How to Use Buses in Italy: Everything Tourists & New Expats Must Know

How to Use Buses in Italy: Everything Tourists & New Expats Must Know

Planning a budget-friendly trip across Italy? Or are you a new expat in Italy trying to get around? Buses may be the right mode of transportation for you. But, like traveling or living in any new country, understanding all the ins and outs of how buses in Italy work is overwhelming. So, as a seasoned Italy-traveler and now as a local, I’m sharing everything you must know about getting around by bus in Italy.

There’s one other thing to note about this guide: Italians like to do things in their own way.

So, while I am going to cover everything you need to know about buses in Italy, you should also know that details will vary from city to city and region to region.

The majority of what I mention should apply everywhere, and I will reference specific cases where they don’t. I recommend taking in all this info, heading to the official bus company website in the area you plan to travel or move to, and take note of what particular differences they might operate with.

If you have questions about a specific bus company, city, or region, write them in a comment so I can give you a detailed and relevant answer!

For now, I will do my best to comprehensively cover Italy’s bus systems.

Some of these links are affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase through that link, I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read my full disclosure!

Buses are not the most common transportation choice of tourists (traveling by train in Italy is much more popular), so if you are reading this post to prepare for an upcoming trip, you’ll want to note these Italian words you may see. As a new expat, they’ll help you navigate the bus system the first few times.

Don’t worry too much though! You will find most labels and signs have an English translation, but this list will also be helpful if you have to ask for directions and information, or while buying your ticket.

  • Autobus or Pullman – Bus
  • Stazione degli autobus – Bus station
  • Linea – Bus line/route
  • Orari – Bus schedule
  • Posto – Seat
  • Abbonamento – Bus pass (mensile = monthly, annuale = yearly)
  • Biglietto – Ticket
  • Zona – Zone
    • This refers to the routes buses take. How many zones your route travels through affects your ticket. In essence, if you have to travel longer through more zones, the ticket costs more. This usually applies to city bus routes (but not all cities, so check with the city you will be traveling in or moving to!)
  • Corsa/Corse – Ride
    • When you buy your ticket, you may want to buy more than one at a time. For example, you can ask for “un biglietto 3 zone, 10 corse”. This means your route covers three zones and that you are buying a ticket that is valid for 10 rides.
  • Timbrare il biglietto – Validate your ticket
    • This is an important phrase to know when planning to take any public transportation in Italy. Scroll to the section “on the bus” to know exactly how to validate your ticket to avoid a fine.
  • Fermata – Bus stop
  • Fermata Prenotata – Stop requested
    • You’ll see this sign light up on the bus if someone has requested a stop.
  • Capolinea – First and last stop
  • Uscita/Entrata – Exit/Entrance

Types of Buses in Italy

Since this post is all about buses in Italy, I couldn’t leave anything out! Throughout this guide, you’ll find all the information is specific to the different kinds of buses in Italy, so you know exactly how to get around on each one.

City Buses

Italian cities are complete with a robust transportation system, particularly in the north of Italy. Buses are frequent and cover many different routes.

City-specific companies operate city buses. For example, in Bergamo the bus company is ATB – Azienda Trasporti Bergamo. In Milan, it’s ATM – Azienda Trasporti Milanesi. So, you will likely find the most differences using buses in Italy from city to city just because each is run in its own way.

Regional Buses

Italy is made up of 20 regions, and within those regions are provinces. Regional buses connect you to smaller towns and cities within the province and region, so they cover further distances.

These buses typically don’t have as many stops along their route as city buses. Arriva Italia and Busitalia are two of the many regional bus companies – jump around their sites to understand better what regional networks are like.

Although buses aren’t the go-to transportation for visiting tourists, regional buses can better connect you to hidden gems and areas off-the-beaten-path where trains don’t stop!

Third-Party Buses

Here’s the catch: there is no national bus line in Italy. You cannot get from one region to another by bus, unless it is operated by a third-party.

Third-party bus companies that operate in Italy are Flixbus, Itabus and those that cover airport transfers.

Flixbus is a super affordable way to travel around Italy. Bus travel isn’t usually preferred since it takes so much more time than train travel, and it’s less flexible than renting a car and driving in Italy.

But for budget travelers with a lot of time, it is definitely the perfect way to get around.

