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Venice to Sienna to Rome

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Apr 18th, 2016, 09:07 PM
  #1
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Venice to Sienna to Rome

My sister and I (ages 60+) will be joining a group of women in Tuscany (Montisi) in October for a week. Prior to that, we're thinking of flying into Venice and spending three nights there and taking the train to Sienna for three nights. Some questions - is train the best way to get from Venice to Sienna? About how long will the train ride take? We're open to any suggestions about other places to stop. This is not our first trip to Italy. We've been to Florence, Cinque Terre and Rome and love it all, and know there is much more to see.
After our wonderful week in Tuscany, we'll take the train to Rome and have a couple of nights there before returning to the U.S. We've seen many of the sights there, but have special interest in the Vatican and St Peter's. I've heard of some special tours that have to be reserved far in advance but don't know what they are.
Thanks for any suggestions or comments you may have!
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Apr 18th, 2016, 09:30 PM
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There's no fast train from Venice to Siena. YOu can take a fast train Venice/Florence (about 2 hours) and switch to a regional train (about 1 1/2hours), but most people switch to the bus instead. The bus drops you at the historic center (train station is at the edge of town) and bus is a bit faster.
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Apr 18th, 2016, 10:32 PM
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How did you travel in Italy before? These kind of train questions can be trivially looked up at www.trenitalia.com which should be a familiar site for anyone who has traveled in Italy on their own. Venice=Venezia S. Lucia, Siena=Siena. Use same day of the week next week as October schedule would not be available until summer. For schedule alone, www.bahn.com accepts English geographical names also.

While the bus for Florence-Siena is faster and gets you to the center of Siena, there is a also a con compared to train. With bus, you store your luggage under carriage and the door opens several times between Florence and Siena. I found a seat on cargo door side to make sure the luggage did not walk out on its own at stops. Express bus stops at less stations. Also, these buses seem to be AC challenged. So others might say, it is not needed in October. If it is not functional it is ok. But sometime it gets stuck in high heat and driver cannot turn if off! We were dying of heat. The train does not get into the city. From the Siena station at down the hill, it is about 8€ by taxi to the center. There is also a bus.

For Florence-Siena bus schedule:
http://www.tiemmespa.it/index.php/Vi...na/Extraurbano look down schedule and click "Mostra Altri" to show even more bus lines to find:

slow bus: 131O R / FIRENZE-POGGIBONSI-COLLE VAL D'ELSA-SIENA (CORSE ORDINARIE)

express bus: 131R R / FIRENZE-SIENA (CORSE RAPIDE)

From Siena, if you take trains, the fastest way for most of the time is to backtrack to Florence, then high speed train to Rome.
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Apr 19th, 2016, 10:08 AM
  #4
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Thank you both for the information and tips. I will check the train and bus schedules by using a more current date. I've travelled by train in Italy before but this is the first time for me to be making the reservations myself.
Again, thanks for being so helpful.
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Apr 19th, 2016, 10:53 AM
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>>>Also, these buses seem to be AC challenged. <<<

Perhaps you don't realize that the regional trains between Florence and Siena are AC challenged. I've found less AC on regional trains than on distance buses.

>>>I found a seat on cargo door side to make sure the luggage did not walk out on its own at stops. Express bus stops at less stations.<<<

While there are a couple of stops in Florence and Siena, I've found the bus often doesn't stop if no one is there to be picked up and no one is specifying they want off. The train makes as many stops as the buses, so watching out for luggage would be no different.
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Apr 19th, 2016, 11:03 AM
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buy those Venice to Florence portion tickets early to get deep discounted tickets - but also train-specific and non-changeable at that bargain price I think.

Regional trains and buses need no reservations and even do not take any I believe - just buy as you go along - with buses do not forget to validate your own ticket prior to boarding or when boarding or they will not be valid - stick them in some machine trackside or by the bus or on the bus.

Trenitalia.com for trains (no discounts on regional trains - no need to book early) - for lots of info on Italian trains check www.seat61.com- great info on discounted tickets; www.ricksteves.comand www.budgeteuropetravel.com.

If not on a starvation budget I highly recommend first class on all trains - in many ways a lot more relaxed - see www.seat61.com for a good wrap up of the differences between classes.
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Apr 19th, 2016, 11:03 AM
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AC challenged - if its cold keep your coat on if not take it off.
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Apr 19th, 2016, 12:54 PM
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Siena to Rome - take the regional train to Chiusi and then from there a regional train to Rome - just buy these dirt-cheap tickets in Siena - no reservations possible - with a ticket just hop on the train (after validating your ticket!)
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Apr 19th, 2016, 01:20 PM
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Just my opinion, of course, but if you are spending a week in Montisi, dividing 6 days between Venice and Siena seems a little off balance to me.

If it were me, I'd stretch Venice by a day, and cut Siena by a day.
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Apr 19th, 2016, 01:56 PM
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Siena is about a day and that's it but it can be a neat base for taking trains and or buses to several other iconic Tuscan hill towns and places like Pisa or Lucca or even Florence for a day. But if planning 3 full days in Siena, nice as it is, then I'd add a day or two elsewhere but the buses are frequent and easy to say San Gimignano and its ballyhooed towers or to other nearby hill towns.
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Apr 19th, 2016, 03:35 PM
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If the OP and her sister are arriving in Venice after a long, overnight flight, they need to allow an extra day or so in Venice to get over jet lag. Maybe that's already included in their itinerary, but I'd hate anyone cheat themselves out of a thorough visit to beautiful Venice.
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Apr 19th, 2016, 03:43 PM
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BTW if you want to switch to a bus to Siena after a train ride from Venice to Florence, the bus station is near Florence's main train station, Santa Maria Novella. The Rapida bus doesn't stop between Florence and Siena; the Ordinaria stops twice, Poggibonsi and Colle Val d'Elsa.
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Apr 20th, 2016, 08:52 AM
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And Mimar - they do not need to have pre-booked the bus, right? Just show up and there are tons of buses on that route - prettier route than the train and quicker and cheaper. Don't forget to validate your bus ticket before or when boarding.
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Apr 21st, 2016, 09:34 AM
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No, at least we didn't prebook for that or any other bus trip out of Florence.

The fast bus goes on the freeway and is not so scenic. The slower Ordinaria is more scenic.
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Apr 21st, 2016, 11:53 AM
  #15
 
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I've never pre-booked buses either - just showed up and lots of time and never a problem getting on SITA buses (Italian bus system). Not sure you can even make a reservation?
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