Notices

Italy - Siena or Orvieto

Reply

May 15th, 2016, 08:18 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 357
Italy - Siena or Orvieto

We are a family of 4 (2 kids - tween/teen) traveling to Italy in June/July. We start in Venice and end in Rome with stops in Florence, Lucca & Cinque Terre. We have two nights left to plan and we are torn between Siena and Orvieto.

Siena seems like the busier of the two and we are concerned that crowds will be overwhelming in Late June.

Is there enough to do for 2 nights in Orvieto? We can get a car.

Thanks in advance.
familythattravels is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 15th, 2016, 08:52 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,837
I think there is more to do in Siena, but I'd go on each town's website to check for festival dates that bang into your dates.
bilboburgler is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 15th, 2016, 09:04 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 468
Orvieto is a beauty, but very small. Spend those days in Siena, and make room for a two-hour visit of Orvieto on your way back to Rome.
tonfromleiden is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 15th, 2016, 09:53 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,229
There is plenty do do in Orvieto for a 2 night visit. I assume this means you will have 1.5 days. Its a beautiful town and has much to offer: Etrucan museum, underground tour of the caves beneath the city,, St. Patricks Well, Etruscan tombs archeological site, the gorgeous duomo, lots of interesting tiny streets filled with artists galleries and other shops, excellent restaurants, and one of the best passegiatas I've participated in.

If you are willing to get a car for a day, visit Civita de Bagnoreggio. Google pictures. Its a delightful and unique half day trip with wonderful photo ops.

Depends on how interested your kids would be in all the above, but I would think much of it would be interesting to them.
Dayle is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 15th, 2016, 01:36 PM
  #5
WWK
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,582
I was extremely underwhelmed by Siena. When we visited with out kids several years ago in July, it was packed and broiling hot.

However, it's close to Florence, so with two days in the area it could be a decent side trip.
WWK is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 15th, 2016, 02:05 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,037
20 years ago I would have said Siena. Today, Orvieto by a long shot.
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 15th, 2016, 02:18 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,715
I always listen to StCirq. Never steered me wrong yet.
Curious, StCirq, about your reasons. Is Siena unbearably crowded or Orvieto more interesting and pleasant?
My first time in Siena, mid 70s, empty streets. Lovely even in July.
20 years ago, crowded, but still enjoyable, though super hot in April.
Sassafrass is online now  
Reply With Quote
May 15th, 2016, 02:53 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 564
Sassafrass she might be steering you wrong this time. Siena is amazing. You shouldn't anyone's word as the bible.
Loacker is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 15th, 2016, 03:18 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 30,492
I've stayed in both several times. With only two nights (which is really just one sightseeing day), pick the one that interests you the most.

With either one, you don't need a rental car especially since you don't have time for day trips. If Siena, take the Sita bus from Florence to Siena and the Sena bus from Siena to Rome. For Orvieto, use the train.
kybourbon is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 15th, 2016, 06:28 PM
  #10
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 357
Thanks everyone for your suggestions and comments. Palio horse race is scheduled on the day we would depart so I suspect Siena would be incredibly crowded.
familythattravels is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 15th, 2016, 06:40 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,392
"Sassafrass she might be steering you wrong this time. Siena is amazing. You shouldn't anyone's word as the bible"

Loacker, I agree completely. The Doumo in Siena is breathtaking!

Both towns are incredible beautiful, can't go wrong, whichever you choose.
cafegoddess is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 15th, 2016, 06:57 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,715
If Palio is scheduled, I doubt you could even get near the city center, so may have no choice anyway.

I did like Siena - a lot, and also the cathedral, but less the second time around. Probably colored by other things, fellow traveler's, etc. Also, while beautiful, and certainly interesting, it is not a cathedral that stands out so much in my memory as some others. Perhaps if I was with only DH, on our own schedule, it would still be appealing. Would love to go to Palio someday, need lots of planning ahead for that.
Sassafrass is online now  
Reply With Quote
May 15th, 2016, 07:00 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,745
"20 years ago I would have said Siena. Today, Orvieto by a long shot."

We first visited Siena about 25 years ago, and it was a medieval gem. In recent years, though, it has become a good-sized city with all the down sides that come with growth. Too many people, too many cars, too many cheap souvenir stands. I can't imagine the crowds at Palio time.

I hope charming Orvieto won't be the same in 15-20 years. I almost hate to recommend it anymore.
Jean is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 15th, 2016, 07:49 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,715
Jean, imagine what it was like when we first visited in early July, 1976. When I say empty, it looked abandoned, hardly any people about, no tourists and mid-afternoon, restaurants and shops closed, only a few pizza places open for snacks. Not fair for me to complain though as I am part of the crowds.
Sassafrass is online now  
Reply With Quote
May 16th, 2016, 07:59 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,037
Sassafrass, what Jean said is what I meant. Doesn't mean Siena isn't worth visiting, but that wasn't the OP's question.The Palio was completely nuts 25 years ago. I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like today, though I imagine they must have increased security and general crowd control in the intervening decades.
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 16th, 2016, 05:36 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,745
Sassafrass, I can go back even further. My family drove around northern Italy in 1963! There were still the occasional piles of stones/rubble from clearing away World War II bomb-damaged buildings. Hardly any cars in cities, very little English spoken anywhere, few tourists and even fewer tourist services, but we did stay at an AGIP Motel on the autostrade just south of Florence. The motel concept was still a novelty for Italy in 1963.
Jean is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 16th, 2016, 06:22 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,715
Wow! Just think, Jean, that was less than 20 years after World War II ended.
Sassafrass is online now  
Reply With Quote
May 16th, 2016, 06:48 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,745
At the time, I thought 18 years was an eternity and the war was ancient history. I was 12....
Jean is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
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



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:56 AM.