Tuscany by train/bus


New member
Hi! Ciao! I am planning my first trip to Italy by rail and would appreciate some expertise. Am I better off keeping Florence as my "base" and doing various day trips or staying in perhaps Siena and going out from there? I am trying to see where the best place to be is to be able to get on trains, buses or schedule tours as I will not have a car. It looks like I could visit Pisa and Lucca maybe on the same day by train; Montepulciano by train, and get to Siena by bus from Florence. San Gimignano and Volterra both seem like they are unreachable for me without booking a tour since they are hilltop towns. Would it make more sense to stay in another area? I would greatly appreciate any suggestions and your thoughts on my "home base". I have three -four days planned in my itinerary to explore the area. Grazie! Thank you!


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Florence and Siena are both good bases if you're going to depend on public transport - make sure to read my article on just that here:

From both, you can take bus to San Gimignano - this article has more details on which ones: https://www.discovertuscany.com/san-gimignano/how-to-reach-san-gimignano.html

Volterra is a little harder to get to but not impossible - easier from Siena since you can take a bus to Colle Val d'Elsa and then keep going - this old thread has a link to the bus info and schedule: http://www.discovertuscany.com/forum/moving-around-in-tuscany/2817-public-bus-question.html

From Florence it is easier to visit Pisa and Lucca by train. I'd do both in a day trip.

Montepulciano is harder to reach -- there is a train station nearby but then you need to catch a bus. Or a bus from Siena. A full day trip to make it work.

So maybe it would be easier to divide your time in Tuscany and maybe do 2-3 nights in Florence, then move on to Siena and do another 2 nights there.
Make sure to allot time to exploring Florence and Siena too! :D
Not sure you will have enough time to fit everything in if the total days is 4!