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Tips for getting around Italy

Published Oct. 4, 2005

Question: If I were to fly from New York City to Milan, how would I get from there to Siena, by train or bus? And are there any chauffeur services that could make the trip?

A. The most convenient way of getting from Milan to Siena is to take a train to Florence and then board a bus to Siena, which is easier than it sounds as the bus depot is in front of the train station in Florence. Trains also run from Florence to Siena but many require a change in Empoli.

Chauffeured cars are available but you would have to be prepared to pay at least $300 one way.

The following train choices start out from Milan in the morning, but there are other departures in the afternoon and early evening. Call the railroad station in Florence at (39 55) 288785 for further information (precede the 55 with a zero if calling from Italy). The schedule will be in effect until Sept. 23.

The earliest departure is from Lambrate Station at 6:03 a.m., arriving in Florence at 9:23. However, Intercity trains leave from Milan's Central Station at 8 a.m., arriving at 11:02, and at 9 a.m., arriving at noon. Buses to Central Station leave from Malpensa airport every half hour until 3:30 p.m., when the service becomes hourly. The trip takes an hour.

If you decide to complete the journey by train, there are departures from Florence for Siena at 10:05 a.m., arriving at 11:45; at 11:20 a.m., arriving at 1:05 p.m., and at 12:35 p.m., arriving at 2:22 p.m. There are later departures, too. A second-class ticket costs $21 one way, calculated at 1,553 lire to the dollar, plus $9 for a supplement on the Milan-to-Florence run.

The Tra-In consortium (Trasporti Intercomunali) operates a number of buses that run from Florence to Siena and back. The trip takes 1 hour and 15 minutes and costs $6.30 one way. Buses leave Florence at 10:10 and 11:20 A.M., noon, 12:45 and 1:30 p.m. Call (39 577) 204111 in Siena for further information.

If you want to come back to Milan from Siena on the same day or even at a later date, buses leave Siena for Florence at 5, 5:35, 6:05, 6:45, 7:10 and 8:15 p.m.

Trains leave Siena for Florence at 6:38 p.m., arriving at 8 p.m.; at 7:58 p.m., arriving at 9:35, and at 9:22 p.m., arriving at 10:42.

Intercity trains leave Florence for Central Station at 7:08 p.m., arriving at 10 p.m., and at 7:45 p.m., arriving at the Porta Garibaldi station in Milan at 11:08. There is also an express train (no supplement necessary) that leaves Florence at 8:43 p.m., arriving in Lambrate at 12:04 a.m.

ATM's available

all over world

Q. Are Cirrus ATM's readily available in London? Perhaps you could print a list of those countries where Cirrus can be found.

A. The MasterCard Cirrus network has more than 200,800 ATM's in 68 countries and territories. Besides the United States and Canada, Cirrus is to be found throughout Europe, the Middle East, parts of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and the Asia-Pacific region.

The European listings (22 countries in all) include Croatia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Malta. Latin America runs the gamut from Argentina to Venezuela, and the Middle East includes Bahrain, Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

When it comes to Britain, the listings occupy more than 50 pages in the current densely typeset directory of ATM sites. London alone takes up more than three pages, even given at least one small case of duplication (the west London district of Paddington gets its own heading as well as being included in the general London list).

Some 500 ATM's are listed throughout the city.

If you want to copy down a few addresses from the "ATM Location Directory" before you leave you will have to visit your Cirrus-linked local bank and ask to see the listings. Cirrus says every financial institution it deals with has at least one copy. Make sure it's the current edition, covering the second quarter to fourth quarter of 1995.

Alternatively, if you have access to a computer linked to the World Wide Web on the Internet you can find ATM locations in major cities worldwide on MasterCard's home page. By the end of the year, Cirrus says, all locations will be available on the Web.

The Internet address is

Park vacation

offers much

Q. Can you help us with obtaining as much travel information as you have for Acadia National Park in Maine? We would like to spend our vacation there this summer.

A. Acadia National Park, 47 miles southeast of Bangor, Me., on State Route 3, encompasses part of Maine's coast, its coastal mountains and its offshore islands.

The park offers 120 miles of trails and 57 miles of carriage roads, a network of woodland roads that are open only to hikers, bicyclists and horses.

Other facilities include boat cruises, museums on the mainland and on Cranberry Island, beaches, campfire programs, audiovisual and interpretive programs, a cassette tape tour and picnic areas.

Most of the park is open all year and the Visitor Center is open from May 1 to Oct. 31. Its spring and fall hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; summer hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A $5 vehicle entrance fee is collected from May 1 to Nov. 1. Boat cruise fares are $10 to $14 and $7 to $9 for children under 12. All vehicles except electric wheelchairs are restricted to designated roads. Two campgrounds are available at the park. Reservations are required at Blackwoods Campground from June 15 to Sept. 15. Call Mistix at (800) 365-2267.

More information: Superintendent, Acadia National Park, Post Office Box 177, Bar Harbor, ME 04609.