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Venice Siena and Roma

Hi All,
We have decided to change our previous plans, (Venice, Brescia, Milan & Zermatt) for a simpler plan.

We have 13 days, and have settled on Venice, Siena and environs and Rome. We fly into Venice and out of Rome.
Currently, I've allotted 3 nights in Venice, 6 in Siena (could be split 3 in Florence and 3 Siena), and 4 in Rome. So...
I could add another night to Venice (DH hasn't been there) and take one away from Siena.
Split the 6 days in Siena to 3 in Florence, 3 Siena. (Been to Florence a few times)

I guess my real question is, would 6 nights be too many in Siena? We plan to see Siena sights, and take a few day trips to surrounding hill towns and relax before hitting Rome for our final stop. We've been to Rome a few times already, and this time plan on seeing the "lesser sights"....

We are using the train and/or bus, and I've always wanted to visit Orvieto, so we'd stop there on the way back to Rome. Not sure how much time to spend there. I'd refer to only have 3 hotel changes, but if 6 days is too much in Siena, I'd consider that. (From what I've been reading, it seems like we could fill up 6 days with Siena and surrounding towns)

Any comments would be most appreciated.

Thank you

Posted by
14909 posts

The plan is good. Although while in Siena I'd consider renting a car for the purpose of maximizing day trips, since buses are not always frequent, and on weekends bus service is really scant to non existent.

Whether you want to stay some nights in Florence or not is up to you, since you've visited already. Maybe you could do so before heading to Rome, that way you have the rail service from Florence to Rome (from Siena to Rome the bus is best).

Orvieto can be seen in less than a day. You could stop for a night, which some people prefer to fully enjoy the place after the day trippers are gone, or visit from Rome on a day trip.

You could even stop between Florence and Rome without spending the night and visit for the day, then heading to Rome in the evening. However I'm not sure where you could store luggage while visiting. Maybe there is some shop that can do so while you visit, as I don't think the Orvieto station has a luggage store facility.

Posted by
77 posts

Thank you, Roberto for your response. Good to know about Orvieto, I see now that it's pretty small.

I know that driving in the Siena area would be optimum, but DH isn't keen on driving this time. He might change his mind, though, once we get there. He's driven before in Italy, so well see about that.

I

Posted by
77 posts

Ooops, I forgot to ask ....has anyone done the walk from Fiesole to Settignano? (If we do split 6 days in Siena, into 3-Florence, 3 Siena)
This was on my radar in my 3 year old plan (before COVID).
Thanks

Posted by
26477 posts

I disagree with Roberto. Orvieto has quite a lot of sights for a place its size, including several good museums. It's definitely worth a full day and either one or two nights--or even three if you want to putz around.

If you make it a day trip or see it in transit, keep in mind that the train takes you to the lower level of the town. From there you have to use the funicular or a bus to get up to the historic center. The funicular takes you to a spot quite some distance from the cathedral. My point is that your transportation time doesn't end with the time spent on the train.

There used to be a small branch of the tourist office near the base of the funicular. If it's still there, stop in to get a map and whatever information is available. The city card used to be a good deal, but perhaps not for those making a short visit.

Posted by
7081 posts

Month of the year?

I am not a person who is attached to the idea of renting a car. But I suggest that you do detailed research about what you can do from Siena without a car. (We went there with a car, from a rural resort in Sinalunga.) Even aside from bus existence and frequency, it becomes hard to do more than one town a day when/if you have to do them "radially" from the same bus station in Siena, for example.

I have no personal experience with public transportation in Tuscany, but most posters here, myself included, have found a car extremely useful. We chose our tiny rural resort specifically because it would be easy to return and park, at any time of day. There are the usual warnings about IDP, ZTL, and insurance for Italy car rental, but I still recommend it for Tuscany.

Siena is a rich destination, if not as much so as Florence. So it's good for more than one full day of sightseeing. But it is very crowded in tourist season. Cathedral tickets regularly sell-out, and a town-wide daypass is usually the best course. The Cathedral floor stonework is only exposed for a few weeks a year, which you might wish to look up. And presumably you want to avoid the Palio days.

Another comment I'd make is that the tourist months in Tuscany are really hot. My wife and I usually skip the pool at hotels we stay in. But every night in Tuscany we took a dip after a sweltering day of sightseeing. And we were so pleased that our room had icy, American-style air conditioning.

Posted by
77 posts

Hi All,
Thank you for your responses.
I have seen the discovertuscany website, and definitely have Buonconvento as a side trip from Siena. I'm also thinking about Asciano and other close-by towns.
We are going in April, last time we were in Rome in April it was HOT! But no matter, who can complain? Still pondering whether to add another day to Venice, and stopping in Florence, but I guess we'll hash that out. It seems like there is enough to keep us busy in Siena. It's been 5 years since we've been to Italy, and I'm pretty excited!

Posted by
60 posts

i am also going in april. my itinerary is similar to yours.

3 days venice
2 days siena
3 days montepulciano
3 days rome

start in venice, end in rome. i am taking train from venice to siena, siena to chiusi where i pick up rental car and drive 30min to montepulciano. plan on going to pienza and montalcino for day trips. skipping florence as i was there last year,
then train from chiusi to rome.

april weather was fine last year as we moved south (venice, florence, rome trip)

hope you enjoy your trip