March 21, 2012, 09:30 PM
Train or bus - Siena to Florence
I will be staying in a small town called Palazuolo outside Siena and want to take a day trip to Florence. I'll have a car but know that driving into the city is not feasible. Which is the better transportation into Florence from Siena - train or bus? From what I gather the train station is further outside Siena. Does one have better parking facilities?
March 22, 2012, 07:22 PM
You can take either train or bus from Siena to Florence
I did some searches to answer your question and I’d say that you can go both by train and by bus from Siena to Florence. The choice is up to you!
As you said the rail station of Siena is outside the center so you won’t have any problems to park your car since there is a big parking lot underground.
Check on Trenitalia the train schedulesfor direct trains from Siena to Santa Maria Novella (central station of Florence). You’ll notice some trips are longer than others, it depends on the train you take and the time of its departure.
There is also a convenient bus line from Siena which goes to Florence many times a day. Here is a time schedule for the buses. The first stop in Siena is in Piazza S. Domenico close to the stadium; the bus also arrives to the center of Florence right outside the SMN train station.
Remember to buy the tickets before getting on the bus, you’ll find it in some nearby bars or stationery stores.
In the end since you are in Palazzuolo and you have a car, I would suggest you make your way to and also discover the wonderful Arezzo! It is quite close and another gem not usually on people’s itineraries.
Enjoy your journey!
Last edited by Sara; March 23, 2012 at 12:22 PM.
March 23, 2012, 12:48 PM
driving into Florence - just stay out of the ZTL area!
Driving into Florence is not the hard part - knowing when to stop and park is the difficulty, because you don't want to go into the historical center since it is a limited traffic zone (ZTL zone). It is really difficult to drive into the center without knowing it - there are big signs and a red traffic light indicating you're about to enter the ZTL zone - if it is red, you cannot go in.... if it is green, you can (this happens after 8pm at night). Driving into the ZTL area means heavy fines so that is why it is much easier to say don't drive in Florence - but as you enter the city, if you follow signs to the parking lots, all of those are outside the ZTL and leave the car there, you'll be fine. The best one for you coming from the A1 south would be the parking lot in Piazza Beccaria and Piazza Ghiberti (they are right next to each other) and there are signs that indicate where they are (along the ring road that surrounds the historical center). So you could drive to these parking lots and from there a 15 minute walk takes you to the Duomo - Florence's center is really small and walkable.
You can also program your GPS to take you to Piazzale Michelangelo - there is a free parking lot there and you get a wonderful view of Florence - then you can walk down the hill to the center. Far from the ZTL, you won't risk driving into it at all!
Of course the benefit of arriving by train is that it brings you right into the center of Florence, so there is less walking to and less hassle with parking The train station at Siena is perfect with a parking lot underground and also outside the historical center, no worries about entering the ZTL there either. Just know that many trains from Siena to Florence require you to change trains in Empoli.
March 23, 2012, 03:03 PM
Re: You can take either train or bus from Siena to Florence
Thanks for the reply and the suggestion of Arezzo. A good possibility if we can navigate rush hour into the city.
Originally Posted by Sara
March 23, 2012, 03:07 PM
Re: driving into Florence - just stay out of the ZTL area!
Thanks for the Florence info, I was wondering if there were accessible parking lots outside the city center.
Originally Posted by Lourdes