Base for Florence

Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 09:02 PM
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Base for Florence

We will be driving Umbria and Tuscany, but don't particularly want to take a car into Florence because of crowds, traffic etc. Where is a good base to park up at a B&B and travel by train for daytrips in to Florence? Would prefer places that would be on such an itinerary on their own merit anyway, as well as because they have a convenient rail link to Florence. Lucca? Pisa? Siena? Cortona? Lucca looks to be nearest. What do people think?
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Old Jan 4th, 2006, 07:19 AM
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Any would be fine, but I vote for Siena -- it has the most to offer in its own right, if you plan to stay for a few days. The train is not convenient from the center of Siena, but the bus is perfectly fine and frequent. It is air-conditioned and double-decker. The bus and train stations are across the street from one another in Florence.

Pisa or Lucca would also be ok. I think the train to Pisa is a little more convenient than to Lucca. The touristy part of Pisa where you'd likely want to stay is on the north side of the city, but the train station is on the south side. Pisa has a fun University area nearer to the station, though.

Haven't been to Cortona.
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Old Jan 4th, 2006, 08:16 PM
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Thanks, capxxx, that's really helpful. Hadn't thought of buses, but the double decker option is probably good for views etc.
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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 04:12 PM
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I would vote Lucca or Greve in Chianti (bus service is good.)
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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 04:21 PM
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I would say Siena. The city itself it amazing, but it is also very close to everything. We used Siena as a base and traveled into Assisi, Florence, Pisa, Lucca, montepulciano, and San Gimignano.

In Siena, make sure to climb the bell tower in Piazza dei Campo. The views of Tuscany are the best i've ever seen.
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Old Jan 5th, 2006, 06:58 PM
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While I too think Siena would be a good base for you and love it dearly, it also can be difficult to negotiate with a car unless you stay outside of town. Another possibility would be to stay outside of Florence at a place that has parking but is close enough to walk to town (or a short taxi or bus ride). I'd highly recommend Villa Belvedere for this...check out their website...www.villa-belvedere.com
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Old Jan 6th, 2006, 10:28 AM
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Hi TF,

You might want to consider staying in Fiesole, in the hills above Florence, abt 20 min by bus.

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