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Side trips out of Siena

We want to take at least one other side trip besides, Florence and Fiesole. Here are our choices:
any votes or input?
grazie dell'aiuto

Posted by
9 posts

Hmmmm. While wine tasting is not our primary preference, we would love to see a working vineyard. Mainly, we want to soak up the scenery, architecture and people. Thanks for taking the time to help! We leave in 3 weeks.
I have been looking at
but haven't committed as yet.

Posted by
12 posts

Kay, please let me know the name of the tour company your using to take these side trips. If you're not using one, how are you traveling? I will be there in November and was planning to use Siena as my base camp and do some side trips.


Posted by
3551 posts

gosh what a great prob to have, any of your choices will be fabulous. They are all wonderful places to visit.

Posted by
3313 posts

What would you like to do? See cool architecture? Taste wine? Hang out in a quiet village? Help us help you...

Posted by
221 posts

I am wondering the same thing and leave in 2 1/2 weeks, I am leaning towards Pienza and Montepulciano. Pienza sounds lovely...

Posted by
479 posts

Kay et al,
The truly best way to maximize your experience of Tuscany beyond Florence, Pisa and Siena is to get a car. Driving through the countryside like people you see testing their Lamborghinis on small winding roads is an absolute thrill. Plus the best little towns are best accessed by car. There are buses but they are slow, inefficient and infrequent.

I don't know a lot about those tour companies, so I can't give much advice in that area. If you decide to do the car rental thing I highly recommend the routes in Rick Steves Italy guidebooks. And get yourself a map!

Posted by
241 posts

Montalcino, then south to monestary of Sant Antimo. and SW of peinze into the Orcia river valley. val di orchia (spelling)

Posted by
8 posts

San Gimignano is BEAUTIFUL, if you can get past all the REALLY touristy shops as you enter the town from the south. The best lunch we had in Tuscany was at Locanda Di Sant'Agostino at the north end of town.
It's a nice day trip, or stop along the way, if only for the views.

Posted by
800 posts

Kay - We were in Pienza & Montepulciano this summer. I loved the little town of Pienza and wish we had spent more time there. The whole area (Val d'Orcia) was absolutely picture perfect. We stayed in a B&B just outside Pienza - Le Traverse and were only there for 2 nights. Our "neighbors" were there for an entire week and the plans they had for visiting all of the little towns in that area sounded wonderful.

We also did a driving day of the Chianti region several years ago with our kids, including visiting a winery. I remember stoppping to look at the view at the top of a hill and talking with the man and wife who lived there. They were so friendly and so anxious to use their English and we were trying to use our Italian - one of those very small moments that left an impression.

In contrast - we left Pienza this last trip and went to Lucca via San Gimignano. It was nice but just too touristy in comparison. We had lunch and left - it just didn't grab us as other places have.

Posted by
28 posts

Thru reading this helpline, we booked a private tour guide, Guido at There were four of us so the cost was reasonable. Guido picked us up at 9:00 am at our hotel in Florence. We visited two working family wineries and enjoyed a magnificent lunch overlooking the region. We had time to visit a small village, walled city and american cemetary from World War II. The best part, no tourist busses. We returned at 5:00 pm after spending a wonderful day with our tour guide.

Posted by
2 posts

Kay, We just got back from Italy on Oct 3rd. We did a day trip out of Siena, using tours by Roberto, he has a web site and is in Ricks book. We were just talking about that it was one of the highlights of our trip. He picked us up at our hotel and with two other couples we toured the Abbey of Monte Oli Veto Maggiore. (Monastery of Saint Benadict)

Roberto expanded our knowledge on the 15 century Frescos, painted by Signorelli and La Sodama and the church is absolutely beautiful. Then we went to a winery, in Montalcino, Abbadia Ardenga is the name. The owner Mario, is quite the character and made a museum on this site of an old castle. Needless to say we all were very happy after the tour and all the wine sampling. He also has other tours he does, but one couple who went on his chianti tour said they enjoyed this one better.