May 27, 2012, 01:14 PM
Accommodation in/ around Siena
My husband and I are planning a trip to Tuscany in July.
From the forum, we have found some great accommodation in Florence and Chianti - but now looking for accommodation in Siena (or nearby)
We will have a car (so need parking) and our budget is max 100 Euro per night.
Please help with any suggestions
May 29, 2012, 10:29 AM
hotel in Siena or farmhouse outside - how many days??
I'm really glad the forum has been helpful so far in providing recommendations for accommodation in Florence and Chianti. As for Siena - do you want to be in the city or outside in the countryside? How many days will you have? There are some hotels in the center of Siena as well as just outside the city walls that will have parking available nearby - just make sure to check on the services.
For example, you can see some options here for Siena hotels and the ones with a "P" icon have parking. We stayed at the Locanda di San Martino which was really nice, with a great breakfast but parked just outside the walls near the closest gate along the street so didn't pay for parking.
If you prefer staying in the countryside, there are two farmhouses with several apartments for 2 that fall into your daily budget: the first is Pieve Sprenna which is about 30 minutes south of Siena and the other is
Agriturismo Cesani, closer to San Gimignano, with rooms (not apartments). Both offer B&B accommodation which means you can stay for less than a week (many farmhouses during high season will only rent by the week).
Hope these suggestions are useful - let me know if you would like some more!
May 30, 2012, 01:45 PM
Re: hotel in Siena or farmhouse outside - how many days??
Thanks so much for the response.
We will be in Siena for 2 nights....so not too long.
I think we would prefer to be in/ near the City.
I will look at your reccomendations - as others from you have been really helpful.
We are staying at Johlea B&B as well as Palazzo Malaspina so far which I am very excited about it.
One other question, we land in Florence and then plan to take a train to Siena. In Siena rent a car....would you reccomend any car rentals? that are easy for pick-up etc? as we are not used to driving in Italy which so far sounds quite scary (and wrong side of the road)
Will let you know if I need any more help
June 1, 2012, 12:54 PM
Get car after your stay in Siena, then see Chianti, etc.
Both Palazzo Malaspina and Johlea are beautiful, I'm sure you'll love your stay at both!
In Siena, then I definitely recommend staying in the city since two nights isn't that much.... it will be easier to walk around and enjoy the city, going to restaurants etc. Siena is quite small!
If you're planning to rent the car in Siena, then get it as you're ready to leave the city - that way you can stay in the heart of the city and you don't need parking until after you get the car! It would be convenient to do Chianti after Siena in this case, so you don't have the car parked while you're not needing it.
As for car rental location, if you go to our page on car rentals in Tuscany and search for "Siena", you'll be able to see results from Hertz, Europcar and Avis -- all fall under "Siena downtown" location.
The Hertz rental place is near the train station (on viale sardegna), the Europcar is definitely the furthest away on viale Europa, while Avis is on via Simone Martini, also very close to the train station but a little further than the Hertz one. Which ever one you choose, it might be convenient to just get a taxi from your hotel to the car rental place since you'll have luggage with you as you're leaving Siena and heading onto your next place!
June 2, 2012, 12:31 AM
Toscana for 5 days... help!!! pleeeaseeee
i've read in other posts how dedicated and knowlegable your answers are. And how youhelp so many people...
Now i would like to pick your brain and see if you could help me plan a trip to toscana for 5 days. I am going with my friend and we are travelling on a budget.. This being said.. i was looking for ways to get to the places by bus but it's so hard. So i figgured it was best asking for your help// and maybe telling you what we are interested in seeing and following your advice... could you? pleeeeasse..
so ok... florence wouldnt be included.. we would start from there and then 5 more days to go to: Chianti, Volterra, San Gimigniano, Siena and Pienza. What do you think? We dont know if its best to stay in Florence and make one day or half day trip to each place, or if maybe we can stay in a cheap little hostel, something very simple and rural to enjoy tuscany at its best..
Maybe i am asking to much... but you are the best person to help us.. i would like to know if you have any suggestions, id you can tell me if its possible to move around by bus and where can i find this information...
if you thin 5 days is enough for the place we want to visit or if maybe we can see more...
thank you very much
June 5, 2012, 04:40 PM
Siena would make a great base for your 5 days in Tuscany
Ciao Barbara! You're very kind with your words of appreciation, if you like our Forum make sure to follow us on Facebook or Google+ as well since we publish news and upcoming events on there and you can keep updated, get ideas of things to do while you'll be here. I hope I can be of help to you and your friend with your trip planning!
As you've already discovered, it isn't easy to move around the smaller towns in Tuscany with bus. Since the majority of your destinations are in the central area closer to Siena, I'd think Siena would be a better base than Florence. Consider Volterra, San Gimignano and Pienza are towns while Chianti is a region so you need a more precise destination in Chianti when trying to get there/move around.
For San Gimignano and Pienza, as both are within the province of Siena, you can go to http://www.busfox.com/timetable/ to check bus timetables.
- Bus from Siena to San Gimignano (bus 130 from Via Tozzi) - about an hour ride and costs 6 euro each way.
- Bus from Siena to Pienza (bus 112 from Porta Ovile) - about an hour and 10 min, costs 4,40 euro
Volterra is in the province of Pisa so requires a little bit more info, this is where I can be of help From Siena, you get to Colle di Val d'Elsa (bus 130, same one that goes to San Gimignano) - takes about 30 min and costs 3 euro. Then from there, you need to catch another bus, line 770 ran by CPT (the company that runs service around the province of Pisa) that goes from Colle to Volterra - you can see timetables here: Line 770. As you can see, the latest return bus from Volterra runs at 13.15 so you really need to do Volterra early morning to be done by then to head back to Colle! Once in Colle, bus 130 gets you back to Siena and since there are several buses in the afternoon, you can actually take the time to see the small charming town of Colle as well before heading back to Siena!
If you really want to see the wine region of Chianti, since there are small towns spread out all over the area, the best solution here might be to actually do an organized tour. They usually focus around wine tastings, so you're driven around, stop at 2-3 wineries, including a light lunch with typical Tuscan products in the middle and then driven back. Many of these run out of Florence but I know Vinaio also offers tours out of Siena. From Siena you can do a tour of Chianti which falls to the north of Siena, or to the south toward Pienza and Montepulciano and Montalcino - these last two are two different important wine regions in Tuscany as well.
Ask if there are tours already planned that you can join up with so that the cost of the tours cost less... generally the more people on the tour (although try to be less than 20 for it to be better organized), the cost per person falls.
As for where to stay: there are some nice hotels in the center of Siena that will make you feel like you are in the countryside. Siena is very different from Florence. The center is mostly closed off and there is hardly traffic, it is more quiet and relaxing.
You can find a wide range of hotels that are within the same price range but that range from more basic to much nicer, I really encourage you to take a look with a price range in mind so that you can see what comes up. Look at their location and stay a little further from Piazza del Campo so that you're closer to the bus stops you'll be using (for example, Via Tozzi is where bus 130 leaves from and that is near the Siena stadium so the B&B San Francesco below is really close by.) Here are some you can look at to start your search:
B&B San Francesco
Il Chiostro del Carmine
Consider staying a double room with your friend so that you can divide the cost - single rooms will cost more. Since you don't say what period of the year you're thinking of coming, consider that June-August is the high season so everything costs more than if you come in September-November or March-May. Lowest season is from November-February (excluding the Christmas and Easter holiday period).
Hope this information helps you in your plans!! If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask!!