One last group of buses to consider is tour company buses that you can book for day excursions, usually popular routes (like Florence to Cinque Terre).

Understanding the Bus Timetables in Italy

Know that understanding the bus timetables in Italy is super confusing at the beginning.

As a new ex-pat, you will have some time to adjust and even make a few mistakes to learn from along the way. As a tourist, I recommend you actually go to the bus station or headquarters early (maybe even the day before you plan to use it) to make sure you have the right route and the right ticket.

Regional bus timetables are usually straightforward – they make stops in the main areas of cities and towns, which are usually all listed on the route. The price to take a regional bus will vary based on the distance you are traveling.

Schedule for a bus line in Italy
This is an example of a bus timetable for one of the bus lines in Bergamo.

Many different bus lines make up the city bus network. When reading the city bus timetable for your route, keep in mind that they usually make extra stops along the route at bus stops that aren’t listed on the timetable.

For some city buses, the bus ticket cost is dependent upon how many “zones” you are traveling through. The more zones you travel through, the higher the price of the ticket. Every city is different though – the beauty (and sometimes pain) of Italy.

This example bus schedule shows you what time the bus arrives along with each stop – your job is to find the bus that includes both your pick up and destination and look at those columns of times only!

Since every area is different, I won’t elaborate too much on reading this specific example. Luckily, lots of city bus websites now have search engines to help you calculate your ride and help you get where you are going!

How to Buy Bus Tickets in Italy

Types of Tickets

When you go to buy your ticket (biglietto, carnet) may depend on the type of ticket you need.


The “abbonamento” or pass, which can be monthly or annual, best serves the interest of people living in Italy and using buses more than 10 times a month.

The bus passes carry two advantages if you are traveling frequently with the bus: firstly, you don’t have to worry about always buying a ticket, and secondly, they are cheaper compared to the cost of one-way tickets added up.

On city buses, the price will also vary for these passes depending on how many zones your desired route covers. The longer the route, usually the more zones, and therefore the more expensive the pass.

Good to know: You usually have to purchase these passes from the bus company office in your city because they require you bring identification to create a new bus ID card for you.

One-way ticket

One-way tickets are most commonly sold for city buses. They have a period of time that they are valid for use, usually 90 minutes. Within the 90 minutes from validating your ticket on the bus, you can use that ticket for as many rides as you want.

However, if it’s after 90 minutes (or whatever time period your ticket says) from the ticket’s validation, you’ll need a new ticket to take the bus.

Read on to find out why validating your ticket is so important!

Roundtrip ticket

Regional buses usually sell roundtrip tickets and it’s pretty straightforward – keep your ticket for the return trip!


A “carnet” is a collection of tickets you buy at one time. For example, if you have to take the bus back and forth for 5 days, you would want to buy a “carnet 10 corse” and then you’d specify how many zones your route covers so the seller knows what ticket to give you.

Every time you get on the bus, you validate that ticket and the machine will punch out one of the numbers to show you have used that ride.

This can be a good ticket option for tourists staying a bit longer in a specific area, but I still suggest comparing the price with the tourist tickets (details below). The tourist tickets allow for unlimited rides in a specific time period, whereas the carnet will allow you however many rides you purchase.

Tourist Tickets (24 hour and 72 hour)

Lots of city bus companies will offer a friendly price for tourists. These tickets usually have a validity from 24 to 72 hours, so tourists can have unlimited rides within that time period.

Again, the length of the routes usually affect the price of these tickets. The further you go, the higher the price.

Good to know: Depending on the bus company, you may have to pay extra to bring suitcases on board. Consult the specific area in Italy you are traveling in to find out if bringing luggage on the bus is an extra charge.

Where to Buy


Sign for a tabaccheria in Italy, where you can buy bus tickets, stamps, and cigarettes.

Shops called “tabaccheria”, which are small convenience stores that also sell stamps, cigarettes, and newspapers, also sell bus tickets! You will find them scattered around town and marked with a big “T” sign outside.

To buy a ticket, you have to ask the clerk at the counter exactly what kind of ticket you would like. They should also know enough about the bus system to help you if you’re not sure what ticket you need.

Good to know: When buying tickets at the “tabaccheria” shops, you will likely only be allowed to pay in cash. Plus, you won’t find the option to pay for monthly or annual passes here.

