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Bus/train or car to Rome from Siena?

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Jul 20th, 2012, 07:21 AM
  #1
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Bus/train or car to Rome from Siena?

We are a group of 6 adults and will have two rental cars while staying at a villa about 1/2 hour from Siena near town of Sovicille. We are planning to visit Rome for 3-4 days where we will be staying in a convent near the Vatican gates. The more I research the best way to travel to Rome,(probably from Siena), the more confused I get. Our group is split between car & bus. All advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Jul 20th, 2012, 07:25 AM
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The bus takes 3 hours and the cost is about 15-20€. What is the confusion?
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Jul 20th, 2012, 08:10 AM
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I visited the Sena bus site and got the basics but got hung up in trying to understand the English translation such as where the bus stops were in Siena - not sure if we have to go right into the centre of Siena to catch the bus for example and iuf this can be done on foot or do we need to take a local bus to the station?
It appears the bus station in Rome (Tiburtina I think) is on the outskirts of historic Rome and quite a distance from the convent near the Vatican. When I tried to map getting from the bus station to the convent on Google, public transit showed over 2 hours & walking 1 1/2 hrs in time.
My friends seem to think it will be easier, faster & cheaper to drive to near the convent and park overnite. There seems to be lots of parking garages in Rome but how to pick the right one is the question. Also not sure if GPS will keep us out of the "non driving" zones.
Hope this makes my "confusion" clearer.
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Jul 20th, 2012, 09:00 AM
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I wouldn't drive in Rome unless you're very confident of your Italian driving skills. And parking in Rome costs money. Are you flying home from Rome?

You could drive to Chiusi or Orvieto (an interesting stop in itself), drop your cars there, and take the train to Rome. Or just take the bus.

Or drive to the Rome airport, drop the cars, and take the train into Rome. At the airport, you don't need to check to see if the car rental agency is open when you want to drop the cars. More rural offices close in the afternoon.

And, in either case, I'd just take a couple of taxis to the convent. Are you on a very tight budget?
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Jul 20th, 2012, 09:13 AM
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Thank you Mimar. It's actually my friend's husband who thinks if he can drive in Toronto he can drive anywhere. His rationale for driving vs the bus is so he can see the countryside although in my mind it would be easier to do this from a bus that you aren't driving. LOL! We're returning to our villa after Rome for two more weeks so will be keeping the cars. The train from Chiusi or Orvieto might be a good option. Do you know if there is overnite parking(free or pay for) at the train stations and if you can purchase the train tickets in advance & if yes where/how?
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Jul 20th, 2012, 09:14 AM
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Sorry forgot to say budget not too tight but want to save where we can and get best deals.
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Jul 20th, 2012, 09:19 AM
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>>>It appears the bus station in Rome (Tiburtina I think) is on the outskirts of historic Rome and quite a distance from the convent near the Vatican.<<<

Tiburtina is a major bus and train station in Rome. It is also on the metro. I can't imagine getting from Tiburtina would take even an hour. There will be city buses that depart Tiburtina to the Vatican area. Where is the convent? What were you using to look at public transport?
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Jul 20th, 2012, 09:29 AM
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ATAC says it's only 18 minutes by metro from Tiburtina to behind the Vatican. If you are keeping your cars, it doesn't make sense to drive to Rome as you would have to pay 35-40E per day to park them.

Sena does make a pick up at the Siena train station which is on the outskirts, but you would have to pay to park there also (underground garage across the street). FS means train station.

Colonna San Marco (fermata Sena) - 08:00
Piazza Gramsci (fermata Sena) - 08:08
Pza Stazione FS–Fta SENA - 08:18
Viale Toselli (Penny Market) - 08:22
-:-
11:15 - AUTOSTAZIONE TIBURTINA
11:10 - V.Salaria n.665, opposto Lancia
11:07 - Salaria opposto RAI

There may be better options if you post your convent location. There are some train stations on the outskirts of Rome with parking.
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Jul 20th, 2012, 09:31 AM
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Thank you kybourn. Oh, I thought Tributina was just for buses not the metro & trains. So if we can get a bus to the convent from there busing it to Rome could still be an option as long as we can be sure to get on the right bus. Do oyu know if there is a tourist information booth near Tributina. We're going to buy Roma passes and pick up maps, etc.

