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Between Bologna and Siena

Old Feb 15th, 2011, 02:19 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 28
Between Bologna and Siena

Hello all,
I am taking a week or so trip around a couple places in Italy. I will be driving a rental car.

One night in Brescia - any suggestions on what to do there? Staying at the Best Western Hotel Master.

Two nights in Venice- will park car in garage near train station upon arrival. Staying at Hotel Caneva. Any suggestions on absolutely amazing must do things to see or eat while there?

On the way to Florence is it worth it to stay a night in BOLOGNA? Or any other place before Florence?

Two nights in Florence- staying at Loggia Fiorentina. Maybe a day trip to Pisa. I have the option to stay a THIRD night. Should I do that instead of going elsewhere?

I was also considering one night in SIENA. Is it worth it to stay a night there?

SIENA VS, BOLOGNA....or am I leaving out a more interesting place as an option? Enlighten me!

I am 24 and traveling with my guy friend who is 30. We love art, drinking wine outside, nightlife but not clubbing, food, and seeing gritty and rustic things...we prefer authentic to the touristic.

laneharlan is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2011, 02:52 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Is there a reason you are getting a car instead of taking the train? You can't drive in the center of most cities so a car will be a hindrance with this itinerary and it doesn't appear you are visiting anywhere that can't be easily reached by train.

>>>we prefer authentic to the touristic.
kybourbon is online now  
Old Feb 15th, 2011, 04:34 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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IMO and IME Bologna has far fewer tourists than Siena and is just a great spot to spend a few days. It has a nice energy due to the University there and we enjoyed the nightlife, especially local jazz / dinner club where both food and music were quite good.

I agree that a car will be a hindrance with your planned itinerary and will spend more time in a garage than being driven. It is not a good choice for the areas you plan to visit.

We are not fans of one night hotel stays and prefer to base in a location and make day trips.

I would not plan so many stops in such a short time but that is personal preference.
kfusto is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2011, 06:09 AM
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I suggest that you go to Ravenna and that you drop of your car either in Bologna and take the train to Florence, or drop it off in Florence. Ravenna has an interesting mix of fantastically beautiful mosaic but it is also an industrial port. The ride down from Venice along the coast might appeal to you, especially if you stop in Commachio, where you are not likely to encounter any typical tourists.

Regarding tourists, yes, you will encounter tourists in all these cities but you will encounter MOBS of tourists in Florence and Siena. And, yes, there is a more authentic experience to be had of Italian culture than in the places where you find MOBS of tourists. Lots of tourists don't mind being in MOBS of tourists and not only that, if you say you mind, they try to put you down. But stick to your guns and take a chance on great food, sights and grit and authenticity elsewhere.
zeppole is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2011, 06:10 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
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I meant to add you will also find MOBS of tourists in Venice and Pisa, so it would be very nice indeed if you went at least one or two places where you find mainly Italians.
zeppole is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2011, 07:04 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Bologna and Sienna are vastly different. Both are beautiful, but Sienna is in an extremely scenic area, whereas Bologna is more of a 'real' city. Bologna has fabulous dining, pretty portico streets, lots of college students, and great shopping. It is also a business convention mecca, so if you choose to be there during a convention, rooms will be scarce and pricey. Sienna is smaller, more touristy, and very beautiful. With only a week, I'd do Venice, Florence, and several days in the beautiful Tuscany or Umbria countryside at an agritourismo or small hill town like Montepulciano, doing Sienna as a day trip.
zootsi is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2011, 08:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi L,

You are spending a lot of time and money parking your car when you could take the train.

I would overnight in Bologna and take the bus to Siena from Florence.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2011, 12:45 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 28
Thank you everyone for the great responses so far. I understand the car isn't the best way to travel to these places, however, in such a short amount of time..just over a week. A car was best. I simply prefer to go and stop when I want. I live in France without a car and I am constantly taking trains and buses, so car it is.

We plan on leaving our car in garages on the outskirts of the big cities then taking short bus rides to our hotels inside.

I think I will take the bus to Siena.

I realize tourists are in all of these places. What I meant in my preferences was that the things I like to do like eating, drinking wine, and wandering around...I like to find the little mom and pop type places off the beaten path. I don't mind seeing mobs of tourists. I will be a tourist afterall.

I will look into Montepulciano...great advice, thank you.
laneharlan is offline  
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