Bus Company Touchpoints

Bus companies in cities and regions will have a headquarters. The regional buses usually have their offices/ticket window at the main bus station, which is typically near the train station.

It is usually only at the headquarters that you can purchase a monthly or yearly pass, renew your pass, or handle any other customer service-related problems. They also sell all the other types of tickets.

On The Bus

On city buses, there are several machines where you can pay for your ticket. Some regional bus companies may also let you buy your ticket in cash while getting on the bus.

There is a machine that takes cash (remember the currency is the euro in Italy), but note that these machines don’t give change. The tickets printed on the bus are already validated.

There is also a machine that allows you to buy your ticket with debit or credit card. Some buses are also equipped with contactless pay machines where you just have to tap your card and you are good to go.


Most bus companies also have apps these days through which you can purchase your ticket. Because this ticket doesn’t get stamped by the validation machine on the bus, you are fine with just this ticket available on your mobile device.

Bus Stops in Italy

City Bus Stops

What do bus stops look like in Italy? Italy is well-connected by public transportation, so you will see lots of buses all the time in cities, as well as pass by many bus stops.

Bus stops are usually a small covered area with a bench and next to a tall pole that is labeled “fermata”, or “stop” in Italian. The pole will also have a sign displaying information for that bus stop – what route is passing there, in which direction is ii going, if there is an airport bus, etc. It should also have the hours of the bus schedules printed (if you’re not at a super busy bus stop with many lines.)

Good to know: You will use different bus stops to go and to come back on the same route since the direction of the route changes. The sign attached to the pole will tell you what bus route stops at that stop and in what direction the bus is going. You will always get on and off the bus from the right-hand side, so whatever side of the street the bus stop is on, you can figure out easily if it’s the route to go towards your destination or to return.

Bus Stations

Bus stations are typically where regional buses will stop. They are bus hubs, usually close to train or tram stations in main cities.

The layout of bus stations in Italy varies, but you will usually find that there is a ticket office, a departure board, and numbered platforms where buses pull in and out of, picking up and dropping off passengers. The departure board will let you know which number platform your bus is located at and advise you of any delays/changes to the schedule.

Third-Party Bus Locations

If you book a bus with a third-party company, for airport transfer or traveling between regions, the company should let you know where the stop is once you purchase your ticket.

How to Use the Bus in Italy

Once you’ve done all the pre-trip prep, it’s time to “salire su” (get on) the bus! From here, it’s pretty simple – but I remember how nerve-wracking it was for me the first time I was navigating the bus system.

What to Expect on the Bus

First, let me give you a quick overview of what the bus is like. There are typically three entrances on city buses (one at the front, middle, and back), but regional buses can vary. When I took a regional bus in Tuscany, it was like a coach bus and had one entrance at the front. Other regional/provincial buses are super long and have more than three entrances.

Seats face both the front and back of the bus – if you get motion sickness easily, try to get a seat facing the front. There are also many poles and overhead handrails to hang onto.

In the middle of the bus is an open area dedicated to those with a stroller or wheelchair. There is also signage for handicapped/elderly seating next to designated seats. If you sit in one of those seats, it’s proper bus etiquette to give it up to someone who is handicapped or elderly.

Buses in Italy are accessible to wheelchairs.

Provincial buses more often resemble the style of a coach bus, like I mentioned before, with cushioned seating all facing the front of the bus.

As a rule-of-thumb, you enter from the front or back and exit out the middle. Buses also thoroughly mark emergency exits.

Good to know: You’ll want to grab a handrail or sit down quickly – bus drivers do not wait to get underway!

How to Validate Your Ticket

The box where you’ll insert your ticket to validate it will look similar to this!

In Italy, on nearly all public transportation, you’ll need to do something called “timbrare il biglietto”, or validate your ticket.

There will be a small box on the bus (one at the front and back) in which you must insert your ticket. When you hear a loud click sound, you can withdraw your ticket. The machine stamps (or punches if you have a carnet) your ticket with a time.

You have until this time to use your ticket getting on and off the bus as many times as you want.

If you have a bus pass, you don’t have to do any type of validation.

