February 6, 2011, 03:08 PM
Easter Monday Travel
I will be traveling by public transportation on Easter Monday. I'll be going from Florence to Sienna.
First, I wonder if the limited schedules should require me to purchase reservations in advance, if possible. If no possible reservations, do I need to queue early?
I see three transport options:
Express bus. But service is very limited on Easter Monday.
Local Bus. Will this take forever?
Train. I know it takes longer than the express bus. That's not a problem. I'm concerned about transport from the Sienna train station to the gates. There is a local bus but I wonder if it will even be available on Easter Monday.
February 8, 2011, 01:16 PM
This year Easter Monday also falls on April 25, another national holiday. Regardless, buses and trains will be operating on a "festivo" or holiday schedule as they would have in any case.
If you do a search here on the forum for "easter monday", you'll find several threads with general details on what is open or not generally on that day and holidays in general.
Your questions regard transporation so let's focus on that. I'd say on this particular day you cannot concentrate too much on how LONG one takes over the other, since all will have limited schedules based on the festivity. I'd say forget the "local" bus, it will take forever on any normal day, on this day discard it completely.
Look at the express bus and trains, check the schedules and consider by what time you need to be in Siena and take the best one to get you there. The express bus is preferable but if the schedule doesn't work out for you, take the train. The train station is at the bottom of the hill to the north of the city -- and all of Siena sits on hills -- but I've been to Siena with the train and the walk up to the first set of gates, while uphill, was gradual and take about 15 minutes (we had to get our bearings on which direction to head to from the station). Once we entered the gates and headed straight to Piazza del Campo, we were there in about 30 minutes total. In any case, also check the festivity schedules for the local buses from the train station in Siena and see which one to take that will take you closest to where you're headed (not necessarily the closest gate) on http://www.sienamobilita.it/
Hope these tips are useful!
February 9, 2011, 02:52 PM
This is a wonderful site. Thank you for responding to my Easter Monday question.
Based on your information I will certainly avoid the local buses. I'll take either the express bus or train.
I appreciate your including the bus schedule for Sienna, but I was hopeless in figuring out what it meant. There are symbols that I don't understand. Also, the loations are unclear to me. Which location is the train station? Is Via Tozzi in the town?
I am headed to the address given as "Via Paparoni, 7 Monolocale." Using Mapquest, it is located just north of the center of Siena. Is that toward the train station?
I appreciated your description of walking up the hill from the train station, once you had your bearings. I love to walk, and that does not bother me. But I'll be dragging my luggage. Even with wheels, I don't look forward to making it uphill. I guess that's why I am asking these questions months ahead of my visit.
Thanks again for the excellent, informative website. I'll be using it as I plan for my visit.
With 8 nights in Florence, I look forward to enjoying my time there.
February 14, 2011, 11:18 AM
maybe a taxi once you're in Siena is the best solution...
You're very welcome! I understand your confusion with the bus schedules, didn't realize how they were set up until now that you point them out. Didn't realize everything is on one single .pdf - yikes! Let' see if I can help you make some sense of it all...
In terms of a PORTA or entrance through the walls, the address you cited is closest to Porta Camollia.
I don't know the bus routes in Siena so I've plugged in the address you gave on Google maps and zoomed in to see where the bus icons pop up. I clicked on the two nearest ones and see the list of bus lines passing through the stops called "Piazza Chigi Mercatino" and "Via Campansi".
Then referring back to the Siena bus website, I found a map of the lines here: http://www.sienamobilita.it/mappe/Mappa_URB.pdf
The train station is the one to the left of CENTRO marked as "Stazione F.S." - your direction is toward Centro by heading to Piazza del Sale.
Your stop will be before this. From the station, you have several choices of bus lines - the 3, 10 or 13.
So all the timetables on one single .pdf here - http://www.trainspa.it/train04/urbano_si.pdf
On page 11 you find the times for the first line, the 3. The "A" after the bus number means "andata" or going and the "R" means "ritorno" or return....
the two little hammers crossing like an X at the top of the columns mean work days which is Monday-Saturday, the cross is for Sundays and holidays.
You find the stop "Siena V.Campansi" before "Siena FS" (the train station) so it means this is for buses traveling in the opposite direction you're interested in. So skip to page 14 to start seeing the times for the bus in the right direction.
Since "Siena FS" is the train station, the next stops are on Via Mazzini and then on Via Garibadi -- since it is a different route, this makes it likely that Via Campansi is a one way street even if Google maps doesn't mark it as so... and given this, it seems that the closest bus stop for your location will actually be Piazza del Sale.
If you map this on Google, you can see where it is in relation to your address. I don't think it is very far considering how small Siena is and, if I remember correctly, this is relatively flat area so you could just walk to your address from there. But if you feel you have too much weight with the suitcases, I actually suggest you consider just taking a taxi from the train station.... the ride will be pretty short directly, whereas the bus will drop you off still some distance away. The express SITA bus from Florence drops you off in Via Tozzi near the stadium which is closer to Piazza del Campo but further away from your address.
Hope I haven't given you too much information and confused you - but after looking everything up, it seemed better to just share everything as well as my final recommendation
(8 days in Florence sound wonderful - you'll feel like a native by the time you leave - if you get the hang of how the buses and trains work in those days, you'll get to Siena without a problem )