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Austria - driving in April?

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Hello Fodorfolks,
I am currently planning about 10 days to two weeks in northern Italy & Austria. I don't know yet exactly where we will be going other than starting somewhere north of Rome probably and ending up in Vienna. It seems that renting a car in Italy - perhaps Verona - and leaving it in Austria - outside of Vienna - could be expensive. we may be in Rome for a couple of days but then on to either the Cinque Terra or Verona.
So I'm thinking of train through parts of Italy and then get the car around Innsbruck or Salzburg. We aren't huge city people and prefer countryside & villages more, so the cities would be just a starting point perhaps.
My main question here: what is the driving like in Austria in late April? I know it will vary depending on mountain passes etc. but I haven't been to Austria before so just can't sort out where to go and where to avoid. Probably the last two weeks and probably from Innsbruck or Salzburg to Vienna. We prefer driving over trains if possible given the ability to stop where you want and be somewhat unscheduled.
Any advice is much appreciated! Thank you.

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