Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Italy - where to stay in Rome, Sienna, Florence?

Italy - where to stay in Rome, Sienna, Florence?

Old Aug 6th, 2022, 08:06 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 184
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Italy - where to stay in Rome, Sienna, Florence?

We are trying to pick where to stay for an upcoming trip. We arrive in Rome on October 8 and would like to stay October 8-13. Then go to Sienna for 1 night, then maybe 2 nights in Florence.

Family of 5 - with 3 kids ages 11, 10, and 8.

Questions:

What part of Rome would you stay in? We are looking at Hotel Sonya, Hotel Aberdeen - if they can accommodate us. Also looking at some AirBnBs. I believe these are both by Termini. The one AirBnB is by the Vatican.

Any other areas people like to have as their "home base" while in Rome? When I stayed there in college, I was right off of Piazza Bologna. A bit outside of the main area, but no issues using the Metro to get around. Not sure I'd want to stay there with the family though.

Next question:

Is 1 night in Sienna enough, or should we do 2? After Sienna, we figured we could do 1 or 2 nights in Florence before meeting extended family for a week in Lucca. We can always back track for a day trip to Florence, but thought stopping for 1 or 2 nights would be nice. We are scheduled to arrive in Lucca on the 16th. So we could either do the 13th and 14th in Sienna, then the 15th in Florence. Or we could do the 13th in Sienna, and the 14th and 15th in Florence.
bradykp is offline  
Old Aug 6th, 2022, 09:49 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8,917
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
With a family, I think it is particularly helpful to stay in each location at least two nights, otherwise much of your time is traveling, checking in, etc.

The area around the Termini station used to be pretty seedy and not family-friendly but it has been a long time since I have been there so it may have improved. I hope someone who has been there more recently can advise you.
KTtravel is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2022, 06:13 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 16,551
Received 22 Likes on 4 Posts
Two nights for Siena at a minimum.
Rome- on recent trips there we stayed near Palazzo Navona and the Pantheon and would stay in that area again. Many prefer Travestere. One time we stayed near the Spanish Steps and disliked it there.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Old Aug 7th, 2022, 08:28 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 96
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by KTtravel View Post
With a family, I think it is particularly helpful to stay in each location at least two nights, otherwise much of your time is traveling, checking in, etc.

The area around the Termini station used to be pretty seedy and not family-friendly but it has been a long time since I have been there so it may have improved. I hope someone who has been there more recently can advise you.
Still not great, and not a lot of great dining options either. And would be a long walk to almost everywhere.

With 5, limit your search to hotels with "family rooms" or Air B&B.
I prefer the area just north of Trevi.

You could stop for a day in Siena on the way from Rome to Florence
alandavid is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2022, 08:48 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 23,621
Received 4 Likes on 3 Posts
How are you traveling?

Disclaimer: I really dislike back-to-back short stays.

With 3 kids, I'd skip either Siena or Florence and spend 3 nights in one or the other. It will take half a day to get from Rome lodging to Siena lodging, whichever way you travel. If you stay one night in Siena, you'd have the afternoon (after lunch) to explore before closing times at things like the Duomo, then dinner, then stroll a little, then bed. If you skipped Siena, you could take a train from Rome to Florence and be sightseeing by mid-morning. It goes without saying that there is much more to see/do in Florence than Siena.

FYI, it takes the same amount of time to train from Siena to Florence as is takes from Rome to Florence.

FYI, the train journey between Lucca and Florence takes about 90 minutes each way. The lowest fare is 8+ euros pp each way... so, 16+ euros round trip x 5 people = 80+ euros. Ouch. That makes for an expensive and time-eating "backtrack" for a day's sightseeing in Florence. If budget is a consideration, you might want to see what stopping in Siena costs overall as opposed to heading straight to Florence.
Jean is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2022, 08:54 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 56,231
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
<<Is 1 night in Sienna enough, or should we do 2? After Sienna, we figured we could do 1 or 2 nights in Florence before meeting extended family for a week in Lucca. We can always back track for a day trip to Florence, but thought stopping for 1 or 2 nights would be nice. We are scheduled to arrive in Lucca on the 16th. So we could either do the 13th and 14th in Sienna, then the 15th in Florence. Or we could do the 13th in Sienna, and the 14th and 15th in Florence.>>

Personally with small children I would decide whether i wanted to make Florence or Siena my base and then do a day trip to the other. There is an excellent bus service that runs from the bus station just to the left of the main train station in Florence to the centre of Siena [whereas the train drops you quite a way out of the centre] and that way you would have a proper home base rather than continually being on the move which I think is a lot harder with kids in tow than it is if there are just the two of you. Florence would be my choice as it's a shortish train journey from Rome, and then another shortish train journey to Lucca.

