Navigating Italy by bus is a thrilling and inspiring experience – it can also be a quite confusing one if you’re visiting for the first time. With several bus and coach companies only operating in certain regions and some only offering airport transfers, it’s important you know how the Italian bus network functions. That’s where we come in. At Trainline, we’ll get you on the right road to start your Italian adventure by bus. Find our guide to Italian bus companies, buying tickets and travelling this beautiful country by coach below.
Thanks to the liberalisation of the transport sector in Italy over the last few years, new medium to long-haul bus routes have been created throughout the country. Use our Italy bus map to discover the wonderful possibilities that are out there when you travel by road.
As well as being more connected to the open road, here are some good reasons to hop aboard and embrace Italy by coach and bus:
Generally, bus ticket prices are cheaper than train and aeroplane tickets. If you have a limited budget, the coach is the perfect solution for travelling around Italy and saving money!
Most buses in Italy are equipped with all the necessary amenities to allow you to travel in total comfort and convenience. Modern facilities such as WiFi, air conditioning and power outlets ensure the best travel experience during your journey.
The bus is usually the best method of reaching the most hidden and less crowded places on the coast and in the mountains. Travelling by bus opens up the possibility of seeing more during your journey, leaving you feeling more connected to nature in the process.
To benefit from cheaper bus tickets in Italy, here are a few handy tips you should keep in your back pocket at all times.
Bus tickets in Italy usually go on sale about three months before the date of travel. Book early to make sure you get the cheapest option.
Most bus operators offer standard prices and special offers. You'll find most discounted tickets for sale in advance, with only a certain amount of tickets available.
Before booking your Italian bus tickets you should be on the hunt for any promotions, group or age-based discounts on offer.
Most Italian bus operators offer both standard prices and special offers – which we'll show you when you search for tickets in our tool. They provide discounts or promotions aimed at children, students, groups or people over the age of 60 wanting to travel by coach or bus. If you know which Italian bus company you want to travel with, take a look at our list below before booking to see if you qualify for a discounted rate. In any case, at Trainline, we'll show and highlight the best available prices when you search and compare bus tickets with us.
Large cities, such as Milan, Florence or Rome, usually have several bus stations, depending on the different bus lines operating in the area. You'll normally find a large main interchange that often includes both a railway and coach station. From here there are also connections to urban transport networks such as metros, trams or local buses – allowing you to easily reach both the city centre and the suburbs. In smaller cities, there may be only one station but you'll still find suitable transport connections which will be clearly signposted.
The different coach companies operating in Italy naturally offer different departure times. Given the wide range of bus services, checking when the next bus leaves for the destination you're interested in can be stressful and sometimes confusing. At Trainline, we provide you with a tool that allows you to view the departure time of more than 50 coach companies on a single platform. Just enter the date and point of departure in the widget above, choose your destination and you'll have all the coach and bus options in Italy at your fingertips!
If you’re looking for smooth bus connections from major city centres to nearby airports, here's a guide on the companies that will get you there. Discover and compare these bus companies specialising in airport transfers in Italy.
Terravision Terravision is the number one low-cost coach operator for connections to and from the busiest airports in Italy. Get to Fiumicino airport from central Rome in just 55 minutes, Bergamo airport from Milan in an hour and Turin Caselle airport from Turin Lingotto train station in an hour and 5 mins.
Fiumicino Express Hop on the Fiumicino Express and benefit from coaches departing from Naples or Caserta towards Rome Fiumicino and Rome Ciampino airports in around 2hrs 50 mins. The Fiumicino Express operates every day of the year meaning extra flexibility when booking your flights.
Autostradale Autostradale is a well-trusted shuttle bus company in Italy that links some of its main airports to major cities. And Autostradale is good for all seasons as it offers buses to ski resorts like Madonna di Campiglio and St. Moritz in the winter, and popular destinations such as Cinque Terre in the summer.
SitBus The Sitbus Shuttle network connects central Rome (Roma Termini and Roma Vaticano stations) to Rome Fiumicino and Roma Ciampino airports with frequent services and low-cost fares. ‘Sit’ meaning Societa Italiana Transporti, is perfect for quick and hassle-free airport connections.
Prestia Prestia provides an efficient half-hourly bus service starting at 05:00 that transfers passengers from the airport to the centre of Palermo. Passengers have the choice of either getting off at the Teatro Politeama Garibaldi after 35 minutes or continuing on to Palermo Centrale train station - adding an extra 15 minutes to the journey.
Italy or Italia? No matter how you say it, this is a country with many sides, faces, colours and flavours. From Milan in the north to the southern tip of Italy, every village, town and city will leave its mark on you and have you planning your return in no time at all. Need convincing about all of Italy's charms? Here's a taste of what to expect when you hop on a bus or coach in Italy.
A city full of architecture, culture and endless history, Milan is one of the most famous cities in Europe, if not the world. There are plenty of things to see and do from the moment you step off the bus. The Duomo di Milano is arguably the most beautiful cathedral in the world, and certainly commands the attention of all visitors to the city. Taking over six centuries to build, no trip to Milan is complete without seeing its most famous site, and at first glance, it’s clear to see why it took so long to make.
