Will solo traveler on budget be able to see beautiful tuscany town?


New member
I am so thankful to have found this forum on Tuscany. There is so many information available on guidebook that I am kinda of overwhelmed with the information esp. on moving around Tuscany.

I am hoping there is someone super kind and nice would be able to share her/his advices on my upcoming trip to Tuscany in mid September! Thank you in advanced!

I will be staying in b&b at Badesse (1 train stop away from Siena) for 4 nights. I would love to see Florence for a day and the rest to visit Tuscany town for nice scenic, picnic and drink some wine.
Which town could I visit that doesn't require me to drive? I have filtered the followings:
- Montepulciano
- Val di Chiana
-Val d'Orcia
- San Gimignano
- Casole d'Elsa
- Colle Val d'Elsa
- Montalcino
- Chianti

I am not sure where do I start reading to plan for this trip. I hope to get some pointers from fellow tuscany experts in this forum. I know that I won't be able to see much on this short trip but I would love to get a taste of Tuscany so I can plan for a longer trip next one.

Thank you so much for reading and thank you thank you thank you!



The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Ciao Erny,

Glad you found us and are finding the forum and site useful!

First off, these are not cities/towns but entire AREAS:
Val di Chiana
Val d'Orcia

From Badesse, you can take the train to Poggibonsi and from there easily take a bus to San Gimignano.

You can also reach Colle Val d'Elsa (#130), Casole d'Elsa (#126), Montepulciano (#112) and Montalcino (#114) by BUS from SIENA.
The numbers in the paranthesis above are the bus #s that take you there - you can see ALL of the bus schedules here:
The columns with hammers at the top means weekdays, the cross means weekends. The estivo = summer, invernale = winter, scolastico = school year.

If you take bus #112 to Montepulciano, you're going into the Val d'Orcia region.... you'll pass by San Quirico d'Orcia and Pienza so you'll get to see the Val d'Orcia regardless, if you want to stop depends on your time andbus schedules. Study them very carefully when planning your day trips as the hours on there are what's available.

If instead you take the #125 from Siena to Castellina in Chianti and to Radda in Chianti, you're in the CHIANTI region :)

The thing is that with only 4 nights, you really have to study those timetables and see how you can organize your days.... you won't be able to do all, you have to choose.

My proposal:
day 1 - Siena
day 2 - train to Poggibonsi, bus to San Gimignano - on the return, take the bus back to Siena that way you pass by Colle Val d'Elsa and Monteriggioni. You'll be some parts of Chianti along the way.
day 3 - Florence (train)
day 4 - bus to Montepulciano, with maybe a stop in Pienza OR San Quirico along the way - you'll see the Val d'Orcia along the way

What do you think?? You can also consider some tours out of Siena to avoid having to worry about bus schedules - see the list here: http://www.partner.viator.com/en/8357/travel-tips/Tours-in-Siena-and-from-Siena/ttd


New member
thank you thank you thank you

Dear Loudres,

I am so so thankful for you! You have helped me fix an itinerary for my 4 nights stay in Bardesse, how cool is that?

Thanks for clarifying on Val di Chiana, Val d'Orcia and Chianti are areas. I am getting used to reading the map now.

I was going through the bus time table last night - it looks so much fun to travel by bus and I have the feeling there are so much places we could go just by bus. if we are patient and make sure we get the bus back to where we stay. now I know why you put a big OR in between Pienza and San Quirico. There is no way I can visit both on the same bus, furthermore I have like max of 1 hour if I stop by Pienza OR San Quirico.
1. How long should I spend in San Gimignano?
2. What worst can happen if we miss the last bus? do you think it is possible to walk to nearby town and use a public phone to call my b&b host?
3. Also, for visiting wineries (I know there are a bunch of info in this website too) but I want to know if it is alright to walk into wineries and maybe have a look, taste and im ok if I need to buy a bottle. (I just don't know how to finish it on my own though)
4. For day 3: do you think I can do 1/2 day in Florence and spend the other half day to explore Chianti using bus 365? as per recommended by http://www.chianti.com/moving-around-chianti/tips-getting-around-chianti.html
5. Do I pay directly to the bus captain or there is pass that I can use unlimited ride?

I may be able to have additional 1/2 days in Tuscany (depending on how my stay in Cinque Terre) before coming to Tuscany

The tours offered by Viator are so tempting though. I will stick to the bus as I love the feeling of unknown and be surprised by surprises along the way. I have the feeling that I may not want to leave Tuscany. I have to be strong as I have a ferry to catch to Croatia after! :)

Thank you thank you so much Loudres! you are amazing! and I am very excited now!



The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Very glad to be of help!! :)

I admire your adventurous spirit in taking the bus - it can be done, as long as you plan your days right with the bus schedules in hand so you're not left stranded.

One time we walked from San Quirico to Pienza and then while there is started to rain - as we went to shops to ask about buses, one lady volunteered to drive us back to San Quirico if we had missed the last bus... so you will always find kind strangers if this is ever the case. If that ever ever happens, you know you might be able to depend on the kindness of strangers but if possible, stick to ladies, since you'll be traveling solo.... Just to be on the extra safe side.

Let me answer your questions....
1. In San Gimignano, I'd spend at least 3-4 hours there, so maybe a morning?
2. If you miss the last bus, which is generally in the town, just go around the open coffee bars/gelato places to ask for info as we did above. People often will try to help somehow, even if it is to just let you use the phone to get back.... since you're in Badesse, the most important thing is to get to a train station so that you can then catch the train back there. So for example, from San Gimignano the important thing would be to get back to Poggibonsi.
3. For wineries, they often have wine shops right on the road or in the center of small towns - such as in Castellina in Chianti and Greve.... so you can have wine tastings by the glass there at the shop and you don't need to buy a whole bottle. At these shops they'll tell you how to visit the winery too, if you're interested in seeing the wine making process, the barriques, the cellars.
4. If you've never been in Florence before, I'd suggest the whole day just so that you don't feel rushed. Bus 365 almost always runs to Greve or Panzano.... so you'd have to plan to return to Florence again to head back to Badesse at the end of the day. So if you want to see Chianti, I'd start from Siena in the morning and head to Castellina. If you then want to head into Florence, from Castellina Scalo or Poggibonsi you can catch the train into Florence. I think it would be easier that way.
5. As for tickets.... they work by kilometers traveled. You should buy tickets before getting on the bus for single runs or round trip to spend less, but you can always buy them on the bus too from the driver, they just cost more.
The buses from Siena in my previous post are all run by the same company so you could buy a 6 day pass - once you figure out an itinerary, you should see km from Siena to each destination to calculate km and see whether single tickets or the pass will be better.
Here are rates: http://www.sienamobilita.it/regionale.html
If you do take the #365, that's a different company so a ticket or pass bought for the other would not be valid - here are the rates for ACV buses:

I think the Viator tour that might be the best to consider would be for wine tastings: it takes you to a winery or two you might not have been to, let's you drink without worry about meeting schedules for getting back or to the next place. But since you're adventurous, it's up to you!! :)