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florence or siena, or both

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North Carolina, USA
posts: 162
reviews: 8
florence or siena, or both

we fly into rome and out of florence. want to see a few things and chill a bit too. should we use florence as home base or siena? we will have been in london for a week, looking for scenery and nice relaxing things to do. day trip to beach, horseback ride, cooking class. our florence flight is early morning, so we should go there for sure the day before, but which is more peaceful and scenic of the 2?

Calstock, United...
posts: 69
reviews: 61
1. Re: florence or siena, or both

It depends entirely on how long you are staying in Tuscany. How many nights do you have?

It would also depend on the arrival time. How about a possible overnight stop in Orvieto, then visit Siena on the way to your base in San Gimignano or somewhere in that area? From here you can easily sidetrip to Pisa, Lucca and more.

To see Florence you really need to be in the centre and do it on foot. I would never use it as a base for elsewhere in Tuscany, a). because of the high hotel costs, and b). because of the difficulties driving in and out.

If you only have a few days, then do just one or the other (Probably Florence for a first trip) and come back for a proper visit another time.

Hope this is some help,


Concord, NH
posts: 3
reviews: 36
2. Re: florence or siena, or both

Siena is probably a little more relaxing than Florence. Both cities are fantastic, with great views and scenery, so you really can't go wrong one way or the other. High points in Siena have wonderful views of the surrounding countryside. Florence is a bear to drive in and out of. You can't drive in central Siena, so like Florence it is a bit challenging to go in and out regularly, but certainly doable. We stayed in Siena for five nights, and day tripped three times (San Gimignano, Montepulciano/Pienza, and other hill towns). I can say that Siena is a truly lovely city to poke around for a few days, with a lot of options for local culture. Florence has better museums, and the wonderful Piti Palace/Boboli Gardens area. Good luck.