Best way to travel from Tuscany to Rome?

Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 01:25 PM
  #1  
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Best way to travel from Tuscany to Rome?

We are planning a honeymoon for May 2005 to Italy and would like to know what would be the best way to travel from Tuscany to Rome. We will pick up a car in Florence and use it to travel around Tuscany. Our base in Tuscany will be Siena. From Tuscany to Rome, what's the best way to travel to Rome? Return the car to Florence and take a train to Rome? Drop the car off at Orvieto or someplace in between and take a train to Rome? Thanks all and Happy New Year!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 01:41 PM
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My advice would be this.
If you are going to the airport in Rome directly from your time in Siena, I would drive to FCO.
If you are spending time in Rome after Tuscany, drop the car at a rental place near a train station and go to Rome by train.
Check with your rental agency to see where they have offices to return your car. This may impact on your decision.
Days of the week, office hours, and rental locations are a consideration when dropping off a car.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 01:57 PM
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rex
 
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Sher is right. It depends on whether you are traveling to Rome to stay there, or catch a flight from there.

If you are staying in Rome, I would personally choose to drive the car to the front door of the hotel you have selected for your stay. Then, having written to the hotel in advance to ask where is the nearest car rental return location for the company renting you the car - - drive there, and return to your hotel on foot or by taxi.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 01:59 PM
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Pups,
I would NOT drive into the city of Rome, I have taken the train from Florence to Rome and it was relaxing, save your driving for the lovely Tuscan countryside and congratulations!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 02:24 PM
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>>>I would personally choose to drive the car to the front door of the hotel you have selected for your stay. <<<

If your hotel is in the central area of Rome, you are not allowed to drive into this area without a special permit (don't know about Sundays). Drive to the rental car return spot, and take a taxi to your hotel. I would chose to drop off the car in Orvieto, or Chiusi and take the train in. Sher mentioned office hours. I've dropped off cars when the office was closed with no problem.

Stu Dudley
San Mateo (San Francisco), Ca
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 02:39 PM
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rex
 
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<<If your hotel is in the central area of Rome, you are not allowed to drive into this area without a special permit>>

I think there is more mythology than verified enforcement of this. Parking (even stopping in the central area, can be fairly strictly enforced (more by telling you to move, than by ticketing you), but in general, I think that all you hve to do is to say that you are a guest at this hotel, they will let you unload the bags, and not hassle you.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 03:17 PM
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>>>I think there is more mythology than verified enforcement of this. Parking (even stopping) in the central area, can be fairly strictly enforced (more by telling you to move, than by ticketing you), but in general, I think that all you hve to do is to say that you are a guest at this hotel, they will let you unload the bags, and not hassle you.<<<

And what if the policeman is in a bad mood & won't let you in, or if your "I think" is wrong??? What do you do then??? I would sure like to hear from someone who was actually able to drive into the center by telling the policeman that they were going to their hotel. Maybe the hotel issues a "pass" like they do in San Gimignano.

About 10 years ago, we walked outside the zone to pick up the car, and we planned to drive back to the Hotel Gregoriana by the Spanish Steps to pick up our bags. The policeman would not let us in. We did not try to tell him we needed to pick up the bags (we don't speak Italian - and we figured that he probably got about a dozen stories like that every day). We drove around the area a little and decided to "run the blockade". He whistled & whistled at us and crossed his arms in an X, but we made it to the hotel OK & got our bags. If we hit back-up traffic immediatly after the blockade run, I don't know what the policeman would have done if he apprehended us.

Personally, when in a foreign country, I try to obey their laws. I do in my country too.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 03:35 PM
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I would drop it in Orvieto and then take a train to Rome unless you are not staying in Rome in which case I would drop it at Fco. I would not try to drive in Rome or try to find a car rental return in Florence. Enjoy Tuscany.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 04:27 PM
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The reason for my "I think" is that my own personal experiences are from 2001, most recently. Drove a car to the front door of the Albergo del Senato with no problem. And I had previously (1999) driven to the front door of the Cesari (including once solo, with no one to wait at the car - - and that's the time I got a "hey you can't leave that car here").