The reason you must validate your ticket is because you could incur a heavy fine for not doing so. Buses can be randomly checked at any time, like other public transportation in Italy, to verify you have a valid ticket for your ride. If you don’t stamp the ticket, authorities don’t know if you are using that ticket beyond its monetary value.

How to Request a Stop

You’re on the bus, you’ve validated your ticket, now all you have to do is worry about getting off at your destination!

On city and provincial buses, you just have to hit a button, which are conveniently located throughout the bus. Once you hit it, there should be a sign at the front or middle of the bus that flashes or lights up saying “fermata prenotata”, meaning stop requested. A “ding” sounds to confirm that your stop was requested.

Once the button is hit once, you don’t have to hit it again, even if someone else hit the button for the same stop.

On regional buses, it’s typical that the bus will stop at every stop listed on the route. You shouldn’t have to reserve a stop – just pay attention for when you’re approaching your destination town.

Italy Bus Travel Tips

  • You’ll need to fill out paperwork to apply for a monthly or annual bus pass. You’ll have to provide information from your ID (or permit to stay, “permesso di soggiorno”) and about the bus route you are taking, so they can give you the appropriate pass.

  • Arrive at bus stops 5 minutes before the arrival time on the timetable. This is the rule-of-thumb in Italy. The bus has the right to pass and continue on if it arrives within that margin of time.

  • Subscribe to alerts on strikes and service changes. Check alerts on the bus company’s website for news like national strikes that result in fewer buses passing (or sometimes not at all within a specific time period.) Also, around the holidays, bus lines will change their services.

  • Students take public buses to get to school. There are no separate school buses in Italy! If you can control when you get on the bus, try to avoid around school hours – it will be much fuller. Buses also base their schedules on the school week and school holidays.

  • Don’t get spooked by how bus drivers drive. Being an expat for almost a year now, I have to say I still have not gotten used to the chaotic driving in Italy. That being said, drivers know what they’re doing. It’s incredibly impressive seeing them navigate the narrow streets and make the tightest turns (but I do wish they would go slower sometimes!)

The SGTD Take

The bus system in Italy varies from city to city and region to region. No doubt it will take some getting used to and it will be a quick learning curve for travelers and expats.

But what I love about taking the bus in Italy is the same thing I love about solo travel – the confidence-boosting satisfaction of achieving something on my own. It’s an objectively small accomplishment that can make a big difference in your confidence in being independent while traveling or while adjusting to your new life abroad.

Have a question about bus travel in Italy? Leave it in a comment so I can answer it!

Italy Trip Planning Resources

  • Accommodation: For Italy, I mainly use to search and book places to stay.
  • Booking flights: I like to search for flights through Skyscanner, but I also book direct depending on the airline.
  • Activities & experiences: For things to do that require a ticket, and for more unique trip activities, I use Musement.
  • Road trip: For renting a car, I get the best prices by comparing companies with AutoEurope. I then use ViaMichelin to estimate road trip costs and to find gas stations/have live updates on traffic.
  • Transportation: Traveling by public transportation is a great way to see Italy. I use Trenitalia or Trainline to book tickets for trains and Flixbus for long-haul bus trips.
  • Accessories: I always travel with this portable charger to stay connected and with a universal adapter to accommodate Italy’s plug types.
  • Need help planning an itinerary? Fill out my form for a custom itinerary request!

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I hope this guide to buses in Italy is super useful to your travel plans!




Michela is a travel writer and photographer living in northern Italy. She is passionate about helping people make the most of their travels by sharing advice gained from her personal experiences, off-the-beaten-path destinations and time-saving quick itineraries. Browse her top articles or have her help you plan your itinerary to your dream destination!

Find me on: Web | Instagram


  1. Vicki
    February 28, 2022 / 9:04 pm

    Thank you very much for such a comprehensive article about bus travel in Italy. You’ve taken quite a load off my mind. I was feeling really intimidated about the process, but I think now that I’ll be able to tackle it with a lot more confidence. Take care.

    • March 15, 2022 / 8:54 am

      I’m so glad it was helpful!

  2. Karen
    March 26, 2022 / 6:13 pm

    Hello Michela,
    My daughter, granddaughter and I will be traveling in Italy in June. We need to take a bus from Rome to Ascoli Pechino and back again several days later. I think the bus company is “Start” but when I go to their website it is in Italian and no option for an English translation. How do I get a bus schedule from them so I can figure out the bus stations and time tables?
    Thank you for any help you can give us.

