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Drive from Milan to Venice with a stop in Verona

Drive from Milan to Venice with a stop in Verona

Nov 29th, 2013, 11:25 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1
Drive from Milan to Venice with a stop in Verona


We are four adult women (20s. 30s) driving with out father from Milan to Venice, then to Florence, then back to Milan.
We arrive in Milan Saturday February 15, plan to stay in Venice Saturday and Sunday, then to Florence Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and then to Milan Thursday and Friday, and leave on a morning flight Saturday.

We would like to rent a car rather than take the train for two reasons:
1. It will be cheaper to drive than to purchase that many train tickets.
2. We will be able to stop for the afternoon in Verona on the way to Venice and in Pisa on our way to Milan from Florence.

Our questions are:
1. What is the best rental company/location? I assume at the airport in Milan?
2. Where should we leave the car when we are in Venice? Is it better to rent the car for the entire week and just store it at a parking facility while we are in Venice and in Florence, or should we turn the car in when we arrive in Venice and rent another two days later?

Thank you for any help/advice you can give!
AlisonAnne is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 12:50 PM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,664
We always rent from AutoEurope/Kemwel. Note that it is required that you purchase CDW (insurance) in Italy.

There is an obvious place to leave the car in Venice - look up Piazzale Roma & park there. It is across the canal from the train station.

1-3 day car rentals are usually close to the rental cost for 5-7 days. Plus you will loose valuable time if you return the car & then re-rent it. There is, however, a rental office at the Piazalle Roma.

Have you really done the math for cars vs train? Have you factored in parking/storage costs for the car while in Verona, Venice, & Florence? Plus gas & tolls (see www.viamichelin.com for estimating this).

I'm a car fan - except for long hauls and when I have to drive into large cities - like Florence. I assume you'll return the car at the airport & take a taxi to your hotel in Milan.

Earlier this year we flew into Milan (Linate - not Malpinsa) and took a taxi to the Milan Centrale station. Then we took a train to Verona (no need to purchase tickets ahead - and we did this a few days before Easter). From Verona we took a train to Bologna, and then to Southern Tuscany - Chiusi. We then rented a car for 2 weeks, returned the car, and took a train back to Milan.

IMO, your 2 1/4 days for Verona & Venice is a little too hurried - especially considering the short daylight hours. We were in Verona for 3 nights - but took a day-trip (by train) to Mantova for a good part of 1 day. Determine your hourly schedule for your arrival day at the Milan airport. Use www.viamichelin.com to determine driving times. I would not want to arrive in Venice late at night (when it has been dark for the last 2-3 hours), figure out how to park the car, and then take a vaperetto to your hotel.

Stu Dudley
StuDudley is online now  
Nov 29th, 2013, 12:54 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6,525
I wouldn't dream of driving in any of those three cities. Cars can't enter Venice, and they're an expensive nuisance in Florence and Milan. I doubt that you've considered the cost of parking in your calculations, and probably haven't considered the possibility of getting very cheap train tickets if you buy well in advance. The train is also much faster than driving on these routes. I don't see why you couldn't stop in Verona and Pisa if you took the train. However, Verona deserves more than a quick stopover. If you can't devote more than a few hours, I'd skip it.

Use www.michelin.com to calculate the cost of tolls and fuel, and then add 20 euros per day for parking and the cost of the car rental.

Then check the price of cheap train tickets, using your actual dates, on www.trenitalia.com (choosing the English language option) or on www.italia-rail.com , which is their American site.

Another consideration is that you need a fairly large car to hold five people and their luggage. There are many Italian cars that will hold five people, but only about three suitcases. Does the driver know how to use manual shift? Because renting a car with automatic transmission costs a lot more.

If you do decide to drive, the driver has to get an International Drivers Permit, which has to carried along with the normal license. Also, get lodging well outside the city centers, because all of these cities have restricted traffic zones and bus lanes that are strictly enforced by cameras. It's very easy to accidentally stray into one of these zones or lanes, and a fine will arrive at your home maybe six months to a year later. The rental agency will also charge a hefty fee to your credit card to reimburse them for helping the police to find you. Search for "ZTL Florence", for example, on the internet to see some horror stories. Some people have racked up multiple fines without realizing it.

