By Train -- Some 19 trains daily connect Siena with Florence (usually 90 min.), via Empoli. Siena’s train station is at Piazza Roselli, about 3km (1[bf]3/4 miles) north of town. Take the no. 9 or 10 bus to Piazza Gramsci (buy your ticket at the newsstand in the station; bus stops are poorly marked, but you do not want the one right out front; instead, cross the street, go into the big brick shopping center, and take the escalator down to the underground bus stop; be sure to say “Gramsci” when you board, or you can end up in a far flung outlying district). You can also take a series of escalators up to town from the shopping center—these too are poorly marked, but as long as you’re going up you’re moving in the right direction.
By Bus -- Buses are faster and let you off right in town: TRA-IN and SITA (www.sitabus.it) codeshare express (corse rapide; around 25 daily; 75 min.) and slower buses (corse ordinarie; 14 daily; 95 min.) from Florence’s main bus station to Siena’s Piazza Gramsci. Siena is also connected with San Gimignano (at least hourly Mon–Sat; 10 direct, the rest change in Poggibonsi; 65–80 min. not including layover), Perugia (two to four daily; 90 min.), and Rome’s Tiburtina station (five to nine daily; 3 hr.).
By Car -- There’s a fast road direct from Florence (it has no route number; follow the green signs toward Siena), or take the more scenic route, down the Chiantigiana SS222. From Rome get off the A1 north at the Val di Chiana exit and follow the SS326 west for 50km (31 miles). From Pisa take the highway toward Florence and exit onto the SS429 south just before Empoli (100km/62 miles total). The easiest way into the center is from the Siena Ovest highway exit.
Siena parking (www.sienaparcheggi.com; (tel) 0577-228-711) is in well-signposted lots outside the city gates. An especially handy lot is Santa Caterina, from which escalators whisk you up to town. Most charge between .50€ and 1.60€ per hour. Many hotels have discount arrangements with lots; around 15€ per day is standard.
Visitor Information -- The tourist office, where you can get a fairly useless free map or pay .50€ for a detailed one, is at Piazza del Campo 56 (www.terresiena.it; (tel) 0577-280-551). It’s open Monday to Saturday 9am to 7pm (10am–5pm Nov–Mar), Sunday 10am to 1pm.
Festivals & Markets -- Aside from the two annual Palio races, Siena throws a pottery fair in honor of the Festa di Santa Lucia on December 13. The prestigious Accademia Musicale Chigiana music center, Via di Città 89 (tel. 0577-22-091; www.chigiana.it), sponsors concerts and opera year-round (the website has a schedule), culminating in the week of the Settimana Musicale Senese in July. St. Cecilia is celebrated on November 22 with church concerts. The extensive main city market is held Wednesday from 8am to 1pm, filling the streets around La Lizza.