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SIENA'S PALIO: has anyone taken the bus from Florence to Siena on this day?

SIENA'S PALIO: has anyone taken the bus from Florence to Siena on this day?

Oct 19th, 2007, 04:54 PM
  #1  
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SIENA'S PALIO: has anyone taken the bus from Florence to Siena on this day?

sounds like it might be crazy...

thought i'd check if anyone's done it.

thanks!
dina
dina4 is offline  
Oct 21st, 2007, 06:11 AM
  #2  
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anyone?

i know taking the bus is fairly simple, just wondering if anyone's done it to go see the Palio for the day.

thanks.
dina4 is offline  
Oct 21st, 2007, 08:34 AM
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Dina, I have a friend who "accidentally" went to Siena on the day of the Palio. Amazingly they were able to get an upgraded room at the Jolly Hotel (must have been a no show) but they couldn't get anywhere near the Campo. They said it was a great day to explore parts of the town away from the Campo and enjoyed climbing to the walls. I don't think it's a day trip where you can actually catch a glimpse of the horse race. Google photos and you'll see how packed it is.
Grassshopper is offline  
Oct 21st, 2007, 08:48 AM
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Take the train! it is very easy and inexpensive.
mweiner is offline  
Oct 21st, 2007, 09:02 AM
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But the train is likely to be packed as well. Then you have to get from the station to the city - a 30 minute walk, all of it uphill (or you can walk around the walls to the parking lot near Porta Ovile, and take the escalators.

If you decide to go, go very ,very early, and be prepared to stand in the middle of the Campo for several hours beforehand.
willit is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 05:56 PM
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yes, i have heard the bus is more convenient than the train. someone on this forum actually drove to Siena that day, which maybe we could do if we get there really early...

we'll see.

any other tips out there would be appreciated.

thanks!
dina4 is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 06:35 PM
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we drove to palio this past july. parking outside the city walls wasn't difficult and it was an easy walk to the campo. palio is an amazing experience and one i am glad we got to see. we didn't actually go into the campo but stood outside of the area looking in thru and entrance.....the view was decent and we could move around somewhat. the best part was the reactions of the people, both winning and losing.
randola is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 05:02 AM
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Randola, that's great to hear!!
I think we might try driving, especially since it wasn't too bad for you.

i hope you don't mind if i ask you a few question?

We had considered taking turns sitting in the middle to hold spots (there are 4 of us), but did you just hang out in one of the streets leading down to the campo?

also, did you have to wait in that area all day or did you just walk down before the race?

lastly, what time did you drive into Siena?

thanks so much!!
dina
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Oct 23rd, 2007, 01:05 PM
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we were told that once you were in the campo you were there to stay so we found a place right next to a gelato shop that had an entrance to the campo. the police were very nice about how close we could get to the actual entry way and we just hung there.

i think we got there about 4 and it was pretty crowded at that time. my husband stayed and kept our places but i wandered a bit. the only problem i had was some lech of a guy who kept rubbing himself all over my backside....lol.
randola is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2007, 01:19 PM
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To get into Il Campo you will have to be there around 2 hours before the start of the race - 3 hours for a decent view - if you really want to see the race try to get in the south east corner as the view is the most elevated.

IMO the experience is very Italian -one big show with all the Opera of life that ends in a very short and drab ending. The race is around 90 seconds and it is very difficult to see what is going on due to the size of the crowd.

We have been going to Tuscany for years - always wanted to see the Palio - did and won't go back. It was just one of those items to tick in life - with hindsight what did make the event was the weeks of ceremonies, fights!, banquets etc in the city leading up to the race.

Don't worry about the logistics the crowd is packed for the relatively small square but it is a relatively small crowd for the city to cope with. Logistics shouldn't be a problem - suggest the train as the best option.

markrosy is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 06:12 AM
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Mark,
Do you mean on the inside or outside of the "race track" when you mention the elevated southwest corner?
Thanks for your tips.

