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Optimum Train/Car rental combination in Italy

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What arrangements for car/train should we make after we have seen Venice. We would like to see Verona, Florence, Siena, Pisa, Rome, Naples in 9 days that we will be in Italy, what combination of car rental and train would you recommend? (Heard driving in Florence, Rome and Naples is not recommended)

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    You're going to get a lot of answers that suggest that you are crazy, and these 7 destinations in 9 days simply can't be done. And I, too, do not think you should try - - but I will give you some ideas on you might make the best of the nine days you have.

    What you are proposing is similar to saying that you want to "see" Washington, Annapolis, Philadelphia, New York, Newport, Boston and Kennebunkport all in 7 days. It's not that the distances are overwhelming. But you will spend less than two waking hours a day actually SEEing the places you're whizzing past.

    Are you from north America? Are these 9 days your entire trip to Europe? or only a piece of a longer trip? Are you arriving, transatlantic, in/at Venice (airport)? or coming there from withIN Europe? And from where are you departing when you leave Italy? Ideally, you are NOT (yet) locked in to flights in or out of Italy that force you to depart (Naples?) on the ninth day.

    If you ARE (locked into departing Naples on day nine), then I suggest you remove Rome from your list, and probably Verona (or Pisa) too. If day 1 is your transatlantic arrival in Venice spend nights one AND two in Venice. If you are already IN Europe and can get to Venice before noon on day 1, then you could consider traveling to Verona (or Florence) in the late afternoon of day 2. Use the train for this. Either way, this puts you into Florence on day 3. Consider staying in Florence nights 3, 4, and 5. Let me assume for a moment that money is not your constraint - - not enough time is your problem. Visit Siena as a day trip from Florence on day 4 or 5. That gives you (a small)part of day 3 and one other day to "see" Florence. If, for some reason, you don't like Florence (too crowded, for example), you can still "salvage" the "free" day with a half-day trip to Pisa - - or move out to Fiesole (5 miles from the center) for half the day, or take one of the many guided Chianti wine region day trips.

    You depart Florence on day 6. If, as I suggest, you forego Rome, then you COULD consider renting a car for the last three days. and you could spend the morning of day 6 making a detour to Pisa. This would leave you a substantial drive (about 5 hours) to get to the Naples area by evening, but you can do it.

    I said the Naples AREA - - because there is much nicer AROUND Naples than IN Naples (some Naples-lovers here will argue about this). In any event, this puts you in sorrento or Amalfi or Naples itself for nights 6, 7 and 8. A visit to Pompeii will most likely be near the top of your list for things to day for one of those days. Driving the Amalfi coastline will be one of the payoffs for having a car.

    Keep in mind that you will get stern warnings from car rental companies about car theft when you tell them you are going south of Rome. Use ordinary vigilance about only parking in attended, public parking places, and you will not have a problem.

    If you don't like the idea of NOT going to rome, I hope you will not make the mistkae of allowing less than 72 hours in rome. Rome is very, VERY intense - - and it takes you a day or so to deal with its fast pace and "assault" on all your senses. Everyone I know who went to Rome for "just a day" (or two) ended up saying that they hated it. You might say the same thing of New York.

    And perhaps many of my asumptions are way wrong. If so, come back and explain what you are trying to do in these nine days, and you will get plenty of other responses.

    Best wishes,

    Rex Bickers
    Westerville, Ohio
    www.rexbickers.italy.com

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    I have been to Italy on similar itinerary on a organized tour of Europe which spent only 4 full days in Italy (with exceptions of Pisa, Siena and Naples), so I know my itiniery is possible. Of course everything was organized by the tour company so that saved a lot of time. I will be taking husband this time around to see Italy only, and we are known to buzz around like mad bees morning to night to get in all the sights. (We once saw parts of Virginia, Washington D.C.,New York,Philadelphia and Niagara Falls in one weeks quite happily) My question is where to rent or take the train when in Italy. I am not too sure of the distances in between cities. Read somewhere the whole of Italy is the size of Arizon, so am thinking travel time will be minimum.

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