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Drive from Rome - Siena- Florence

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May 15th, 2013, 04:03 AM
  #1
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Drive from Rome - Siena- Florence

We are thinking of hiring a car from Rome and driving to Siena. We want to take a night halt at one of the towns with panaromic views. and then continue to the Pienza, Montalcino Montepulciano.

Day 1 leave rome. I need help to choose which route to take and where to stay ovenight.. Should it be Rome- Spoleto-Spello- Cortona
or Rome-Civita-Orvieto
What we would like do experience: Scenic Country side with rolling mountains...stopping in small towns to have wine or coffee or quick meals. Not much intereseted in architecture and museums.


Day 2: Explore Pienza, Montalcino Montepulciano. Reach Siena by 5. Overnight at Siena.

Day 3: Siena- Chianti countryside-Pisa-Florence
or Siena- San Gimignano- Voltera- Pisa- Florence

Please suggest. I would also welcome a radically different opinion on the driving route. But we would definitely want to do Pienza, Montalcino Montepulciano

We will not be driving inside the cities of Rome and FLorence. Month of travel: June
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May 15th, 2013, 04:27 AM
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Keep in mind that these towns close up tight for lunch from 12 - 3ish depending on the town and they are not scenic during these times as the metal shutters are down. I have found that we generally can only do 2 towns a day with a long lunch in between when they are closed. And thats if we get an early start. So be sure you factor that into your timings and dont overestimate what you can really do.
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May 15th, 2013, 06:15 AM
  #3
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I agree with jamikins, 2 stops per day is an absolute max for me, but if you are just stopping for coffee or take away food and walk fast without looking at the architecture/museum maybe you can swing a third one. At least you can say "I was there" with a couple pictures to prove it. Make sure your luggage are hidden from direct view (inside the trunk not in back seat) to avoid any car break in.
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May 15th, 2013, 06:29 AM
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Thanks for the inputs...but our whole point is not to say "i was there" in a particular town. The whole idea is to have a wonderful day driving in the countryside with leisure stops in between for photo ops and food and drinks. We see a particular town or not is secondary.
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May 15th, 2013, 07:10 AM
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Your expectations and what is possible may not be congruent. You cannot just drive into town and park at locations you mentioned. You have to park out side and walk or take a bus into town. Pisa, for example, if you managed to use the Pietrasantina parking lot, it is a one-mile walk to the Leaning Tower. Similar story at other towns. Depending on when you are visiting these towns, you might be forced to use out of the way parking lot adding 30min or more per stop just to get from the car to town and back. Also, the legal blood alcohol limit for driving in Italy may be lower than where you are coming from. You either need to limit your "stopping in small towns to have wine" or stay in town long enough after your wine. That is why others are mentioning what seems to be a low number of destinations doable with a car.
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May 15th, 2013, 08:29 AM
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You're picking up the car in Rome and dropping it in Florence? Central Rome is hard to drive in/out of. Will you have a GPS? Likewise central Florence is littered with ZTLs, locals-only parking zones. If you trespass, all too easy, your photo is taken, your car identified (by the rental company for a charge), and you receive an expensive ticket in the mail months later.

You could pick up and drop off the car at airports. Or you could take the train to Orvieto or Spoleto, pick up a car there upon leaving. And maybe drop the car at Pisa's airport, see the tower, then train on to Florence. There are 2 issues: car rental agencies in small towns often close in the afternoon, so check the opening times carefully. And luggage storage. Your hotel in Orvieto will probably store your bags. Maybe the car rental agency in Spoleto would do the same. Or rent the car, load the luggage and park it til you leave. In Pisa, there's luggage storage at the main train station, Pisa Centrale.

I agree you don't have enough time for all these places on either route. The Orvieto option features more striking towns, the Umbrian option more countryside.
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May 15th, 2013, 08:35 AM
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We will be renting from the airport n returning at the airport also. Will not be driving in the city at all. We will also be taking the GPS.
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May 15th, 2013, 12:56 PM
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>>>Bhavana on May 15, 13 at 11:35am
We will be renting from the airport n returning at the airport also.<<<

This really isn't practical. It appears you will be staying in Rome (after a stay on the Amalfi coast). It would make more sense to take a train to either Orvieto, Chiusi, or even Foligno to pick up the car than to go to the airport (Rome's airport is in Fiumicino). To pick up at the airport in Rome, you would have to take a train or taxi to the airport and then backtrack driving (the airport is west of Rome and you want to travel north or northeast of Rome) unless you want to take a coastal route (not on your list).

