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This tour was a long day for us, taking around 13 hours door to door from our hotel. The travelling tour guide and local tour guide were very helpful and knowledgeable, the included lunch at a nice restaurant was very good quality, with plenty of local cuisine and wine to match. We also had some free time to explore and shop, but this was a little short due to other issues on the day. The shopping area was great to wander around, though the tour itinerary required the free time to be completed before most of the guided tour - I would have preferred a shorter guided tour when we arrived, then free time after lunch. On the way to Siena, the bus driver got lost as they were required to divert to pay a city tax before entering the city. Most tour operators organise this in advance, so not a great start. Whilst I understand it is a walking tour, the amount of time spent walking to and from the bus seemed over the top, particularly at the end of the day when our meeting point was next to a bus parking area, but then required us to walk for over 20 minutes to where our bus had parked. the local guide was knowledgeable, but way over the top, spending way to much time in levels of detail, particulalry during the cathedral walk - perhaps we had seen one to many churches on our holiday, but this could have been much more succinct and interesting. The discussion and walk around the Palio race event was the most engaging part of the walk. If staying in Tuscany, this would be a much more manageable half day visit worth considering.
The tour needed a minimum of 6 participants, so we had to wait a few days past our original planned excursion date for a few more travelers to sign up. Tours to Siena only run twice a week. That was not a problem for us since we're in Rome for a few weeks. The bus was very comfortable, it left on time, and the guide was friendly and knowledgeable. We made good time on the road. We had enough free time to see what we wanted to see. The local guide was knowledgeable about the city. An excellent lunch was included in the tour price. The return journey to Rome was fine too. Altogether an excellent tour which met our expectations in every way.
We were two of a 7 person tour on a small van. No large impersonal tour. It was relaxed with a fine guide and plenty of free time. The ascent to the main plaza was grueling, but not prohibitive for active seniors. Views of beautiful fields of sunflowers on the drive were fabulous. Meal outstanding. I recommend.
My Husband and I went on this Tour on Oct. 8th, 2014....we thoroughly enjoyed this day from the start to the end! It was our first time in Siena and the Viator Tour guide was amazing and the Siena land tour guide was most welcoming and wonderfully explained to Town. The Restaurant we had lunch that day was so generous and food was traditional to the area totally satisfied with it all and well worth the money and day. We would recommend this tour to anyone that loves a Tuscan Medieval tour...Thank you Viator for having this tour available!!!
Confirming this tour with the local service was a nightmare. Viator says to confirm within 48 hours - I called early in the morning (almost exactly 48 hours) - told to call back after 9:30 AM. Called back that afternoon and told to call back the next morning. Called back the next morning and told to call back that afternoon. Called back that afternoon and confirmed everything.
The tour itself was great. Really enjoyed the free time in Siena. The guide was great, her English was easy to understand and she was a real pleasure to chat with. The local guide's speaking was a little harder to understand at times, but was still okay, her bubbly personality more than made up for it. The lunch was good, not great - plenty of food, quality was okay, but I would have ordered something different if given the option.
Because this was a newer tour, my wife and I were the only two who booked it - we essentially had a private tour, the two of us, the driver and the guide(s). Probably a rare result, but 4 stars because of the difficulty confirming with the tour company and because the bus that picked us up from the hotel was very dirty on the inside and smelled - it needed a cleaning. It was a short ride on that bus though, and then all passengers were placed into other buses or cars.
I considered 3 stars because of the confirmation issues and the first bus, but the town made up for it as well as the individualized attention. I would recommend this tour to friends and family and we plan to go back to Siena on our own.
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