[looks as if my post and Jean's crossed. I agree with her about short stays] .
annhig is online now  
Old Aug 7th, 2022, 10:17 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 2,266
Likes: 0
Received 13 Likes on 2 Posts
For a family, I recommend the Domus Julia in Rome, which has apartments w/kitchens. Also an elevator.
My daughter and I stayed there for three nights a few years ago, and were very happy with it.
https://www.domusjulia.com

It is operated by the Hotel Julia next door, so you have that front desk to ask questions and directions.
Breakfast was included, in the Hotel's lovely dining room. It was a very pleasant and a good deal.

It's near the Spanish Steps, but on a more quiet side street. Walking distance to many other sites.
MoBro is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2022, 12:50 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,006
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We generally stay in the Termini area when in Rome just for convenience to transit with some excellent restaurants. Target behind Aberdeen is a nice white table cloth restaurant with outdoor seating. Sonya across from the opera house is our favorite hotel but also have stayed at the Aberdeen. Another excellent restaurant is on the north side of the opera house square near Sonya. In the past there has been a weekend street market just behind Sonya. Everything is a pretty easy walk from there. Vatican is probably an hour hike so grab a bus. Seediness is in the eye of the beholder. We have spent a lot of time in Manhattan and Chicago so our perception level of seediness may be high. We have never felt unsafe in Rome -- cannot say the same for Chicago. If interested I can dig out the names for the other restaurants we have enjoyed. Found a wonder pizza place down a dark alley that most American tourist would avoid but not the locals. Remember the dinner cycle is much later in Rome. Kids will love it. Our sons did.

Last edited by fmpden; Aug 7th, 2022 at 01:03 PM.
fmpden is offline  
Old Aug 7th, 2022, 08:52 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 4,431
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Really depends on what the OP wants to see during his time there.

Most of the places I've wanted to see and be around in Rome are more to the west of Termini, more around Piazza Navona. It's also closer to the Vatican in case you want to visit.

Not sure when he went to college but in my limited experience with the Rome metro, it can be packed, like standing room only, as people take it to the Vatican. So it wasn't an appealing way to get around before the pandemic, let alone now.

I don't know if there's Uber in Rome but that might be better way to get around the city.

Some of the most popular sites have real long queues so a lot of guided tours offer the opportunity to get in the much shorter queues for groups. So that might be an option, because these guided tours also pick you up and drop you back at the hotel. Or they used to.

Otherwise, if you stay in the a central location near all the places you would visit, you can walk everywhere, though it would be tougher with kids in tow.

Siena and Florence both cities are great to see in the evening, if you stay in the center. If you have a car, staying in the center is very difficult and expensive for parking. But I agree with others, not worth it unless you can spend at least 2 nights in each.

Speaking of atmosphere in the evenings, I hear Lucca is great in that respect.
scrb11 is online now  
Old Aug 8th, 2022, 01:16 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,523
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I stayed a few weeks ago in Trastevere with my daughter and two teenagers. We stayed in a little "guest house", the Ripa 145. The location was very convenient, both for Trastevere, and for the historic centre of Rome. I don't know if they have a family room.

If you stay in Trastevere, I recommend you stay near the Ponte Sisto. From there it's an easy walk to Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, and other popular places in the historic centre. Trastevere is a very large area, and some parts of it are neither convenient nor attractive.

The area around Piazza Navona is also very convenient, although crowded. I prefer the nearby Campo de' Fiori or Jewish Ghetto area.

The area around the Vatican is not very convenient for reaching other parts of Rome.
bvlenci is offline  
Old Aug 10th, 2022, 07:22 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 184
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
thanks so much for the replies so far! grabbing a few guidebooks from the library and hope to book hotels/rooms this week!
bradykp is offline  

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 - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information