|Subject: Re: From Rome airport to Siena by car|
As others mentioned, many transatlantic flights arrive in Rome in the early morning, and your friends might be too worn out from the night of flying to drive as far as Siena. If so, I think Orvieto would a convenient and interesting place to spend the day and night.
Orvieto is in the right direction, and very easy to find. There is just enough to do to make an afternoon and evening comfortable and interesting, and it wouldn't be hard at all to find a pleasant meal. The streets are fun when the shops and restaurants open, but very quiet otherwise.
I know that we would probably forge ahead, straight to Siena, but I can understand wanting to stop. This is only my personal opinion, but I would not go too far into Umbria, just to sleep, and then have to head back westward toward Siena.
For accommodations in the area of Rome that they prefer, near the Piazza di Spagna, in their price range, I suggest checking www.Venere.com where you can search specifically for Spagna.
There are some hotels in that range, in that area, but I don't have personal experience with any of them. I have stayed there, at the Hotel Condotti, which cost much more than it was worth in terms of room and service, but I will admit that we loved the location. It was a lot of fun to be near the Piazza di Spagna. I would stay at the Condotti if I could get it at 150 Euros (the top of your friends' range for Roma), but not for the prices I generally see quoted for that hotel.
Last year, with only one short day in Rome, we spent the hours after the shops reopened in the afternoon, until dinner, wandering through these streets and looking in the many fascinating stores, enjoying the chic folks who shop there, as well as the tourists. It was so much fun, and I hated to leave.
Best Regards, Debbie in Pittsburgh