Vacation rentals in Italy (villas, farms, estates, agriturismo, apartments)
Parking in Siena
Siena is a walled city with some modern sprawl mainly to the west. The train station is outside the city walls on the north side. The last time we approached from the south, we saw big parking lots with shuttle buses. Of course, we drove right by because we know Siena and could find a closer spot. Big mistake; we drove for another half hour, not finding anywhere to park, finally settled on a spot on the street and had to walk for 20 minutes just to get to the city walls. I have to admit that I was driving (Pauline) and was kind of freaked by all the traffic, otherwise we might have managed better.
www.turismoverde.com/italia/info/parking.htm: This web site is in Italian but tells you all about the parking lots around Siena (Steve from NY found this link).
Approaching from the West
If you are driving in from the Sovicille area, just follow the signs to Porta San Marco. There is a good parking lot just inside the city walls. Drive right in the city walls and turn left (the only way you can turn). The lot is a covered mult-storey lot on your right. The attendant presses the button for the automatic dispenser and give you your ticket. To leave this parking lot, you have to drive through part of Siena on the one way streets to get back to Porta San Marco, but it is well marked.
There is a large outdoor parking lot at Fortress (on the western side of the city). I think this area is also called La Lizza. The one time we parked here, it was very complicated leaving. You had to put your ticket the exact right way into the machine.
Approaching from Pianella in the North
The northern outskirts of Siena is the Bermuda Triangle of Italy for us. One time we drove in a complete circle (about a 20 minute drive) three times before we found our way. There are a few different ways you can approach Siena from the north. These directions are for coming from the north, from Gaiole or Pianella on highway 408, to Siena.
Take highway 408 to Siena. When you are just outside Siena, you go under the railway tracks. At the roundabout, take 3:00 (a right turn) in the direction of centro or Porta Ovile. At the next roundabout, take about 8:00, the road that goes up the hill (a left turn). Follow this road until you see Porta Ovile. You cannot go in through the porta, but take a right just before the porta. Follow this road to the first set of lights. Take a left and then an immediate left at the next set of lights. These are close together and are really like a hairpin switchback. Follow the signs to P P. Ovile - the P has a cap on it indicating covered parking. Basically you go straight. (Turning left at the big intersection takes you on the road to the Fortress, where there is also a parking lot.) You pass Hotel Minerva on your left. After the hotel take a left (there is a sign) and follow this road to the parking garage on your right. When you leave the parking garage you continue on this road which puts you out through the Porta Ovile.
An even better parking lot at Porta Ovile
Rachel and Joe from TN sent these directions to an even better parking lot. Follow the directions about to get to the road to Porta Ovile, but instead of turning right just before the gate, turn left.
"If you turn left just before entering the Porta Ovile (from outside the city walls, facing the gate) and go about 200 meters, you will come to a new two-story parking garage called the San Francesca garage, on the left of Via Peruzzi. Park there and walk back toward the Porta Ovile. Before you get there (just across the street from a gas station, if I remember correctly) there is a new building which houses an information booth. It also serves as the bottom end of the escalator which comes out right next to San Francesco. You still have to walk up some to get to the main part of the city, but the escalator takes care of most of the climb. There is also a very clean public restroom at the bottom of the escalator."
How to get from the Raccordo to highway 408 to Pianella
You need these directions if you are staying in the Pianella or Gaiole area and are returning home on the Raccordo, but want to bypass Siena. From the Raccordo exit at Siena Nord, you follow signs to "centro" and " stazione" and then to " Arezzo" and then you see a sign for Pianella.
But here are a few more details: Exit the freeway and take a long road to a busy roundabout. Take the 2:00 turn for centro and stazione (the train station). Keep on this road, passing the Villa Patrizia on your left. At the second traffic light turn left. Go down the hill. At the roundabout, take 9:00 (equal to a left turn) which takes you on a bridge over the train tracks. After the small bridge, at the roundabout, take 3:00 (equal to a right turn) for a road which follows behind the train station (it is on your right). At the next roundabout, take 3:00 (equal to a right turn) to go on a small bridge going back over the train tracks. Take a sharp left following signs to Arezzo. Go along this road to the next roundabout, which is the one you come to when coming out of Siena from Porta Ovile, and go straight. At the last roundabout, take 9:00 (equal to a left turn) to go under the train tracks. This turn is signed for Pianella and this is the road back.
You can probably guess that it took us many tries to figure this one out!
Parking on the South Side of Siena
This suggestion is from Bob from FL who was approaching Siena on the Raccordo coming from Poggibonsi (to the north). "Just a Siena parking note ... going south on the motorway from Poggibonsi, take the south exit, marked Porta Tufi, then follow the parking signs to " P" Il Campo. Takes you right to a huge parking garage, always plenty of room and a 5 minute walk to the center. Just as easy leaving the city as well."
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