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Help me narrow down (if possible) my Tuscan towns.

Help me narrow down (if possible) my Tuscan towns.

Old Sep 24th, 2012, 03:54 PM
  #1  
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Help me narrow down (if possible) my Tuscan towns.

I'll have 5 days between landing in Florence, Oct 16th and meeting a group at FCO around noon, Oct 21st. I'm planning a day to see the main sights in Florence and then use it as a base. I'd like to see Volterra, San Gimignano, Assisi and I'd like to see the Siena Duomo floors as they are revealed while I'm there.
Is it possible to do both small hill towns in one day? Then a day trip to Assisi and an overnight stop in Siena on my way to Rome? And still see Florence??
What makes the most sense?
hollywoodsc is offline  
Old Sep 24th, 2012, 04:12 PM
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Volterra and San Gimi work well together and can be seen n day. Assisi is in the extreme other direction. Siena is another day or the overnight stop. Will you get a rental car for the day two different times? Or are you thinking of booking a tour or a driver?
You might want to select from among these options so that you have enough time for Florence itself.
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Old Sep 24th, 2012, 04:14 PM
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Will you have a car or using public transport?
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Old Sep 24th, 2012, 04:16 PM
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Trains and buses.
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Old Sep 24th, 2012, 04:31 PM
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To me, it really does depend on your motivation, energy, how early you can get up in the morning, how much money you are willing to throw at this project -- and what sites in Florence you want to see.

Are you arriving in Florence jet lagged? What time are you arriving? Is there a particular day you need to be in Siena for the reveal? Because in some ways, it would be better if you want from the Florence airport directly to Siena by bus, and made your base there until you were ready to go to Florence, and then take a fast train from Florence through Rome Termini to FCO.

You can take a 2-hour bus to San Gimignano from Siena (or Florence), but from there I would probably take a taxi to and from Volterra, back to SG to catch the bus back to Siena.

It is an entire day to see Assisi from Siena, but if you are traveling light enough, you could return to Florence that night, instead of Siena.

Then you have all your remaining time uninterrupted in Florence, until you catch an 8am train to Rome, and switch a train to FCO in plenty of time.

By the way, I think this is only worth doing if you are really keen on seeing the art INSIDE the churches at San Gimignano and the Etruscan artifacts at Volterra. If you have only heard these are "must-see amazing hilltowns", the Siena is enough of a hilltown to give you excellent idea of what a Tuscan hilltown is. Likewise, be prepared for elbow-to-elbow tourists at Assisi, piling in on busses like you, so unless you have a real lifelong dream to see Assisi, you might be happier staying in Florence.

If you end up wanting to see just Siena and Florence, then base in Florence, take the bus to Siena one day (scenic), take the train back to Florence in order to get to Rome. The logistics of Siena to FCO travel are not as convenient.
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Old Sep 24th, 2012, 04:34 PM
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In case the last line of my post wasn't clear: For a trip that consists of Florence and Siena, base in Florence the whole time. See Siena as a daytrip, bus one way, train back.
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Old Sep 24th, 2012, 04:55 PM
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Really don't want to go in circles.
Thanks caldarroste, for the info that Siena to FCO is not convenient.
I'm arriving the afternoon on the 16th, so the 17th in Florence makes sense with jetlag and everything is open on a Tues.
Then 18th EITHER Volterra or S.Gimignano.
19th Sienna to see the Duomo and floors.
20th Another day in Florence and a bit of a break from travel, then leave the morning of the 21st, fast train to Rome and then FCO.
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Old Sep 24th, 2012, 05:07 PM
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I don't believe you can get to Volterra using only public transportation. You can only get as far as San Gimignano, I think.

If all you want to do is see the floors in Siena, then you could return from San Gimignano to Siena, and go back to Florence at the end of the day.

If you are arriving in the afternoon in Florence with jet lag, it won't make much difference that everything is open in Florence. You'll be too jet lagged to take much in, other than to walk around.
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Old Sep 24th, 2012, 05:10 PM
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You should also check which day is market day in San Gimignano. You probably want to avoid it, since it makes for traffic jams and town even more crowded than usual.

I'm guessing you already know to be flexible about weather. Even if you are going to San Gimignano to go inside the churches to see the art, it is mostly a walking-around-outside place, and you don't want to be there in the chilly rain.
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Old Sep 24th, 2012, 05:13 PM
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Good news:

Looks like you can take public transporation all the way to Volterra

http://volterrawalkingtour.webs.com/...tovolterra.htm
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Old Sep 24th, 2012, 05:16 PM
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If you scroll down in this thread, you'll pick up some valuable info about switching buses to get to Volterra:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...light-fans.cfm
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Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 04:25 PM
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Thanks for all the info. I'm thinking of just doing Volterra and Siena for my day trips and that gives me 2.5 days in Florence. I like to visit museums and sights but also like to just wander, find a local place for lunch and people watch.

I always look at the map and think, 'well it's only a couple of inches away', lol!
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