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Can't decide if we should base in Siena for 4 nights

Can't decide if we should base in Siena for 4 nights

Dec 30th, 2010, 12:52 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 742
Can't decide if we should base in Siena for 4 nights

We have a 10 day trip in the planning stages for next May. So far, we will stay 5 nights in Rome, 4 in Tuscany and the last one near FCO to catch our morning flight. I'll rent a car, probably in Orvieto.

We want to see some of the usual charming hilltowns and Florence for a day (don't yell at me for not spending more time here), but we also want to see a lot of the Etruscan tombs and ruins. Also, there is a nature area and seacoast near Maremma that I think we would enjoy. We aren't city fans.

What I can't decide is if we should sleep somewhere really small and quiet and have limited opportunities for dinner and going out in the evening, or stay in a bigger town and risk some noise. Spending a few evening hours in the equivalent of a pub would be lovely. Is Siena a good geographical base for our driving around each day? The Villa Elda at the edge of the old part of town looks nice. 2 nights there and 2 nights somewhere else?

So, convince me to stay in Siena, or ?? For some reason I am leaning toward sleeping in Siena rather than Florence, somehow Florence seems busier...

Thanks
gigib is offline  
Dec 30th, 2010, 01:07 PM
  #2  
 
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Posts: 75,991
if we should sleep somewhere really small and quiet and have limited opportunities for dinner and going out in the evening, or stay in a bigger town and risk some noise. Spending a few evening hours in the equivalent of a pub would be lovely. Is Siena a good geographical base for our driving around each day?>

Seems you have answered your own question - only Siena would provide that - not small hill towns who roll up the sidewalks at night IME

and yes Siena is in a great position - San Gimignano is close by - Chianti-en-Greve (sp?) and its great Chianti Houses is very close as are numerous smaller hill towns. I would take the bus - about 3 euros - and running constantly to Florence from Siena as even finding parking in Florence proper can be hard and then expensive. Buses can take less than an hour each way and put you right in the heart of Florence. Pisa and the Leaning Tower are also a snap.
PalenQ is offline  
Dec 30th, 2010, 01:14 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 490
I second the vote for Siena. Perfect location for day tripping and lots of fun at night.
tejana is offline  
Dec 30th, 2010, 02:44 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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And I 'third' that vote. Siena is a beautiful, elegant city to base yourself in. While you are well based for getting around the countryside, be sure to have some time for the city itself though: the duomo is sublime (and don't miss the little library that is part of it) and the Pinacoteca Nazionale is one of my favourite small art museums - it traces the development of the gorgeous golden Sienese paintings from the Byzantine through. And of course you won't miss the main Piazza del Campo and its buildings.

Two good places to eat are:

Hosteria Il Carroccio
Via Casato di Sotto 32
Phone 0577 41165

Antica Trattoria L’Aquila
Casato di Sotto 58
Siena
0577 283061

Finally if you haven't been to Pisa before, make the journey. The whole Piazza dei Miracoli area where the tower is situated is spectacular and don't miss going into Campo Santo, the old cemetery building, where you will see the most incredible frescoes of the plague created by 'the master of death'.
mbloggs is offline  
Dec 30th, 2010, 03:28 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 3,211
We stayed at Villa Elda last year for a week. It's a nice B&B right outside the walls. It took less than 15 mins to walk to Piazza del Campo. I really liked Siena , it's a stunning city.
cruiseluv is offline  
Dec 30th, 2010, 04:07 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
I can't convince you to stay in Siena because I don't even like the town. To me it is forbidding and medieval, and has an angry atmosphere. Plus, it has become largely overrun with tourists after Rick Steves promoted it as the 'back door' to Tuscany instead of Florence.

If you are interested in the Etruscans -- a truly fascinating culture and a wonderful reason to visit Tuscany -- why not stay in or around either Chiusi or Volterra? Both have a wealth of Etruscan sites and beautiful countryside at their doorstep. Fiesole -- another Etruscan town -- is another possibility, in the hills within view of Florence.

You don't need to have "limited opportunities" for going out to dinner staying in smaller towns. First of all, Siena has one of the WORST reputations for restaurant eating in all of Tuscany. Secondly, the best eating you will do in Tuscany is not about "restaurant sampling" and "restaurant hopping." it's about finding a good cook and eating that cook's food for a couple of days.

There are good cooks running agriturismi, albergo ristorante and hotels all over Tuscany.

Here are some possibilities. Check out the reviews on Tripadvisor

http://www.agriturismoallerose.com/e...t-volterra.asp

http://www.naturalvoyages.com/en/com...ers/details/21

http://www.madonnadellegrazie.it/en/default.htm

http://www.ilcastelluccio.it/

http://www.agriturismomarciano.it/ca...zzurra_en.html

http://www.castelloilpalagio.it/

http://www.fattoriamontagliari.com/e...mmodation.html


But there are hundreds of places like this where you can have a great experience of enjoying Tuscan life, either in agriturismi or in albergo ristoranti.

If you want to experience the historic food and wine country of Tuscany instead of its art cities, stay in the countryside on a farm or on a winery. You'll have plenty of chances to go restaurant hopping during the day. Find out what life in the Italian countryside is all about. You can't find it anymore hardly anywhere. Enjoy it while it lasts.
zeppole is offline  
Dec 30th, 2010, 04:14 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,311
I know this wasn't a part of your question, but I would flip your trip. Pick up the car when you get to the airport and head to Siena. Then drop the car before heading into Rome, either at the airport and train into Rome or Orvieto. Then you will have your final night in Rome before your flight.
MichelleY is offline  
Jan 13th, 2011, 01:52 AM
  #8  
 
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