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Transportation by public transport in the Tuscany area

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Transportation by public transport in the Tuscany area

Old Jul 8th, 2011, 09:30 AM
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Transportation by public transport in the Tuscany area

I will be meeting my mother and sister in Venice mid September for 4 days. They will be returning home but I intend to stay on in Italy for about 7-10 days (I haven't booked my return flight as yet) and tour Tuscany. I hate driving at home and would prefer not to do it in Italy so want to do this using public transport. I can fly home from either Pisa or Rome.

The places I would like to visit are Florence, Siena, San Gimignano, Volterra and Lucca. With the exception of Florence and possibly Lucca the other places are not set in stone. I have been looking at train and bus timetables and it looks like starting in Venice and flying home from either Pisa or Rome I have to do a lot of backtracking.

Venice to Florence - no problem
Florence to Siena - no problem
Siena to Volterra - looks like I need to take a bus to Colle Di Val d'Elsa and change to a bus for Volterra.
Volterra to San Gimignanao - back to Colle Di Val d'Elsa, then a bus to Poggibonsi and change there for a bus to San G.
San G to Lucca - bus to Poggibonsi then train to Lucca with 2 changes, one in Empoli and the other in Pisa (I don't really have a problem with this bit)

If I do it the other way around and go Florence Lucca, Siena -Rome it makes no difference and I have to backtrack from Siena to Florence to get the train to Rome.

My questions are:

1. Would I be better to stay in Siena and day trip to San G and Volterra (advantage, don't have to pack up and move luggage, although I will be travelling with carry on)?
2. I love small towns and villages in the evening when the crowds leave. If I day tripped would I be missing out on a nice meal and atmosphere in a small town when the crowds leave?
3. Any other suggestions for a better itinerary, only Florence is set in stone but I have this picture in my head about Lucca and if I leave from Pisa it must be included? Having said that if a better itinerary was leaving from Rome, Lucca can be excluded.

I know hiring a car in this region is the way to go but I really, really don't want to do that.

Thanks
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Old Jul 8th, 2011, 10:45 AM
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Are you looking at Siena Mobilita for your bus schedules? I think you would do better staying in Siena a few days and doing day trips. You can easily visit Volterra, Montalcino, San G by bus from Siena or San G and Volterra by bus from Florence. I'm not a fan of Lucca, but it is a 70 minute bus or train ride from Florence (25 minutes by train to Pisa from Lucca).
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Old Jul 10th, 2011, 09:41 AM
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Thanks kybourbon, I will stay in Siena and day trip, then go to Lucca and fly home from Pisa.
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Old Jul 10th, 2011, 09:44 AM
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Sorry mistake in the above I will stay in Florence and day trip to Siena, San G and Volterra, then go to Lucca.
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Old Jul 10th, 2011, 10:05 AM
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Hi cambe - in fact all of the above can be done by day-trips from florence.

Lucca by train [and bologna]

san gim, Volterra & Siena by bus.

the rest of the time for Florence itself.

the last day, go to Pisa, tour for the day, and then fly home.
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Old Jul 10th, 2011, 10:39 AM
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Hi C,

>I have to backtrack from Siena to Florence to get the train to Rome.

There is a bus from Sena to Rome - http://www.senabus.it/

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Old Jul 10th, 2011, 11:50 AM
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i thought that you were going to fly out of Pisa?
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Old Jul 10th, 2011, 12:07 PM
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I prefer Lucca by bus (Lazzi bus I think) from Florence as the bus is nicer than the old R trains and takes the same amount of time.

>I have to backtrack from Siena to Florence to get the train to Rome.
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Old Jul 11th, 2011, 03:18 AM
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Thank you all, the information has been most helpful.

Annhig, I can return from either Pisa or Rome, however due to the fact that Pisa is half the price of Rome it will definitely be Pisa.

I have a total of 8 days and what I am thinking is 3 days in Florence with a day trip to Lucca by bus(if I have time).

Sita bus from Florence to Siena and spend 5 days there, day tripping to San G, Volterra, Pienza and Montalcino all by Siena mobilta bus.

Airport bus from Siena direct to Pisa airport.

Does that look like a reasonable plan?

Thanks again.
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Old Jul 11th, 2011, 06:08 AM
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The Pisa airport bus from Siena only runs once a day. Do you plan to spend your last night in Pisa as You wouldn't reach the airport early enough for most flights.
http://www.pisa-airport.com/aeroporto_di_pisa_196.html

You might be better off reversing your itinerary. Visit Siena first and end in Florence as it's easier to get to Pisa airport (train or Terravision bus) from Florence.

When traveling by bus, you need to try and calculate how long you might want to spend in a town as sometimes there are gaps of time without return buses late afternoon. Certain times of the day the bus will be dropping off school kids (usually early morning and between 1 and 2)and will be crowded. The school bus runs are usually noted on the schedules.

For Montalcino and Pienza, you want 112A/R and 114A/R. These do not pick up at Piazza Gramsci. You will probably need to catch them at the train station which is a short city bus ride from Piazza Gramsci.
http://www.trainspa.it/train04/extraurbano.pdf

There doesn't appear to be a very late return bus from Pienza to Siena so you might want to look at bus times for Pienza/Buonconvento. From Buonconvento, you can catch the train the rest of the way back to Siena. The last train is at 20:54 and takes about 20 minutes (2.50€).
http://www.busfox.com/timetable/
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Old Jul 11th, 2011, 06:22 AM
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Your earlier plan to stay your last night(s) in Lucca and fly out of Pisa sounded good. Lucca is lovely and does not feel affected by tourism, unlike your other destinations. There are several good restaurants, expensive to reasonable.
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Old Jul 11th, 2011, 06:55 AM
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Kybourbon, you are a mine of information - thank you so much.

My flight is not until 17.10 from Pisa, the reason I liked the bus to the airport is that it is direct. I can dump my bag in left luggage at the airport and spend the rest of the day in Pisa. The bus arrives at 09.00am and if I'm back at the airport for 15.00pm (it's a Ryanair flight and I will be carry on and will have checked in online) that gives me about 5 hours in Pisa - is there enough do do and see in Pisa to fill 5 hous?

tarquin, Lucca is certainly calling me but the logistics are just to complicated.

Thanks again
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