Because of our dear friend Elisabetta, we had the opportunity to go to Siena for a day!  We thought about visiting Siena when we first arrived in Florence, but we didn’t know if it would be worth it, or even possible with our schedule.  We had heard conflicting opinions from several locals and expats about whether Siena for a day would be worth it, so we were never sold on making the trip ourselves.  That is, until Elisabetta offered to plan the whole trip for us!  What a treat!  It was so nice to just receive an email that (very roughly) said “Be at the bus station at this time to catch the bus that will arrive at this time and when you get there go here, here, and here, and don’t forget to stop for lunch here and grab a snack here before you head home!”  She had the whole trip mapped out for us and even included locations to let Carter run around.

We arrived in Siena early in the day and enjoyed walking up and down the empty streets.  It was so much different from Florence, but we were excited to find traces of influences from the Medici family in the historic buildings.  We didn’t get to enjoy the empty streets for too long, as hoards and hoards (and hoards) of people cluttered the streets around 10am.  Carter did get to join in with some other kids who were chasing birds in the piazza, so that was fun.

We really enjoyed our day in Siena and it was nice that it was just a short bus ride away from Florence.  Elisabetta’s travel plans were perfect for our situation and not having to worry about the planning really made the trip more enjoyable.

Family Travel Tips:

  • Getting There:  We highly recommend the bus.  It’s easy to get on at the bus station behind the Santa Maria Novella Train Station and the bus drops you off at an ideal location to start your exploration of Siena.  It was €7.80 one way for each person and we didn’t have to worry about paying for gas or parking if we had rented a car.  Siena is small enough to walk the whole thing and the streets seem like a nightmare to try to drive through anyways.
  • Larger Families:  The bus ride is about an hour and fifteen minutes, so make sure all the kids have something to help them occupy the time.  The city has plenty to see, streets to walk, and places to relax so enjoy!
  • What Not to Miss: We had a great time at the Fonte Gaia.  It’s not a place that everyone tries to see when in Siena, but we really enjoyed the shaded steps and the open area for Carter to run around.
  • What to Bring: Bring a light lunch or snacks to help with the cost of food.  And as always, we recommend bringing water especially because there are a lot of uphills in Siena.
  • Cost: €37.  We spent €15.60 each for Scott and I to get to Siena and back (Carter was free) and then we spent a little extra on lunch.

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