Italy - Sienna or Lucca

Mar 19th, 2010, 03:19 AM
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Italy - Sienna or Lucca

I'm trying to decide between staying a night in either Lucca or Sienna. Has anyone been to both? And if so, which do you recommend? Also, has anyone seen Arezzo, is it worth a visit? I'm quite flexible with my travel plans. I usually just book hotels once I'm in Italy.
michjv is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 03:24 AM
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I haven't been to Lucca but I love Siena. I've not stayed in Arezzo but went twice for the day to see the Piero della Francesca frescoes. If you like PdF and do get to Arezzo, go a bit farther to Monterchi for the pregnant Madonna fresco there.
adrienne is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 03:28 AM
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Hi Adrienne, I've been once to Siena and love it. It's such a beautiful town. I've heard Lucca is even nicer (but I find that hard to believe).
I mainly want to go to Arezzo to look at antiques.
michjv is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 03:44 AM
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Sorry I can't help with antiques, I love to look at churches and frescoes. But I'm sure someone here will chime in about antiques.

If you decide not to go to Arezzo then perhaps you will be able to do both Siena and Lucca. Have a great trip!
adrienne is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 04:28 AM
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Hello, I am Deborah and I live in Tuscany.

Exactly. Lucca is least known to tourists but it is more beautiful than Sienna!.
A tour of the walls of Lucca (4 km), Cycling, during a beautiful day, is an unforgettable experience.
Will see from the wonderful gardens!.

If you can get a ride even the Ville Lucchesi.
initalia is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 04:33 AM
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initalia - I'm curious about how you can live in Tuscany and yet not know that Siena is spelled with one "n" - SIENA.

There is no advertising on this board.
adrienne is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 04:42 AM
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I have been to all three cities several times. They all have a lot of positive qualities, but there are drawbacks too. In Siena, it is very hilly and a day there is far more strenuous than Lucca, which is absolutely flat and easy to walk around. Siena's duomo is one of the most beautiful in Italy and the central piazza is probably the best public open space I have been to. Lucca has its city walls, which you can stroll on top of (very cool!) and its nightly opera events in honor of Puccini, who lived there.
Parking in Lucca is difficult--as you must park outside the walls and walk into the centro--can be a long hike.
In Arezzo, you must go through a big, unattractive, industrial area before you get to the prettier parts of the city. Parking can be difficult, but if you manage to get a spot, the city has a lot to offer in terms of shopping, restaurants and art. The piazza at the top of the town is tilted in a very bizarre way--you have to see it to know what I mean.
Any one of these cities is a good stop.
DonnaD44 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 04:42 AM
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I Use Google Translate to translate. If you write Siena translates Sienna ...

If you want you can call me in Skype and listen my voice....
initalia is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 04:49 AM
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initalia - What about the advertising?
adrienne is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 04:52 AM
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Ma ndo la vedi????
Vedi di sta bonina e datte na calmata va.
initalia is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 04:54 AM
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Donna - I had forgotten about that tilted piazza in Arezzo - it is bizarre. I parked in that area the last time I was there.

If you take the train to Lucca is the station closer to the center? I'm still sorry that I didn't make it to Lucca the last time I was in Florence - I should have tried harder.
adrienne is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 04:55 AM
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If you're wondering what's written translation is this:
where you see advertising?
I gave an information that may be useful.
Is not a site of a hotel but only one route to go.
I hope you understand that I am in Tuscany.
initalia is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 05:20 AM
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The Arezzo antique market takes place each month on the weekend with the first Sunday. I found that everything I was tempted by was too big to transport (a marble basin for example,) but it is fun. There are wonderful Piero della Francesca frescos in the church but be sure to reserve first, numbers are strictly limited.

As towns go, I prefer relatively unturisted Lucca to Siena although Siena cathedral and campitello are unforgettable.
tarquin is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 07:04 AM
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I like them both, but the Duomo in Siena is the tie breaker.
bobthenavigator is online now  
Mar 19th, 2010, 08:05 AM
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Adrienne, my understanding is that the train station is about 2 blocks south of the outside walls of the city. Not too long a walk, I'd guess. I have always visited with a car so I can't say for certain what the deal is.
DonnaD44 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 08:18 AM
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Hi michjv,

It may be hard to recommend one over the other without knowing your interests. Is there anything in particular you are wanting to gain or experience in visiting these towns?

Hi Adrienne,

As DonnaD44 mentioned, the Lucca train station is just outside the town walls and the walk into town is about 5 minutes and flat.
zoecat is online now  
Mar 19th, 2010, 08:23 AM
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I've been to all three; my priorities would be Siena, Lucca, then Arezzo. All worth visiting, but if I had to chose I would start with Siena -- larger than Lucca, with wondrous walkways, buildings, of course the Duomo and piazza where they run the Palio. Harder to get to by train which is my only objection though apparently a bus runs in closer.

Lucca is smaller scale, lovely with the city walls (as noted can be walked on or I think even bike-ridden on), excellent cuisine (Buca di San Antonio and the like); there was also a smallish antique market of sorts in the central piazza area when we were there. The train is closer in than in Siena if memory serves. I found more of interest in Siena, more to do, more shops for browsing, and the like.

Arezzo is as noted surrounded by less attractive areas but centrally (and the train does go right into town) very nice and compact; escalators run you up and down; do not park in the central areas right in town--we got a $150 parking ticket mailed to us at home about 6 months later for parking there 30 minutes while we tracked down our lodging. There are very large lots surrounding the town area if you bring a car. (I would not bring one personally).
annw is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 08:51 AM
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Another thing to consider is where you're coming from and where you're going before and after that one night. The 3 locations are quite apart within Tuscany.

If you're going to or from Pisa or say Cinque Terre, Lucca makes more sense.

If you want to be near Montalcino or further points south, Siena is best located.

Arezzo is near Umbria (well a bit closer than Siena).

If you can stay near the Campo and climb the Torre del Mangia and look down, it's a unique view.
scrb is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 09:46 AM
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I've been to both. Siena is really nice. Lucca is so so.

I liked the wall in Lucca and the way it's been converted into a park/walking/biking path. Lucca isn't a hill town. It's flat. For that reason it may appeal to many people with mobility issues. It's also true that Lucca isn't as crowded with tourists, primarily because it's not that great of place.

Rick Steves seems to be promoting Lucca heavily, maybe he gets a kickback. I could see how, in the summer, it might be refreshing to stay in a place that isn't swamped with crowds. We visited in fall and it was completely dead (maybe peaceful is a better way of saying it).

Siena is charming from one end of the center to the other. The architecture is beautiful. There is a reason Siena attracts more people.
bdjtbenson is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 10:04 AM
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I visited both Siena and Lucca last summer, and given the choice would choose to return to Siena.

I did spend more time in Siena, though did not feel it enough.

To be fair, I took the train about 5pm from Pisa to Lucca, and only spent the evening there, returning on the last train about 10pm. I had a lovely meal there, but wasn't overwhelmed by Lucca.
julia_t is offline  

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