    • March 26, 2022 / 7:01 pm

      Hi Karen! I found the link to the timetable here:

      The bus schedule has daily times back and forth between the cities and then it also has an extra evening bus going to Rome only on Sundays and an extra morning bus going to Ascoli Piceno only on Mondays.

      So, from Rome Tiburtina Station (it says the bus will depart from platform 18) to Ascoli Piceno, the bus leaves at 1:50 pm (13:50) daily or 5:00 pm (17:00) daily. On Mondays, there is an extra bus line that leaves at 7 am to Ascoli Piceno.

      For your return trip, Ascoli Piceno to Rome, the bus will depart from Ascoli Piceno Station at 6:00 am and 9:30 am daily and on Sundays there is an extra line that leaves at 5:45 pm (17:45).

      It says these hours are valid from January 11th, 2022 but doesn’t say if there is an end date to this schedule. It’s possible that during summer more hours could be added, so I would check back at the company’s website in the coming months just to make sure nothing changes. I also was able to find on the Rome2Rio bus search site times and information in English, so it could be easier to reference that, but I would trust the actual bus company’s timetable the most! Here’s the link:

      I hope this helps and that you all enjoy your trip! If you have any other questions or do notice changes in the future to the schedule, feel free to write again and I can help out! 🙂

  3. Rand
    April 9, 2022 / 6:20 pm

    Thank you for the useful information.. I am traveling solo and I always like to use the public transportation while traveling to a new city.. I was just wondering about the price range for the tickets .I mean for inside cities..and can you use same tickets in other cities, like If I bought a ticket from Rome , can I use it in Venice ?? Not for the route from city to city (a train will be better) but inside the cities..
    thank you again 🙂

    • April 10, 2022 / 5:20 am

      Hi Rand,

      Love that you’re traveling solo! The bus companies that operate within cities are typically separate companies – so Rome wouldn’t be operated by the same company that operates the public transportation in Milan. Therefore, you’d have to buy your tickets either at their separate websites or bus kiosks and they would only be valid for the city you are traveling within. So, if you buy your ticket in Rome, it will only work with the bus company operating in Rome.

      Prices will vary usually based on distance (across how many neighborhoods you are traveling within the city) but I’ve found buses (or the metro) are similarly priced and usually hover between 1-4€ per journey. Lots of city buses also offer tickets that are valid for a total period of time, like 72 hours for example, for visitors who are going to be using the bus more frequently and this is typically the most cost-effective option!

      I hope this helps, and if you have a specific city you need more info on, let me know and I can provide you with the exact details 🙂 have an amazing time on your trip!

  4. Jennifer
    April 30, 2022 / 7:12 am

    Hi. Thank you for this post! We will be in Verona and want to get to the Valpolicella region. I have found the route (103 bus) that goes, but concerned about timing as this bus only leaves hourly. If we need to be there at 11:30 and it is a one hour journey from Verona should we leave at 9:30 just to be safe? We really don’t want the hassle/expense of renting a car. Does Italy have Uber or are there similar car services available? Thank you so much for your help. Jen

    • April 30, 2022 / 10:45 am

      Hi Jennifer!

      I just did some digging and found buses 103, 93, and 21 all go to the Valpolicella area. This should give you more flexibility in planning what time you’d need to leave to get to your destination! If you want to share with me the exact stop you’d like to depart from and the town you’re looking to arrive at, I can tell you exactly which bus would be best. Here are the timetables for all three so you can also reference them:

      Line 21
      Line 93
      Line 103

      Keep in mind I don’t know exactly when you’re traveling and the bus timetable can change significantly once school is out for the summer. To get the most updated timetable, you can go to this website and scroll down to Valpolicella!

      Buses in Italy are pretty much like clockwork – only a few times has a bus been late 10 minutes or more (and I take the bus almost every day). Plus it usually only occurs on days when the weather is bad.

      To answer your second question, Italy has Uber but it is not widely used at all. Like, it may as well not have Uber! If anything, you could take a taxi from the center of Verona since the drive is only 20 minutes, or there are day trip options if you prefer an experience and for someone to handle the transportation for you.

