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  1. #1
    Premium Member

    Slow Traveler

    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    A common question which comes up repeatedly is whether it's better to travel from Rome to Siena by bus or by train.

    Here are the reasons why the smart choice for most is the bus, especially if connecting from Rome FCO Airport:

    1. The first and foremost reason to prefer the bus is that it is direct and drops you in central Siena, whereas the Trenitalia unreserved regionale train requires a connection at "Chiusi-Chianciano Terme" Station and takes you to the Siena train station, which is down the hill from the historic quarter and too far (and too steep) to proceed on foot. Connections mean the possibility of MISSING the onward train to Siena, where service is not that frequent throughout the day. A missed connection can result in a wait of one to two hours for the next local train to Siena! Connections also mean needing to lift/carry/drag luggage on and off two trains (three trains from FCO Airport), then taking a taxi or the local bus from the Siena train station to central Siena. UGH!

    2. If you are starting your trip from the Roma Termini train station, the only advantage of the train is that it originates at Termini Station (stopping at Tiburtina), whereas the bus departs from the Roma Tiburtina bus depot (300 meters on foot from the Roma Tiburtina metro station, itself connected directly to Termini in just a few minutes by underground city train). However, this sole advantage does not overcome the other disadvantages noted above.

    3. If you are starting out from Rome FCO Airport, it's very easy to reach Tiburtina Station by Trenitalia unreserved airport train (8 Euros, 48 minutes, frequency every 15 mins.). On Sundays, this train runs every 30 minutes. The 300-meter walk to the Tiburtina bus station takes less than five minutes, is all flat, and is much easier than dealing with the inconvenient arrival by train at the Siena train station (described above).

    4. The Trenitalia unreserved regionale trains from Roma Tiburtina to Siena (via Chiusi) take around three hours, and cost 16.05 Euros in second class. By contrast, the standard one-way bus fare to Siena is 24 Euros, BUT discounted fares as low as just 10 Euros are also offered, making the bus option potentially cheaper as well as more convenient. Children up to 12 years, 0 days pay 12 Euros on the bus, and half fare on the train.

    5. The bus is operated by SENA bus lines. Departures are currently at 6:00, 8:00, 10:30, 12:30, 14:30, 15:10, 18:30 and 20:45, and travel time is around three hours. Enter your actual travel date for precise information. You can purchase the bus ticket online or, better yet, at the Tiburtina bus depot (especially if connecting from FCO Airport, as you don't know in advance whether you'll be able to catch the bus at a particular hour). All buses stop at the Siena train station before proceeding to Piazza Gramsci up the hill, where many tourists will alight.

    6. To recap, Rome to Siena by bus takes around three hours and costs as little as 10 Euros (plus 1.50 Euros for the metro in Rome to Tiburtina Station). Roma Tiburtina to Siena by Trenitalia unreserved regionale train (via Chiusi) costs 16.05 Euros and takes about the same time, unless you miss the connection. You must then add the cost of a taxi or local bus (1.20 Euros) to central Siena.

    7. If connecting from FCO Airport, add 8 Euros for the Trenitalia unreserved airport train to Tiburtina Station (children up to 12 years, 0 days travel FREE if accompanied by a paying adult).

  2. #2
    Thanks for the tip!
    Located in Australia with 4 sweet kidlets and dreaming of Europe

  3. #3
    GAC, you always provide such helpful info. It's always good to know the options, but I can't imagine being trapped in a bus seat for 3 hours after landing at FCO from the States. At least with trains you can move around a bit, and don't feel so claustrophobic.

    But your warning about possibly missing the connecting train is definitely something to keep in mind.

    There is no one-size-fits-all approach to traveling.

  4. #4

    Slow Traveler

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Well, I made this trip last September using the bus as GAC advises. I got the information on how to do it on SlowTrav, probably from GAC. For me it was far better than the train because (1) no changes (2) easy to stow the luggage under the bus (3) final stop is a centrally located piazza in Siena. It was a sunny day and I spent the 3 hours alternately dozing from jet lag and letting the sun in to my brain to reset the biological clock. The bus was not at all full and I had both seats to myself. The only problem was that I exited the tiburtina train station in the wrong direction but a friendly person pointed me toward the bus station.
    Thanks, GAC!

  5. #5
    Moderator Premium Member

    Slow Traveler
    Andrew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Midwest U.S.
    In researching updates to my Rome airport page, I found reference to a new bus between Siena and FCO at . Running twice a day in each direction, it also stops at Grosseto and Orbetello, as well as Civitavecchia (but it does not sell tickets between C.Vecchia and FCO). It gives Siena-FCO time as 3 hrs. 15. They also mention the possibility of connecting to the SITbus service into Rome, to Piazza Cavour and Termini: I don't know if it's ultimately better than the SENA bus to Tiburtina if you're going to those areas, but it's something to consider.

  6. #6
    Premium Member

    Slow Traveler

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Siena, Italy
    An update on the train station in SIena and the steep climb GAC mentioned. There is now an escalator inside of the mall directly in front of the train station that takes you up the hill. You exit from the escalator at Antiporto which is outside of Porta Camollia. It is still a 10/15 minute walk into the main part of Siena but it is much better than before.

  7. #7
    Another important update is that you can now take fast trains from Rome to Florence just about every hour and arrive in Florence in 90 minutes and then switch to a train to Siena or switch to the Siena bus if you prefer that. The trains and buses from Florence run frequently so you won't get stuck with a long layover. If you take advantage of one of the many discounts offered for the fast trains then the train fares from Florence to Siena can be surprisingly cheap.

    As for arrival by bus or train or escalator: since most people traveling from Rome to Siena will be traveling with luggage and heading first to a hotel they need to consider the location of their hotel and whether they will need or want a taxi upon arrival even if they take the bus. Some walks from the bus drop off to some hotels are not easy with luggage. Getting a taxi from the train station might be easier.

  8. #8
    I would also suggest that those considering to do the Rome-Siena bus check the weather forecast as my understanding is that where bus leaves you at Piazza Gramsci is totally unprotected. We were in the bus from Rome and as it got closer to Siena train station it started to rain hard. It would have been a mess to try to make our way to the hotel from Piazza Gramsci pulling our luggage under the rain, so we decided to get off at the train station. My recollection is that the taxi didnt cost that much.

  9. #9

    Slow Traveler

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Boston, MA
    There is a major taxi stand a short block from where the bus drops you in Siena. I was told that you take your chances on a taxi at the train station. ---Marlene


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