Train from Paris to Italy

How to get to Siena from Paris 

What fascinates me about Europe is the possibility of seeing another country just by taking the train.  Every direction can lead you to different lands.  For the first part of this trip, we enjoyed the bustling city lights and chaos of Paris.  This time around, we're heading to the mountains and wineries of Italy. 

Italy has always been on my list.  I've always dreamed of studying art in Florence.  I imagined myself painting alongside the city's bridges, or driving on the town's beach outskirts, or sitting on top of a hill with my paintbrushes and a glass of wine... 
Let's go!

Wednesday, October 16 

Address: 45 Rue du Docteur Babinski 18th arr. 75018 Paris France 

5 days, 4 nights: 275 euros (2 pax)

Traveling from Paris (Ibis Hotel) to Siena starting at the Gare de Lyon Train Station 

My husband and I along with a close friend of mine made up our travel group for this trip.  We took Uber for all our activities in Paris as it saved us considerable travel time around the city.  Every minute counted!  We divided the cost of each ride between the three of us. Uber rides: 15-25 euros

We booked with Rail EuropeTrain fare: 60 USD (per person)

Gare de Lyon Train Station
Address: Paris Gare de Lyon, Place Louis-Armand, 75571 Paris, France

They don't post the train platforms ahead of time for some reason, so always double-check the monitors 20-30 minutes before your scheduled ride.  Triple check your platform, coach number, and seat numbers.  Food is allowed inside the train; you can buy sandwiches here at Gare de Lyon station, or bring better (cheaper) snacks outside before heading to the train station.

4 train rides:
#1 - Paris to Florence
October 16 @ 07:15 PM - 06:00 AM from GARE DE LYON to MILANO CENTRALE 

#2 - Florence to Siena
October 17 @ 06:50 AM - 10:13 AM from MILANO CENTRALE to FIRENZE RIFRED

#3 - Florence to Siena (two trains)
October 17 @ 11:34 AM - 11:56 AM from FIRENZE RIFRED to EMPOLI 

# 4 - Then 12:08 PM - 01:14 PM from EMPOLI to SIENA

There are direct trains from Florence to Siena.  However, we wanted to get to Siena as early as possible so we would still have ample time to roam around in the afternoon. Taking the night train was cheaper and, most importantly, it saved time.

Reminder: Make sure to wash your face and brush your teeth at Gare de Lyon Train Station.  Why?  Because there's no water onboard the train except for flushing!  Good thing there is complimentary bottled water along with sealed linens and blankets. 

There was a train disruption before we got to Milan, causing us to miss our connecting train.  An officer gave us this letter and a free metro pass ride so we could find our transfer to the train terminal station once we arrived in Milan.  We didn't have enough information for the transfer and the officer said he does not speak English — or maybe does not want to speak English for some reason.

We missed our train, we don't have train tickets, and we don't know where to go!  Now what?!

Nobody told us to find the office of Trenitalia in the terminal station.  It was our own initiative to look for an office just to make sure we got on the right train.  Thankfully we did the right thing.  The ticket representative was confused at first despite showing the train officer's letter.  It took them a while to figure out what to do, but they decided to give us a business class train ride from Milan to Florence and a direct train ride from Florence to Siena!

When we reached Florence, the connecting train's boarding time was so close that we didn't even have time to buy lunch. We rushed to find the right platform.  I was tired and hungry.

On the brighter side, we got to ride business class, served with a complimentary tiny cup of coffee, a bottle of water, and a biscuit.  I was able to charge my phone and catch up on my book too.  Mind you, even the business class wagon still does not have water to wash your hands.  And then, finally...

Touchdown!  Siena, Italy!

There are a series of escalators from the Siena Train Station that goes all the way to Porta Camollia. 

Inside the Siena Train Station was a mall.  We quickly browsed its food court, looking for what would give us the largest meal portion.  After some quick deliberation, our stomachs settled on a Japanese buffet restaurant called "Sushiko." They serve lunch and dinner at a very affordable price. I know Italy and Sushi don't really rhyme but all-you-can-eat was irresistible for our hollowed pits.  Besides, the word "Sushi-taly" sounds good to me.  And wow, did it taste good too.  This delicious place is located in Galleria PortaSiena.

From Porta Camollia you can take a cab to the hotel or by BUS at Piazzale Rosselli Bus Stop which is 2 minutes away by walking. Take note: there are no UBER rides in Siena.

We were brave enough to walk all the way to our hotel with our luggage. 

The first thing that caught my eye outside the train station was this beautiful, gigantic ice cream cone... which is a trash bin, actually!  I'm one of those crazy tourists who take pictures of usual things that locals wouldn't even look twice at.

Siena, Italy Itinerary
October 17 - 20
3 Days in Siena, Central Italy 1 Day BUS ride to Amalfi Coast

Thursday, October 17
Address: Strada Scacciapensieri 47, 53100 Siena, Italy
4 days, 3 nights 230 euros (3 pax)

We love Camping Siena Colleverde for the unique accommodation, good location, and for the friendly staff who made our stay in Siena productive and memorable.

I wanted something different for our Italy trip.  Camping Siena Colleverde is a well-known place in Siena where you get to experience nature in a comfortable way. 

The trailer house we booked has two rooms, two bathrooms, a small kitchen, and a dining room.  We ditched the usual hotels and motels to experience something new. 

There's a restaurant and a convenient store within the compound.  They sell wine too!  If you didn't walk there like we did, it's less than 15 minutes away by cab/taxi from Piazza del Campo.  The receptionist and staff are very friendly.  You can ask them to call the cab for you.

Cab fares: 10 euros - 15 euros

Live Italian Opera at Piazza La Lizza 1

We ended the night with a local Italian Opera.  We just couldn't say "no," especially in Tuscany-Siena, one of Italy's medieval towns.

Have fun and be safe ^__^

Itinerary Reminders:

1. Flight Details
Make sure to write down your booking reference number, be at the airport two hours before your flight, and allocate time for your travel to the airport.

2. Accommodation Details
Write down your hotel/motel/resort/BnB booking number. Contact your place to inform them around when you'll be arriving — it really does help.  Also, ask if your accommodation has any discounted activities.  You'd be surprised!

3a. Transportation
List possible times your bus/train/boat arrives and leaves so you don't miss an activity.  Always give yourself an extra 30-45 minutes in case you get lost, get stuck in traffic, or are looking for parking.  Better early than late.  Of utmost importance: check for the last trip and fares!  So you still have time and money to get back.

3b. Car Rentals
Take note of your pick-up address and time allotted.  Our last car rental told us to bring the car back by a certain time with a certain amount of gas.  Allot money for fuel and parking.

4. Budgeting
Set aside a minimum and maximum spending amount for meals, transportation, entrance fees, activities, souvenirs, and emergencies.  3 meals a day + snacks add up quickly, so keep track!  As well as tips for restaurants and activities.

5. Activities
Call to confirm your booking(s) a day or so beforehand.  Set alarms and/or calendar reminders for things you plan to do (i.e- bungee-jumping, river-rafting, or even city/food tours).

Do you want more information about our European adventure?
Check out Travelling to Europe for 2 weeks: Art Class in Paris, France then getting on a Hot air balloon ride at Siena, Italy, and relaxing by the beach at Amalfi, Coast with a side trip to Rome, Italy before flying back home.

Where am I going next?

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