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ITALY - What area is renting a car a plus - or necessity?

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In Rome it's easy to get around by walking, bus or train, but what about using one location in Tuscany as a home-base and getting to Sienna, Florence by bus or train for day trips or overnight excursions?

Traveling light is always a challenge for me - and I'll be in italy for 6-wks -from early Sept to mid Oct. I plan on bringing one rolling suitcase and a shoulder bag or backpack for my laptop and other things I need access to. I envy the woman who can take a trip like this with nothing more than a carry-on bag, but I just can't imagine pulling it off!

If I'm willing to spend some extra time getting from place to place - and it seems to me that getting on and off a bus might be easier with luggage? Any thoughts on that?

If I take the train from Rome to Naples, and another train to the Amalfi Coast (thinking Postina) will I still need transportation to get around once I get there- and would this be the leg of the journey to rent a car?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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