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-   -   Sienna or Montepulciano? (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/sienna-or-montepulciano-43350/)

Mary May 1st, 1999 05:32 PM

Sienna or Montepulciano?
 
We are going to Tuscany in Sept. The first part of our trip will be in Greve (Vigna Magggio) <BR> <BR>From there we want to head south. We are considering Sienna or Montepulciano. Any advice on location and accomodation? <BR> <BR>I am considering staying at Cerosa di Maggiano in Siena. Has anyone been there?

Sheila May 2nd, 1999 02:53 AM

They're both lovely, and I would suggest it depends what you want from your stay. <BR> <BR>Siena is bigger, metropolitan, has good shops and cafes and a wider array of antiquities. <BR> <BR>Montepulciano is rural, very pretty, a smaller array of the facilities and the best wine in Italy. No contest!

elaine May 2nd, 1999 07:17 AM

Of the two I have only seen Siena but I have to vote for it anyway. Its Duomo <BR>(Cathedral) is unique and fascinating. <BR>Seeing the interior is a remarkable experience. The Campo, the huge main plaza is also unique, justly celebrated for its size and its largely preserved architecture. Aside from remarkable <BR>architecture and historic buildings, Siena is also an attractive vital city <BR>with modern shops, restaurants, and business tucked in among the medieval streets. Obviously, I loved it. <BR>

Paulo May 2nd, 1999 07:22 AM

The Piazza del Campo at dusk or dawn is one of the most beautiful sights in Italy. The Duomo is one of the nicest churches in Northern Italy. Add the Palazzo Pubblico with its tower and artworks, the narrow Gotic streets lined with palazzi, the ramparts and the city atmosphere, and you'll get IMO the nicest medieval town in Italy. Considering you'll stay for a period in Greve and neighborhoods, myvoto goes to Siena, hands down. <BR>The Certosa di Maggiano is the best hotel in town, though outside the city walls, a 25-minute stroll to the Piazza. <BR>Paulo <BR> <BR>

Paulo May 2nd, 1999 07:23 AM

The Piazza del Campo at dusk or dawn is one of the most beautiful sights in Italy. The Duomo is one of the nicest churches in Northern Italy. Add the Palazzo Pubblico with its tower and artworks, the narrow Gotic streets lined with palazzi, the ramparts and the city atmosphere, and you'll get IMO the nicest medieval town in Italy. Considering you'll stay for a period in Greve and neighborhoods, my vote goes to Siena, hands down. <BR>The Certosa di Maggiano is the best hotel in town, though outside the city walls, a 25-minute stroll to the Piazza. <BR>Paulo <BR> <BR>

Dennis May 4th, 1999 08:38 PM

I agree with Paolo. Spent six nights in Siena last June. Used it as a base for Tuscany, and thought it a beautiful and interesting place. Paolo described it well. Visited Montepulciano for a few hours and wasn't that impressed. It would be a very different and much quieter experience that staying in Siena but I can't imagine it can offer you the variety of Siena. Also, Siena had my favorite restaurant in all of Italy--Cane e Gato. If you like wonderfully prepared, gourmet food, in a lovely, but unpretentious atmosphere, don't miss it. Cost was around $50 per person for a full 5 or 6 course meal with wine. No menu, just what they make that evening. It is small so be sure to make a reservation. Good luck. <BR>

mwg May 5th, 1999 01:48 PM

We recently were in that area and my choice was whether to stay in San Gemignano and take a day trip to Siena or vice versa. Assuming you have a car, I would opt for staying in the smaller city - Montepulciano. The smaller hilltowns or cities are enchanting at night, after day visitors have left. Siena, while very beautiful and having many things worth seeing, is still a big city. We found it very enjoyable to stroll the streets of the smaller town at night and had a very lovely visit to Siena during the day. All of this assumes you have a car. At any rate that's my opinion.

Sandra May 6th, 1999 07:27 AM

My husband and I were in Tuscany last September and stayed outside of Montepulciano - between Pienza and Montepulciano. We went to Siena for the day. It was crowded! Couldn't even enter the main part of the duomo because of the line to get in. The line to go up in the bell tower was disheartening too(but what an incredible view!). The last time I was in Siena was off season many years ago so I wasn't expecting the crowds. I suppose things are quieter in the mornings and evenings which could be reason enough to stay there rather than visit for the day because, no question, about it, Siena is special. The other messages posted are right on. On the other hand, if you prefer peace and quiet with your beauty, you can't beat the countryside in southern Tuscany around Montepulciano. Pienza is a jewel of a town. Montepulciano is a perfect medium size hill town with (in my opinion) a nice mix of tourism and "real life". My husband and I stayed at La Saracina - a lovely small hotel which I can definitely recommend. Good luck with your decision. This probably wasn't much help! - but you really can't go wrong. (A car is a must if you don't stay in Siena.)


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