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Intinerary "Problem"--Siena and/or Cortona?

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Intinerary "Problem"--Siena and/or Cortona?

We have Monday evening through Thursday to either spend in Siena only, or divide between Siena and Cortona.

We plan to drive from Lucca, down through Chianti country on to Siena on a Monday.

We then plan to take the train from Rome early Friday morning and fly home from Rome on Friday afternoon.

Would you suggest we spend our time in Siena with some day trips or should we divide our time between Siena and Cortona? For example, spend Tuesday in Siena and leave for Cortona on Wed morning?

I'm wondering if we it would be best to stay with Siena and not divide our time too much.

This is our first time in Tuscany (we will also spend time in Positano and Rome, prior to going to Lucca for a long weekend. We are going to Lucca to be near friends for several days).

I know this is a very open ended question that depends a lot of personal preferences, but I'm interested in opinions and replies.

north carolina
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1. Re: Intinerary "Problem"--Siena and/or Cortona?

You can very nicely visit Cortona in a day rip from Siena, or visa-versa. My preference would be to find a nice small town or a B&B somewhere between them and give a full day to each. For example the Borgo Argenina - Just off of the road from Siena to Gaiole in Chianti, S408, the last turn is poorly marked. It is roughly half way between Siena and Gaiole. It is within a short walk from the tiny village of Monti which shows on the Michelin map. This place has, unfortunately, been discovered - reservations well in advance. It is an idyll of scenery and tranquility. There are numerous restaurants within a reasonable drive. Good location for touring southern Chianti, Siena, Cortona, Arezzo, perhaps Montepulciano.


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2. Re: Intinerary "Problem"--Siena and/or Cortona?

I think one day in Cortona is plenty. Siena is a much bigger, more vibrant city.

I particuly enjoy Siena at night. For that reason staying inside the City Walls is a lot more fun. I have made seven "week long" trips to Siena and I still discover new things each time and I expect to continue on my next trip this May.

BTW, don't look for the fountain or several other places seen in the film, Under the Tuscan Sun..They were built for the movie.

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3. Re: Intinerary "Problem"--Siena and/or Cortona?


I think the less you have to packup and move the more relaxing the trip. This will give you some ideas for daytrips slowtrav.com/italy/tuscany/hs_planning.htm

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Intinerary "Problem"--Siena and/or Cortona?

Siena is a vibrant and exciting city to visit and has a very special atmosphere. Cortona is nice for a day visit. It is a very steep town once past the main square and a bit of a slog to get around. Siena also has its steep bits but once in the town it is not too bad. Make sure you see the duomo, the baptistry, the bit between which they call the crypt but isn't, the place called SM della Scala opposite the Duomo, the museum and chapel inside the town hall. Take the stairs to nowhere inside the town hall and get a great view over Siena rooftops. Then there is the whole story of St Catherine of Siena. Nice shopping too. Look for the gorgeous cafe that sells little biscotti and the wonderful panforte.

The combined ticket for entrance to the duomo is best bought at the baptistry down the hill behind the duomo. No queues there.

If you keep a car there it will cost you to park it. Your accommodation should be able to arrange a discount for you and also to allow you to drop off the luggage inside the limited traffic zone.

Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
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5. Re: Intinerary "Problem"--Siena and/or Cortona?

Yes, I'd stay in Siena and take a day trip to Cortona. Siena is much bigger, has more to offer and is better placed for other good day trips, in my opinion.

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6. Re: Intinerary "Problem"--Siena and/or Cortona?

Hi! I agree with the others - for a FIRST trip to Tuscany it's a good idea to stay in Siena and take day trips to the many towns near there, including san gimignano, pienza, montepulciano, cortona.

For anyone else reading this, for a return trip to Tuscany I'd suggest staying in Cortona or anywhere in the countryside and seeing more obscure things.

Will you be staying in Lucca at all? it's really cute and there's quite a bit to see there. In particular these days it's getting to be known for contemporary art - there is a biennale of art this summer (see: http://www.turismo.intoscana.it/allthingstuscany/tuscanyarts/lucca-cartasia-2010/) and also a contemporary art museum in that town.

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7. Re: Intinerary "Problem"--Siena and/or Cortona?

Tomale: It's likely we still stay for several days in Lucca. It sounds like it can be recommended?

The more I look, the more trouble I'm having trying to decide how to divide time between Lucca, Chianti countryside, Sienna and maybe Orvieto. I know we can't do everything in the time we have.

I've just seen some information on Montefioralle and I want to visit that now too!

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8. Re: Intinerary "Problem"--Siena and/or Cortona?

We stayed outside Cortona on several trips and found it a nice town for relaxing, good meals, and getting the flavor of Tuscan life. We were able to make trips from Florence to Assissi from that base. We had a villa and picked up food from the Coop for occ. meals. It also had a clothes washer.

Depends what you want to do and see. We did a lot of driving but we saw a lot of towns.

BTW: we say the original Tuscan sun home.

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9. Re: Intinerary "Problem"--Siena and/or Cortona?

I would suggest spending 2 nights in Siena and 2 nights in Cortona, this will give you the chance to visit the surroundings. Once in Siena make sure you don't miss the village of Monte Riggioni and, once in Cortona, make sure you don't miss Castiglion Fiorentino and the Abbey of Farneta. Also from Cortona you can easily get to Arezzo for a half-day trip

10. Re: Intinerary "Problem"--Siena and/or Cortona?

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