The Palio concludes our program. It takes place on August 16—this year on a Wednesday. In case of rain it is postponed until the following day, so we will stay in Siena also that day and check out on August 18, Friday.
Siena does not have an airport, so it will take some time for you to get to airport Leonardo da Vinci in Rome or even to the closer airports Amerigo Vespucci in Florence or Galileo Galilei in Pisa. Please allow for possible delays and keep in mind that you’ll need to arrive at the airport at least two hours in advance of your departure time.
Check the possibility of boarding your return flight in Florence’s Vespucci airport (one and a half hours to get there from Siena). First go to Firenze Santa Maria Novella by bus or train; then take the “navetta aeroporto” to the airport. Please note that the airport closes from 12:30 AM to 4:00 AM, so you cannot arrive the evening before and spend the night there.
In order to get to the other regional airport, Pisa’s Galileo Galilei airport, take a train to Pisa and then the bus to the airport. It takes approximately two hours to get from Siena station to the airport. The earliest train allows you to arrive at the airport by 7:00 AM.
If your return flight leaves from Rome Fiumicino in the late morning or afternoon, the best option is the Tiemme bus that leaves Siena at 6:15 AM and arrives at the airport around 9:30. Please take into account possible delays. You might also consider traveling with other students on a taxi or minivan.
If your return flight leaves from Milan in the late afternoon (after 3:00pm), you might be able to get a very early bus or train from Siena to Firenze Santa Maria Novella (it will take approximately one hour and forty minutes to get there), and then a high-speed train to Milano Centrale (approximately two hours). At least one hour more will then be necessary to get to Malpensa airport (Linate airport is closer to the city).
If your flight leaves in the morning or early afternoon from Milan or Rome, it is advisable to leave from Siena the day before your departure and spend the night in a hotel in Milan or Rome. If you leave from Rome you may decide to spend a couple of nights there and visit the city.
Another possibility is to take a taxi or minibus directly from Siena to the airport in Milan, Rome, Pisa, or Florence. The cost is lower if more passengers share the same ride. CityAirportTaxis and Shuttledirect are just two of the several companies that provide this service.
If you decide to take a Trenitalia train or an Italo train to get to Milan or Rome, consider booking your seat and purchasing the ticket well in advance to take advantage of economy fares. In that case, purchase only the Freccia or Italo ticket from Firenze Santa Maria Novella to Milano Centrale or Roma Termini. Do not include in your itinerary the trip from Siena to Florence at this time; regional tickets do not have economy fares and the system may charge you a full price for the entire journey. In any case, traveling on regional trains is very cheap and advance reservation is not needed (and often not possible).