Car rental Tuscany/FCO questions

Old Aug 5th, 2018, 05:12 PM
  #21  
 
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If it were me, I'd suck it up, have an espresso, rent the car at FCO and get moving. It's very easy driving on the A1. If your first stop is southern Tuscany, I don't see why you'd take the train to Florence, then rent a car and drive back down south. If you drive from FCO you could always do the first night in Orvieto, which is a little closer than the towns in Val d'Orcia. If you're planning to spend any time in Florence, I'd drop car there and take the train on to Venice.
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Old Aug 5th, 2018, 06:47 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by txtree View Post
If it were me, I'd suck it up, have an espresso, rent the car at FCO and get moving. I.
What horrible advice! If there is any chance that someone will have jet lag, I would strongly encourage use of public transportation for the first night or two. Although many people are not aware of it, there is mounting evidence that driving with jet lag is just as dangerous -- to yourself and others -- as driving drunk, and nothing you can do will prevent the microsleeps (which you might not even notice) that are the apparent culprit. Seriously -- NOT a good idea, no matter your other constraints and no matter your prior experience! And please be patient with me if you think I’m being overly adamant, but I know too many people who have died or been seriously injured in accidents to which jet lag was a contributing factor, and I know too many people who will spend the rest of their lives dealing with the knowledge that they were responsible for accidents that resulted in multiple deaths, including those of children, all because they were too confident in their ability to drive safely with jet lag. The issue has become a bit of cause célèbre for me….
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Old Aug 5th, 2018, 08:04 PM
  #23  
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txtree I see you live in Brooklyn 😊 I wonder if you have ever flown to Sydney, jumped in a right hand drive car and driven on the left hand side of the road to Newcastle ( for example...)

If you have, all power to you - but I know from previous experience that although I am a very confident driver I have to agree with kja in this instance.
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Old Aug 5th, 2018, 08:06 PM
  #24  
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Whew! Thanks, ozgirl.
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Old Aug 5th, 2018, 10:11 PM
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I would not drive after such a long trip. As I understand it, the flight time alone is 22 hours. Add several hours at the airport before the flight, the time getting to the airport after awakening plus the time going through immigration and customs at the destination plus the time required to rent a car and you easily have 26 plus hours of travel. My suggestion of going to directly to Florence was done with the idea you could visit Florence before heading south. That would have been a better itinerary than your present one but would have required you to arrive in Italy a few days before so you could do your Saturday to Saturday rental. In this situation I am not sure it matters that much which airport you pick up the car except the lack of a drop off fee if you just use Florence to pick up and drop off.
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Old Aug 5th, 2018, 11:06 PM
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I think I did not take into consideration that OP must start the vacation rental in rural Tuscany the day after arrival in FCO.
Since the vacation rental requires having a car, I think you have these options:

Rome- Tuscany

A1) Arrive FCO Good Friday.
Overnight near FCO for one night,
Next day, train to Florence or Siena or XYZ where you can pick up the car and drive to vacation home.

A2) Arrive FCO Good Friday.
Overnight near FCO for one night,
Next day, pick up rental car at FCO and drive to Tuscany. (later drop off in Florence)
One-way rentals (FCO-Florence) do not necessarily have to be one euro more costly than renting from/to Florence. Check the fineprint..

B) Arrive FCO Good Friday.
Continue journey to Florence by train on Good Friday.
Overnight near Florence SMN (main) station - lots of hotels nearby. You probably find fancier hotels for your stay in Florence proper the following week, but after 26-30 hours of travel I doubt you will notice the difference between a 2* hotel and a royal palace.
Pick up car next day at Florence SMN pick-up location and drive to vacation home.


One week later, drive back to Florence and return car at SMN location. Or the airport.
IMO, the Q whether to rent from/to Florence downtown vs. airport is less important than making a decision about options A or B for traveling from FCO to Tuscany.
Walk or taxi to hotel for your x days in Florence.

The option to drive Florence - Venice is out of the window due to the x days in Florence proper squeezed in between, right?
Would not be feasible, IMO, to rent a car just to drive Florence-Venice. Train is much faster and you save money for gas and tolls.
We found Italotreno less expensive than Trenitalia on that leg, but YMMV and checking out both is always a good ideas.. I think we paid appr. €30 o/w Venice-Florence.

Which option (A1, A2, B) is best for you may also depend on the techicalities of your vacation rental.
If you need to be in one village in rural Tuscany at a specific time to pick up the keys it can be harder to plan your arrival time if you were driving all the way from FCO up there. If you can pick up the keys any time you want or at any time after, for example, 2pm, there would be no major differences between the options other than personal preferences.

Personally, I'd prefer to do the long-distance travel by train. And leave the car for exploring Tuscany.

Last edited by Cowboy1968; Aug 5th, 2018 at 11:09 PM.
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Old Aug 5th, 2018, 11:50 PM
  #27  
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On further thought, this is what I would do. Arrive FCO, take train to Rome Termini and stay close to the Rome train station. If you arrive FCO 1330 you could be in your hotel in Rome by about 3:30. Dump your luggage and go for a walk, than an early dinner, than go to sleep. Awake early, take a train back to FCO, and car rental. Drive to, lets say Pienza would be about 2 and 30 minutes. If you go directly to Florence you will not get there until and 6:30 which just gives you time for dinner and sleep. The drive from Florence to Pienza is about 1 hour and 45 minutes. Longer if you want to go the scenic Chianti 222. I would rather spend a few hours in Rome jet lagged than on the train to Florence and I would rather be in Rome than out at FCO because you are going to want to stay awake at least until early evening to re set your time clock.
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Old Aug 6th, 2018, 10:48 AM
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Ok, ok! I don't think of myself as superwoman but after a very long travel day like that I usually find I am anything but tired, having slept for hours and hours on the plane (I wouldn't say the same for a relatively short redeye). And I did once travel 18+ hours to South Africa and then immediately rent a car where I had to drive on the wrong side of the road. And I was fine. But I retract my advice, except do agree with mjs that you should figure out a way to stay awake that first day since getting accustomed to Italy time will be key to avoiding a horrific jetlag experience. I have rented a car at Termini and it was not that crazy getting out of Rome and onto the A1 to Tuscany. But then again I am from Brooklyn.
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Old Aug 6th, 2018, 06:22 PM
  #29  
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@ txtree: Many people mistake having slept and/or feeling awake for being safe to drive, but the problem isn't sleep or wakefulness, its that you are off the schedule dictated by your biological clock, and you simply must give yourself at least a little time for that clock to reset to avoid the microsleeps that are the main safety risk.
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Old Sep 10th, 2018, 10:49 PM
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Hi again guys,
I have a new potential plan It appears that I CAN rent an auto in Chiusi. So, I'm thinking of overnighting in Rome (after spending the afternoon getting internet connected amongst other things) and then training to Chiusi Saturday am where we will rent the car and then return to the same depot the following Saturday, before continuing on by train to Florence.
How does that sound?
It seems that Chiusi is served by by both fast and regional trains.

oz
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