It was Google maps I used which gives car, walk and public transport results. Judging by the distance shown on the map it looked too long time-wise to me too. Thought maybe it was due to one way streets/driving restrictions or just Google having trouble plotting the route. The convent address is: PICCOLE SUORE DELLA SACRA FAMIGLIA, Casa Di Accoglienza Paolo VI
Viale Vaticano 92
00165
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Jul 20th, 2012, 09:38 AM
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ATAC says bus 490 to an area around the convent, but still need to know your convent's name/address. There are dozens of convents within spitting distance of the Vatican. Rome has over 250 convents that offer rooms. Behind the Vatican could mean just about anything.
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Jul 20th, 2012, 09:42 AM
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The convent address is: PICCOLE SUORE DELLA SACRA FAMIGLIA, Casa Di Accoglienza Paolo VI
Viale Vaticano 92
00165
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Jul 20th, 2012, 09:48 AM
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Sorry I had my post window open and didn't see the address. By metro, you would take line B from Tiburtina and change to Line A at Termini, getting off at the Cipro stop. You may have to zoom in to see the stops better.

http://www.atac.roma.it/files/doc.asp?r=4

By bus (also 18 minutes), you would take 490.

ATAC is the Rome public transportation website. To calculate routes, put Tiburtina and viale Vaticano (add street #). YOu can either click all public transportation or if you don't want the metro included, click bus/tram option.
http://infopoint.atac.roma.it/bw.asp

You can't use Google maps to figure out transport in a city (not even in the US) as it never has all the available public transport.
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Jul 20th, 2012, 09:56 AM
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Roma Pass at Tiburtina:

Roma Pass and Roma&Più Pass can be purchased:
At the following points of sale:
All participating Museums and sites
Tourist Information Points (Punti Informativi Turistici, PIT) of the City of Rome:

PIT Castel S. Angelo, Lungotevere Vaticano (Piazza Pia). 9.30am - 7.00pm

PIT Ciampino, Aeroporto G.B.Pastine - International Arrivals, luggage claim area. 9.00am – 6.30pm

PIT Cinque Lune, Piazza delle Cinque Lune (Piazza Navona). 9.30am - 7.00pm

PIT Fiumicino, Aeroporto Leonardo Da Vinci- International Arrivals area (Terminal 3). 8.00am - 7.30 pm

PIT Minghetti, Via Marco Minghetti (corner to Via del Corso). 9.30am - 7.00pm

PIT Nazionale, Via Nazionale (Palazzo delle Esposizioni). 9.30am - 7.00pm

PIT Termini, Stazione Termini - Via Giovanni Giolitti, 34. 8.00am - 7.30 pm

PIT Tiburtina, Stazione Tiburtina. 9.30am - 7.00pm (next opening)

PIT Fori, Visitor Center - Via dei Fori Imperiali. 9.30am - 7.00pm


I imagine the "next opening" beside Tiburtina is old as Tiburtina was doing a major remodel, but it is completed.
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Jul 20th, 2012, 10:00 AM
  #14
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Awesome information and mega thanks for the links kybourn! I've been on the computer for hours and need to break for awhile. Will try out the ATAC site especially now that I know how to use it properly. Still leaning toward the bus option. If friends still want to drive will just get them to drop me off at the Siena train station to wait for the bus and away I go. Next challenge after this one...Cinque Terre.
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Jul 20th, 2012, 10:15 AM
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FYI - If you still want to drive/train, Orvieto has a free parking lot behind their train station. It would not save you anytime really as by the time you drive there and then train (1 1/2 hours from Orvieto on the train) it would probably be faster to take the Sena bus. You could take the back roads from the Siena area to Orvieto (through Pienza)if your friends want a scenic route, but the speeds are low for the curvy roads. YOu would still need to get from the train station to the convent (the train goes to Termini, but most of the Orvieto trains stop at Tiburtina first).
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