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Ottobre 2006

Public transports: private troubles

saturniaOn one hand it is unquestionable that Italian public transports have not a good reputation, but on the other hand it is true that they cannot be considered too expensive. The city bus fares in Florence for example do not cost too much:
• Ticket valid for 70 minutes. Price: € 1,20
• Ticket valid for 24 hours Price: € 5
• Ticket valid for 3 days Price: € 12
• Ordinary monthly pass valid for all the lines: Price 34,00 €
The only problem is that buses in Florence as in any other city are extremely slow, packed and sometimes dangerous, since they are quite popular among pickpokets, who consider them an excellent place to get trained or “earn their living”.
Local trains (treni regionali) are also quite inexpensive:a one-day return ticket Florence-Pisa costs no more than 12 Euro. It is true that trains are often late and on average once a month on strike, coaches are rather dirty and crowded, but this is the actual price you have to pay for travelling with Trenitalia.
Eurostar trains on the contrary are not very cheap. A one-day return ticket Florence-Rome is approximately 60 Euro, but seats are comfortable and tidy, there is always a bar and restaurant on the train, which is normally on time, maybe 10 -15 minutes late, but this in Italy means on time. Beware of pickpockets on this trains too, especially when the train calls at a station and the doors open!
You can also reach some towns or villages by bus coach. In Tuscany there are several companies operating in different parts of the regions. For example if from florence you wish to go to Siena, you will have to take the Sita coaches. One return ticket costs about 12 Euro. The main problem is that these buses are frequently very crowded and on Sundays just disappear like vampires after sunrise. That is why we strongly suggest you take a coach from Monday to Saturday. Also doublecheck the timetables, which are usually not very clear on the boards, and do not forget that the company staff (busdrivers included) are not famous for being very precise in providing with updated information.
Finally, do not forget that you will be forced to rent a car if you wish to visit some of the most delightful places and towns of Tuscany, such as Volterra, the Saturnia Spa (on the picture), the Chianti region and many other sites and areas.

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