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Florence vs. Siena

I'm confused by Rick's Italy guidebook. Makes it sound like on our 10-day trip to Rome/Florence/Pompeiisms the first week in November, we should stay in Siena and daytrip to Florence instead of the reverse, which had been my original concept.

Any opinions on which was the more palatable experience, and why? Is it easy to do a daytrip in either direction? (If tours only run from Florence to Siena and not vice versa, I'd like to know!)

(I'm planning the journey for me, my bf, his sedentary and very U.S.-centric retired mom and his aunt, seeking a wide range of experiences without exhausting or overstretching his mom.)

Posted by
6898 posts

In my opinion staying in Florence is a wonderful experience. The museums and art are not to be missed. Note, however, that you will walk a lot in Florence. My wife wore a pedometer and we walked 4-7 miles a day during our 4-day stay. We did day-trip down to Siena. We planned to hop on a bus and go down for the day but we came upon a Grayline tour that we liked. The bus stopped first in San Gimingnano for an hour and then onto Siena for 4 hours. The trip included a guided tour which was over an hour and very good.

The opposite thought would be to stay in more quiet and beautiful surroundings in Siena and do a couple of day trips into Florence. Either choice could be very nice depending on how many museums and how much art you wish to see.

Posted by
3313 posts

I think the enthusiasm for spending the night in Siena is because the old city is best experienced in the evening when the tour buses have left. But in November that evening comes early. So, at that time of year, I think I would stay in Florence and day trip to Siena. There shouldn't be all that many bus tours there anyway. You can easily do it by train or bus.

Posted by
934 posts

I agree with Doug.Siena at night is a great place.