      I hope this is helpful!!


  5. June 12, 2022 / 1:53 pm

    Wonderful post, thank you so much! We’re planning our Italy trip now. We’re taking a bus from Cortina d’Ampezzo to Venice, then hoping to catch a high-speed train from Venice to Naples. If the bus is scheduled to arrive in Venice at 13:45, how likely is it to make that time? (In America I’m accustomed to Greyhound buses arriving hours late). In other words, if we buy a high-speed rail ticket for 14:26, will we be able to make that train time? Or should we plan to just get a ticket on the day of (and how likely is it that there will still be Executive-class seats?)

    • June 24, 2022 / 7:37 am

      Hi Molly!

      Buses usually work like clockwork in Italy. That being said, you never know what could happen and especially since you are taking a bus over a longer distance, you could run into traffic.

      You could definitely still get a ticket the day of. I’m not sure the likelihood of the business-class seats still being available, I would assume that those are typically the first seats to go so it’s not likely!

      I hope this helps and that you have a wonderful trip!

  6. Carrolyn
    June 26, 2022 / 10:17 am

    Hi, thank you for this helpful post.
    I’m travelling to Trieste later this year, arriving early September on a cruise. I’ve been told by fellow traveller that it’s possible to get a bus from outside the port area to Castell di Mirimare and back.
    I see from you blog that the buses in Italy are accessible to wheelchairs, but is the same for small mobility scooters?
    Any help would be appreciated.

    • June 29, 2022 / 3:45 pm

      Hi Carrolyn!

      So I did some research to confirm that the bus you will take is Line 6 with Trieste Trasporti. And on the Trieste Trasporti website, they confirm that they have the means also for mobility scooters to get on and off the buses. You just have to let the driver know so they can help get the scooter on and off! Hope this helps and that you have a great trip! 🙂

  7. Jaime
    July 9, 2022 / 4:44 pm

    Hi, this is such a great resource thank you so much. We are due to travel to Rome in August as a group of 7 (3 kids in this group) and I wondered if you could help me work out which bus company we should use if we are staying here Via di Malafede, 205, 00125 Roma RM (Camping Village Fabulous) we want to explore Rome and it seems easier and cheaper than car hire.
    Many thanks for your help, Jaime 🙂

    • July 10, 2022 / 4:02 pm

      Hi Jaime!

      Sounds like such a fun trip! Public transport will definitely be cheaper than car hire.

      From where you are staying, you would have to reach Rome city center with a combo of bus and metro. First you will take bus line 709 from this bus stop:

      You will get off at the last stop (Eur/Fermi), which is also a metro station. You then have to take the Metro line B, which will bring you directly to the city center!

      I will also leave you this link which is basically a calculator provided by the Rome public transport company and will let you input your specific destination in the city center from Via di Malafede and tell you exact instructions on what buses/metros you can take:

      It is also available in English!

      I hope this helps and that you have an amazing trip! Feel free to let me know if you have any more questions!

  8. Becky
    July 14, 2022 / 10:33 pm

    Hi – thanks for this really informative article! Do you happen to know anything about the bus system in Varese? We’ll be there for a week, going between Villa Panza and Lago Varese. It looks as if the N bus will work for that, but I can’t find info online about whether there’s a weekly / tourist pass available.

    • July 23, 2022 / 5:21 am

      Hi Becky!

      I did some research and can confirm the N bus will work for that! You’ll have to get off at this stop: Varese, Carcano 27/Cairoli, 21100 Varese VA (you can put that directly in Google Maps) and it’s an 11 minute walk from Villa Panza.

      There is a weekly pass that costs €9.60 🙂 Here’s the link to the ticket prices (you’ll want the abbonamento settimanale). I hope this helps! 🙂

  9. Ada
    July 25, 2022 / 5:17 pm

    hey, thank you for the post it’s very helpful!

    I wanted to ask about the bus\train\tram time in general,
    like when they start working and when could be the last bus?
    on what days they are less working?

    • July 29, 2022 / 12:20 pm

      Hi Ada!

      The schedule completely depends on the city/region you are in. Each city has their own bus company and the regions/provinces have their own bus company on top of that. If you’d like to let me know a specific area you’re curious about, I can go ahead and check out the timetables!

