Sienna or San G. as a base in Tuscanny?


Apr 5th, 2000, 08:05 AM
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Sienna or San G. as a base in Tuscanny?

Which is a better base for 5-6 days in Tuscanny, Sienna or San G?
We are going to Paris and Rome before Cinque Terre and Nice after.
We are trying to get a mix of Urban and rural life.
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Apr 5th, 2000, 09:09 AM
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This is a question of personal preference ... If I were forced to spend all nights in one of the towns I would certainly elect Siena. Why? because after a couple of evenings/early mornings in San G. I would be bored Siena is a small city with a life of its own. It has got an university and depending when you go, there are cultural activities going on in the evenings. Also, I consider visiting Piazza del Campo in the early morning and late night a must (much more so than the Piazza della Cisterna). San G. depends 95% on the tourism industry. In the evenings you'll probably sit down in Piazza della Cisterna, have a very good ice cream from one of the two shops there, and watch the few people around go bye. With respect to art and history, there are no terms of comparison. For visiting all there's to see in Siena one would need a week or so. We like to visit the headquarters, parish church and hangout bar of one of the several contrade (sections of Siena) and hear stories on the Palio. One may dine quite well in either city. One must however concede that San G. is somewhat more convenient to drive in/out. one looses less time in the process.

Now, nobody's forcing you to spend all nights in a single city ... I would divide it 3-4/2 in favor of Siena.


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Apr 5th, 2000, 05:12 PM
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I have to echo Paolo's knowledgable comments. We were in Italy in the summer of 1998 (we're returning in June of this year) and spent 3 nights in Siena with a day trip to San Gimignano. Siena is wonderful -- we loved our stay there and would return in a heartbeat (except there's so much else to see in Italy!) We found San G. quaint and attractive, but also a bit boring and full of tourists. I think its quaintness would wear thin after a day or two, but it's certainly worth at least a day trip. Me, I'd rather sip Campari on the Piazza del Campo and wander the fascinating streets of Siena.
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