Driving in Italy

Dec 14th, 2001, 09:54 AM
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Driving in Italy

Will be staying in Montecatini. What is the drive like to Siena? Once in Siena is parking a major problem. Would it be better to take public transportation? Would appreciate any help you can give me.
Dec 14th, 2001, 10:58 AM
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Public transportation vs. driving:

If you decide to take the train, it seems like 3-4 hours each way will be eaten up by it -- go to http://www.fs-on-line.com/ for specific information. It seems that you would have to transfer in Florence to get to Siena, and so there must be a better way.

There is probably bus service, but I'm not sure where to find that information on the web. I think you'd have to research that when you got to Montecatini.

Driving shouldn't be a problem at all.

Parking is a slight problem -- you can't drive into the historical center of Siena, so you'll have to park your car outside and walk (it's not that far). There should be signs pointing you in the right direction.
Dec 14th, 2001, 11:26 AM
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Hi, Marilyn. I used public transportation when I stayed in Siena in October. It was doable but driving would probably be more convenient. I'm not sure if there is bus service between Siena and Montecatini. If you can contact the tourist office in Montecatini or Siena, they should be able to tell you. I'll see if I still have my bus schedule from Siena when I get home. I write a little about using the bus in Tuscany in my trip report, Just Back from Rome, Siena, and Florence. Let me know if you have any questions.
Dec 14th, 2001, 11:27 AM
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We have done both. We stayed at a villa outside Siena. Once we drive into town and located a parking spot close to the main center. It is large and you may luck out a get a spot. We did not have any trouble. The next trip in we decided to take the bus. It was quick and a lot less hassle. No worry about the car and it dropped us off close.
Dec 14th, 2001, 11:29 AM
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Depends on whether its high season - gets tougher to find good spots closer into the city (I don't think you are allowed to drive into the actual city as a I recall and we parked and then walked in) in high season. Its a nice drive though and we stopped off and had a picnic lunch that we brought which was really pleasant. Enjoy! Barb
Dec 14th, 2001, 11:50 AM
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We had a minor nightmare with parking in Siena. We were told to go to a certain large lot, I think at the "sports center?". We got there and followed a string of cars into the lot, but it was full. Everybody sat there for over an hour. We had cars behind us that wouldn't move and we were stuck waiting for people to leave so that more cars ahead of us could get into the spaces. After an hour of waiting, we finally got to a place where we could get out of that mess and then drove around town for another half hour looking for a place to park. We finally saw someone leaving from a curbside spot and managed to get that. So half of our morning was already shot looking for parking. This was just a normal day in Siena we were told -- nothing special going on.
Dec 14th, 2001, 11:51 AM
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If you already have a car then drive. It is not hard to park in the big lots outside the walls and walk in. And, you can hit San Gim. or Volterra or both coming or going. The drive itself is about 1:15 by using the super strada, more if you take the back roads.
Dec 15th, 2001, 10:22 PM
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We had absolutely no problem finding parking just outside the city gate in Siena last April. There was a lot of available parking around what we believe was an old fort??
We stayed in Montecatini Therme, which is about 20 to 30 min. from Florence, however finding a parking place in Florence was impossible!
Dec 16th, 2001, 05:57 AM
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Having a car, it really doesn't make much sense visiting Siena on public transportation out from Montecatini. As Bob points out, you may visit SanG or Volterra enroute.

The most convenient lot is the one mentioned by Patrick, around the stadium ... but it's also the one to fill first.

Usually, one hits the city walls coming from the west, along either via di Fontebranda or via Bruno Bonci. Both have parking lots just outside the walls. As mentioned, there's also a big lot all around Fortezza Medicea.

If you arrive in Siena before 9am, you may drive to the stadium (follow the characteristic signs to city centre and stadium) and check the situation. If there are queues, just circle around (with the stadium on your left). By doing so, you'll get to the Fortezza Medicea. If you can't spot a place there, follow on, leaving the walls, and go for the parking lot on via Bonci (or Fontebranda).
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