  10. Grace
    August 8, 2022 / 9:32 am

    Hi! So glad I found your article. I’m planning to go on a pilgrimage to Monte Sant’Angelo and I googled my route. I will be taking a train from Rome to Foggie and will then need to take a bus from Foggia – Nodo Intermodale – Stazione to Monte Sant’Angelo – Via Manfredonia 33 CONAD dir.MSA. Will it be possible to know if with this particular bus I can buy tickets directly from the bus driver and to find out how many stops there are before I reach my destination? Can I just ask the driver to warn me when I’ve reached my stop? (which will have to be in English as I don’t speak Italian.) This will only be my second time in Italy and the first time using public transportation there. Thank you so much!

    • August 9, 2022 / 1:38 pm

      Hi Grace,

      I’m glad it is helpful! So, I’ve been doing some research on the transportation website to see if I can find this info. I succeeded in finding out that you can buy tickets on these buses, but they do cost a little bit more than if you were to buy one at the sales point. I got this info from this document under the section “Titoli di Viaggio” where it says you can buy the ticket “a bordo degli autobus con sovrapprezzo” meaning on the bus with a surcharge.

      You could also buy it at one of these sales points.

      As for asking the bus driver to let you know which stop is yours, it could go either way. The drivers are typically helpful but I wouldn’t say they go out of their way to make sure passengers get where they are supposed to be going, so you can always ask, but especially if it is busy, they probably won’t be able to remind you (also because of Covid the driver’s seat is usually isolated in a glass-enclosed area, so they’re not usually interacting with the passengers much.)

      My best advice would be to sit or stand close to the driver’s seat so you have your best chance at getting their help! If you want to try asking in Italian in case the driver doesn’t speak English, you can say “Questa è la fermata Via Manfredonia 33 CONAD?”

      I’m sorry I don’t have more direct info but I hope my insight helps!

  11. Jake
    August 30, 2022 / 7:49 pm

    Thank you for some great information. I am traveling from Roma Tiburtina to Siena. I was told that a bus would be better than the train. I’ve read a lot about Flixbus but there is another company (Itabus) that apparently is only a couple years in business. What can you tell me about Itabus?

    • September 4, 2022 / 2:54 pm

      Hi Jake,

      I’m glad you found the information helpful! I’ve actually never personally traveled with Itabus and I don’t think I’ve ever seen one, whereas Flixbus I know is reliable, I see them all the time, and since it’s been around longer I think their customer service reputation is very good. Since Itabus is so new and I’ve never taken it, I can’t recommend it, but I would recommend Flixbus. I’m sorry to not have more info but I hope this helps a bit!

  12. GRAHAM
    October 27, 2022 / 5:59 am

    Thanks very much for the article. We have a few months planned in Italy next year. All of our travel will be by train except there are a few trips that might be better by bus. Perhaps you can suggest whether these trips are best by bus or train?
    Verona to Lago di Braes
    Florence to Siena (central old town)
    Siena (central old town) to Bologna

    We will be doing these in Aug/Sep so should we / can we book tickets in advance, or is it safe to turn up on the day? If buying in advance – is there a good website we can get all these tickets, or are there different ones for each region?

    Thanks for your help

    • October 31, 2022 / 3:41 am

      Hi Graham,
      Sounds like an amazing trip! The toughest trip of the three to make with public transport is Verona to Lago di Braies. My best suggestion to you would be to rent a car for that trip, but you can also get there by a combo of bus and train. You can take the train from Verona to Niederdorf (Villabassa) and then take a bus from there to Lago di Braies.

      From Florence to Siena, you can’t go wrong with train or bus. They both cost about the same, around €10, and are between 1 and 1 and a half hour journeys. The bus takes you closer to the city center than the train station, so you may want to go by bus on this trip.

      For Siena to Bologna, again both train and bus have their advantages and disadvantages, but you may want to go bus for this one too. On Flixbus, tickets are about €30 and the journey is nonstop from Siena’s city center. The train instead will always have at least one change in Florence.

      Because you’re traveling in one of the busier periods, I would recommend you buy your tickets ahead of time. I don’t think you’d be guaranteed availability if you buy on the day of. The only one that you may be able to get away with is Florence to Siena (you can go to the Autostazione in Florence right by the Santa Maria Novella station and usually buy your tickets right then and there.)

