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Bart Mar 2nd, 2002 02:11 AM

CAF Tours to Siena & San Gimignano
While in Florence in mid May we had planned to take the public bus to Siena for the day. However, I see CAF (web site has a 9:00 AM to 5:45 PM tour through Chianti country side, visit San Gimignano, free time & tour Siena, and admire (from distance?) Monteriggioni. All for 46 Euros (US$40). This sounds like we can see & learn more and avoid possible hassles of public transportation. ANY COMMENTS ABOUT THIS OR SIMILAR DAY TOURS TO SIENA AND SURROUNDING AREA???

Good idea Mar 2nd, 2002 04:38 AM

We normally don't like bus tours...but when in Florence we decided to take the tour instead of public bus because there were a few too many bus changes to those destinations. It turned out to be great. We had an excellent guide who really explained the art in the Siena church. When we went to the Uffizzi, my husband recognized the difference between the Siennese and Florentine Madonnas..that was amazing..he never took a fine arts course in his life!!!

bart Mar 2nd, 2002 03:07 PM

Thanks to Good Idea, Bart.

Kelly Mar 6th, 2002 10:36 AM

That sounds great. Added it to my list of things. Would you mind emailing me and letting me know about your trip? Planning on Italy on September.<BR>Have a great trip!

anj Mar 10th, 2002 06:56 AM

Anyone who has used the CAF tours - do you have to book way in advance or is it possible to book once we are in florence? i'm a little concerned about booking a day trip to Siena when I don't have a clue what kind of weather there will be on that actual day!<BR>thanks, anj

Grasshopper Mar 10th, 2002 08:13 AM

I took that tour and really enjoyed it. We went in June and booked it when we arrived in Florence. I'm not a tour person but I think sometimes the one day or half day tours are a great way to get history or information you don't find on your own.<BR><BR>We also really enjoyed the half day chianti wine tasting tour. It is a special memory.

Jean Mar 10th, 2002 06:07 PM

We booked a day tour by bus through the American Express office in Florence (near Duomo). They contracted with another company (could have been CAF). The itinerary took us to San Gimignano for about 90 minutes on our own, then to Siena in time for lunch which we could take with the tour guide or on our own. At about 2:00 p.m., a local guide was available to take whoever was interested on a walking tour of the main sights. This guide was extremely informative and made our short time in Siena very interesting and enjoyable. The bus departed Siena at about 4:30 p.m. (which sounds like the same time frame as the CAF tour you mention). <BR><BR>We would have liked a bit more time in Siena but definitely weren't disappointed on a cost/benefit basis.

Sara Mar 11th, 2002 08:23 AM

-<BR>Usually I travel around Italy via public transport, and am familiar with time that you lose on a do-it yourself day trip. From descriptions that I've read from others re: caftours, I'd say that's worth the $40 to let them take your round for the day. Plus there is the advantage of learning more about what you're seeing with a good tour guide.<BR><BR>During my trip to Italy of last year, I along w/traveling companions did a road trip in Tuscany (first time renting a car) and it did offer alot more flexibility. Deciding between your options of public transportation versus a guided day tour, I might try the tour. Guessing from your description re: Monteriggioni ("admire") that they drive by & point it out from the road. Monteriggioni sits up a little higher (it was used as outpost between Siena & Florence) and so, it's likely the 'admiration' is from bus window. Do ask about it --- it's very small & it'd be nice if they do make a pitstop, even for a brief 30 minute look-see.

lo Mar 14th, 2002 09:52 AM

Would you reccomend the tour over taking a car for the day to the countryside?

Patricia Mar 14th, 2002 10:09 AM

I just returned from Florence on Monday and did a few tours with them. We did Siena and San Gimignano. Be advised that you are on your own in San G. and it is a walk from the bus to where the shops start. Some in our group were unable to walk all the way as they had just finished walking in Siena. Beware of the first bathroom you come to to the right of the entrance as it is the old "hole in the ground". Fine for men but ladies, be careful! In Siena, the buses let you off across the street from the Jolly hotel. When you get off the buses, you will see stairs leading down as though you were going to a subway. The bathrooms are clean and are attended to. It will cost you .50 euro coin. A must see in Siena is the Basilica of San Domenico and the house/sanctuary of St. Catherine of Siena.

Bart to Patricia, etc. Mar 14th, 2002 11:53 AM

Patricia: Thanks for your info after just taking the same tour we are looking to take oursleves. The general opinion seems to be the 8 hour tour is probably worth the $40. What did you do for lunch? Was it in Siena? Did you have adequate free time yet also have opportunity to walk around with a knowledgeble tour guide? Can you share more about your tour. Much appreciated, Bart.

Sally Mar 14th, 2002 02:52 PM

I don't know anything about the tour, but we spent a week in Italy in 2000 and drove around Chianti and Tuscany. Both Siena and San Gimignano were terrific! I would recommend going there any way you can. If you want to rent a car, driving is not difficult and the countryside is wonderful.

Nancy Mar 14th, 2002 03:05 PM

We did this tour last summer and it was great. It wa a great way to at least see some of Tuscany on our limited time schedule. The tour goes to San Gimignano and you can wander on your own. When you arrive in Siena there is a tour guide that was very knowledgable. She walks you around town and into the cathedral and museum. Lunch is on your own in Siena. I would have loved to have had more time in Siena too. It was really fabulous. This day was one of the highlights of the trip. You can book at the TI in the rail station too.

up 4 more Mar 15th, 2002 09:10 AM

- ttt

Clint Mar 20th, 2002 01:01 PM

- Up for Maxim. This discussion is about day trips initiating out of Florence. Perhaps Caftours also goes out of Rome?

tania Mar 20th, 2002 03:29 PM

We did the Siena/San G tour last week. Well worth the money if only for the transport. Excellent second guide in Siena.<BR><BR>They did offer a 12 euro lunch to the group in Siena which featured Tuscan specialties and wine. Good value as we had time to shop a bit before leaving Siena instead of hunting for a place to eat.<BR><BR>Booked over the net and paid upon arrival in Firenze. Two buses did the tour that day.<BR><BR>Enjoy!

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