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Italy Trip - Need help with logistics

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Hi everyone!

I am new to fodors and would love to get your advice on my trip to Italy :) I am travelling to Italy in August with my husband (worst time I know but unfortunately its the only time we could go). We'll be arriving August 15 and staying in Venice for two nights. We are then heading to Varenna for two nights, Monterosso for two nights, Siena for two nights, Florence for three nights, Rome for four nights and Positano for four nights. We will be flying back to the US from Naples Airport.

I have a few initial questions

1) What is the best way to get to Siena from Monterosso? I did check out tickets on the trenitalia website but I was wondering if there was an easier route - say by bus or a train/bus combination.

2) What is the best way to get to Rome from Positano? I'm guessing we would either take the train to Naples or Salerno and then take either a ferry or a bus to Positano? Which would you recommend? If we take the ferry would we have to book in advance? I also know that there is a direct bus going from Rome to Positano but I haven't been able to figure out their website (its all in Italian and google translate doesn't work) and from what I understand it leaves really early in the morning

3) We plan on taking a day trip to Capri. Since its august should we book the ferry to there a few days in advance?

4) We are thinking of renting a car from Positano to Naples airport because my husband doesn't want to risk being late for our flight which is at 1 pm. Are there any car companies you would recommend? I know our hotel can book something for us but I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations. If we decide to go via public transportation how long do you anticipate that taking and what would the best route be?

5) During our two nights in Siena (2 and a half days) we will be doing a private tour exploring the val d'orcia. We should be back to Siena by 6. On our second day we are thinking of doing a day trip to Volterra. Any idea on how to do this? From what I understand I have to take a bus and change at Val d'elsa but I'm a little unclear on the details and how long it would take?


Other than that I would love to know if you have any tips on your favorite restaurants or perhaps places you stumbled upon that we would not find in a guidebook.

Thanks in advance!

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