Siena to Pienza by bus

Old Jun 27th, 2014, 08:00 AM
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Siena to Pienza by bus

I'm going to Tuscany this summer and have booked a wonderful private tour to Pienza and Montepulciano for the 3 of us. Problem is that it is costing about $550 and I can't really afford it. I'm staying in Siena and being picked up and brought back there. I'm looking at the Siena Mobilia bus schedule and it seems like it isn't that bad. I could get the bus to Pienza from Siena, then bus to Montepulciano and from there back to Siena. I could have sworn this bus schedule wasn't there a few months ago when I booked this tour. I know there are hugh gaps in schedules but the times seem to work. Is there something I'm not seeing here? What are these buses like and do they run on time? And if I cancel my tour (I haven't put any money down) will the people I booked with have a problem re-booking. They were so nice not to require a deposit and I hate to do this. What should I do?
maryanne22 is offline  
Old Jun 27th, 2014, 08:48 AM
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We took the bus from Montalcino to Siena and back, about 8 years ago, with the same company, and it was fine.

It looks to me as though it wouldn't be easy to see both Pienza and Montepulciano the same day, though. You can see the official weekday (Monday-Saturday) schedules here:

The earliest direct bus (Line 112A) to Pienza leaves Siena at 10:50, or a few minutes later, depending on your stop. It gets to Pienza at 12:05. It would give you time to have a look around and have lunch. The next bus that would take you on to Montepulciano (still the 112A) is at 3:25 PM, getting there at 3:45. The problem is that there are no more buses back to Siena (112R) after that.

You could take the 114A as far as Buonconvento, leaving Siena at around 7 and transferring in Buonconvento to the 112A, leaving at 8 and getting to Pienza at 8:35. Then you could leave Pienza at 12:05 (on the bus you would have arrived on if you had left Siena at 10:50), arriving in Montepulciano at 12:25. Then you could return to Siena on the 2:25 PM bus. It wouldn't give you much time to see Montepulciano, nor to have lunch.

Pienza is a very small town to spend a whole day in, and Montepulciano is too big to see in an hour or two. You might want to skip Pienza and go directly to Montepulciano, but you should still take an earlier bus, changing in Buonconvento.

Another possibility would be to visit Montalcino instead, which actually is probably my favorite of the three. The 114A bus goes on there after Buonconvento, and there are plenty of 114B buses back to Siena.

I can't help with your moral dilemma. If the trip is in the near future, it would be very difficult to get replacements on the bus.
bvlenci is offline  
Old Jun 27th, 2014, 09:00 AM
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Good input above !
Pienza is clearly the smallest and least interesting of the 3.
From Siena, you should also include San Gimignano, and Montepulciano deserves a full day.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Old Jun 27th, 2014, 10:05 AM
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I wouldn't recommend a day trip to San Gimignano in high season; it's really overrun with day trippers.
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