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Terry Apr 21st, 2002 06:28 AM

Florence to Venice: Drive or train?
We will be renting a car in Chiusi for 5 days in Tuscany. On the sixth day we are going to Venice. Our original plan was to leave the car in Florence and take the train to Venice. However, the car rental is the same price for 5 or 6 days. The train for 2 adds 150$ (Can.) plus reservation fee. What is it like driving into Venice? Is it worth spending the extra for the train? We have never been to Italy before (and have only limited knowledge of the language).

BOB THE NAVIGATOR Apr 21st, 2002 07:00 AM

Terry, Take the train. The cost is only<BR>about $35 each for first class and $26 for 2nd class--you must have gotten the inflated prices from Rail Europe. Go to<BR>

Terry Apr 21st, 2002 08:15 AM

Bob, thank you! You're right I was looking at the Rail Europe website. So I went to the Trenitalia website and tried to navigate my way through purchasing a ticket. I have two questions: 1- When I select the seats do I choose standard fare as I don't have any of the cards depicted and then first class from the seat type column? 2- It is only allowing me to purchase tickets up until June 15th. Am I understanding correctly that if I want tickets for August I should wait until two months prior? I'd like to have everything booked and settled now. Is it better to go through a travel agent?<BR>Thanks for your help!

Rex Apr 21st, 2002 10:05 AM

But read Terry's exact situation, Bob. The car rental cost to him is zero. The difference in price was also $CAD vs $USD. No problem returning the car in Venice - - and you can stop and see Verona (briefly?) or La Rotonda - - very cool - - will only cost you about a 90 minute stop.<BR><BR>Best wishes,<BR><BR>Rex<BR>

BOB THE NAVIGATOR Apr 21st, 2002 11:20 AM

Good point, but I was trying to give Terry a viable train option.<BR><BR>Terry, relax and just buy it in Italy.<BR>Any agent can do it for you in Florence, or buy it at the station.

Wayne Apr 21st, 2002 11:42 AM

Being the car enthusiast, I have to say you should keep the car free for another day and drive. It's an easy drive, only about 3 hours of real driving time. It's also easy to turn it in at the Piazzale Roma in Venice, and the sights along the way should make it worth the trip. I can think of Bologna, Ferrara, Verona, south side of Lake Garda, even possibly Padova as places to consider for stopping and looking around. (Can't do all of them, but the point is you can pick what you want.) And there's a really scenic drive between Prato and Bologna on the highway that parallels the autostrada, if you want to enjoy that kind of drive. Either way, I would say you shouldn't have a difficult time; but I love the freedom of moving from place to place by car, and stopping anywhere I want. If, on the other hand, your purpose is simply to get from Florence to Venice as easily and quickly as possible, and you are tired of driving through Italian countryside and towns, then take the train.

Terry May 19th, 2002 08:48 AM

We've finally made a decision! We will keep the car and drive to Venice. We'll be dropping the car off at Piazza Romalla (sp?) at the Avis location. Avis has been about as helpful as a doorpost when it comes to helping us know where this is located. Can anyone give any advice as to best time to drop off? routes to take into Venice? After searching the site it seems we are dropping off at a large car park from which we can take a vaporetto to Piazza San Marco. Has anyone dropped off to this Avia location and can give some tips?<BR>Thanks for any help offered!

Peter May 19th, 2002 09:58 AM

I know the decision has already been made, but a point of interest; the extra car rental day is never free when gas costs $4/ gallon.

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