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enewell Jun 17th, 2015 04:39 AM

Chiusi Car Rental
Does anyone know if it's possible to rent an automatic in Chiusi? We know how to drive stick shifts, but the hill towns might be challenging as we are a bit rusty!

sandralist Jun 17th, 2015 04:55 AM

Even if someone here tells you they did it once, you really need to deal with the rental companies directly on the phone and see what they will guarantee, and you need to press them on the guarantee.

bilboburgler Jun 17th, 2015 04:58 AM

sandra's right. Once you have the deal on the phone insist on confirmation in writing.

sandralist Jun 17th, 2015 05:01 AM

Also, I wouldn't worry about being "rusty" with a stick shift, even in hilltowns. If your previous experience is that you actually owned a manual or drove one for months at a time, even if it was as a teenager, you'll remember without much fuss. If you simply had it in driver's ed once, or it was your uncle's tractor for a visit, then stick with automatic.

Only once in my life did I ever get truly stuck on a steep hill in Italy, unable to coordinate the forward motion as I was slipping backward. I yanked on the emergency brake, put the car in first, switched off the engine, got out of the car and handed the keys to the nearest Italian male under 35. He was happy to do it.

enewell Jun 17th, 2015 05:05 AM

Thanks for the help. Sandralist, we both drove stick shifts for many years, and my husband still does. I think there is a rather large price difference for automatics, so we might just go manual.

indyhiker Jun 17th, 2015 05:14 AM

I just wanted to share our recent experience driving a manual in Umbria (where there are also a lot of hilltowns). Prior to the trip, my husband had never driven a manual. When we started to plan this trip, he committed to learning how, knowing that it was cheaper and easier to drive a manual in Europe. He borrowed a friend's car several times a week at a time and felt like he was ready. I held my breath....

He did just fine with a mere 2-3 weeks of practice. I think he may have stalled the car once despite some hilly conditions at times. But I'd further note that we never really drove into any hill towns despite visiting several of them. At least in Umbria, most of the hill towns have limited traffic zones( ZTLs). Rather than chance a ticket, we parked outside the town walls without exception. So, while we did have to navigate hills, they weren't within the confines of the towns themselves.

enewell Jun 17th, 2015 05:32 AM

Thanks Indyhiker. Good to know!

Dayle Jun 17th, 2015 07:20 AM

Née we'll,

Zipping around the Italian countryside in a stick shift is a joy! I've done it twice in Tuscany and Umbria and once in Sicily. Go enjoy and set your inner Italian driver free!

indyhiker Jun 17th, 2015 07:23 AM

To echo Dayle, we has SO much fun driving in Umbria. Granted, I was just the navigator, but it was still fun, especially in comparison to driving in the States where there is such a pervasive sense of "anger" on the road. I really dreaded the driving, not knowing how my husband would do, but it turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip. We are already planning another visit and car rental.

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