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Siena or a hill town, traveling with a child, over the Easter holidays

Siena or a hill town, traveling with a child, over the Easter holidays

Nov 19th, 2003, 09:19 AM
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Siena or a hill town, traveling with a child, over the Easter holidays

I know that there are a lot of posts on hill towns and Siena, but I have a specific question that I haven't seen answered yet.

We have the opportunity to stay at the Palazzo Ravizza in Siena from Friday through Monday over Easter. (Sunday and Monday are public holidays.) We also could stay in a small hill town, such as Locanda La Costa in Montefollinico. Given that many things will probably be closed over that holiday, would we be better off staying in a larger city like Siena? Or would staying in a small hill town be more of a wonderful contrast to Rome and Venice, which are also on our agenda?

We will be traveling with our 10-year-old daughter, who doesn't mind having slow times to read, write in her journal, play games, etc. I don't think she would be bored with three days in a small hill town, taking drives to other towns, but again, I'm wondering if this is a good thing to do over the public holidays.

So I guess my question is actually two-fold: 1) Is Siena a small enough town to be a big contrast between Rome and Venice (something we are looking for), or would one of the hill towns be a better choice; and 2) what effect should the public holidays have in influencing our decision of where to stay?

Nov 19th, 2003, 09:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 171
I think Siena would be better than one of the smaller hill towns as there is a lot to do. And the Ravizza is fantastic! Let me know if you would like Siena specifics.

siena_us is offline  
Nov 19th, 2003, 10:49 PM
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Cristina, thank you for your response. We are definitely considering Siena, and I hope you won't mind my asking you a few questions once we finalize our plans. (Too many wonderful options. . .!)
Nov 19th, 2003, 11:45 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 978
Easter and Easter monday are, besides public holidays, also 2 days of intense touristical activity... Lots of restaurants will be open, some shops maybe, in a town like Siena...

So to answer your questions,...
1. Siena is not that small a town. There is of course a contrast with R and V, but the contrast would still be bigger with a small hill town.
The difference would also be of a different kind. R, V and Siena are 'cultural' environments, man-made. With a small town, the 'natural' environment will add to the contrast. This can only make it richer.

2. Difficult to say. What does the average Italian do on the Easter weekend? On Easter sunday, lots of them go to a restaurant for the traditional easter meal. You should do that also, maybe. Afterwards, they go for a walk, in town, not that much in the countryside, maybe at the seashore...
On Easter monday, Siena would be full, with locals and tourists.
I therefor propose to formulate the question in another way: do we want solitude, calmness, silence, rest, ..., in a small hill town, or, do we want to sea people around us, the same 'tourist activity' as in R and V, but in Siena this time?

IMHO, as you are having a car, I would choose the calmest place. If I would need the crowds, I would know where to find them.
baldrick is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 06:46 AM
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I would do Siena over Easter. We liked La Costa but too isolated and small with a child.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 09:30 AM
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baldrick and bobthenavigator, I really appreciate your responses.

baldrick, thinking about what you wrote made me realize that we would prefer this part of our trip to be relatively calm and quiet. We aren't looking for another city experience, even if it is a smaller city than Rome or Venice. We also love to drive on small roads and just wander around that way; our daughter is usually quite good about that, too.

Having said all that, and taking into account the public holidays, I hope you won't mind another somewhat related question: Would there be a big difference in driving traffic/train traffic if we left Tuscany for Venice on Easter Monday vs. that Tuesday?

bobthenavigator, I know you have visited many (if not all!) of the hill towns in Southern Tuscany, and have talked about some of your favorites in other posts. Given that we traveling with a child, is there any place different you would recommend as a base for exploring this region?

Thank you both again for all your help with this.
Nov 20th, 2003, 12:42 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 20
fsu42iena and Montefollonico are 2 great towns but very different.Siena is much larger with more restaurants,shopping sites etc.Montefollonico is a very charming and very small town.I think it was one of the prettiest towns we visited in Tuscany.It has 2 churches,a couple restaurants and thats it.It would provide a good base for visiting other towns.Enjoy.
Henry109 is offline  
Nov 20th, 2003, 02:04 PM
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Pienza is the easiest because it is flat and relatively small. I love the 2 wine towns--Montalcino and Montepulciano, but both are hilly. Anywhere on that S-146 corridor is good. Look at www.palazzodelcapitano in San Quirico and Posta Marcucci in Bagno Vignoni as well. All of these are very close--:20 apart.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 21st, 2003, 08:57 AM
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Henry109, thanks for the response. Montefollonico sounds like a great little hill town!

bobthenavigator, thanks for sharing the Web sites -- and for continuing to take the time to share your knowledge and insights on this board.
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