      Here are the websites that I typically use to buy tickets on Italian transportation:

      I hope this helps and that you have an amazing trip!

  13. Wendy Bierman
    November 16, 2022 / 6:21 am


    Thank you so much for the detailed explenation. I will be travelling on my own for 1 week to Syracuse, Sicily. I will land on Catania airport. This means i have to take some sort of public transportation to Syracuse. I was looking online and found the website from interbus where i can buy the ticket in advance, but i do have to choose the time i take the bus. My question is: does it matter if i dont get on the bus the same time as i choose? If it does matter, can i also buy a ticket on the bus?

    • November 27, 2022 / 9:41 am

      Hi Wendy,

      For tickets reserved ahead of time, it does likely matter the time that you choose to take the bus. At the same time, from using airport buses in the past, it is very likely you will be able to buy a ticket also on site, either at the counter in the airport, or there is usually a person at the airport bus stop from whom you can buy tickets!

  14. Nita Lopez
    December 3, 2022 / 11:20 am

    Thank you Michela. I have been in Ancona, Italy for one month. I bought a city bus ticket but did not know I had to validate it. When I got on the bus, I showed the ticket to the driver but he waved me on. I went and sat. Afterward I wondered how the driver would know I paid. When I returned home I stopped at a tourist information kiosk and asked and was told the about the heavy fine for not stamping the ticket. Whew! I did not see any of the teenage students stamping their tickets, but your article explains why.
    Some articles I’ve read say you have to stamp the ticket before getting on the bus. Is that
    I accurate? Thank you for a most informative article.

    • December 10, 2022 / 3:44 pm

      Hi Nita, I’m so glad you have found this post helpful. It doesn’t seem like it, but using transportation in a foreign country is much harder than it looks!

      Normally, the machines to stamp your ticket are only located on the bus and not at the station or stop, so if you do have to stamp you ticket, you would stamp it as soon as you get on the bus. It stamps the time on your ticket in order to track its validity for the time period it was bought for (for regular tickets it is usually 90 minutes.)

      I’m so glad nothing happened to you, but there is definitely always that risk that staff could hop on the bus at any time and give you a fine if you’re not riding with a valid ticket!

      I hope you have a great rest of your time in Italy!

  15. Sheree
    January 18, 2023 / 1:33 pm

    Hi! Thank you for all of your super helpful info! I will be traveling from Rome to Siena in Feb. I am wanting the most scenic route and am looking at Itabus ($5 approx!) or Marinobus ($15 approx). Or I could also take a train of course. Do you have any suggestions? I do know to take the bus at least for the last part of the journey as it drops you off closer to Siena town square.
    Thank you so much!

    • January 28, 2023 / 4:07 am

      Hi Sheree!

      I would bet the bus will be more scenic than the train. People close to me have traveled with Itabus and I’ve never heard of Marinobus, so if I had to give a suggestion, I would say to go with Itabus!

  16. Penny
    May 23, 2023 / 3:15 pm

    Thanks for such an informative article. I’ll be in Milan next week, I can’t wait! I was wondering, as the tickets are valid for 90 minutes, if I have to take a journey which is two separate buses (but shorter than 90 minutes), do I have to validate my ticket on each bus? Or is validating it only on the first bus enough? Thanks <3

    • May 23, 2023 / 3:43 pm

      Hi Penny, I’m glad you found it helpful!

      When you validate your ticket, it will be time stamped. So, you won’t have to validate it again if you get on a separate bus within those 90 minutes! Hope that is clear. Have a great trip!

  17. John
    February 27, 2024 / 7:56 pm

    Grazie mille, Michela. I am planning on using a bus for travel between Firenze and Villa del Sole, San Gimignano. I will be taking the 131 Siena-Via Tozzi and the 130 San Gimignano-Strada bus lines. Any advice about where and when to buy tickets? Can I purchase one ticket for the entire trip, or will I need to buy two tickets?

    I will then go from Villa del Sole to Villa Sabolini, Mensanello by bus 130 Roncalli, 131 Siena-Via Tozzi, and 259 Lano. Again, how do I pay for these tickets, individually or separately? Is there a simpler way to make this trip?

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