Driving from Venice

Old Jan 28th, 2005, 09:23 AM
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Driving from Venice

We will be spending 3 days in Venice in early March of this year. From there we plan to go to the Tuscany area. Should we rent the car in Venice or take the train to Florence and then get a car? Is there anything of interest between Venice and the Tuscany area? If we take the train to Florence, is it a problem to get a car at the train station. Anyone know of great hotel etc. in the Tuscany area that is inexpensive. We plan to drive and just stop when we feel like it. Any suggestions would be great. Thank you for your time.
Mosan
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 09:39 AM
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A great hotel thats inexpensive? You will be looking forever. I rented a small villa in tuscany and I think this would suit your needs.

Is there anything between Venice and Tuscany? Only one of the best areas in Italy. The Chianti region where all the vinyarda and wineries are located. You should read my post and this will answer more of your questions. I just reposted it today under Italy Trip Report.
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 10:00 AM
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By all means take the train from Venice to Florence and rent the car in Florence. You can rent a car near the train station.
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 10:03 AM
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Are you staying in Florence a couple days? If so, take the train there and rent a car when you leave Florence. But I wouldn't suggest taking a train to Florence to immediately rent a car and then drive? Why spend the money on the train tickets and put up with the traffic getting out of Florence? You can pick up your car at the edge of Venice and be on your way so much easier, and probably within the same day's rental charges (depending on the pickup and drop off times, of course).
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 10:38 AM
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Having done this back in November myself, I have to agree with Patrick. We rented a car from Marco Polo airport and drove to Umbria.

Once you're beyond the flat area south of Ravenna, it's a beautiful drive down through the mountains east of Florence (the Apenines?)

If you're interested in seeing some of the mosaics for which Ravenna is famous, you can easily detour to St. Apollinaris in Classe, outside of town on your way to Tuscany.
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 10:56 AM
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<<Is there anything between Venice and Tuscany? Only one of the best areas in Italy. The Chianti region where all the vinyarda and wineries are located>>

Well, wrong, actually - - most of Chianti is NOT between Venice and Tuscany (correctly, all of Chianti is IN Tuscany,but I inerpret your question to mean between Venice nad Florence) - - and although your question (and my answer) is a little bit insulting to all the people who live between Venice and Florence - - one short answer is: no (and I wince at dissing Padua and Verona and Bologna with that generalization).

I do have to agree that a "great" hotel that is inexpensive is a conradiction - - but even it did exist, why would it have emoty rooms just waiting for you to "stop when you feel like it".

Forgive me an insulting tone - - but I am only trying to point out the contradiction in your question.

Do you specifically want to stay AWAY from Flroence, to be able to visit the Tuscany countryside? Or only if it provides you a better value lodging choice? (and it certainly can - - but the best places will not be so cheap, or book well in advance, or both).

How many days can you allocate to Florence and Tuscany? A car makes sense (only?) if you have five or more (maybe four), but a lot depends on what are your plans after that. And how many are you? (more than three helps make a car make more sense economically).

My recollection of car rental locations in Florence is that they are predominantly within ten blocks of the train station (on or around Via Borgo Ognissanti), and not so much (not at all?) AT the train station.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 11:35 AM
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I would take the train to Florence (the car rental locations are just a short walk from the train station). The 8:44 train from Venice gets you into Florence a little after 11:30.

Either spend a couple of days in Florence or pick up the car right away and drive through Chianti (S222 - Chiantigiana) on the way to whatever hotel you are going to stay.

We have stayed at Palazzo Ravizza in Siena (thought it was great). This year we are staying just outside Siena at Hotel Piccolo Oliveta (good reviews here and very reasonably priced).

No matter what you decide, it will be the correct decision, because you're in Italy!
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 11:44 AM
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One more thing....

Although Florence is a hellish place to drive (I've nearly killed or maimed a dozen people including a trio of nuns), it is fairly easy to get from the car rental place near the train station to the S222. They gave really good directions (the car rental place..not the nuns)
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 12:24 PM
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Pick up a car on mainland Venice and drive. We drove into Florence and it wasn't bad. Driving thru Tuscany is magicial. Stay in Siena overnight.
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Old Jan 28th, 2005, 12:43 PM
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Not to belabor the issue. There is one BIG downside to driving Venice to Florence, and it happened to me in the late 90s. Due to a large accident at one point of the journey and construction at another venue, it took more than 4 1/2 hours to drive it. If I want traffic like that, I can do it here in L.A.
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