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Sienna has a home base in Tuscany?

Toronto
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838 posts
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Sienna has a home base in Tuscany?

Planning on spending 5-6 days in the area with a visit to Florence for a day or two. Is Sienna my best bet for a home base or can you recommend a better spot?

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Sienna has a home base in Tuscany?

Siena is divine and you could happily spend a week here and not see it all. There are buses to other towns including Florence, or a bus to the train at the bottom of the hill on which Siena is perched and then a train to Florence.

If going to Florence make reservations for the Uffizi Gallery and for Accademia if you want to see Michaelangelo's David and his other sculptures. The queues can be very long otherwise.

You could also consider Lucca which is a lovely walled town on the plains between Pisa and Florence and which is also a lovely city to explore.

What you need is Vagabonda, a contributor to this site who knows all. Look for his trademark yellow sunflower icon.

Southern Tuscany
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2. Re: Sienna has a home base in Tuscany?

If you want to spend a day or two in Florence, why not stay there for two nights so that you can make the most of your time in a city where is there is so much to see and do. It's a great town to walk around in the evening after the day trippers have left and the streets are less crowded. Many of the buildings are floodlit and there are terrific restaurants for dinner, it's really worth a couple of nights.

Then move on somewhere else but although you must allow a day to visit, I'm not sure Siena itself is a good base for parking can be a pain in the neck. Several people on this board have stayed at an agriturismo just south of Siena (del Sole?) that they rate highly. It's well placed for getting in to Siena itself (parking for a day in a public car park is easier, though it's Euros 1.60/hour in many places) and, importantly, for exploring all the other interesting hill towns in southern Tuscany.

Kansas
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for Siena, Montalcino
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3. Re: Sienna has a home base in Tuscany?

Jeniz,

A lot depends on what you want to see and if you are willing to drive. Many of the hilltowns have no train station and buses are not set to easy tourism. If you can tell us your ideas of what to see and what transportation you want to use you can get better answers.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Sienna has a home base in Tuscany?

Siena is NOT a good base if you are driving (enormous parking costs)and Florence is a nightmare if you are driving, traffic seems to go anywhere and we were directed by a policeman down a side street that ended in a cafe. Don't know why.

Lucca is quite a good base as there is free parking very close to the city walls.

If you are driving perhaps stay in Florence a few days, THEN pick up a car and drive to your base town. It is lovely to have a car if you plan to explore the little towns of Tuscany. It is horrible to be constantly packing and unpacking and spending your time finding the accommodation so the idea of a home base is good.

If you are not driving then a few days in Florence followed by a week in Siena would be nice, with day excursions by public transport or day hire car to local towns.

Italy
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5. Re: Sienna has a home base in Tuscany?

Depends about the area you want see, Lucca is ok if you visit Florence and the sea area, Pisa and Viareggio; If you prefer to visit Florence, Siena and the south Tuscany area, I think Siena is good base, the parking is a little expensive but the town is not real busy and you can drive without edginess.

Jack

Toronto
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6. Re: Sienna has a home base in Tuscany?

Lots of help already, thanks. So, it would be difficult to get around if we did not rent a car? We were not going to actually but will reconsider. We thought of using Allessandro(?) for a couple day tour, going into Florence for a couple of days and enjoying the town we would be staying in overnight.

Southern Tuscany
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7. Re: Sienna has a home base in Tuscany?

It depends really as to what you want to see. If you're quite happy to just see Florence & Siena than these two cities can be visited easily using public transport. But there's much, much more to Tuscany than just these two and what, in my opinion, makes the region so special are the huge number of smaller towns dotted about the sensationally beautiful countryside. And in order to see this aspect of Tuscany, you certainly will need either a car of your own or a private car/driver.

Kamloops
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8. Re: Sienna has a home base in Tuscany?

We recently spent 5 days in Siena as our base for touring Tuscany.We stayed in Villa Elda which is just outside of the walled city. 5 minute walk to city.

We hired Luca from Hills & Roads to drive us around Tuscany for 3 days. He was awesome. He is from Siena and has a wealth of knowledge about the area.

Chorley, United...
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for Venice
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9. Re: Sienna has a home base in Tuscany?

Lots of lovely places in central and southern Tuscany are not conveniently located for railway stations so either a car hire or a guide with transport are desirable.

I do not think a car in either Siena or Florence is a very good idea. Both cities have pedestraiised areas in their centres and in both parking near the centre is neither easy nor cheap.

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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10. Re: Sienna has a home base in Tuscany?

Siena is a gem, definitely worth a day to visit, but it may not be the best base for you. If you were to hire a car, parking is a nightmare and if you’ll be depending on public transportation, Siena doesn’t have the most convenient train station.

Florence has the best transportation – stay in Florence while you explore Florence and even towns that are more easily reached by train – Pisa and Lucca.

Then treat yourself to a real Tuscan experience – hire a car on your departure from Florence and base in a charming hill town or an authentic agriturismo where you would be able to explore the countryside, visit hill towns and vineyards. Agriturismos are a great way to experience the local culture and cuisine.

Vagabonda