Driving from Rome to Florence

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May 5th, 2003, 07:45 AM
  #1
donnabee
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Driving from Rome to Florence

Can anyone tell me how long it would take to drive (by car) from Rome to Florence, and then from Florence to Venice??
 
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May 5th, 2003, 08:04 AM
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About 3 hours each, but why would you want to? Do not try to drive in those cities.
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May 5th, 2003, 08:23 AM
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donnabee
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Why not drive in those cities? We like to drive so we can go off track into the small villages. If we didn't drive, what would you suggest?
 
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May 5th, 2003, 08:29 AM
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Go to viamichelin.com, and you can get an itinerary, map, directions and approx. times.

I think driving is great fun, however unless you plan on spending a night on the way between these cities, I'd take the train. It's faster, better scenery, more convienient.

Ciao.

Coachboy
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May 5th, 2003, 08:36 AM
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donnabee
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Thanks CoachBoy - Good site - exactly what I was looking for. If we took the train, is there a website where I can check prices, etc.? We will be spending a couple of nights in Florence.
 
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May 5th, 2003, 08:45 AM
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I hate to disagree with most of the others, but I think driving is the way to go. And if you take into account the queuing up for tickets, the waiting for the train, and other terminal delays, it isn't really any faster. And as already observed, you can stop along the way at any place that interests you. As for scenery, don't believe the person who said the scenery is better by train. Scenery is best when you can slow down, pull over to admire it or take a photo, not when you can see it generally from only one side of a train.

As for the comment regarding driving inside the city, that is good advice. But that doesn't keep you from going by car, driving into the city to your destination, and parking it till you leave. Driving into Florence is a bit of a hassle, but not impossible. Obviously driving into Venice isn't done, so you leave your car at the parking garage there.

If you really like the sightseeing along the way, and you like to stop to investigate things on the spur of the moment, going by car is well worth the effort. And taking all things into account, it isn't that much slower than the train. Good luck.
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May 5th, 2003, 08:46 AM
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If you decide to drive, here is the web site for the Autostrade:

http://www.autostrade.it/pagine_1/english/e-homep.html

The site for trains is:

http://www.trenitalia.com/

Driving in cities is difficult, particularly in Rome, which I'm sure is what Bob meant. Last year we picked up our rental car in Rome (at Termini) and drove to Florence, where we stayed for several days. Our hotel arranged for parking, which can also be a problem. We drove on to Venice where we turned the car in. We left Venice by train for Milan and flew home from there.

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May 5th, 2003, 09:08 AM
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It is approximately a 3 hour drive from heart of Rome to heart of Florence during non-rush hour times; from Florence to Venice is about 2 hrs 45 min without rush hour. CHeck out mapquest, go to maps first and then to driving directions
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May 5th, 2003, 09:17 AM
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I definitely wouldn't drive between these cities. You really don't want a car in any of these cities. Train from Rome to Florence is 1.5-2 hours, Florence to Venice about 3. You can buy all your tickets at once if you're concerned about lines at the stations. If you want to see the countryside you can just rent a car after you're done with Florence and spend some time in Tuscany.
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May 5th, 2003, 09:38 AM
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Donnabee, we did just what you are proposing a few weeks ago. While some may not like to drive in foreign countries, my husband prefers it to the train, as it provides us with more freedom. You're not bound to train schedules, you can stop when and where you want, etc.

We picked up our car when leaving Rome(AutoEurope office on Via Lombardia), and drove to Tuscany where we used the car daily for 3 days. Then, when we arrived in Florence, we parked the car for the duration of our 3 day stay there(approx. 27 euro/day). I know you can find a better price, however,that is what we got. When leaving Florence, we retrieved the car and drove to Venice (approx. 4 hours with stops and traffic), where we returned the car at Piazelle Roma.

It was very enjoyable and trouble free. My only suggestion would be to have good directions (especially regarding how to get in/out of the cities) and a good map, as well as a good navigator to direct the driver. Have a great trip!
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May 5th, 2003, 12:27 PM
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Iregeo,

What maps do you recommend? We plan to do much the same trip this summer. Thanks!
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May 5th, 2003, 01:13 PM
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Thought I'd weigh in on this - on the side of people who like to drive! We rented our car at the airport in Rome, and left immediately from there for Florence. We took an entire day getting there, stopping in Pisa and some small towns along the way. We left our car at the hotel in Florence and depended on public transportation (and feet) to get everywhere while in the city.

Leaving Florence, we drove to Mestri (probably didn't spell that right) - since you can't drive in Venice, you simply leave the car in the large parking garages there and take a boat across.

From Venice, we drove south to Rimini so we could see one of the famous resort towns, then back across the country to Rome.

I agree totally that you do not want to drive in Rome. We went back to the airport, dropped off the car, took a train into Rome, and then again used public transportation while we were there. We also took the train from Rome to Pompeii one day. (Day trip, but a long one).

As several others stated, good maps are a must. We bought several through AAA before leaving the states - maps of the country, and of each city we needed. We also relied a lot on our Fodor's tour book, which has great maps and directions.

We love driving, and have done it in several European countries. We think it's the best way to see the countryside, and to stop at those wonderful little markets that you pass by on the train. Be polite, have some guidebook Italian phrases handy, and you'll find the people very, very friendly and helpful - so even getting lost can be fun!

Enjoy the trip.
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