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Possible to bus/train from Florence to Crete Senesi to see the Abbey?*

Possible to bus/train from Florence to Crete Senesi to see the Abbey?*

Jan 7th, 2010, 07:01 PM
  #1  
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Possible to bus/train from Florence to Crete Senesi to see the Abbey?*

*That would be the Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore.

http://www.monte-oliveto.com/

I've been wracking my fingers trying to figure out if we can get to the Abbey via bus/train from Florence. I'm not understanding some of the information on the Abbey's website, particularly an actual "address".

PLUS, can someone tell us if there are other worthwhile things to see near the Abbey? Is it actually in a town or out in the country? It it is in a town, what is the name of the town?

Anyone? Are we better off just trying to rent a car and drive ourselves? How long a drive? Thanks for any input.
sarge56 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 07:43 PM
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The abbey is near the hamlet of Chiusure; it has no street address.

Here's a map:
http://www.monteolivetomaggiore.it/dovesiam.html

There are buses from Siena to Asciano and Buonconvento, but they're few and far between, and you're still a few miles from the abbey.

The only way to do it is by renting a car. It's about 110 km and 1 hr 45 min by car from Florence.
Zerlina is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 09:10 PM
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Without a car (suggested) you could train to either Buonconvento or Asciano and taxi the rest of the way (7-8 km). Buonconvento would have more transportation options. See if this link works for you.
http://www.turismobuonconvento.it/default_it.asp

Select come arrivare on the right and then noleggio e taxi to get a list of taxi and transfer/tour services. You might e-mail a few about costs to and from the Abbey.
kybourbon is offline  
Jan 7th, 2010, 09:13 PM
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As for what's nearby, check these pictures of the Abbey.

http://www.agricolamonteoliveto.com/ING/contatti.html

http://www.agricolamonteoliveto.com/
kybourbon is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 02:38 AM
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Crete Senesi is not a place but a type of terrain, the very distinctive clay-y soil found south of Siena.

A word in favour of Buonconvento - it's small and charming, almost entirely walled, non-touristy, with a good museum about the local farming system (more interesting than it sounds.)
tarquin is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 03:18 AM
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It sort of depends how active you want to be.

One of the reasons the Abbey was built where it is was to provide hospitality for medieval travellers on the Via Francigena: the standard route from London and Paris to Rome (and for Tuscan wheeler-dealers and monks to transport to central Italy the wool they'd bought at sweatshop prices from good natured Cotswold shepherds).

The route went from Asciano to Buonconvento, skirting the Abbey. It's still waymarked. It's an interesting 11 or so mile walk, with the Abbey in the middle.

Not something I'd do in scorching midsummer. But get up early enough on a late spring/early autumn Sunday morning, get to the Abbey in time for High Mass, marvel at how awful the visiting choirs from localish parishes are (though the monks are OK), get out in time to see the frescoes (dawdle after Mass finishes and they close off access), then go into the village for lunch (the visiting parishioners seem to grab all the seats at the Abbey restaurants) and walk on to the other bus-head.

Great day out.
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 07:16 AM
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I would also check out taking a taxi or walking (uphill) from Buonconvento, and I am another fan of the town of Buonconvento!

http://www.abctuscany.com/siena/buonconvento/index.cfm

It is 30 minutes from the Siena train station to Buonconvento, so I would take a train from Firenze to Siena and switch, I think.

Compare the costs of renting a car with hiring a taxi plus the cost of train tickets. Having a car would also let you drive around the countryside as part of your trip.

But whoever is driving will see less than a passenger or a walker. And it may be, depending on the time of year you are going, that you can't get a one-day car rental.

Seeing le Crete Sinese, Buonconvento and the frescoes in the Abbey (and its Della Robbia) was the highlight of my trip the area of Tuscany south of Siena. I enjoyed my lunch in Buonconvento. It's not hard to find a good simple place to eat there.
stepsbeyond is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 09:08 AM
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julia1 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2010, 03:49 PM
  #9  
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Thanks all! Well, I think we've got two options we're looking at:

1) Rent a car at the Florence airport and drive ourselves around the area.

2) We are thinking of using a guide. Many people on this site have recommended Luca Garrapa of Hills and Roads. It will not be that much more expensive than renting a car. (The cheapest I saw on a quick search yesterday was $300/day. However, that was for an automatic. I can't drive stick, but my daughter can. So, might see if that is less cost.)

Anyway, we are thinking of just splurging and taking a private day with the guide.

Thanks again for all your input and the links!

paula
sarge56 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2010, 12:58 AM
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$300 a day for car hire is exorbitant. I found a Lancia (not the smallest model but manual) on travelsupermarket.com for £130 A WEEK.
tarquin is offline  
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