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Italy bound - seeking wise counsel

Old Jun 23rd, 1998, 04:10 PM
  #1  
Fred Copeman
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Italy bound - seeking wise counsel

We're flying in to Milan (2 adults,2 kids, 4 bags)- do we take the train to Venice or rent a car one-way and drop it off in Venice? Which is cheaper/smarter We go on from Venice for a week in Tuscany - any advice on which car is the most appropriate to rent? Next leg is to Rome where the hotel (La Rezidenza) has its own small parking area. Are we crazy to drive the car into Rome, or should we drop it off at Fiumicino, the train station or another spot? Any and all advice gratefully appreciated.
 
Old Jun 23rd, 1998, 04:34 PM
  #2  
dimi
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I realize you are traveling with 2 kids and 4 bags. Here is what I suggest: pack lighter, DON'T RENT A CAR, travel buy train (reserve your tickets ahead of time) as it is cheaper and smarter, and whatever you do - DON'T DRIVE IN ROME! P/S Pick a hotel closer to the city attractions in Rome. GOOD LUCK TO YOU!
 
Old Jun 23rd, 1998, 06:06 PM
  #3  
wes fowler
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Fred,
I second Dimi's ecommendation. Car rental in Italy is prohibitively expensive due to a 20% Value Added Tax, compulsory collision and theft insurance and exhorbitant drop-off charges at other than the pickup point. The American Express credit card will not cover collision insurance in Italy, as well. Stick to trains as the mode of travel and do make reservations in advance.
 
Old Jun 23rd, 1998, 06:26 PM
  #4  
dimi
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WES - you seem to be a man of the WORLD. Maybe you can help me with my trip tot he CAYMAN ISLANDS?????? Dimi
 
Old Jun 23rd, 1998, 07:01 PM
  #5  
Fred
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Wes and Dimi - Thanks for the feedback. I will do some of the travel by train, but still need a recommendation from someone vis-a-vis getting from Milan to venice, the best car to rent, and any other ideas. Thanks!
 
Old Jun 23rd, 1998, 07:38 PM
  #6  
Dayle
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Fred: I would either train or fly from Milan to Venice, depending on travel time required. Once in Venice, no car is needed. Rent a car outside Venice and do Tuscany, that would give you plenty of freedom if you are willing to pay for it and the one way drop off. Trains should still be convenient enough if not. Leave the car outside Rome. Once in Rome no car needed or recommended! Have a wonderful time!!
 
Old Jun 23rd, 1998, 10:23 PM
  #7  
Joanna White
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There are several direct trains per day from Milan to Venice. This would be much easier than trying to park a car at Mestre. Make sure to sit in first class (if you can find it) as it is much roomier and easier with luggage. The luggage room in second class is abysmal.
 
Old Jun 24th, 1998, 03:50 AM
  #8  
wes fowler
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Fred,
See if you can pick up a copy of Consumer Reports Travel Letter, a publication of Consumer Reports, for May 1998 from your library. A lengthy article lists car rental companies by country, their rates for subcompacts, compacts and mid-sized cars and hidden costs, i. e., insurance, drop off charges, VAT. Article may give you some insights as to whom to rent from.
 
Old Jun 28th, 1998, 10:58 AM
  #9  
kam
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Please take the train from Millan to Venice--there is a Rapido which gets you there very quickly. If any in your party is a pre-adolescent or adolescent girl, just on the way and easy walk from the train station is Verona of Romeo and Juliet fame---beautiful little city. Much easier access to Venice from the train. Take train also to Florence and only rent car if you plan to tour around in the countryside. Be warned that driving in and out of Florence is almost as bad as Rome. Continue by train to Rome. Your hotel is a very good one---forget that they have parking and enjoy the breakfast buffet instead!! Advice about suitcases--we have traveled with two children--the kids had their bag and we had ours and then each of us had a smaller carryon for personal stuff be it makeup and toiletries or toys or books. