Help! I'm trying to figure out if I can include a side trip to Orvieto and Civita di Bagnoregio into our 2 week trip to Italy in October.
I've heard very good things about Orvieto and want to see it, but what I'm really making this side trip for is to see Civita di Bagnoregio. I've looked at the train options and bus connections from Oriveto to Civita di Bagnoregio, and it looks like our best option to fit this in is to:
Leave Florence and take the train to Orvieto, and stay one night in the town. I've read in a few places that the train usually takes about 1 1/4 hrs from Florence to Orvieto (vs. approx 1 hr from Rome), but the schedules I've been able to find (using a random date in February since October schedules wouldn't be up yet) give the shortest trip as about 2 hrs, with the average being 2 1/4 hrs.
I know that taking the 'direct' train from S.M. Novella is better, but I'm curious about something I saw on the Trenitalia website (by a few things, actually). Once schedule shows a Regional train leaving Florence at 9:09am from "FI.SMN", but underneath that are the letters "FI C.M", and I can't figure out what that means. I know it's not a connection like the ones that include a stop at Rifredi.
That 9:09am train gets into Orvieto at approx. 11:22am. Based on a schedule I found for the bus to Bagnoregio, there's one around 12:45pm. It would be very tight, but would that give us enough time to get up the Funicular and check into a hotel? I believe the bus to Bagnoregio leaves from the town itself, not down by the train station, so not having to get down again should save some time.
An alternative to taking this bus, which takes an hour in each direction, plus the walk from Bagnoregio to the bridge to Civita, would be to rent a car, essentially for the afternoon/early evening, and make the drive between the two towns ourselves. I'm assuming doing that would be substantially quicker than taking the bus. Can anyone give me a rough estimate for how long the drive takes?
Assuming we didn't rent a car, after the bus/walk, we'd get to Civita around 2:15pm, and would have a few hours to wander around before catching the bus back. Depending on which one we caught, we'd probably be back in Orvieto by 6-7pm.
How late to shops in the town stay open on weekdays? I assume that by then, everything but the restaurants would be closed?
We would leave the next day, continuing on to Naples. For that leg of the trip it looks like the easiest options would be the direct trains that go straight through without having to transfer at Termini in Rome. Sadly, if Trenitalia (or is it LeFrecca.it? That is what shows up as the web address at the bottom of the page when I print it) is to be believed, there are very few direct trains. One is at 12:10pm, and the next isn't until 8:40pm, which is way too late.
What time do shops open during the week? If we took the 12:10pm train, would it be enough time to leave by 11:15-11:30am to get back down the Funicular to the train station, or should we plan on being there earlier?
Sorry, I know a lot is crammed into a very little time, but not wanting to rent a car in Florence or Rome means we're at the mercy of the transit schedules. It looks like our only other option is to take a day trip from Rome, but it doesn't look like the bus connections to Bagnorigio would work, and we wouldn't have any time at all to see any of Orvieto.
Thoughts, please. Has anyone tried to see these two places with just a one night's stay? Thanks!