Purchase tickets at Sita bus station in Florence © 2013 Mikestravelguide. All rights reserved.

Florence to San Gimignano to Siena – Getting there

In preparing for our recent trip to San Gimignano we spent some time researching transportion options.  We checked various websites which gave us conflicting information, making finding detailed information difficult and often confusing.  So, with what little we obtained in hand, we questioned the locals to find out more about the best options available.  This is what we learned.

The cheapest, easiest and quickest way to get to San Gimignano is by bus, with one transfer in Poggibonsi when coming from Florence (the route from Siena to San Gimignano is direct with no transfers).  There is an option to travel by train from Florence to Poggibonsi, but since San Gimignano has no train station, the second leg of the journey (from Poggibonsi to San Gimignano) is by bus, anyway.  So, purchasing one bus ticket is much more convenient than purchasing both a train and a bus ticket.    Besides, this is Italy and time schedules are not set in stone and ticketing machines don’t always work properly.

Based on the information and tips we’ve collected, here’s our step by step for getting from Florence to San Gimignano to Siena…

Getting from Florence to San Gimignano:

Step 1:  Make your way to the SITA bus station, next to the Firenze SMN train station (see map below)


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Step 2: Purchase ticket from the Ticket Office (destination:  San Gimignano). Cost is about 7.00€ per person. Be sure to ask the ticket agent which corsia (platform) your bus departs from.

Purchase tickets at Sita bus station in Florence
Purchase tickets

Step 3: Make your way to your designated corsia/platform.

Waiting for the bus at the Sita bus station in Florence
Waiting for the bus

Step 4: Validate your bus ticket using the yellow machines located on the columns near the platforms (usually directly below the information board).

Step 5:  Store your luggage;  you may have to ask the bus driver to open the storage compartment below the bus.

Step 6:  Board the bus, take a seat and enjoy the ride.  Trip takes ~50 minutes from Florence to Poggibonsi.

On the bus to Poggibonsi
On the bus to Poggibonsi

Step 7:  In Poggibonsi, the bus stops at the train station where you’ll exit the bus and claim your luggage from the storage compartment.

Bus at Poggibonsi
Bus at Poggibonsi

Step 8:  Check the arrivals/departures information board for your departure time and area.  Your bus should be #130 to San Gimignano.  Note:  there is a separate bus #130 going to Siena (THIS IS NOT YOUR BUS).  When bus #130 arrives, be sure to ask the driver if this bus is going to San Gimignano.  Wait time in Poggibonsi is ~15 minutes.

That said, there may be other buses (#133, for instance) servicing the route to San Gimignano, so it’s wise to double check at the ticket counter to get the correct bus number, verify it on the information board and confirm this with the bus driver.

Poggibonsi train station and bus stop

Poggibonsi train station and bus stop

Step 9:  Once you’ve located your bus, store your bags in the luggage compartment.  Note:  the driver at this station will not automatically open the luggage compartment, so you will have to open it yourself or carry your bags onto the bus.

Step 10:  Board the bus to San Gimignano, take a seat and enjoy the ride.  Trip takes ~25 minutes from Poggibonsi to San Gimignano.

Arriving in San Gimignano, the bus stops right outside of the main city gate, Porta San Giovanni.  Total travel time from Florence to San Gimignano is ~90 minutes.

San Gimignano bus stop arrival from Poggibonsi
San Gimignano bus stop arrival from Poggibonsi

Getting from San Gimignano to Siena:

Step 1:  Purchase your bus ticket (destination:  Siena) from the Tourist Information office* or one of the designated ticketing locations in San Gimignano**.  Cost is 6.00€ per person.  Consider purchasing your ticket at least a day in advance of your departure, since the TI and ticketing locations have limited tickets available.

TI office in San Gimignano
TI office in San Gimignano

Step 2:  On the day of your departure, you’ll want to be at the bus stop at least 10 minutes prior to time of departure.  The official bus stop is located just across the street from the main city gate (Porta San Giovanni).

