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Best way from Rome airport to Montalcino?

Best way from Rome airport to Montalcino?

Aug 16th, 2001, 09:55 AM
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Best way from Rome airport to Montalcino?

Flying into Rome airport around noon on a Saturday, renting a car and driving to Montalcino. We have a map, but in looking at it it's not clear to me what is the best route. This will be our first experience driving in Italy and we are probably most interested in avoiding heavy traffic and would like to see pretty scenery, although we will probably also be pretty eager to get there after a long flight. Recommendations?
Aug 16th, 2001, 10:11 AM
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I can't help you with Montalcino specifically. But in general, if this is your first trip to Italy and you are flying in from North America and have been up all night, you are very unwise to take on the difficulties of driving a rental vehicle in a totally new environment. Italian drivers are fast, expert and aggressive and expect the same of you. Have you considered staying overnight in Rome or better yet near the airport and then picking up the car the next day- well rested and having had a chance to figure out your maps, the road system etc? We did this for our first trip to Italy 5 years ago and have no regrets and have been back annually and still prefer a day to gather our wits before tackling Italian highways.
Aug 16th, 2001, 10:59 AM
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John's post has merit. You might consider car rental at Fiumicino and driving to the coast (Anzio or Nettuno) for the rest of day 1. It looks as though the route to Montalcino is: ring road to A1, north to an exit leading to Montepulciano and cross country to Montalcino. Spent a week there a couple of years ago and enjoyed it. You can't beat the wine and there are a number of wonderful day trips in the vicinity. I'd estimate the trip from Fiumicino to Montalcino at about three hours. Stay in the right lane of A1 at about 110 kph and you'll be cool. Buon viaggio!
Aug 16th, 2001, 11:21 AM
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I have done that, Lisa, and I was 63 at the time. Actually to Bagno Vignoni, but that is close enough. Take A-12 up the coast as far as the exit for Viterbo and then get onto S-2, the Via Cassia. This is the old road from Rome to Florence. If time permits, divert over to Orvieto and then back to S-2.
Continue as far as San Quiricio and then a short distance west to Montalcino. I would expect about a 4 hour drive and try to get there before dark. Lots of cool villages off the road but you may not have time. Try to see Bagno for :15 if you can. That area is my favorite location for photo ops of the Tuscan countryside, best shot in the late afternoon light. Where are you staying? Stay in Orvieto if you must, but it is only 2 hours more to Montal. Have fun and let me know how it goes.
Aug 16th, 2001, 01:15 PM
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Thanks Bob, Dale, & John for your replies. We already have the reservation to spend the first three nights in Montalcino at Vecchia Oliviera, using that as a base for exploring all the towns nearby that sound so wonderful (then dropping off the car in Chiusi and heading by train and ferry to Positano for three nights, and spending the last three nights in Rome). The woman at Vecchia Oliviera e-mailed me that it takes about 3 hours to drive to Montalcino from Rome's airport but did not suggest a route so I appreciate the suggestions. We probably won't explore too much on the way (will save that for later in the trip once we've rested up a bit) and aren't too worried about making it before dark as the trip is later this month so it should still be light into the evening. I will admit to a bit of trepidation about driving in Italy, especially immediately upon our arrival, but my travelling companion is undaunted. She is a great driver and very accumstomed to big city driving, so I'll let her handle the area around Rome (at least we won't actually be driving IN Rome, just around the airport and outskirts). I'm pretty comfortable navigating (and driving, except in & around big cities, so as long as she can get us out of Rome and into the countryside I think we'll be fine). Both of us have been to Italy twice before (although not to this part of Tuscany, and not by car) and have picked up a bit of "tourist Italian," and we have both driven quite a bit in other countries where we didn't speak the language, so I'm hoping for the best. Any advice about tolls? (Amounts to expect, methods of payment accepted, etc.?)
Aug 16th, 2001, 04:30 PM
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Hi Lisa - I've done this twice the reverse direction. I take a Michelin #430 map (Italia Centro) with me that I picked up at my neighborhood Borders. Be sure to factor in traffic jams (you never know where or when) going up the A1, and following farm vehicles on the smaller roads. The road over from the Chiusi area is beautiful though slow-going, past Montepulciano.

As far as tolls, I usually acquire a few lire before departure so that I don't have a "bad moment" if the first ATM I see at the airport is busy or broken. There's actually a website that gives the autostrada tolls, but I'd guess $10-15 for Fiumicino to Chiusi??? I first drove in Europe (first time on a stick shift in 15 years) there in 1997, ceramica-shopping with my best friend. I drove, she navigated, and we had a fabulous time! You will too.

Buon viaggio! Jan
Aug 16th, 2001, 08:47 PM
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I'm trying to decide on an itinerary for a trip next year to Umbria and then Amalfi. You mentioned taking a train from Chiusi and a ferry to Positano. Where are you going to pick up the ferry and how long does that trip take?
Aug 17th, 2001, 07:23 AM
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Jan -- Thanks for the info & encouragement!

Karen -- I have not done this route before, but there is a Fodorite named Steve James who has posted lots of useful information on this forum about getting to Positano if you do a search. At this point I think we are going to take the train from Chiusi to Salerno (changing trains in Rome) and then take a ferry from Salerno to Positano. I have used the fs-on-line.com site for train information (for Umbria you might want to leave from Orvieto instead of Chiusi depending on where you're staying). It looks like the train from Chiusi to Salerno takes about 4 and a half hours and then the boat to Positano takes around 70 minutes according to Steve James. We also considered taking the train to Naples and then the ferry or hydrofoil from there, but it sounds like Salerno might be easier as the train station is closer to the ferry dock. We are also considering the train to Naples and then the commuter train to Sorrento and then the bus to Positano, although for some reason the ferry sounds easier to me...I don't know. The logistics of this part of the trip are hard to decide. We may do it one way on the way to Positano and another way on the way back up to Rome, just to compare. Fortunately there are only two of us and we travel light.

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