First timers to Venice, Florence, Siena

Old Mar 3rd, 2001, 10:42 AM
Posts: n/a
First timers to Venice, Florence, Siena

We will only have about 10 - 12 actual days in Italy on our first trip. Want to experience the people, culture, landscape, food, and especially the art in Venice, Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, etc. Would welcome any suggestions on how to divide our days between these areas.
Old Mar 3rd, 2001, 12:22 PM
Posts: n/a
Sarah, That is hard to answer without knowing more. Where do you arrive and depart? Do you plan to drive in Tuscany?
My first reaction is 3-3-3 and a day to get back to your departure, but it will help to know more. What time of year?
Old Mar 3rd, 2001, 02:33 PM
Posts: n/a
We're looking at October. Would either land in Venice (by way of London) or Florence (by way of Brussels, though not sure we would want to fly Sabena ???)I figured we could take a bus, train or day tour of Siena. But not opposed to renting a car, to really see several hill towns and maybe stay overnight in Siena.Would think we would want to spend the most time in Florence (for the art)???? I was actually thinking 4 full days Florence, 3 full days Venice and maybe a couple of days exploring Siena, other towns. Is September a better month than October weatherwise?
Old Mar 3rd, 2001, 02:46 PM
Posts: n/a
Part of my trip may be of use to you:

After a stay in the Cinque Terre, which you may not have time for, we drove to Lucca, then Pisa, then San Gimignano, where we stayed the night.

The next day we drove to Volterra, then to Siena, where we returned the car. Stayed 2 nights.

Took early bus to Florence, stayed 3 nights.

Took train to Venice, stayed 4 nights (Hotel Flora near San Marco).

You'll have a great time in Sept or Oct!
Old Mar 3rd, 2001, 04:03 PM
Posts: n/a
Depends what you like. We're doing 3 nights Florence, 3 nights Cortona and 2 nights San Gimignano (also adding 3 nights for Cinque Terre). Florence is great, but we are much fonder of exploring the small towns rather than museums (although Florence has great people watching in the piazzas).

We extended our stay in the countryside because we are taking a one day cooking class, a one day vineyard tour and want several days to explore other towns and vineyards on our own. We are staying in the countryside (Il Falconaire) near Cortona for easy drive in/out for day trips. While exploring Chianti, we are staying at La Cisterna in San Gimignano. The town is a nightmare during the day (tour buses galore) but at night it's quaint and yet has several good restaurants (parking lots are just outside city walls so also easy in/out for day trips). Have fun.

PS we opted out of Venice this trip due to time and hear the flooding has been incredibly bad this year.
Old Mar 3rd, 2001, 06:48 PM
richard j vicek
Posts: n/a
Good evening, Sarah, please do not let
the concern of flooding in Venice deter
you from going. We were in Venice for
the 3rd highest flood on November 6, last year, water came up to 6" in the
hotel lobby. We have been in these
floods a number of times over the years.
But it was a VeniceExperience.Richard of
La Grange Park, Il..
Old Mar 3rd, 2001, 10:05 PM
Posts: n/a
Sarah - Your ideas so far sound good. I would really suggest renting a car to visit Tuscany, Siena et. al. I also would recommend staying in San Gimignano; it's lovely in the evening after the tourists leave.

While I love the hill towns, Florence is a great town to people-watch too, so spending 4 days there would work well, especially if you're interested in all the art.

Re where you fly into, on one trip to Italy, using our frequent flyer miles, we flew directly into Venice. Stepping out of the airport to the waters edge, to catch the vaporetto for Venice in the near distance was a spectacular sight that I still remember. If it works out so that you can fly into Venice, do so!

Buon viaggio!
Old Mar 4th, 2001, 06:36 AM
Posts: n/a
Sarah, I find the first half of Oct. to be my favorite time in Tuscany. And, my wife and her high school friends are going back this Oct.---I may have to join them. The time allocation is a very personal thing. I am not a city person but could explore the hill towns for a month. I would get a car for 3 days and stay somewhere near Siena--doing Siena on day, Volterra and San Gim. another, and the third day south to Montalcino et al. Your call !
Old Mar 4th, 2001, 12:42 PM
Posts: n/a
Your plan is a fine plan, as some others also approved.
Rent a car, but pls. be careful driving. The Autodstradas are very good, and toll booth are eficient to pay with a credit card. But the Italians are nuts as drivers. So only if you are a good, experienced driver, do it. NEVER take the left lane, only to pass, and do it quick.
On small road, though, be careful, 'cause they are NARROW. At the same time, Italians drive there very fast, and very impatient. I, an experienced, fast driver, had to frequently find spaces to pull over and let them pass me, 'cause they made us nervous, tailgating us so close.
Otherwise, go for it, baby... It's the right way to see ANY country.
P.S. There is nothing wrong flying Sabena. Just another European airline.
P.S. 2 Go to Siena in an early afternoon, plan to stay an evening (it's like an hour ot two from Florence). The beauty of it is in the sunset.
Old Mar 5th, 2001, 12:44 AM
Posts: n/a
Hi Sarah

Just a quick note, agreeing with Lexma. If you fly into Venice, take the water taxi into the city rather than approaching by bus. You will always remember that first sighting of Venice as it comes into view on the horizon - words cannot describe.

Have fun.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -