First Time Italy

Old Feb 2nd, 2003, 08:57 AM
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First Time Italy

My husband and I are traveling to Italy for the 1st time - Rome, Venice Florence and Tuscany. April 20 to May 2. I have 2 questions I could use help with.
1- We want to travel by train. Should I purchase a 10 day pass or purchase the tix individually?
2- We want to rent a car in Florence to see Tuscany. Should we book the car before leaving or rent one when we get to Florence.
Thanks for any advice.
suego is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2003, 09:27 AM
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Hi, Suego.

Here are my opinions to your question.

1. Do not purchase a pass, but get your tickets when you arrive. Passes are invariably more expensive for short-term, one-time trips. I assume you will be spending a few days in Rome. If so, get your tickets at the train station or at a travel agent. Go to www. trenitalia.com to look up the times you want to travel. Print this out before you leave home, highlighting the routes and times you want to take. Then, at the train station, show them what you want to do.

I advise you take choose EuroStar for the routes you have selected (Rome to Florence to Venice). For EuroStar you must have reservations, but you do not have to stamp your tickets. Please trust me on this. EuroStar is the easiest way to go for first-time travelers.

2. I have lived in Italy for several years, but before I moved here it was cheaper to rent the car, especially through companies Eurocar/AutoEurope (or something like that), from the U.S. I am sure people who have done it more recently than I will have better advice.

One recommendation. You may want to consider taking the train from Florence to Arezzo and renting the car from there. The rental place is across the street from the train station. I think Florence can be confusing for first time drivers, whereas Arezzo is relatively small and gives you easy access to small country roads instead of the Autostrada.

Good luck, and I hope you enjoy Italy as much as I do.
SantaChiara is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2003, 09:40 AM
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rex
 
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<<cheaper to rent the car, especially through companies Eurocar/AutoEurope (or something like that), from the U.S>>

Based on my last three trips to Europe in the past 18-24 months, this is still true.

Beware that it is very hard to get a good rate for less than three days rental, so you might want to plan your itinerary accordingly.

And absolutely, buy your tickets individually, in Italy.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Feb 2nd, 2003, 10:17 AM
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We found that the self-service kiosks at all of the train stations we passed thru were very easy to use. We purchased all of our tickets with a credit card and never had to stand in a single line. You can select a number of languages, departure and destination information was easy and you could pick a variety of departure times.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2003, 02:48 PM
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Trust SantaChiara's advice. She is a goddess.
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