Siena-Orvieto-Rome

Jun 27th, 2000, 11:01 AM
  #1  
Henry
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Siena-Orvieto-Rome

we are planning trip to Italy.Thinking of starting in Siena,3 nites w/day trip to San Gimignano.Then by train to Orvieto 2-3 nites with possible day trip(suggestions?).Then on to Rome 3 nites.Any comments/suggestions would be appreciated.Can this be done easily by train?P.S.,we have been to Florence not interested in returning this trip.Thanks
 
Jun 27th, 2000, 12:05 PM
  #2  
Paulo
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The train connection between Siena and Orvieto is fair. One has to change trains in Chiusi and the trip takes about 2 hours. From Orvieto to Rome it's a piece of cake (1 to 1:20 hours depending on train).

Unfortunately, train connections from Orvieto into other towns in Umbria are quite awkward. If you don't want to drive yourself, the bus appears to be the best option for side trips to Todi, Spoleto, Assisi or Perugia.

Paulo
 
Jun 28th, 2000, 05:16 AM
  #3  
David
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You didn't ask, or mention, about renting a car. But that's what I'd do. Where are you flying into? If Rome, it's a snap (as you probably already know) to catch a train to Florence. I'd rent the car there, and drive to Sienna. We just did that last week. It was about a 45-60 minute drive (very easy drive via the SuperStrada, or AutoStrada - I always got those two mixed up. It's the one that DOESN'T require a toll) from Florence. With your own car, you can go wherever, whenever, you want to. I think Sienna requires 2 full days. San Gimignano (being much smaller, but in some ways much more appealing) requires 1 full day (if not more). As to Rome - I really, really liked Rome. I wish we had spent more time there. (we only had two days in Rome.) You could easily spend a week in Rome, and still not see it all. By the way, when we were there last week it was HOT and getting hotter with each passing day. Have fun.
 
Jun 28th, 2000, 06:46 AM
  #4  
Paulo
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After a 1st full day in Siena, I would also rent a car to visit hill towns in Tuscany and Umbria. I would also drive into Rome but if one feels uneasy, it could be dropped in Orvieto.

Anyway, if one wishes to minimize the car rental period rent, I would recommend doing it in Orvieto. Out from Siena, one may easily take a bus to visit San G. A number of other hill towns may also be visited either by bus or train. As pointed out above, Orvieto is not well connected to other Umbrian towns by train. One has to change either south (at Orte) or north (near Cortona). The drive from Orvieto to Assisi should take about 1 1/4 hours. I don't know how much the bus takes. If there's a direct line it may take around 1 3/4 hours (by train it would take at least 2 hours). The advantage of having a car in Orvieto is evident. It would be perfectly feasible, for instance, to visit Todi, Spoleto and Assisi on a single, albeit somewhat long, day. No way one could possibly manage to do this by using public transportation.

If a car rental is completely ruled out, Henry, you should play it by ear once in Orvieto. After having a grip on bus travel times and schedulles you can decide. Todi is quaint and it would be very easy by bus, but it wouldn't make up a full day. For Assisi, if it shows more convenient, you may use a mixed mode of transportation (bus/train). You may also decide visiting Cortona instead (but this is in Tuscany once again . The train trip takes only about an hour.

Paulo
 
Jun 28th, 2000, 09:29 AM
  #5  
Henry
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Paulo&David:Thank you for your advice.Yes, it was my intention to avoid renting a car.Since most of the trip will be spent within a limited # of cities.However I may take tour advice and rent a car in Orvito for 1 day if it is feasible.I have 1 futher question.Is it necessary to purchase tickets with reservation ahead of time or can we just buy point to point tickets as needed.I was planning to travel 2nd class.Thanks.
 
Jun 28th, 2000, 10:55 AM
  #6  
David
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If you know your plans ahead of time, I'd get the train tickets in advance. We got ours the day before and had no problem, but I have heard from some other people who didn't have the same luck.
 
Jun 28th, 2000, 11:46 AM
  #7  
Paulo
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Most local trains in Tuscany and Umbria don't offer seat reservation service. The same is true with most trains between Orvieto and Rome (you may reserve only on 3 or 4). So, just show up at the train station and pick the 1st train out.

Once the train station is outside the city walls in Siena, it would pay to check (at the San Domenico church) if there are buses to Orvieto. This may be more convenient than taking the train because it would probably be faster at he end.

Just for a reference (to compare with eventual bus schedules & travelling times), the trains from Siena to Orvieto are the following (arrival times in parenthesis):
10:12am* to Chiusi (12:26pm); 12:20pm (2:26pm); 1:52pm (4:26pm); 3:58pm (6:26pm); 6:15pm (8:26pm) ...
*actually a bus to Chiusi

The train options to Rome are (* = reservations possible):
8:23am* (9:20am); 9:01am (10:20am); 10:27am (11:48am); 12:00pm* (12:53pm); 12:27pm (1:48pm); 2:27pm (3:48pm); 3:57pm* (4:55pm); 4:27pm (5:48pm); 6:27pm (7:48pm) ...

Paulo
 
Jul 6th, 2000, 06:42 AM
  #8  
Susan
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Henry,
We just got back last week from Italy. We rented a car in Rome and drove to Orvieto (nothing against Rome, but we had just spent a week there last year) for 3 nights. We loved Orvieto! We stayed at the Palazzo Piccolomini and they had a garage for the car 1/2 block away. Every day we went to great nearby locations: Civita di Bagnoreggio, Todi (the restaurant Umbria there was amazingly wonderful), Lake Bolsena, Pitigliano, Radicofani (my husband's favorite fortress town), Abbadia San Salvatore. Eat at La Badia, which is a great sight from Parque delle Grotto at Orvieto. Best food we had on our trip. Orvieto was not at all touristy, and the town is very quiet and friendly, fabulous duomo. After Orvieto, we spent the night in Gubbio. After Gubbio, three nights in Cortona (great place!) with day trips to Montepulciano, Pienza, San Quirico d'Orca, Montalcino, and Monte Olivetto Maggiore. After Cortona, drove over to Arezzo to see the legend of the True Cross (now fully restored) at San Francesco. In Siena (two nights) we spent our time taking in the beautiful art. Had to park about two miles from Hotel Chiusarelli, but left the car most of the time. By the way, Paolo, etc., they are expanding the soccer stadium, so lots of bulldozing going on behind the hotel. At least they quit at night! Siena very crowded after being in Orvieto, Cortona, and Gubbio! Then on to Monteriggione, San Gimignano (wonderful town), Volterra (all day trips from Siena). Drove to Lucca for two nights, wonderful town, very touristy during the day, great at night. Then to Milan for two nights. An interesting observation. Our feet did not hurt at all for the whole time we had the car, because much of your time is spent looking at beautiful scenery from your car, but after we dropped off the car in milan, our feet were really killing us! I know that this is too wordy, but we will definitely drive again. Rome is definitely worth a month or two. The week we spent there in March a year ago will be a highlight of our lives.
Happy trails,
Susan
 
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