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joan Jan 2nd, 2003 05:40 PM

day trip from florence
any ideas of a day trip by train from Florence. We only have 3 days, and I'd so like to experience a slice of an Italian town. Just to wander for a day. A non-city taste of Italy. Also, any place in Florence where I could find a special piece of material I could use in my journey quilt. Not expensive!

Ryan Jan 2nd, 2003 05:47 PM

Try Lucca. It's about an hour by car from Florence and I'm sure it is accessible by train. The old part of the city has very few cars and plenty of little sidestreets and Piazzas. It also has one of the last remaining, fully in-tact, city walls that date from the Middle Ages. You can walk the 2 1/2 miles around the city on the top of the wall (which is now a park.)<BR>

cathy Jan 2nd, 2003 08:15 PM

I say Siena!

Donna Jan 3rd, 2003 05:19 AM

Joan: I'd vote for Lucca in your case because you said you wanted a non-city experience. However, Siena is magnifico and not to be missed. Lucca is cozier and easier to negotiate.

John Jan 3rd, 2003 05:42 AM

I've been following (eavesdropping) on the replies because I'm going to Florence as well (7 days). What are the attractions in Siena? I'm sure Joan would like to know as well. Thanks.

Eye Spy Jan 3rd, 2003 06:01 AM

I second the previous posters: Lucca is wonderful and very charming. It is a walled city and inside makes a nice place to stroll. And the people are very friendly. There are hourly trains from Florence Santa Maria Novella on the Viareggio line to Lucca that take about 70 minutes. The train station is outside the walls to the south and then you can take the bus (very easy). Or take a fast bus from Florence to Lucca (about an hour's drive one way).<BR><BR>You might want to consider Assisi for a day trip. 2.5 hours by train each way is the only inconvenience. You could get up early in the morning, take the train, spend the entire day in the Basilica of Saint Francis, stroll through the town to the Basilica of Saint Clare and take train back in time for dinner. From the train station, you can take one of the many frequent buses to the city center (not far).<BR><BR>Siena: you could take the 70-minute bus ride from Florence early morning and explore the city on foot and still make it back to Florence in time for dinner. In Siena, you may wish to consider visiting: Palazzo Pubblico and Torre del Mangia, Duomo (beautiful inside; check out the frescoed Piccolomini library by Pinturrichio!); San Domenico (with relics like Saint Catherine of Siena's head behind a grill). Or just walk around and enjoy the medieval charm of the city.

Jacqueline Bond Jan 3rd, 2003 08:51 AM

Does anyone know if there are any castle type structures to see in either San Giamignano or Sienna? Does anyone know how long of a drive it is from Florence down to either of these towns? Is it better to drive or take a train?

Eye Spy Jan 3rd, 2003 08:55 AM

Jacqueline, please read some of the previous postings. Your best bet to get from Florence to Siena would be to take the non-stop bus or rent a car. The drive is about one hour each way. If you rent a car, I used Avis on Borgo Ognissanti (past the Excelsior Hotel and Ognissanti church) -- they were very helpful and the day rate I reserved through before departing the USA very reasonable.

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