
I never thought I’d be promoting Ryanair, but I sort of am. If you fly from Stansted, then your choices are Ryanair, and, erm, ah, uh, that’s it. All joking aside, it’s cheap and convenient. Any delays are invariably down to the airports! That’s my sales pitch for them. I’ve been with them so many times, and to be honest, in the main, it’s fine. They get me there. And back.
As a tip, I tend to fly first thing in the morning around 8am or 9am and I am in Lucca for lunch. If you return late afternoon or early evening, then it gives you a good day out there still, getting home at a decent hour. This could be a good opportunity to take in all that Pisa has to offer. I’ll give you a heads up, if you haven’t been before, then the Leaning Tower and Duomo (Cathedral) are well worth it! There’s not much else essential to see though in my humble opinion.
Personally I book extra legroom seats over the wings, which is (at the time of typing) about £6 per seat, per flight, and priority boarding. The latter gets you a small suitcase, and a small cabin bag, which is plenty for most people. The other thing I always do is to book Fast Track, which is so worth doing. Again, it’s about £6, but saves a lot of standing around. Be aware that it is clearly marked at Stansted, but not so easy to spot at Pisa – it’s over to the right of the big queue!
Here’s the Ryanair baggage policy (as of August 2023);
1: Cabin Baggage:
- Priority & 2 Cabin Bags: This allows you to carry a small personal bag (40x20x25cm), which must fit under the seat in front of you and a 10kg bag (55x40x20cm) onboard, to be stored in the overhead locker. It also allows you to board the plane first using the Priority Boarding queue at the gate.
2: Checked Baggage:
- 10kg Check-in Bag: If you wish to check in a bag, you can add a 10kg Check-in Bag to your booking. Bags must be dropped at the airport check-in desk before security and will be placed in the aircraft hold.
- 20kg Check-in Bag: If you require a larger baggage allowance, you can add a 20kg Check-in Bag to your booking. Passengers can purchase up to 3 checked bags of 20kg on their booking.
3: Infant Baggage
- We know that travelling with an infant can be stressful, so we allow you to carry 2 items of baby equipment free of charge per child, to make your journey as seamless as possible. There is no cabin bag allowance for an infant (aged 8 days to 23 months inclusive). However, we allow a baby bag up to 5kg (dimensions: 45x35x20cms) for babies travelling on an adult’s lap.
Flight prices of course are an ever-changing beast, but again at the time of typing this (June 2023), you can usually get flights anywhere between about £30 and £60, plus the above add-ons if you want them. As a guide, I’ve just got back, and the total cost of flights, with all the above add-ons, was £245 for two.
Again, you can do your own thing, but I’ve used Sicily by Car loads of times and they are great. One really handy tip though is to compare their direct prices with booking it as an add-on with Ryanair. I usually save about £100 by booking it through Ryanair with my flights, so always check this. When you book flights you’ll be directed to add car hire as an option. Make your choices and you will be given a number of quotes. I tend to look through them for Sicily by Car, but only because I’ve used them a lot. The service is good, the cars are good and they all speak great English! In August 2023 I had a Fiat 500 for five days for about £140 all in.
TIP: A usually go for a small car as it is cheap, and you don’t want to be driving a big vehicle around the hills. I get full insurance cover too, to avoid issues if it is dinked!
Whichever choice of car hire you make, they all share a building and car park to the right of the airport as you come out of the front door. Turn right and follow the fence round; it is marked on the pavement. As you go into the building, Sicily by Car is just to the left. There are loos in there, as well as the airport by the way. You can get drinks and snacks in there as well.
If you’re dropping your car back later into the evening, just go to the building and the doors open into a lobby with drop boxes for each hirer.
Driving to the house
There are two ways to get from the airport to the house. It’s only circa 45 minutes, but one of the routes involves some motorway, and one is all country roads, which is much nicer. The motorway has tolls, which will be a few Euros, and you can use cards to pay. Your Satnav (I always use the one on my phone) will use the motorway as the default.
If you’d like to take the prettier route, then put ‘San Giuliano Terme’ in, and it’ll take you a different way out of Pisa, avoiding the motorway. It’ll also take you up a hillside outside Pisa, with great views back over the city and you will see the Leaning Tower and Duomo (Cathedral).
Once you get to San Giuliano Terme, put ‘Ponte A Moriano’ into your satnav. I will say here, that if you get an early flight and fancy a nice lunch, then put Lucca in instead. If you do go into Lucca, then head for the city, which is surrounded by medieval walls, with a number of entrances, all with parking close by. Then just walk into the city and find somewhere for lunch. Personally, I tend to enter via Porta Santa Maria and head to Piazza Dell’Anfiteatro. It’s a lovely circular piazza, with restaurants all around the outside.
The reason I told you above to put ‘Ponte A Moriano’ into your satnav, is that it is a small village near the house, and you will pass a huge supermarket called Esselunga, just off a roundabout. I’ve written more about this, but it has the most amazing fresh fruit and veg department, as well as all the meat, fish, dairy, bread, and drinks you will ever need! I suggest you call in here to do a little food shopping on the way to the house.
TIP: Take a few carrier bags with you to save buying them. We have them at the house for you, but you may want to just have a few for essentials on your first drive past the supermarket.
As I have also stated on the website, the last little bit of your journey to the house is a few minutes walk up a very steep stone path, so you might not want to be carrying a whole week’s worth of wine!
For the fine details of your arrival, we have a separate ‘Directions page’, which we will provide on booking, with parking details, key safe code, full address etc.
Driving all the way
You may choose to drive all the way and add a cool road trip to your break. It’s a two-day trip as a minimum, just because you don’t want to drive for 16 hours or so straight!
I suggest you cross into France, but try to avoid too much of France. The roads are awesome, and quick, but… the tolls are really pricey! When I took a transit with the last of the furniture in July 23 I paid over €250 in tolls just getting to Switzerland! Try and use Germany, then into Switzerland, and down into Italy.
It was a stunning trip though.
Airport photo by Phil Mosley