We will be spending 3 days in and around Florence and Tuscany. We have a very early morning flight (6:40am) the 4th day out of Florence. Which is better, basing in Florence with side trips to Tuscany/Siena or staying in Siena with side trips to Florence and Tuscan villages. We loved Rome when we went there but it was a little too hectic for us. Is Florence the same?
Personal opinion but i'd suggest Florence. Florence is very popular with tourists but probably not as busy as Rome. It's easy to do side trips around Tuscany and to Sienna from there and if you are leaving so early it's going to be more convenient. Sienna would be a lot quieter though.
Sienna is only a 1 hour bus ride (do not take the train ,as the Sienna train station is far from the center of town ) from Florence. I would stay in Florence and use it as a hub. The train runs directly from Florence to Pistoia, Lucca and Pisa.
I agree with all of the above. Base in Florence and side to Siena. Siena is so close and you can visit other places from Florence.
Given your situation concerning your flight, I agree with the advice to base in Florence, although Siena is, in my humble opinion, a much better place to stay in order to experience Tuscany (if that's your goal). I'm going to be based there for a week this month. One of the above posters suggested taking a bus from Florence to Siena because of the location of the Siena train station. Both take approximately the same amount of time (if the bus doesn't make stops) from Florence. The train station in Siena is no more than a 15 minute bus ride up the hill--not out of the way, really. See Rick's books for instructions re: where to catch the bus.
You did not say what time of year, an imp consideration. Florence during holidays, wkends and summer can be very hectic, hot and crowded. So if Rome was a prob for you Florence will be too during these busy times. If you are going off times stay in Florence and bus trip or tour out to beautiful Siena and tuscan countryside.
Thank you all. Its sounds as if staying in Florence with day trips to Tuscany/Siena will work best. I plan on renting a car after my 1st day in Florence to drive to Siena/Tuscany. I do not want the car in the city but love to drive and the indepence of exploring. We will be there in September.
Jon, have you read the posts about the hassle of driving and parking in Florence? I also agree with Rick Steves, and some of the other posters.........stay in Sienna........Florence is not Tuscany.........Siena is wonderful.
I understand though........your early morning flight poses a problem with transport back to the airport from Sienna.....but if you stay in Sienna, you will be extremely glad you did!