Pedestrian-friendly towns in Italy

Apr 3rd, 2013, 10:19 PM
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Pedestrian-friendly towns in Italy

I'm looking for suggestion on pedestrian-friendly towns in Italy, preferably in Tuscany that are accessible via train (I will not have a car). I'm planning on 4-5 nights in early June, and enjoy visiting museums, gardens, parks, shops, cafes, etc.

I visited Florence last year for 5 nights and loved it and also did a day trip to Lucca and really enjoyed that walled town. I have thought about going to Lucca on this trip but am not sure there is enough there to keep me occupied for 4-5 nights.

Any suggestions? Grazie!
Kaneohe is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2013, 10:57 PM
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Siena's core is basically car free.
Michael is online now  
Apr 4th, 2013, 01:57 AM
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Depends on your definition of pedestrian-friendly.

But as a rough generalisation (and I'm struggling to think of an exception. Yes: Urbino), if it's got enough for more than two days' tourist interest it'll probably have a station - and if it does (and you're happy to get the bus up to the centro storico, since the railway station will often be down on the plain) it'll be easy to walk around.

If you're happy to walk up hills.

Rail Europe have a map ( Blow it up to full screen, then zoom to see a full set of stations in any part of the country.

Obviously nowhere except Rome and Venice is going to have as much to see as Florence (though Naples is surprisingly pedestrian friendly, as long as you choose a hotel close enough to metro or funicular stations). If you want to pack your day, you might have to choose any two of Assisi, Ravenna, Arezzo and Orvieto, for example, to fill up five days.

But even cities most of us mock as tourist destinations (like Milan) have good public transport, lots to see and streets it's perfectly possible to walk in.
flanneruk is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 02:13 AM
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If the town has a train station why do you have to stay in one town all five days? Isn't the point of accessibility by public transportation to be able to go to other places?

Why limit yourself to train only; buses serve towns that do not have train stations.

I can't think of any Tuscan town that fits your criteria except for Florence.

How about the Bologna/Parma area. There is probably enough to do there for five days plus you can easily travel to other close by towns.
adrienne is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 03:40 AM
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Your subject line is a bit misleading. I thought you were looking for towns where it is easy to be a pedestrian , and I had a hard time thinking of any that are not outside industrial regions.

I agree strongly about using a small city or large town as a base rather than restricting yourself to a single location. Many interesting places can be reached by bus or train or both, and on them bus, the journey can be as much fun as the destination.
Ackislander is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 04:38 AM
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IME, You won't find any city/town in Tuscany that is both pedestrian friendly and has enough to see and do for 5 days like Florence which meets both criteria. However, you could base yourself in Siena or Lucca and take public transportation to other Tuscan towns. Siena is fairly central and would allow you to visit twons both south and north. Most towns will have bus transportation if not trains.
mamcalice is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 04:46 AM
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Not in Tuscany, but I think Verona makes a good hub for a five-day visit. It is not a small town, but has a pedestrian-friendly old center with "museums, gardens, parks, shops, cafes," good food and wine bars, interesting sites to keep you busy for a few days, and easy access by train or bus to a variety of other interesting places nearby for day trips: Vicenza, Padova, Mantova, Lake Garda, . . .
ellenem is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 05:07 AM
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You shouldn't just look at train connections. Much of Tuscany is served by bus lines. Here's bus connections from Siena.

Staying 4-5 nights would allow for a couple of day trips. Buses don't run as often and most in this area don't have Sunday service.
kybourbon is online now  
Apr 4th, 2013, 05:48 AM
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Pedestrian friendly and bicycle friendly is Ferrara as is Mantova
bilboburgler is offline  
Apr 4th, 2013, 10:01 PM
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Thank you all for the suggestions--guess I have some research to do this weekend!

I apologize if my post did not provide enough details. Certainly taking a bus or train for day trips is an option, I just do not want to change hotels every night or every other night. Please let me know if you have additional suggestions!
Kaneohe is offline  
Apr 5th, 2013, 03:17 AM
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Kaneohe,I second Ellenem’s suggestion that you consider Verona.

It’s a lovely city and would give you another perspective on Italy since you have already visited Tuscany. The nearby Italian Lakes area is to die for in my view.
latedaytraveler is offline  
Apr 5th, 2013, 03:31 AM
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Third vote for Verona plus in addition to the places ellenem mentioned as day trips you can even do Bologna and Ferrera. Way more than enough to do for 4-5 days.
isabel is offline  
Apr 5th, 2013, 04:25 AM
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If you are not confined to Tuscany, how about the ultimate pedestrian-friendly town, Venice?
tarquin is offline  
Apr 5th, 2013, 04:58 AM
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We stayed on Bologna for a week and took the train every day to another town. Nowhere was more than an hour away. Ferrara, Ravenna, Modena, Parma and even Mantua.
gertie3751 is offline  
Apr 5th, 2013, 07:47 AM
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"If you are not confined to Tuscany, how about the ultimate pedestrian-friendly town, Venice?"

You took the words right out of my mouth (or fingertips), tarquin. There's plenty to do to keep you well occupied, and many interesting places are just a train ride away: Treviso, Vicenza, Verona, Bassano del Grappa, Trieste.

Check my blog for some of the small wonders I find every day, during my second 3 month stay in Venice:
YvonneT is offline  

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