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Florence vs. Siena vs. Lucca

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Chicago, Illinois
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Florence vs. Siena vs. Lucca

We are still in early stage of planning, but are considering 5 nights in Rome then on to Florence for 5 nights (give or take) with day trips to Siena, Lucca, or ????

So, would we be better off staying in Lucca or Siena as a base with a day trip to Florence? Maybe this would be better after a hectic stay in Rome. We do not plan to rent a car.

Portland, Oregon
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1. Re: Florence vs. Siena vs. Lucca

That really is a personal decision - and a lot might depend on how interested you are in the art and architecture of Florence.

If a few highlights are enough, then perhaps relaxing in one of the other towns would be what you wanted.

But Florence is more centrally located if you don't have a car and want to visit some smaller towns in Tuscany.

How about splitting the 5 nights between Florence and a small town to relax and get a feel for it after the day-trippers go home.

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2. Re: Florence vs. Siena vs. Lucca

I agree it does depend what you want to see and experience. We had a similar decision to make coming from Rome when my husband and I were there 4 years ago. In the end we spent 4 nights in Siena and 2 in Lucca. We then did day trips from Siena to Florence and San Gimignano. I do not regret the decision. Sienna has a great local bus service, relatively cheap if I remember ( timetable needs a little working out) to both places about 45 mins to Florence and 30 mins to SG - we were able to spend whole day in each. We also saw the countryside via the bus route which was interesting. Both Lucca and Siena were a little more intimate and relaxed than Florence, especially at night, although Florence was fantastic. Either way try to visit all of these places as each is worth the effort.

Florence, Italy
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3. Re: Florence vs. Siena vs. Lucca

Both Sienna and Lucca are really easy day trips from Florence. IMO, I would base in or near Florence - or even Chianti near Grieve is near the autostrada - or Tavernuzza also near the autostrada, as Florence has the most to offer and then do day trips from there,

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
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4. Re: Florence vs. Siena vs. Lucca

If you want to visit all three, then Florence is the best base because it has easy access to the other two. Getting from Lucca to Siena, or vice versa, by public transport is not so straightforward and involves a reasonably lengthy train trip with a change. Staying in the Oltrarno of Florence is a little less hectic than the other side of the river.

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Florence vs. Siena vs. Lucca

A couple of weeks ago, someone asked a similar question, but she mentioned that she wasn't very interested in the museums and historical sites of Florence. In that case, the answer was easy: stay in Siena, and make Florence a daytrip.

In general, though, Florence is a better base for daytrips. It's also worthwhile even if you never set foot inside a church or museum.

-- Steve

Florence, Italy
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6. Re: Florence vs. Siena vs. Lucca

If you're not planning on renting a car then I agree with peggypatch and yakkinyeti - definitely make your Florence your base. It's an easy and cheap bus ride to Siena or train/bus to Lucca from here for day trips. It's also a fast trip to get to Florence from Rome.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Florence vs. Siena vs. Lucca


If you like smaller towns then Sienna would suit you but as others have mentioned it more sensible to stay in Florence & do your day trips from Florence to Sienna & Lucca.

8. Re: Florence vs. Siena vs. Lucca

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