These are all reasons that most Italians take the train between cities. We use our cars for driving around the countryside, but not in cities, unless we're very familiar with them and know the ZTL locations by heart. Even in cities we know well, my husband and I have sometimes made a mistake.
bvlenci is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 12:56 PM
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Sorry, I mistyped www.viamichelin.com leaving off the "via".
bvlenci is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 02:19 PM
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Bad idea ! You do not want to drive in any of those cities.
I suspect you are getting bad train fares--what is your source?
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 4
Alison, let me share my considerations/suggestion:
- I think you should consider renting a car only for the time you really need it, high speed trains are faster and more convenient, since they will get you to the very city center (you won't be able to do so with a car). Moreover, parkings are expensive, 29 €/day in Venice (http://www.asmvenezia.it/accita/comunale.html), no less than 15-20 per day in Verona and other towns
- You should plan 2 full days in Venice, if you land in Milan (which airport, BTW?) on saturday, disembark, get your luggages and get a car (up to 2 hours), drive to Verona (2,5 hours, including finding a central parking on saturday afternoon!), having a short sight seeing in Verona (4 hours, very rushed), drive to Venice + saturdays traffic jams + parking in piazzale Roma(1,5 hours), taking a Ferry to your hotel... well, that's very close to my worst travel nightmares!
- Is there any particular reason to spend 2 nights in Milan? I live in Milan, it's an interesting town, but maybe you should sacrifice it and spend more time in Venice.
- Pisa is not on the way to Milan (it's actually 1 hours driving from Florence and 3,5 hours from Milan (http://www.viamichelin.it/web/Itiner...toroute=false&)
- If you book your train now, you may get discounts. Check national railways (www.trenitalia.com, including "tutti i treni" and private competitor Italo (http://www.italotreno.it/IT/Pagine/default.aspx)
Alternative itinerary:
- Saturday: drive from airport to verona (so you don't have to change train in Milan). Leave the car in Verona end of morning and spend the night there (very beautiful town, much cheaper than venice!)
- Sunday: early train to Venice (one hour). Enjoy Venice, Sunday and Monday, exploring some off the beaten path area (http://wp.me/p3sImA-i), since sunday it will be crowded, remember to reserve you entry to San Marco to skip queues, limited access on sundays because of mass
- Tuesday morning: early train to Florence (presently at 19 € https://www.lefrecce.it/B2CWeb/searc...D=dMVZSHfWB2pr). Sightseeing in the afternoon
- Wednesday: day trip by train to Pisa (could plan a stop in Lucca as well)
- Thursday: rent a car for the day and visit Siena, San Gimignano, Chianti, Val d'Orcia (not all together, you'll have to choose!)
- Friday: relaxed departure from Florence by high speed train to Milan. Afternoon sightseeing in Milan + "aperitivo" in a posh bar (http://wp.me/p3sImA-2G)
- Saturday: train / bus to airport

Hope this helps. Enjoy your stay!
Jeipi is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 02:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,302
Understand this is not answering the question you actually asked, and do not know if you have traveled there before and have your own experience to rely on, but other experienced travelers are giving you great advice. Here is mine, based on many trips to all places.

Venice is between 2&1/2 and 3 hours driving time from Milan. Not knowing what time your flight arrives, but allow an hour or so to get through customs, get luggage and pick up car. As someone else pointed out you have to consider what size car will fit all of you and luggage. You want to make sure it will all fit in the trunk if you park it anyplace. Not easy to do. You will be jet lagged and it is probably not a great idea to plan a drive plus touring the first day. You would get to Venice fairly late when it is dark early, have to park and have to find you way to your hotel. This is all doable, but not desirable. Also, you are allowing only one day for Venice, after a flight, jet lag, and busy first day of driving and sight seeing. Sometimes saving a little money (even a lot) is not worth the stress and you may be cheating yourselves by being more exhausted for sight seeing the rest of your trip. You are young, but still, not a good plan.

Why not this?
Take train straight to Venice. The train will be much more restful than driving and will take you right to Santa Lucia station on the Grand Canal with time for a little waking (wonderful on arrival in Venice after a flight) and a nice dinner in Venice. You will ready for sight seeing the next day.

Train to Florence. Taxi to hotel, though some are so close to the station, you can easily walk. At any rate, no time spent parking, etc.

Depart Florence early on Thursday by train. Stop in Verona. Stash luggage at the train station. Walk, taxi, or quick bus to city center. Tour, have a nice lunch. Train to Milan. Taxi to hotel.

This still gives you a whole day for Milan.

It appears you have already purchased tickets. If not, consider a multi-flight ticket, flying into Venice and out of Milan. It would save a day of travel (giving you more sight seeing time in Venice) and cost of train tickets from Milan for all of you. Might be worth it to change flights if you can.
Sassafrass is offline  
Nov 29th, 2013, 05:33 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 2,560
RE:hotels near the train station in Florence. We stayed at Hotel Accademia about 2-3 blocks from the station. It was a perfectly nice place, a little quirky with the layout but well located for any and all walking, transport etc. Agree that driving in Milan, Florence or Venice is tricky. We've done it and I saw my life pass before my eyes multiple times...the roundabouts are crazy!!
cmeyer54 is offline  

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