Siena or Florence

Sep 24th, 2002, 03:05 PM
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Siena or Florence

We are planning to spend four nights in the area in June 2003 (coming from Rome). We would like to see Florence, Siena and Venice. Where do we choose as a base? I understand that we may be pushing it.


Sep 24th, 2002, 03:15 PM
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probably pushing it a bit. We just got back from 21 days and spent 3 nights in Florence, one in Siena and 3 in Venice. Packing, changing hotels and getting to and from the train station is all stressful. Consider leaving Venice for another trip as it is three hours from Florence, and concentrate on Florence, Siena area?
Sep 24th, 2002, 03:26 PM
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Pick either Florence (& from there Siena is easy day trip) OR choose Venice. It'll be too hectic trying to do it all. If you're an avid art fan, then I'd suggest you choose the Florence/Siena option. However as it sounds like this will be your first time in Italy, then you may want to go with Rome/Venice. I'm not as crazy about Venice as others on this forum; yet it is a unique city and very different from Rome.
Sep 24th, 2002, 04:13 PM
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I personally didn't care for Siena. I think time spent in Florence is more worthwhile. If you truly must see it all, spend 3 nights in Florence, and take the earliest possible train to Venice. You can see St. Marks, Palazzo Ducale and go on a gondola ride if you have the better part of a day. I do agree with other posters that 4 nights would be spreading yourself quite thin over these 3 places. Add another night and you could do 3 in Florence, and 2 in Venice, which would probably be a more satisfying experience for yourself.
Another option is that companies like Caftours do day trips to Venice from Florence. You could just stay in Florence and do the day trips to both Siena and Venice.
Happy planning.
Sep 25th, 2002, 07:01 AM
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Agree that you could stay in Florence and do day trips to both Siena and Venice.

Also, if you don't mind the expense, you could leave your stuff at the hotel in Florence and take an overnight trip to Venice.

See for train schedules.
Sep 25th, 2002, 08:33 AM
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Four days isn't enough time to do all three. Personally, we thought Siena and Venice were more interesting than Florence. We chose to stay in Siena and day trip in to Florence, and that worked out very well--the bus ride is about one hour. In short, I'd recommend either spending four days in Venice or staying in Siena and daytripping in to Florence.
Sep 25th, 2002, 05:57 PM
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Stayed in Siena for a week and did day trips to both Florence and Venice - no problems. From Siena it's easy to catch a bus to Florence and from there the Eurostar to Venice (about a 2 1/2 hr. train ride). We found all three places delightful (even at the end of August). Siena is smaller and has alot of charm.
Sep 25th, 2002, 08:55 PM
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A lot depends upon: (1) how you are traveling from Rome; (2) what time you'd expect to arrive in Florence, Siena or Venice; and (3)where you are heading on day 5 (after 4 nights in whatever combo of the 3 cities). If you arrive late in the day, you're effectively taking out a whole day; the same is true if you're leaving your destination early in the morning of your 5th day after the 4th night. That really only leaves you 2 full days.

In 1999, as part of a group on a private tour, we stayed in Florence for 5 nights. Out of the six days we stayed in Florence, almost a whole day was shot because we'd just flown in from the US, and the final day was shot because we flew out in mid-morning. During the other 4 days, we took a day trip to Siena and San Gimignano, and another day trip to Venice. It was pretty tiring and hectic -- and we didn't have to wait in many lines since we had pre-arranged tours in Florence at the Academia, the Uffizi and Palazzo Vechio, in Siena at the Duomo, and in Venice at the Palazzo Ducale.

Just last year (right after 9/11), we spent 5 nights and 6 days in Florence, and 5 nights and 6 days in Venice. It was much more enjoyable. The pace was a lot easier in both cities and we got to see a lot in both cities that we clearly missed in 1999.

I'd pick one city and enjoy it. I'd go to Venice because it's sinking and you should see it while you can. My wife would vote for Florence, and I wouldn't have strong disagreement with her. While we both liked Siena and would go back again, it's clearly our third choice.

Have fun regardless.

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