What kind of transport is available in Tuscany, Italy?
The main Tuscan cities such as Florence, Pisa, Lucca and
Sienna plus many of the smaller towns are connected by the
railway network, but a great many towns and villages are
served only by buses or by no public transport at all.
For train connections, the best resource is the Trenitalia
website which is available in English as well as
Italian. This provides not only the time tables but also an
on-line booking facility. Note that sometimes certain credit
cards issued outside of Europe are not accepted by the
Trenitalia booking system. Booking a seat on Frecciarossa fast
trains several weeks in advance usually means that you will be
offered some worthwhile discounts by Trenitalia. If you are
using a train ticket that does not specify the train time
and/or which does not include a reservation, be
sure to validate your ticket using the yellow machine at the
end of each platform. Reserved tickets (e.g. all
Flecciarossa tickets) do not need to be validated.
For bus routes, there are a number of useful links on
without a car web page. On many bus routes the ticket
must be validated like a train ticket either on the platform
or in the bus. The bus networks tend to be radial, meaning that the buses connect
centres such as Florence or Sienna with the towns in their respective
provinces, but less often connect the towns to one another.
These buses are very comfortable but are essentially a service
for taking workers and school children to their respective
destinations, so that the timetables sometimes don't suit
tourists (e.g. quite early last buses).
way of exploring the highways and byways of Tuscany is by car.
Rental cars are available in the provincial centres such Florence and
Sienna, and in places such as Chiusi that have major railway
stations, but rarely or
never in the smaller towns. When picking up and dropping off
rental cars be aware that you will be fined if you pass
through a limited
driven by qualified guides are an excellent though
expensive way to see a lot of Tuscany with as little lost time
as possible. Many of the guides have access to castles and the
like that are not open to the general public and a tour can be
combined with wine or olive oil tasting.
As far as motoring
for pleasure is concerned, Tuscany is a paradise. Although
there is heavy traffic at rush hour on the main routes into
the cities, the country roads carry only light traffic
for much of the day, although sometimes a large amount of
bicycle traffic on weekends. The gravel back roads, the "strade
bianche", that are so characteristic of the
Tuscan countryside, can be explored not only by car but also
by bicycle and on foot, and provide a wonderful insight into
life in rural Tuscany.