IMO - Spoleto, Spello, Cortona drive is not "Scenic Country side with rolling mountains" although some of the route would be. Many of these towns on this route are right off the autostada in a valley and the area around Lake Trasimeno is flat.
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May 15th, 2013, 06:38 PM
  #9
DAX
 
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I have picked up and dropped off cars from downtown Avis/Hertz a number of times using the GPS which seemed to direct me to the main roads that safely avoid the ZTL in Rome, so far never got a ticket.

We also had an easy success of dropping off a car in downtown Florence Hertz close to the freeway exit without having to go through the ZTL at all, it's just south of the ZTL. We took a taxi from there to downtown for only €10 instead of the €25 from the airport, but most importantly it saved us precious time to enjoy Florence. Here is the address:
Hertz Via Maso Finiguerra 33 , Florence, 50123, Italy
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May 15th, 2013, 08:52 PM
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Since we are picking up the car on sunday...rental companies are closed in orovito and other places outside rome. I am not even getting option of picking in rome and returning in siena next day. Hence added florence.

Dax: where in rome did you pick up the car? Could you give me the address? Also wat do we feed into the gps to avoid ztl?
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May 15th, 2013, 09:45 PM
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The various car rentals in the Villa Borghese area should be open on Sunday. There is a big underground parking with car rentals. There is a Europcar and a Hertz on Via Sardegna. Only open until 1 on Sunday I think. I imagine there is an Avis also.
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May 15th, 2013, 10:58 PM
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kybourbon...will it be easy to drive out of Villa Borghese area avoiding the ZTL?

There is one near Termini, Ciampino Airport and Flumicino airport as well which is open on Sunday. Which would you advice best to travel to Siena and easy to get out of the City.
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May 16th, 2013, 06:50 AM
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If you do drop off your car at Florence's airport, you can take a bus into Florence. No need for a taxi.
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May 16th, 2013, 08:57 AM
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I feel you are trying to squeeze in too much each day in the options you list in your original post. You won't have time to enjoy any of your stops.

<>

To make the most of your time and maximize your enjoyment of what you want to experience, I suggest driving directly to the Val d'Orcia area and stay there for both nights. Concentrate on visiting the countryside, towns and villages within 5-30 minutes of your base and you will have plenty to fill your days.

Be sure to take along a detailed map (or pick one up at the magazine stand in Pienza) and do some drives (or better yet, walks) along some of the many white (dirt) roads in the area.

You could stay in Pienza, which offers great views of the surrounding, absolutely beautiful countryside.

On your way from Rome to the Val d'Orcia, I suggest taking the road along the coast and then head east toward Pitigliano, stopping there for lunch and a visit. You can then make your way north to the Val d'Orcia.
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May 16th, 2013, 10:57 AM
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You simply can;t hop in and out of all those towns in one day. Agree that two is really the most you can visit and actually see anything.

You need to park outside the town and walk or shuttle in, then find the center and wander around, then find a cafe or ? and have a drink, then back to car. This is about 2.5 hours - unless you are jogging the whole way and slugging back the wine.

If the purpose is to relax and enjoy the countryside you need to find the pretty countryside (some is very boring)and then just add in one or two towns for a quick look. And they will be closed from 12:30 to 3 or so - except for places to eat - with shutters down and not much to see.

We have done many driving trips in europe and what you are trying to do just won't work.
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May 16th, 2013, 02:17 PM
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The Villa Borghese area isn't ZTL. You can see from the ZTL map that Via Sardegna is just outside the ZTL.

http://www.agenziamobilita.roma.it/ztl/ztl.html
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May 16th, 2013, 02:31 PM
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The English version doesn't give the hours, but the Italian version does. ZTL doesn't appear to be in effect on Sunday. You should check with the tourist office as things can change and I know the area around the Colosseum is closed to all traffic on Sundays even though normally it allows traffic.

ZTL diurna Centro Storico

Quando è attiva

La ZTL centro storico diurna è chiusa alle automobili nei seguenti orari:

6.30 - 18.00, da lunedì a venerdì
14.00 - 18.00, il sabato
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