Randola,
Thanks for the gelato shop tip, too. We were hoping to get a spot and do the same. There are 4 of us, so we thought we could take turns saving our place and wandering. But don't think you can do that inside the race track.

thanks!!
dina
dina4 is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 09:43 AM
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Hi Dina

On the inside o the track - the outside loses the elevation.

Best way to find it is to with your back to the clock tower of the town hall - its the corner to your far left - its gives the best view of the dipping straight.

BTW way I see you have plans for Sardinia - are you combining the two?

The ferry from Piombino over the Ligurian sea is a great experience - we went to Elba recently and Cagliari will be an even better trip from mainland Tuscany - it is possible to see whales, orca and dolphins.
markrosy is offline  
Nov 14th, 2007, 06:17 PM
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Thanks, Mark.

Thanks for the Palio clarification.

Where is Piomboni, btw?

I have a lot of our trip sorted out -- 1 week on Amalfi Coast, 1 week in Tuscany, and 3 nts in Rome.

There are 4 nights in the middle that I haven't sorted out yet. Am considering three options:

1. Sardinia --time may be too short?? 1st night on ferry and 3 nights in Chia -- or -- 2 nts in Chia and 1 in Costa Smerelda. Fly back to Tuscany to save time?

2. Rimini / Ravenna (have heard very mixed things about Rimini, but would love to see Ravenna)

3. adding nights here and there to our existing locations.

Anyways, that may have been more than you asked for, but if you have time, would love to know
what do you think...
dina4 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2007, 10:12 AM
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Piombino is a scrufyy Tuscan port between Rome and Pisa - it gives very good ferry access to the islands.

I totally agree with your beach approach - we have spent many holidays either in the Tuscan countryside or on Italian beaches - this September we did both - Lucca/Pisa and then Elba it was a great mix and the beach made the whole experience very relaxing. Never been to Rimini - my wife has and she doesn't ilke German beer culture or all night discos - so she won't be going back!

One possibility for speed (and cost) would be Florence to Alghero with Ryanair - usually VERY cheap.
Alternatively as you say the ferry to Cagliari from Rome's port.

I really wouldn't miss Sardinia - we are in love with the place a as I mentioned before have a particular soft spot for the south.

The Costa Smeralda is akin to a convertible Ferrari - Chia is a BMW. The Meridian hotel in Chia looked great and has very good reports on Tripadvisor - the beaches at Chia are beautiful - days trips to Thoros (Romans ruins) and Cagliari are well worth the stay.

The Costa Smeralda is definietly more stunning as long as you don't mind paying 7 euros for a coffee.

Let me know if you need any more specific information

regards

Mark
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Nov 15th, 2007, 05:30 PM
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Mark,

Funny ... what your wife says about Rimini is why I'm afraid to go there!

We will be staying in Naples at the end of our Amalfi Coast week, and I think I can get an overnight ferry from Naples to Cagliari. My plan was to stay at the Meridien in Chia for 2 nights (we'll have 2 full days since we'll be arriving early a.m.) and then drive up to Costa Smerelda and stay 1 night at the Cervo Hotel, leaving late the next day on a Ryan Air flight to Florence. (Yes, really cheap! But we are notoriously heavy packers -- I am worried about the baggage!) We have Starwood pts, so I think we can stay for free in those hotels, which will hopefully make up for the 7euro coffee!

This sounds really rushed for most Fodorites, but the rest of the vacation isn't too rushed. I'm hoping it will be okay, but am obviously worried. And I'm also hoping we can figure out how to pack lighter!!

Thanks again for your help, Mark.

dina
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Nov 16th, 2007, 12:58 AM
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Dina - Ryanair is only cheap IF you pack light

Steve

Steve_James is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 05:26 AM
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Yes, Steve, that's what I've heard.

Do you know what people mean when they say "prepay for your baggage?"

(This really has nothing to do with the Palio anymore -- so sorry!)

dina
dina4 is offline  
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