Trip Report #3 - Siena and San Gimignano

Oct 6th, 2004, 01:01 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Trip Report #3 - Siena and San Gimignano

Wednesday, September 15th
We arrived at Siena Train Station a little after 4pm. We bought the bus tickets (at the machine in the train station) to the center of town (0.90E each). The bus stop is accross the street from the train station, and we took bus #2 which took approx. 10-15 min to the entrance of the old town. Once, we arrived in Siena we both felt that we were finally relaxing, I believe it was the amount of people we were pretty much dodging in Venice and in Florence, and Siena was just so calm, and it has the charm and beauty that just melts you. In any case, while we were walking towards our hotel (, I noticed that ROBYN WILLIAMS was walking with some friends heading my way. My wife was not looking straight ahead, and she didn't believe when I told her, until the moment that Robyn walked by me. Hey but good thing I had my elph camera in my pocket ready to take some pics like a paparazzi!!! ....that was some surprise in Siena.
It took approx. 20 min to walk to our hotel. The outside facade doesn't give much to desire, but once we walked to our floor (3rd floor...yes, there is an elevator), but we are always walking. It's an old palazzo full of character and charm. Our room was very unique, full of antique furniture and frescos, and ....the views of the wall of Siena and the tuscan hills was just amazing!....FYI Palazzu Bruchi is located on Via del Protoconsolo, just steps aways from Il Campo. We dropped off our bags in the room, and we immediately headed outside, we are both pretty energetic, so we immediately started walking around with our time wasted! Siena is so easy to walk around that you can pretty much do it in 1 day or less. It was already getting a little dark and walking by some streets of Siena, we ended up in a small piazza. To our surprise, there were getting ready for large cook out, and they were setting up some benches and huge picnic tables, as well as a booth of cheese and wine, and local desserts. It was the week of gastronomia, and this particular night was being hosted by a restaurant. We found out that it was opened to the public. So we stayed until they were ready to sell the tickets. We ended up getting a couple of steaks, sausages, ribs, and some other meat that I don't remember, and of course some more vino rosso sfuso,! the desserts were just melting in our mouths. It was definitely a great night to have dinner outdoors with the locals.

Thursday, September 16th
We woke up around 8am, the made your own breakfast is in the room (coffee, toast, jams, etc). We then headed outside in Il Campo, we then headed to Il Duomo, and inside was just spectacular, the amount of detail, and workmanship is amazing. We then headed towards Palazzo Publico, as our goal was to climb to the top of the tower, but just as we were waiting, the sky openned up and it just started pouring. Unfortunately, they closed the entrance, because of rain. So we decided to go to San Gimignano, so we took the SITA bus to San Gimignano (1 hour 20 min. away). We enjoy the bus ride, least we didn't walk to San Gimignano....we are pretty much walking all over the place, so it was nice to sit down and enjoy the views of tuscany. San Gimignano is so beautiful, very medieval looking. I believe we counted 14 towers, and we learned that at one point there were 70 standing. We were able to climb the tallest of them (yes, there is a fee to get in the tower). After all, we were able to climb this tower, so I guess things happen for a reason. The views were spectacular. After enjoying the views and taking some pics, we went to grab a slice of pizza and open our bottle of chianti we bought earlier. We also exchange some $$ here at a good price, price so far, unfortunately, they didn't have enough euros to exchange the rest of my money. When we got back to Sienna it was still raining. We were glad that we didnt' spend the whole day in Siena. We changed clothes, did a little grocery shopping for the following day and went to dinner just down the street to a local pizzeria. We then headed back to the hotel, and it started raining even more. We were hoping that it would stop so we can go to the top of Palazzo Publico the following day.

Friday, September 17th
Unfortunately, it kept on raining. We decided to hang around a bit longer (until 10am), but it didnt' stop. We headed to the train station, to take the train to Pisa.
CarlosSandoval is offline  
Oct 6th, 2004, 04:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,421
Thanks for the reprot. I love coming upon those local festivals. How great! We rented an apt. in Provence last summer and the owner had a lawn party to introduce his wine. Of coarse we were invited. It was the best part of the trip. Keep the report coming.
yipper is online now  
Oct 6th, 2004, 05:34 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 48
Thanks for the report. About 5 woman over 60 are planning a trip to Siena. Would that be a good home base for 5 days? We, are thinking we could take trains and busses to see the area. Is 5 days to long? Thanks for any information
lulu1929 is offline  
Oct 6th, 2004, 08:37 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,204
Thanks for the report. My daughter will be going to the Univ. in Siena for Spring Quarter and it's great to hear all the wonderful things about it. Can't wait to meet up with her then. Too bad about the rain, (but that wouldn't bother us since we're from Seattle LOL).
artlover is offline  
Oct 7th, 2004, 06:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,268
Hi lulu,

Is 5 days too long for Siena?

For me, Yes. I would stay in Florence and visit Siena.

I think many others would disagree.
ira is offline  
Oct 7th, 2004, 05:08 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 48
Thanks Ira. I listened to you about my last trip in Sept.04.I am in the planning stage for Sept.05. I am going again with a group of 5 woman and they of course wanted to stay in Tuscany.
lulu1929 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2004, 06:16 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If you want to see the best of Tuscany then stay in Siena and day trip from there---or stay close to there and get a car or driver. If you want to see cities like Lucca or even Siena then stay in Florence. There is a difference in those scenarios.
bobthenavigator is offline  
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