Toddler-friendly Italy: Lucca or Siena?

Sep 13th, 2017, 07:43 PM
  #1  
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Toddler-friendly Italy: Lucca or Siena?

Hello! My husband and I just arrived in the Amalfi Coast with our 15-month old son. He was originally supposed to stay home with his grandparents but grandma had a health emergency last minute so we had to bring him very last minute. We are currently in Positano and will be doing 4 nights in Capri after. We knew the AC would not be toddler-friendly at all but we are managing so far. Since our toddler is now with us, we extended our trip another 8 nights in Italy.

We are thinking of heading up to Tuscany where it might be easier with a toddler in tow. We have been to Florence and the wine towns of Montalcino/Montepulciano in the past. We are thinking of making Lucca our home base and doing small trips perhaps. Siena is also an option though it's further down. Any ideas on where to stay? Towns to visit from there? Much appreciated!
Jimnie is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 08:13 PM
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Were you thinking of driving around Tuscany? If you didn't bring an International Driver's Permit, you may have trouble renting a car. The permit is required, and some rental companies ask to see it during the rental process.

Suggestions of towns and/or areas to visit would depend on whether you're driving or using public transportation.
Jean is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 08:49 PM
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Siena is very hilly. So if the kid is in a pushchair (forgot the name in English) you'll be more tired than in lucca flatter if I remember well.
Whathello is offline  
Sep 13th, 2017, 08:49 PM
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Stroller ...
Whathello is offline  
Sep 14th, 2017, 05:53 AM
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I think Lucca is more toddler-friendly than Siena. As WhatHello says, Siena is very hilly.
Lucca has a very nice park on top of its massive city wall. You could rent bikes and an infant bike seat and ride around the park, or indeed, around the whole city.

There is also a very nice old carousel in Lucca, which should amuse your child. It's in one of the main piazzas, whose name I forget.

The most obvious day trip to make would be to Pisa, which is easily reached from Lucca by bus or train. On a nice day, you might want to visit some of the nearby beach towns. A day trip to one of the Cinque Terre towns is also a possibility (by train), although they will be very crowded at this time of year, and hiking with a toddler wouldn't be advisable. A boat trip, to see the towns from the water, might be possible. If you're driving there are other possibilities.
bvlenci is offline  
Sep 14th, 2017, 06:41 AM
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If taking trains as it seems between AC and Tuscany the easiest way is perhaps to ferry or bus to Salerno and take direct trains to Florence, negating transfers in hectic Naples Centrale and or Rome - see if any discounted tickets remain- www.trenitalia.com and www.itlotreno.com - latter has lower prices at short notice they say. But book first so with kid you just need to show up at station and jump on train (kids under 4 go free as long as they do not ocuppy their own seat)- change in Florence for trains to Lucca or buses to Siena. For lots on Italian trains: www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.

Yes Lucca is flat - will you have a car or not? Car would be nice with young kid - can drive to nearby beaches on coast.
PalenQ is offline  
Sep 14th, 2017, 07:18 AM
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If you'll have a car, Lucca would be more convenient than Siena. But if you'll have a car, there are many other options besides Lucca and Siena that I would consider for late September.

Which airport are you flying home from?
Jean is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 02:36 PM
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We will most likely do a combination of train and rent a car too.My husband does have a int'l drivers license actually .We fly home out of Rome so we'll have to go back south for that. It looks like most hotels in Lucca are booked for our last weekend there so we may only be able to do 4 nights in Lucca and then we'll have to move along. Another town and back to Rome. Still not sure of what towns though! Appreciate all the input! Thanks!
Jimnie is offline  
Sep 15th, 2017, 05:30 PM
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Jean, what towns would you consider besides Lucca and Siena with a car?
Beatlemania is offline  
Sep 16th, 2017, 02:26 AM
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Jean, I'm curious as well.
starrs is offline  
Sep 16th, 2017, 08:24 AM
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It depends on what part of Tuscany you want to explore.

My list is short on coastal preferences because we travel in the fall and live in a beach town year-round, but we've stayed at Monte Argentario/Orbetello and driven the coastal roads north to Livorno. But Tuscany is 9000 square miles, so there's no shortage of other areas/towns to consider.

If NW Tuscany, I like Pietrasanta, but if the focus is on mountain drives in the area, then a Garfagnana Valley town (esp. in the fall). If Chianti, I like Castellina which is also close enough to see the Val d'Elsa, San Gimignano, Volterra, etc. For the Val d'Orcia, my preference is Montepulciano, but almost any of the towns would be a good base. For the most southern part of Tuscany, Pitigliano, but there are some nice properties around Manciano. I'm sure I'll think of others, but ideas are the ones that first come to mind.

Jimnie, Lucca is a long way to go from Positano for just a few nights. It's up to you, but I'd probably head to a more southern location in Tuscany. Then again, I admit I'm not the biggest fan of Lucca itself.
Jean is offline  
Sep 16th, 2017, 08:11 PM
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Jean, my travel friend is concerned about lots of steps - which is why this thread caught my attention. We have some "lazy" days in which we are going to focus on slow travel. Leaving our rental in the morning via car, visiting towns and their markets, gathering wine and foodstuffs, enjoy a nice lunch and some sight-seeing and then back to the rental to enjoy a dinner under the stars enjoying what we gathered that morning. In other words, wander around Tuscany. In my mind's eye, we'd be visiting hill towns, but that's not necessary. I imagine that if we do visit a very hilly, challenging town, I can park the car near the base and take a taxi up. Later in the week, we'll have a long day to Pisa and the Cinque Terre. We're staying about 30 minutes SW of Florence and 50 minutes north of Sienna. Montespertoli in Tuscany.

For market considerations, these days would be Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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