What is best place for base in Tuscany, Siena or Florence

CyndieL

New member
My friend and I are planning a trip to Italy next May and are having a hard time figuring out where to stay in the Florence/Siena area. Here is our Itinerary:
Staying in Sorrento,Naples for 3 nights and then taking the high-speed train to either Siena or Florence for 3 more days before heading to Venice.
1. Which is better to use as a base, Siena or Florence? We will not have a car and I have read your blog on that, but we would really like to stay in the countryside for one night that provides wine tasting, eateries and beautiful scenery and the chance to meet local people. We don't like day tours as they limit us to some of the things we want to do. As well, we are not museum people and only want to see Florence for the "David" and some of the other sites there.
2. Would it be more beneficial and/or cheaper to hire a driver to take us to a place that we will be staying overnight and then hire a driver to take us back to base or rent a car? Can you give me some idea as to the cost for both?
3. We are very interested in staying a night in a quaint B&B, Hotel, winery or a castle if that is possible.
This is the first time that both of us have been to Italy and hoping that we can have the experience of the beautiful Tuscany area. From Research it appears that Siena is more reasonable for accommodations than Florence and is more of a central base if we want to visit a Chianti winery.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Siena does have a more of a rural/small town feel that Florence, so considering what you want to experience, I'd suggest using Siena as a base. Consider that you will likely need to arrive in Florence first, then transfer to Siena as you arrive from Naples... so in that case, you could decide to stay in Florence for the first night or two, then move on to Siena for another 2 nights (you don't mention how many days you have total, so assuming you have some flexibility yet in deciding what and where).
From Siena, you could hire a private car to take you to a place in Chianti for the experience there, including wine tastings, etc.... I have a great place to suggest:
Relais Borgo Scopeto: https://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/borgo-scopeto-relais.html
I am pretty sure they could arrange the transfer from Siena to them actually, and back.
Another option is Borgo di Pietrafitta: https://www.tuscanyaccommodation.com/borgo-di-pietrafitta.html
This one is a little further from Siena but to be honest, both are in areas with gorgeous views and vineyard covered hills all around.
 

Axel

New member
Florence has better public transport and is better connected to the rest of Italy, if anything. Bit biased though, cause I have been living in Florence over the last 6 months and it's really lovely!
 

alluring

Member
If you are a budget traveler than making Seina your base would make perfect sense because it is way less expensive than Florence and since the distance between the two places is not much, so you can always visit Florence during the day time to return back to Siena in the evenings.
 
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