Travel informations

Map of Volterra

Driving directions

Links

Weather forecasts for Tuscany
http://www.lamma.rete.toscana.it


Italian white pages
http://www.paginebianche.it


Currency exchange
http://www.xe.com


Temperature conversion
http://www.onlineconversion.com/temperature.htm


Trains
http://www.trenitalia.com


How to reach Volterra by Bus.

The CPT bus company runs buses from Cecina, Pontedera and Colle Val d’Elsa to Volterra. If you are arriving from Florence or Siena you can take a bus run by the SITA company to Colle Val d’Elsa and then catch the CPT bus; similarly, if arriving from Pisa (town center or airport) you can take the train (see above) to Pontedera, and then catch the CPT bus to Volterra. The schedules can change every few months so please be sure to recheck the schedule a week or so before your planned trip.
The websites with the bus schedules are only in Italian, so the following small glossary may prove useful.

Feriale or FR = Work-day (Mon – Sat)
Festivo or FS = Sundays and public holidays
Da Lunedì a Venerdì = From Monday to Friday

SITA

SITA runs buses between Siena and Florence that stop in Colle Val d’Elsa, where you can get off to change buses and catch the CPT bus to Volterra or San Gimignano. Siena-Florence buses (round trip)
http://www.sitabus.it/sita-toscana/Firenze - Siena.pdf

CPT

From Colle Val d’Elsa to Volterra (round trip)
http://www.cpt.pisa.it/orari/extra/linea770.htm
http://www.cpt.pisa.it/orari/extra/linea863.htm

From Pontedera to Volterra (round trip)
http://www.cpt.pisa.it/orari/extra/linea500.htm

From Cecina to Volterra (round trip)
http://www.cpt.pisa.it/orari/extra/linea865.htm


CELLULAR PHONES IN ITALY (and the rest of Europe)

Many of the newer and pricier U.S phones have international capabilities. Therefore, as long as you confirm with your carrier, and sometimes pay an access fee, you can “roam” internationally including in Italy.
If you think that your US-issued phone will not work in Italy and you want to explore other options, look at this website:
http://www.cellularabroad.com/


CASH & TRAVELER’S CHECKS

Various tourists have reported having trouble changing travelers checks in Italy and it seems most banks apply hefty commissions, even on checks denominated in euros. Almost no stores accept traveler’s checks anymore, and so to change them into cash you must go to a bank and present them with your checks, together with your passport. Some banks still refuse to change traveler’s checks, but most banks simply refuse to change more than 1 or 2 checks per customer per day, in part because traveler’s checks are the most frequently counterfeited currency! We highly advise against using traveler’s checks.

The best and least expensive way to get cash in Tuscany (Italy) is by “credit card cash advance”, a procedure that you can do in most large banks at a teller (you must show them your passport as well). The fastest and easiest way to get cash is of course to use an ATM machine (called “bancomat” in Italy). In any case, before your departure, call your bank and ask about the limitations of your credit card and/or debit card in foreign countries. Some credit cards may be blocked for “suspicious activities” after “abnormal use” in foreign countries (i.e. spending more than you usually do in any given country); you can unblock your card by contacting your bank, but make sure you have a direct telephone number to your bank with you so you can do this if necessary (you CANNOT call American and British toll-free numbers from Italy, so before departure make sure you have a regular – non toll-free- number in case of emergencies).


ABOUT CRIME

Italy is remarkably, and surprisingly, crime-free, especially compared to the US. You are unlikely to be the victim of a crime of violence for instance, but what crime there is tends to be of the pickpocket variety, and leaving your bag unattended on a table or train seat is, well, sort of asking for it. Keep your cash, passport and credit cards in separate pockets, so if you lose one you don’t lose all.