Italy's far-reaching regional bus network, often operated by private companies, isn't as attractive an option as in other European countries, partly due to convenient train travel. Schedules are often drawn up with commuters and students in mind and can be sketchy on weekends. But, car travel aside, regional bus companies often provide the only means of getting to out-of-the-way places. Even when this isn't the case, buses can be faster and more direct than local trains, so it's worth taking time to compare bus and train schedules. Busitalia–Sita Nord covers Tuscany and the Veneto. Sita Sud caters to travelers in Puglia, Foggia, Matera, Basilicata, and Campania. FlixBus offers a low-cost long-distance service.
All buses, even those on long-distance routes, offer a single class of service. Cleanliness and comfort levels are high on private motor coaches, which have plenty of legroom, sizable seats, and luggage storage, but often do not have toilets. Smoking isn't permitted on buses. Private lines usually have a ticket office in town or allow you to pay when you board.
Major Italian cities have inexpensive urban bus service. Although some city buses have ticket machines on board, generally you buy tickets from newsstands or tobacconists and have them validated on board. Buses can get packed during busy travel periods and rush hours.