June 29, 2014, 08:53 PM
Siena to Pienza and Montepulciano
I will be staying in Siena for 3 days and want to do a day trip to Pienza and Montipulciano. I've already booked a private tour for $500 for the day but it is really more than I can afford (I do not have any money down on this tour). Now I see that there are buses from Siena direct to Pienza, also there's a bus from Pienza to Montipulciano and another bus back to Siena. Although there seems to be large gaps between these buses, the times are not bad for me (saw timetable on Siena Mobilia). My question is should I keep my tour or cancel and depend on these buses. Are these buses dependable? Does anyone have experience taking them -- I'm going in July 2014 so will they be extremely packed and hot and uncomfortable? Also, my tour is about a month from now. If I cancel do you think this operator would be able to rebook or is this not enough advance notice.
July 1, 2014, 07:10 AM
Visiting Florence in July
I wonder if you worked out the Pienza, Montepulciano tour. I too want to go but have found the day tour prohibitive in price. I wonder if it is possible to go to Montepulciano in one day from Florence. Please let me know if you found information on this.
July 1, 2014, 06:01 PM
Before you cancel your tour, make sure to read the terms/conditions you agreed to just to make sure you won't have to pay a penalty for cancellation. If you won't have to pay anything, then you could cancel and consider a different type of tour - such as this small group tour to Montepulciano and Pienza, which departs from Siena.
It a small group tour, so you share the costs that you can't on a private tour.... and it will be better than depending solely on the bus schedules.
While you can certainly choose to use the buses, and it seems like there is enough time in between each, you do lose time in finding stops, getting tickets - PLUS you want to see the places you're visiting, not be preoccupied with your mode of transport. So I'd recommend cheking this smaller tour and booking that one as a more budget-friendly alternative!
If you're interested in other tours from Siena, to Chianti or San Gimignano, take a look at this list:
Hope this works out for you!
July 1, 2014, 06:03 PM
If you're in Florence, you can certainly also make it to Montepulciano. It is a bit further, but it is possible - if you love wine and want to do tastings, you could do this tour which includes Chianti and the Val d'Orcia. It is a long day, but you'll see lots!
If you want to do it on your own, you can take the train down to Chiusi-Chianciano Terme and from there catch a bus to Montepulciano (it is the one that takes less time to get there). Again, then you run into the question of making sure to keep track of time and schedules so a shared tour is definitely easier on the budget than a private one.
You can check all of the many tours available from Florence to many parts of Tuscany here:
http://www.partner.viator.com/en/8357 (our affiliate link).
July 7, 2014, 09:31 PM
Siena, Pienza and Montepulciano by bus
Hi Lourdes. Thanks for answering. We've decided to keep our tour and treat ourselves. I know that I will be worrying about the transportation the entire time and won't have peace of mind until I'm on the bus returning to Siena. I have one more question: do you think I will need a reservation for PALAZZO PICCOLOMINI in Pienza? How crowded does it get there. We'll be there on July 16. Thanks Lourdes.
July 8, 2014, 07:31 AM
Yes, for peace of mind I agree - I'd go with a tour to go visit so that you have your own means of transportation, whether your original one or the small group one.
I don't believe the Palazzo Piccolomini in Pienza itself gets too crowded. Lots of visitors go to Pienza, enjoy the restaurants, the small town, the view.... but when I've been to the Palazzo, it is hadn't even been crowded. When we visited, it was with an actual guide and we did have to wait for the current tour to end but since then I've seen that they now have audio guides instead so it must mean you can enter at your leisure... so there shouldn't be lines or a long wait. There is an exhibit right now that seems to be super interesting on the origins of wine (hoping to go visit it myself before it ends in Nov).
Also if you were to be in Pienza in the evening, you could see if you have the chance to do the Palazzo with wine tastings and more at this Musica al Palazzo - totally depends on the dates you're here, of course.