Situated in the heart of Milan, travelling to and from the Duomo di Milano is easy from any direction. Just a short walk from the cathedral, you'll find Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy’s oldest shopping mall, and most glamorous. Housing a host of international fashion brands, it’s certainly one for those who enjoy the finer things in life and the best of retail therapy. Despite being known for its clothing stores, the ‘Galleria’ doubles up as a tourist hotspot due to its impressive interior architecture.
Continuing with the rich culture of Milan, a visit to Pinacoteca di Brera will be one for those with a passion for the arts. Holding paintings from artists such as Mantegna, Bellini and Raphael, this public art gallery is a great way to step back into the Renaissance period of Milan and Italy.
And when in Milan, why not feast like a true Milanese? As well as the amazing restaurants scattered throughout the city, you should take a trip to Eataly – Italy’s (and the world’s) first self-styled ‘food theme park’. Set over 5000-sq-metres and four floors, Eataly has food from the best local producers, breweries and spaces where you can learn techniques on Italian gastronomy.
Search buses from Naples to Milan.
Search buses from Genoa to Milan.
During the Renaissance, Florence was one of the most influential cities in Europe. With many of Europe’s finest pieces of art and sculptures kept in the city – it's an art lover's delight. The most famous of these is Michelangelo’s David. A world-renowned sculpture, you can find this masterpiece in the Galleria dell’Accademia.
Splitting the city in half is the River Arno – one of the most important historical rivers in central Italy and the largest in the region. Walking along the Arno and stopping off in one of the many cafes or restaurants is highly recommended. A walk along the Ponte Vecchio (the old bridge) is a unique experience and one we can co-sign on. Built during medieval times, the bridge is also a working high street. There are jewellers, art dealers and other exciting stalls – so grab a souvenir from one of the shops on this truly wonderful bridge.
As with many cities in Italy, no visit would be complete without visiting a cathedral – and Florence is no different. In the heart of the city, Florence Cathedral sits in the centre of the Piazza del Duomo. Built in the 13th-Century, Florence Cathedral is most famous for its brick dome – the largest of its type still in use today. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, Florence Cathedral is one of the most revered and popular cathedrals in Italy and is a must-visit when in the city.
Search buses from Pisa to Florence.
The capital of the country, and historically one of the most important cities in Europe – Rome has it all. If you want to savour the history of the city that formed the bedrock of the Roman Empire, then visiting the Colosseum is a must. One of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions, step inside and try to recapture the feeling of centuries past.
Rome is also the home of the Catholic church – with St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican being a pilgrimage for all Catholics the world over. If you want to catch a glimpse of Pope Francis, visit on Sunday at noon as he gives the Angelus prayer. Free to visit and an opportunity to see the most famous figure in the Christian religion – this is something that's not to be missed.
If you're in need of a bit of luck or looking for some fortune, then a trip to the Trevi Fountain may be in order. It's tradition to throw a coin over your shoulder into the water whilst making a wish. This is such a popular activity that over € 1 M was thrown into the fountain in 2016. However, it's not known how many wishes were granted as a result of the coin throwing! Nevertheless, it's great to take part in one of Rome’s most fun and bizarre tourist traditions, and you never know, your luck might be in.
Search buses from Florence to Rome.
Search buses from Bari to Rome.
Search buses from Bologna to Rome.
If you have your tickets booked and are all set to go, here are a few more things you should know before you climb onboard your coach.
Most bus companies in Italy offer complimentary internet access to their passengers. In some cases, you can also connect to the bus operators WiFi at the terminal while you wait for your bus to start boarding.
Certainly. You can get the bus or coach from most major Italian bus stations to cities in Europe like Nice, Zurich and Zagreb. For some inspiration, why not take a look at our buses in Europe page and start plotting your way around the continent.
While you're at it, have a look at these pages as well if you already have a destination in mind;
Search buses in the UK.
Search buses in Spain.
Search buses in Italy.
Search buses in Germany.
At most major Italian bus terminals, especially ones that are part of train stations, you may hear translations of news and announcements in other languages such as English, Spanish, French and Germany. If you’re looking at the arrivals and departures board, here’s a guide to what you should expect to see and what everything means:
Bus terminal - Terminal dei pullman
Bus station - Autostazione / Stazione dei pullman
On time - In orario
Delay - Ritardo
Cancelled - Cancellato
Platform - Binario
Ticket counters/booth - Biglietteria
Leaving from - Partenza da
Going to - Arrivo a
Night bus - Pullman notturni
Waiting room - Sala d'attesa
Route - Tratta
Seat - Posto a sedere
Last stop - Ultima fermata
Normally you’re allowed to take two pieces of luggage onboard which can be put in the hold of the bus. Items such as musical instruments, bikes (folding only) count as one piece of luggage. On most buses and coaches in Italy, smaller pieces of luggage like rucksacks, overnight bags and briefcases can be put under your seats or in the overhead compartments provided. Luggage rules and restrictions differ from one bus company to another so it’s always advisable to do your research before booking your bus tickets.