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Venice to Siena

Hello, My husband and I will be traveling to Italy in May. We will fly into Venice and stay there for a few days. After that we are trying to decide whether we can take a train into Siena where we would spend a few nights as well. Or if we would be better off with a train into Florence. We do want to see Tuscany and just wondering the best way to do that since we will not have a car. After Florence or Siena we will take a train to Rome for the remainder of the stay. Thank You

Posted by
22 posts

Hello Jean from Rochester! (I used to live there myself.) I'm not quite sure I understand your question. Is it whether the trains GO to Siena (they do), or whether Siena would be a good destination compared to Florence? I can tell you that Florence is amazing, and is a true Italian experience (full of traffic, anger, love, art, history and great little side streets to get lost in). I haven't been to Siena. My friends recently visited Siena (Rick Steves book in hand) and said they were not that impressed. Nevertheless on our upcoming trip in March we will be checking out Siena and NOT Florence (because we've already been there). Rick Steves likes Siena, and he hasn't let us down yet. So... for what it's worth (since I haven't done Siena yet), I'd nudge you toward Florence to get your full-on Italy experience. As for the hill towns of Tuscany -- wonderful! We visited Volterra and San Gimignano a few years ago (OK, it was nearly 20) and will never forget the experiance. We had a car, so that made things much easier. Is a car rental completely out of the question for you? If so, I think many of the towns are accessible by train-bus combo.

Posted by
4132 posts

Florence is incomparable but we found Siena, paradoxically, to be a more pleasant place. In your place I'd probably go for Florence, maybe with a night in San Gimignano (since you don't have a car)--it's a very pretty hill town well served by buses.

Posted by
3112 posts

Siena and Florence both have good public transit options to other towns in Tuscany, but it's hard to say which would be the better home base for you without knowing what other towns you'd like to visit. For example, Pisa and Lucca are easier from Florence while Montepulciano and Montalcino are easier from Siena. Other towns like San Gimignano and Volterra are about the same from either.

Posted by
32241 posts

Jean, One method you might consider is train from Venice to Florence, spend a one or more nights there and then Bus to Siena for a few nights. Travel by Bus from Florence to Siena is a bit easier, since passengers are dropped in the centre of town rather than the bottom of the hill where the station is located. After Siena, take the train to Rome. Cheers!

Posted by
7 posts

Thank you to everyone for your responses whic was most helpful. I have been to both Florence and Siena. This is my husband's first trip and I was trying to figure out which would be a better base to start from for seeing Tuscany. For those that have not been to Siena it is quieter than Florence but very pretty. Even though I spent a couple of nights there I mostly traveled around Tuscany from Siena. I think he would prefer Florence so that is probably where we will stay for a few nights. Again thank you!!!!