We would like to leave Lake Como and travel to Siena via the quickest transportation possible. It looks like the train doesn't leave until afternoon and we would like to spend most of that day in Siena. We can leave lake como early at any time.
Where in Lake Como are you wanting to travel from?
Cheryl, if you are coming from Varenna-Esino, you will be taking a Regionale train to Milan. Then, a fast train from Milan to Florence. Finally, another Regionale train to Siena. Or, once in Florence, you can walk about 800' to the bus station and take the bus to Siena. If you are in Como, same instructions only the train from Como to Milan is a faster train. Overall, you are looking at a minimum train journey time of 5.0hrs and two train changes. You can see what I see on www.trenitalia.com
cheryl, I have the same question as the others - where on Lago di Como are you travelling from? The transportation suggestions will vary depending on your answer.
Varenna....I was hoping there was a bus much quicker than the train
The train between Milan and Florence (200 miles apart) travels at over 300 km/h (180 mph). How could a bus be faster than the train? Those kind of fast buses are available only here in the US: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNixDlRoMvA
cheryl, To begin with, where are you getting your rail information from? There are numerous trains from Varenna running from about 05:26, so you should have no trouble finding a morning train. One option to consider on that route is a train departing Varenna-Esino at 08:37, arriving Firenze SMN at 11:55 (time 3H:18M, one change at Milano Centrale). The first leg from Varenna is via Regionale, so DON'T forget to validate! When you arrive in Florence, walk the short distance to the Bus station and buy tickets on the next Bus to Siena. It may be a Corse Rapide (express) Bus or a Corse Ordinarie Bus. Travel time will be 1.5 hours or so. DON'T forget to validate your tickets prior to boarding the Bus! The Bus stop in Siena is in Piazza Gramsci, which is in the main part of town. If you'd prefer to travel only be train, start with the same departure from Varenna at 08:37 and connect in Florence for the final leg to Siena, which arrives at 13:38. Total travel time for that trip is 5H:01M (also a good option). When arriving by train, you'll have to take a Taxi up from the station up to the town. Happy travels!
cheryl, you aren't looking at RailEurope for train times are you? If so, stop now. Use Trenitalia for the timetables for the trains from Varenna-Esino to Milano C. You can't see prices on Regionale trains more than 7 days out. Just use the same day next week. Leave Varenna-Esino (get your ticket the day before because I think the little station up the hill is unmanned) at 5:26, arrive Milano Centrale at 6:40. Take the 7:15 Frecciarossa to Napoli and go just 2 stops to Firenze, stopping only in Bologna. Buy this ticket as far in advance as you can because the cheapest tickets often sell out soon after release. Arrive Firenze SMN at 8:55. EDIT: after being questioned in a PM, to clarify, the train goes to Napoli, you need to go just 2 stops on it, as far as Firenze. Take the bus as Ken suggests, or the first available train from Florence to Siena is at 9:10, making 6 stops along the way (the last intermediate one is at Poggibonsi-SG for San Gimignano) and the last stop is Siena at 10:38. That's a Regionale train, too. So get the ticket when you get the ticket from Varenna or get it from a machine in Florence between trains. Be sure to validate the two regionale tickets; the Freccia from Milano to Firenze will be for a specific seat on a specific train and is not valid on any other so doesn't need validating.