San Gimignano bus stop departure to Siena
Bus stop to Siena

Step 3:  Find bus #130 to Siena.  Note:  the bus arriving from Siena is usually the same bus departing for Siena.  At the time of our visit, the arriving bus from Siena stopped at the ‘drop off’ point at the city gate, and remained there until about 5 minutes after scheduled departure time, then drove a few meters to the bus stop where additional passengers boarded the bus.  Since we spotted him near the main gate and asked the driver if this bus was going to Siena, we were able to board early and sit in a shady spot to wait until departure.

San Gimignano unofficial bus stop departure to Siena
Unofficial bus stop to Siena

Step 4:  Store your bags in the luggage compartment.  Note:  the driver at this stop will not automatically open the luggage compartment, so you will have to open it yourself or carry your bags onto the bus.

Step 5:  Board the bus, validate your ticket, take a seat and enjoy the ride.  Trip takes ~65 minutes.

Step 6:  Once you arrive in Siena, remain on the bus until it makes its final stop at Piazza Gramsci, the main bus stop. Note:  This stop is not part of the Siena train station. The train station is located just north of the city at Piazza Fretelli Rosselli.

 


View Larger Map

Travel Tips:

More information on ticket purchase locations, fares and schedules (in Italian) visit the Siena Mobilita regional bus website

*San Gimignano Tourist Information office is located in Piazza della Duoma next door to the Palazzo Comunale & Torre Grossa.

**Tickets can also be purchased from a number of ticketing locations, including:

Bar il Piccino – Via San Matteo 91

Idea Libro – Via Baccanella

Società Bar Combattenti (Bar 900) – Via San Giovanni 124

Tabaccheria Poli – Via San Giovanni 59

(check the Siena Mobilita website for updated locations and opening times).

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Siena icon

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10 Comments

  1. Nave

    Hi, thanks for your effort, I found this guide quite useful when I made the trip from Florence to San Gimignano. Just wanted to add one point – the bus from Poggibonsi may not necessarily be #130, as I took the #133 instead. Best to check the information board outside the station, and then to confirm with the driver when it arrives.

    • Mikestravelguide

      We appreciate the additional information on the bus lines and we’re glad our site was of some use to you in planning your trip. Thanks for stopping by. We hope you enjoyed your travels through Italy :-)

  2. DENISA

    Congratulations!
    This a genuine American site, I shared the same confusion on incomprehensible and contradictory informations found in other searches about Tuscany.
    I’ll follow your useful instructions on this journey, thank you once again!

  3. Sergio

    Your information was the best I found online, thank you very much, your experience in Italy save many people’s time. It was clear base in the reality here,
    regards,
    Sergio

    • Mikestravelguide

      Thanks Sergio, for checking out our website.
      I am glad that our info was helpful.
      Mike

  4. Fiona

    Hi there – Am making the trip from Rome to San Gimi soon, and was planning to buy my train ticket from Rome to Florence online ahead of time (to be sure we get the train time and seating level we prefer). Do the buses to Poggi/Gimi run often enough from Florence that we’d be OK to still do this? Thanks for your advice.

    • Mikestravelguide

      Hi Fiona,
      There are multiple busses running every day, but this is Italy. Sometimes things do not work as we expect them to work!
      You can find the bus schedule here: http://www.tiemmespa.it/index.php
      First select Firenze to Poggibonsi with the date and time.
      Then select Poggibonsi to San Gimignana with the date and time.
      NOTE: if you choose to purchase your train tickets online buy them from: http://www.trenitalia.com/trenitalia.html
      This is the official website from the Italian rail system, not a third party (that will charge you extra).
      Have Fun,
      Mike

  5. Deb

    Thank goodness I found your site! I’ve been staying in Rome for a few weeks and wanted to stay in Tuscany for a while to enjoy some peace and quiet in a small town. I was about to give up since I couldn’t find consistent information on getting there. And then, I discovered your page. I can’t thank you enough for making the journey easy with the explanations and pictures. All the best!

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