Siena and Lucca OR Cinque Terre ?

Mar 15th, 2007, 07:17 PM
  #1  
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Siena and Lucca OR Cinque Terre ?

Hi all! I'm going to Italy with my mom for 2 weeks in May-a long awaited trip for us. My mom really wanted to go on a tour, I didn't, so the thought is we'd do a week of each. One week on a walking tour of little towns between Florence and Siena. For the other week, we're thinking of either spending time in Lucca, Siena, and Florence (travelling between them by train-is this possible?) OR going to Cinque Terre and Florence (the tour starts in Florence). I'm torn, as both sound great. What would you recommend? We both like nature, history, culture, and just walking around and enjoying little towns.

Also, on the tour we stay in Panzano (at the Relais Fattoria Valle), Castellina in Chianti (at the Hotel Colle Etrusco Salivolpi) and Stove (at the Castel Bigozzi). Are these towns good places to stay?

And, finally, has anyone with a travel partner who wants to go on a tour because they hate dealing with logistics and worry about language issues found a way to convince that partner to go for it on your own? I'm willing to handle all logistics, and speak Spanish and Portuguese which should help at least to read Italian, if not understand spoken Italian, but still, I can't talk her into doing it ourselves. Any suggestions?

Sorry for such a mixture of questions in one post!
Thanks!

misqui is offline  
Mar 16th, 2007, 04:57 AM
  #2  
ira
 
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Hi M,

>has anyone with a travel partner who wants to go on a tour ... found a way to convince that partner to go for it on your own?<

If that TP is your mother?

>One week on a walking tour of little towns between Florence and Siena. <

You want to walk up to those picturesque Tuscan hill towns?

Re CT v Lucca and Siena.

They are completely different.

There is train service from Lucca to Florence. For Florence/Siena take the SITA bus.



ira is offline  
Mar 17th, 2007, 06:50 AM
  #3  
 
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Misqui....first, you've picked a great time to explore Italy, May is a nice time to vist. Sienna to Florence is very doable by train, but I'm not sure about Lucca (however, Lucca is one of Tuscanys nicest towns). The train service in Italy is not as accomodating as other parts of Europe (especially in the small towns of Tuscany). If you enjoy nature, history, and culture, I would pick the Tuscany region. That said, the Cinque Terre is beautiful and very unique. There is an easy shuttle train between the 5 towns and each town is unique with lots of nice restaurants, shops, ect, not to mention beautiful views of the Italian Riviera.
Everybody is different, but I would most definitely explore Italy on your own as opposed to a tour. You will be able to set your own schedule, take your time to soak in the sights and the culture. A tour is just too regimented for my liking. Although English is not widely spoken in these areas of Italy, if you attempt to try a little Italian, the locals will greatly appreciate it and try to reciprocate in the best English they can. It is part of the fun of traveling to try to interact with the locals. You will not have a problem communicating. Good Luck.
Mike
mike1728 is offline  
Mar 17th, 2007, 07:22 AM
  #4  
nma
 
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I've been to both and I'd go back to Cinque Terre! There's nothing like it!
nma is offline  
Mar 17th, 2007, 07:26 AM
  #5  
 
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CT I have been lucky enough to have 3 trips to europe and I've found a way to get there 3 times. If your active, the hiking is top notch, food is good, great atmosphere, and the sea is awesome.
brando is offline  
Mar 17th, 2007, 07:39 AM
  #6  
 
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Hi Misqui,

Are you doing the walking tour with a group? If so, could you share the name of teh company that organizes it?

It would be very easy to spend a week between Lucca and Florence. I spent 2 weeks in Lucca last year and loved it! You can go between the 2 by train or bus.
cruiseluv is offline  
Mar 17th, 2007, 11:11 AM
  #7  
 
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If you are already going to be up in Tuscany for one week seeing Florence, Siena, etc than why not make the second week in an entirely different region? Like seeing Rome or the Amalfi Coast? I would try to separate the 2 areas to make it a more diverse trip.

Re: the travel partner question - is it an all-covered expense paid trip? I'm willing to go if this is pre-paid, happily.
Huitres is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 06:49 AM
  #8  
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Thank you all for your advice. We are sticking with the compromise of a week on a tour and a week on our own (the tour is with Backroads, for the person who asked). And we're going to Cinque Terre, which should be great (My mom's already been to the amalfi coast, rome, naples, and the lakes up north, so this will be new for her).

I have other questions but will ask in a new post. Thank you all again for your very helpful thoughts!
misqui is offline  

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