I understand that others have had similar experiences getting a car to/from the front of a hotel in Florence at locations that are also in "cars not allowed (except to locals) here" areas.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 06:15 PM
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Rex
My comments were not about parking, they we about driving into the central area. When we were there in '02, there were police checking "stickers" and not letting those without stickers drive into the restricted area. We were pedestrians, so I did not try to do it myself. I agree, a policeman is only going to tell you to leave if you are in a restricted parking area.

A policeman checking your sticker, and letting you pass (or not) by him into the restricted driving area is a different thing. Perhaps you were there on a weekend when the restrictions may not apply, or maybe you were lucky. Like I said, they stopped me & would not let me drive into the restricted area. I was on a main access road, not a pedestrian only street.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 06:29 PM
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Or maybe different experiences, different locations, in different years.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 06:40 PM
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Over the years we've driven cars into many "pedestrian only" zones of countless European cities. We have managed to find our way through heavy traffic in the largest cities to finally arrive at the front door of our hotel. But I will readily admit those arrivals were the most stressful parts of all our trips in Europe. We've since given all that up and find it so much more relaxing to take a train, or drop off the car and take a taxi. We decided some time ago that vacations are not about STRESS and we've been so much happy since we've changed our ways.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 07:56 PM
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Eliminating what was stressful to you was a good idea, and everyone should do it. For me, the ability to carry bags from the trunk of the car directly to the lobby - - and reverse on departure, is a lower stress way to travel.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 09:00 PM
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Thank you all for your input. To give more clarification, yes, we will be spending a few days in Rome and we will be staying at the Albergo Cesari (near the Pantheon). And Sher, you bring up a good point regarding the drop off locations. We are planning to rent from autoeurope. I just looked at their website and found that there is a drop-off location in Chiusi (thanks Stu), which is the closest to our hotel. We will be staying at the Palazzo del Capitano (close to Pienza, not Siena). Now that I know that there is a drop off location in Chiusi, I am thinking of dropping the car off there and taking the train to Rome.

Rex, since you have stayed at the Cesari, should we arrive at the Termini or Tiburtina station?

Thanks again everyone for all your help.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2005, 09:26 PM
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I don't know anything about Tiburtina. It will be a short taxi ride from Termini, to the front door of Cesari. I've unloaded my bags there before, and would do it again. Can't imagine why shlep bags out of car into train station, onto train, off of train, out of train station, into taxi, out of taxi...

Is there any city in the US where you would do this?

Whatever your decision, I see now that I failed to take not that this is for your honeymoon.

So, congratulations on your new life in marriage... and... best wishes...

(I'm a new father-in-law myself, of just about 8 weeks!)
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 10:13 AM
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I guess that I have not described my personal experience (two) accuratly enough about driving into Rome. I'm not talking about Florence, Paris, London, San Francisco, New York, etc - I'm talking about Rome only. When we were there, you could not drive into the center of Rome - it was restricted !!!!!

There were two a police officers standing at a 4 way intersection, blocking the route into central Rome. They would not let you pass unless you had the correct "papers" (a sticker on the car perhaps). I encountered this once when I tried to drive to my hotel, and also when I walked by this blockade on another visit ('02). What are you going to do if you encounter this like I did. Perhaps it does not happen every day or on all roads into the center of Rome - I really don't know. Do you want to have to try to find a place to park the car outside the restricted zone, call a taxi, have the taxi take you to the hotel, then back to the car, figure out what do do with the car next, etc ???

Several other cities have restricted access too. We were in Montpellier France twice this past Sept, and even the taxi could not take us to our hotel, or pick us up - we had to walk to/from the "taxi stand" with our bags.

Why take a chance - arrive by train & walk 50 yds to the taxi stand & have him/her take you directly to your hotel. This is what I did when staying at the Santa Ciara.

Stu Dudley
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 01:43 PM
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rex
 
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I have seen a barricade that (I think) was similar to what are you describing - - on Via del Corso - - and at other times of the day it was not there.

It wouldn't alter my plans. If I encountered a barrier like this, I would go to the car rental return location (to which I had always planned to go), and take a cab to the hotel.
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