car in italy

Jun 19th, 2006, 05:19 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 154
car in italy

We leave Friday....still pondering: car or train or what combo? We have 4 nights in Venice, 5 nights in Florence, 4 nights Amalfi Coast, 1 week villa in Umbria and 5 nights Rome. We would love to explore (Parma/Bologna, Cinque Terre, Lake Garda), but some of those drives will make for a very long day. Any suggestions? What are gas rates these days? With parking lots in bigger cities and gas prices, where does it pay to rent a car or is the train a better buy all around?
daffy_traveller is offline  
Jun 19th, 2006, 05:38 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 199
Best to rent cars near airports (or other out of city areas) for the day or two (or longer) you really need them and take trains the rest of the time. If you do rent for the whole time, don't take a car in the cities unless you are a fantastic driver with a great set of nerves. And parking can be expensive anywhere.

For example: We taxied to the airport from the train station in Bologna since all other rental car localities were closed on Sunday. Thrifty car rental, (reservations in advance) for a small automatic was cheaper than anyone else by far. We then spent the night near Parma and did the tours which were wonderful then did the reverse for the car, taking a train to the next city. You can train it to Florence from Parma/Bologna in less than 1 hour, see the city by walking not driving, take a bus to the hill cities (San G.) for the day or overnight, take the fast train to Rome in an hour. We found the trains the way to go unless you have bags and bags of luggage to haul around..
Amart is offline  
Jun 19th, 2006, 05:44 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,801
You'll only want a car for your week in Umbria, and you should use it to explore the hilltown of Umbria and visit the Piano Grade. Everywhere else on your itinerary a car would be a complete nuisance. If you are leaving Friday, you should make your car reservation now.

If you are going to Umbria from the Amalfi, you should take the train from Sorrento/Napoli to Roma, switch to Orvieto and pick up your rental car in Orvieto. Drop it off in Orvieto before heading to Roma.

If you want to see Bologna, do it as a one-night stopover between Venice and Firenze, or an all day stopover (park your luggage at the train station).

Otherwise, Lago di Garda and Cinque Terre really should wait for another trip.

How are you planning to get to your hotel on the Amalfi Coast? Unless you are staying in Sorrento, the best way is usually to hire a private driver to meet you at the Napoli train station to drive you down the coast. You can e-mail Benevenuto Limosuines to make arrangments. You can find them on the web.
nessundorma is offline  
Jun 19th, 2006, 06:00 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 19
So I take it that you don't need to pre book rental cars ?... I'm doing almost the same trip (in a shorter time--darn!)and I was planning on staying in one central spot longer than the rest and doing day trips.
Ardie is offline  
Jun 19th, 2006, 06:04 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 3,801
You should pre-book.
nessundorma is offline  
Jun 19th, 2006, 06:18 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 154
I have already pre-booked a car for just the week in Umbria, as nessundorma suggests, but then thought it would be cheaper to just have a car for the whole time (but I was unsure about extra parking and gas costs.) But I like the idea of making Bologna/Parma a stop between Venice and Florence! And thanks for the info on the Amalfi Coast. We are staying in Praiano, so we probably should book a car service to get us there.
I just might keep the car the way it is and go train the rest. Then we can experience it all.
I have driven from Florence all the way to and around Sicily and back to Rome, so I am not afraid of the driving...just dragging 2 kids around for long distances.
You guys are always so helpful!!
daffy_traveller is offline  

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