Feedback from train and bus users

Apr 15th, 2002, 01:14 PM
  #1  
marina
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Feedback from train and bus users

Although I've read many posts recommending renting a car for travel around Tuscany, I have decided against it. Plan to travel end May, possibly 8-10 days, and visit four or five towns/cities (probably Montalcino, Florence, Siena and S Gimignano).
Would love to hear from people who have traveled around this area WITHOUT A CAR (I understand the advantages, but I don't even like driving at home so prefer to sit back in trains or buses and arrive wherever I want to go without the hassle). Besides, I've met wonderful local people this way on other trips elsewhere.
 
Apr 15th, 2002, 01:43 PM
  #2  
GAC
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You can easily reach these destinations in Tuscany by local bus.
 
Apr 15th, 2002, 01:52 PM
  #3  
Marilyn
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We have done it both ways and I prefer not driving. That way everyone can enjoy the scenery and no one has to navigate or drive. You can find train schedules on the net at www.fs-on-line.com and I know Tra-in the bus line has a site as well. Marilyn
 
Apr 15th, 2002, 03:03 PM
  #4  
Barb
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Marina: I feel the same way as you. I don't like driving at home, let alone drive in Italy. I was in Tuscany last year and used buses and trains. Actually all over Italy. We trained from Rome to Orvieto where we stayed one night. Took the bus from there to Civita, wonderful little hilltop town. Then we based in Siena for 3 days and day tripped to San Gimignano by bus. That was actually one of the highlights of the trip. The bus ride went through some absolutely beautiful scenery and we didn't have to worry about watching the road and road signs. We then decided against taking the train to Florence, loved that bus ride, and took the bus. Stayed in Florence for 2 days and took the bus to Fiesole, another lovely bus ride. I would really look into bus transportation - so relaxing and you don't have to lift your bags up stairs, just put them in the luggage bins on the bottom of the bus.
 
Apr 15th, 2002, 10:09 PM
  #5  
Kay
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Marina,
we just had 5 weeks in Italy and travelled mainly by train, also bus, ferry, funicular, taxi, vaporetto etc! Once we got used to the train system (we don't use public transport at home at all) we thought it was good. Had a couple of train journeys that were delayed, e.g. were told the train to Siena was not running, have to get the bus, no bus for 2 hours, that sort of thing that you just live with.
We caught the train to Poggibonsi then the bus to San Gimignano which is a great place. Stayed in a terrific place, very central and a good price, Locanda Quercecchio, found it on www.sangimignano.com.

We have visited Siena on another occasion and I think the bus station is more central than the train station. Might be worth checking if you have lots of luggage.

Don't forget to validate your ticket once on the train or bus - stick it in the yellow machine which date/time stamps it.
Kay
 
Apr 16th, 2002, 01:27 PM
  #6  
garyb
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I was also able to travel around Tuscany by taking buses, mainly, also trains, but I was there for almost three weeks, so I had more time.
Check out http://www.trenitalia.com for trains,
http://www.turismoverde.com/italia/trasport/bus.htm, for buses to/from towns you mention.
Have a great trip!
 
Apr 13th, 2007, 11:24 AM
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jcluc is offline  
Apr 13th, 2007, 11:34 AM
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I've done all those cities by train and or bus and it's a snap and like you say it's nice to mix with Italians on the bus than being in a cultural vacuum in a car.

Servies are so often - 2 or 3 an hour to Siena and so cheap -just a few euros i think that this is both an economical way and hassle-free way to go. No parking hassles and the bus takes you right up to the hill town, unlike parking which at times can only be found at the bottom of the hills.
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Apr 13th, 2007, 12:51 PM
  #9  
 
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Anyone encounter bus strikes in Tuscany? It's one concern I had regarding taking the bus from Siena to Florence instead of driving.

We had it happen in Urbino. Realized that we hadn't seen any buses while we having lunch at a cafe on the square and found out there was an impromptu one day bus strike. We needed to be outside the city for a meeting and there were only three taxis in the entire city - and the operator spoke no English!
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Apr 14th, 2007, 11:19 AM
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There's a good range of public transport and, yes, there are strikes - commit the word sciopero to memory - however, they are rarely for a full day. Here's a useful page on enjoying Tuscany without your own car: http://www.chianti.info/chianti_without_car.htm It displays a number of links to on-line bus timetables.
toscoman is offline  
Apr 14th, 2007, 11:35 AM
  #11  
 
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I'm surprised at the positive responses regarding trains and busses in Tuscany. Often here I only see claims that you HAVE to have a car.

We've had a car there usually, but when we totalled our rental car in Wales just before heading to Italy a couple years ago, we were a little shakey and cancelled the car. We stayed a week in Montepulciano and we enjoyed Tuscany in a way we had missed before by zipping around town to town in our rental car.
We took busses mainly -- and a couple trains to various spots during the week. But if walking is a possibility, do that too. We walked from San Quirico to Bagno Vignoni (lunch) and then back a different way. And we walked from Pienza through Montichiello (lunch) and on to Montepulciano one day. What a wonderful way to EXPERINCE Tuscany, not just SEE it.
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Apr 14th, 2007, 12:51 PM
  #12  
 
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NeoPatrick, how long did it take you (roughly) to walk Montepulciano to Pienza? or Pienza to wherever? Isn't it 6 or more miles between these 2 places? Do you know if there is a bus from Montepulciano to Pienza or Montalcino?
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