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Thread: Need help on how to spend the whole day in San Gimignano without a car

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    16

    Default Need help on how to spend the whole day in San Gimignano without a car

    Hi All,
    I hope it's okay to post this here but I'm staying in an apartment in Florence (already paid for) and I read Lourdes article about the frescoes in the San Gimignano
    https://www.discovertuscany.com/san-...gimignano.html

    and now I want to go experience them in peace and quiet. All I can find are these whirlwind tours where you go to 2 or 3 towns in one day. I've been to Siena and Pisa (highly recommended) so I wonder how can I just go to San Gimignano for the day?

    1. I find the trains are so easy to use here, is it possible to hire a taxi at the train station in Poggioxxx? that's about a 30 minute drive?
    2. Any other suggestions? I checked into getting a room and stay overnight but there's nothing available before Easter and I leave for Rome on the 4th of April.

    The more time I spend in Tuscany the more I love it and the more there is to see! I feel so grateful to be here.
    Grazie mille,
    Suzanne

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Hey Suzanne!

    I did the trip to San Gimignano multple times without a car, the last one just 3 weeks ago.

    I do not know about he train but there is a bus from Florence (Santa Maria Novella) directly to the city -in front of the walls and just 10-15 minutes straight through the city to reach the Duomo of San Gimignano- for around 12 Euros to the city and back (andate e ritorno). You have to change in Poggibonsi but it is easy and you have around 20 minutes to get off the bus from Florence and wait for the bus to San Gimignano at the same bus stop. If you google "Firenze San Gimignano orari" there will even be a timetable in pdf or you can look for the direction of the bus (as San Gimignano is not the terminal station of the bus)on google maps. It takes about 1 hour 10 to 1 hour 30 through the countryside but it is worth it!
    (if you need more information on that don't hesitate to ask, you can also PM if you have really specific questions)

    (a bit off-topic I know but maybe interesting for you)
    I can highly recommend the audioguide for the duomo. It was even available in German when I visited with my parents in 2016 and takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to listen to every text for every fresco. It is designed to take you from the entrance through the church in a tour. (As an archeologist, I can say it is not too much information to overwhelm and enough to be interesting even for people more into that field)
    And ask if there are any restrictions like a mass or a wedding or somehting else so you need to visit the duomo first and the museum of it second. In the shop there are even really good books with pictures and information of the frescoes. It is not allowed to take pictures inside the church.

    During my last visit I even discovered another church (included in the ticket for every museum in the town) with frescoes (smaller than the duomo but really nice even from the outside)left of the Duomo I think. You can also eat a gelato after visiting the church at the gelateria Dondoli (two time wolrd champion)and visit some of the prosciutto and cheese stores on the main road (from the gate to the piazza with the duomo) or climb the tower, etc. Your options are endless in San Gimignano and the buses go back to Florence for example today until 20.00 every hour (frequency if I remember right)

    I hope that is not too much information and I could help you!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    16

    Default

    Wow Diana...thank you so much! I appreciate all the information and the fact you took the time to write it out. I'm sure this will be of benefit to others as well.
    And it definitely is helping us tonight.

    So a wonderful thing happened today. I'm taking some Art History classes and one of the fellow students who is in my age group! yes another solo senior female traveler in her 70's! she has gone on the bus many times in the past and we're going together. Tomorrow to San Gimignano and Sunday to Fiesole. She is from Lima, Peru and I am from Cuenca, Ecuador so it just gets better and better! Anyway, it has been a few years and she needed the bus info to refresh her memory and decide what time we're leaving.

    So again many thanks. I also appreciate the info on the audio guide and length of time. For the two of us it sounds like heaven!
    Abrazos y besos y muchas gracias,
    Suzanne

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    5

    Default

    No problem
    I am glad I could help you! (When I visited it rained heavy but that didn't stop me from eating ice cream ) if you fancy a real good store for olive oil etc I can highly recommend "bazar dei sapori " (also speaking English) where you can try everything from wild boar ham to grappa and cheese. I visit the shop everytime I am there and buy oil (canister) and some souvenirs. It is the last shop before you enter the square in front of torre grossa (on the main road to the piazza) on the left side. On the right handed side (following the signs from the main road) there is also a clean and quiet new public bathroom (50 ct) you can use if you need (just the archeological museum has a bathroom, don't know about restaurants) and from there it is just some steps down to a viewing point for which you don't have to climb 218 steps (stairs inside torre grossa, although the part of the town history is awesome). I think if you take your time you should be able to see every corner of the city in about 6 to 8 hours (duos o included).

    For fiesole: the "fiesolana" on piazza mino serves awesome pizza, lasagna and local food in a really nice atmosphere (old walls and pictures, dried garlic and chili peppers hanging from the ceiling) at a decent price. And the gelateria next door serves an incredibly good vanilla-mascarpone ice cream.

    Nice view over the city is when you follow the really steep road to the cloister of San francesco. You can see medieval monk cells and if the museum is open, you can see "presents" from all over the world from the contacts one of the monks had (from mummies of Egypt to vases from china)

    Ok enough said for now (I could continue)

    I am really glad you found someone to go with you! You can also buy the bus tickets (a bit more expensive) in the bus but I recommend to buy them at the ticket office located inside the bus station (approach Santa Maria novDella station from the duomo side and turn left to cross in front if the church -station on your right- and then you should see it after some meters)as they usually speak enough English to sell you what you want. You can use the ticket at the time you want tomorrow, just valid them and off you go have fun exploring!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    16

    Default Update on Fiesole and ATAF "city" bus for March 2018

    I just want to add an update on our trip to Fiesole. Due to the construction at the train station area, you buy your tickets at the ATAF stand BUT you actually catch the bus at San Marco and that's where it drops you off for Central/Historical district.

    Adding the bus system opens up so many options.

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