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Volterra, Lucca, or San Gimignano

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Rhod Island
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Volterra, Lucca, or San Gimignano

I realize this is totally subjective, but I am looking for some advice on Tuscan Hill towns for a day trip from Florence. We are staying at a villa just outside Florence, and will have a car. We are planning to visit Siena, and one other town during a one day side trip ( both towns in same day). We have heard that Lucca, San Gimignano and Volterra are nice - Rick Steve's recommends Volterra, and we have enjoyed his suggestions before - Can anyone offer some advice?

Thanks!

ohio
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1. Re: Volterra, Lucca, or San Gimignano

Volterra is pretty cool, less touristy. Go to La Vena di Vino for some wine. I don't think you could do Lucca and Siena in the same day, to far apart. Siena is also great to see at night all lit up. I would go to Volterra first then Siena. Also if possible stay the night. Hotel Chiusarelli and others are quite inexpensive.

Vancouver, Canada
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11,666 posts
65 reviews
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2. Re: Volterra, Lucca, or San Gimignano

I'm a big Volterra fan...it is less touristy, even in summer when San G. is overun with bus tours...

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
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3. Re: Volterra, Lucca, or San Gimignano

I have stayed in all three towns. Volterra is my favourite, then Lucca, and DSan Gimignano least favoured. San G is very pretty, but it really is over-run with visitors.

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
Destination Expert
for Tuscany
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8,218 posts
68 reviews
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4. Re: Volterra, Lucca, or San Gimignano

Siena deserves a whole day to itself. If you really want to try to see somewhere else on the same day, you have to discount Lucca based purely on the time you would waste travelling.

Viera, Florida
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900 posts
205 reviews
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5. Re: Volterra, Lucca, or San Gimignano

Volterra was amazing and the drive to it is just as amazing! Such beautiful scenery. You could actually see Volterra and San Gim on the same day without difficulty. Both are worth a visit. See San Gim later in the day because it is much better when the tourists leave. And eat at The Vecchie Mura in San Gim. Sit outside for a wonderful dining experience!

Los Angeles...
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for Venice, Provence
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6. Re: Volterra, Lucca, or San Gimignano

I really like Lucca. It is not a typical Tuscan hilltown at all. It is a bit more refined with many outdoor cafes, restaurants, nice shops, etc. It is a walled city with those wide walls, which people jog, bicycle and walk on. Actually, pretty amazing. You could easily spend a whole day strolling around and enjoying yourselves.

I like Volterra and San Gimignano also. IMO, you could easily combine San Gimignano and Volterra, spending about two hours in each. With Volterra, because it is not necessarily on every tourist's "must see" list (but clearly not for long now that Rick Steves recommends it), the village shuts down for lunch with the exception of a few shops at the entrance selling alabaster. So, if you get there after 12:00, the village will look like a ghost town with many store fronts covered with metal louvers. Restaurants will be open for lunch though. The more touristy villages, such as San Gimignano, do not shut down for lunch. So, should you decide to visit both, just go to Volterra first.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Volterra, Lucca, or San Gimignano

I like Arezzo, just to put a spanner in the works.

London, United...
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8. Re: Volterra, Lucca, or San Gimignano

I believe that in one day you can not visit Florence and Siena, however, San Gimignano or Volterra are the most beautiful places (after siena and florence).

9. Re: Volterra, Lucca, or San Gimignano

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