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Suggestion for small town between Rome and Florence, accessible by train

My husband and I will be traveling to Italy this September. Our main stops will be Venice, Florence and Rome. I’m looking for a short stay (one night or two) between Florence and Rome that is accessible by train (as we aren’t planning on renting a car). We’re looking for something more restful than the big cities, and think somewhere in Tuscany would be just the thing. That being said, I know many of the Tuscan hill towns aren’t very practical without a car. My husband has interest in Cortona but, as mentioned, isn’t very close to a train station. I’d love to hear any recommendations you may have for a such a stop during our stay. Thank you in advance!


Posted by
5241 posts

Consider Siena, Orvieto, or Assisi which are all accessible by train.
If you choose to go to Siena, you can take a bus which will drop you off closer to the city center.
If you choose to go by train, you can walk, take a city bus, or a taxi to the city center which is uphill from the train station.

Wishing you a wonderful trip!

Posted by
16409 posts

Orvieto is right on the way, no detours like Cortona. It is a lovely hill town, and it has train service. You arrive at the bottom of the hill and take a lift up to the town. We found it peaceful last time we were there, and are returning this September. It is not in Tuscany, but I think you will find it just as wonderful.

Posted by
62 posts

Another vote for Orvieto, one of my favorite Italian hill towns.

So easy to get there by train, enabling efficient travel between Rome and Florence. Not a small town, but it will feel very different from the big 3 you’ll be visiting. The Duomo is not to be missed. (Also one of my favorites.) I would recommend at least 2 nights there. I had 3 nights there, which allowed time to enjoy it. Sing the praises of “The Four Cs” of Orvieto: Cathedral, Caves, Ceramics, and Orvieto Classico wine!

You will fall in love with Orvieto when you arrive at the train station and look up on the hill to see the gleaming facade of the Duomo!

Posted by
1442 posts

Orvieto goes back three thousand years when the Etruscans lived there even before Rome and the Empire existed. It’s built on top of a 200-meter tall butte formed by volcanic ash that solidified into soft sandstone. This soft stone allowed the Etruscans to carve chambers and rooms into the rock some 2,500 years ago. Today it’s a top draw you can visit when taking a tour of Orvieto’s “Underground City.”
There are two outstanding Etruscan archaeological museums in Orvieto—the National Archaeological Museum of Orvieto and the Claudio Faina Museum.

The cathedral, very similar to Assisi ‘s cathedral, is one of the most beautiful in Italy. The adjoining Papal Palace was where several Popes were based when Rome was in turmoil from 1261-1300.

Posted by
7366 posts

Because of its size and popularity, Orvieto isn't really like a typical Tuscan town, but its location directly on the train route to Florence makes the decision for you. And it's a very nice visit with more than you can do in a day and a half. It is, emphatically, not an undiscovered rural backwater.

Cortona fits your mental image a little better, but its elevation makes it too hard to get to by train for a one night stay. Despite being small, Cortona is also not undiscovered, because of the art that's there.

Bottom line, Orvieto is the right choice, but it's not a substitute for three nights in Tuscany on a future trip.

Posted by
553 posts

I spent 2 nights in Arezzo between Rome and Florence and loved it. Very nice smaller town. Quite walkable, but there are some hilly places. Small, easy to navigate train station. I stayed at the Hotel Continentale, which was an easy walk from the train station. They had a good breakfast and there are restaurants nearby.

Posted by
356 posts

I agree with the other recommendations for Orvieto. However, if you would still like to go to Cortona, it too is very nice and fairly easy to get to by train from Rome or Florence. The Camucia-Cortona train station is 3 km from Cortona center with frequent local busses and taxis available.

Posted by
1 posts

Hello - any thoughts on San Gimignano? I found a beautiful bed and breakfast, however I don’t know how I’d even get there! Help!