Italy - Sienna or Lucca

Mar 19th, 2010, 10:10 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 363
Another vote for Siena. I have been to all three cities, and they're all worth a visit, but Siena gives you the opportunity to roam through a medieval town and explore the various contrada (the neighborhoods which compete in the Palio). In addition if you are going to be there near the time of the Palio (July 2 and August 16), you can get some sense of the festivities in the days leading up to the Palio, even if you are not in town for the race itself (very crowded but worthwhile). Lucca does have the city wall and some impressive church facades (especially San Michele in Foro), but overall, the Duomo in Siena is more impressive. Climbing the Torre del Mangia for the view of the city is also magnificent. In Arezzo there are several attractions, such as the Francesca frescoes in the basilica, and the piazza, which are certainly worthwhile. However, walking between them you won't be surrounded by as much interesting secondary architecture as you will find in Siena.
Midnightsun is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 10:50 AM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,893
If you have a car and you have time, all three are worth a visit. One night anywhere is not my style so I can't help there.

"What about the advertising?"

Offering a link to villas around Lucca that permit visitors is advertising? Sometimes the advertising police on this board need to take a chill pill or get a job. I suppose initalia also owns Sardinia and Trenitalia? Read much, adrienne? Obviously, you've never had a typo or a copy/paste error.
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 10:58 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 4,444
I left Lucca this morning. It is a remarkable city and, at this season at least, refreshingly free of tourists and touts.

IMO, Siena is the more exotic city -- Lucca has nothing like Siena's main square, for example.

But Lucca is a city for connoisseurs -- quieter, less visually impressive but very rich in architecture, in history and in a sense of place.

Either place is a fine destination.
tedgale is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 11:47 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,552
Like DonnaD, I've been to all 3 places several times. We each have our own favorites. Art is among my top reasons for travel, which leads me to put Siena and Arezzo above Lucca.


There is also a Piero in the cathedral at the top of Arezzo, and a Roman area in the SE corner of the town. Lots of good food.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Mar 19th, 2010, 12:37 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 5,862
I have only been to Arezzo once, for a day trip. Over the last 5 years or so, I have spent a few weeks in Lucca and a couple of months in Siena. For me, the deciding point would be the "One night in" - and I would recommend Siena.

There is nothing wrong with Lucca - in fact it is delightful, but to me it is about atmosphere. I feel very comfortable in Lucca - it is a wonderfully friendly city, easy to get around, some very pleasant architecture, good restaurants and the walk/cycle around the walls is a wonderful way to spend an hour or so. Lucca lacks the immediate impact of Siena, but given a little time is very worth the stay.

Siena is almost certainly my favourite city in Italy. The cathedral rates as one of my top three (Monreale and Pisa being the other two), the Campo would rate as my top people watching spot anywhere. Siena was one of the great city states in Europe until conquered by Florence, and much of the evidence of that time remains.

Arezzo was very interesting on our short trip in minus degrees Centigrade. I was really taken with the place, and plan to go back next time I am in the region, but I wasn't really there long enough to comment.
willit is online now  
Mar 19th, 2010, 01:13 PM
  #26  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 85
thanks everyone for the feedback. I think I will go to Siena. I'm going with my mum and 18 month daughter so bike riding is completely out of the question. I have been to Siena once and loved it. I'm driving from Florence down to Puglia, so want something that's not in the wrong direction.
michjv is offline  

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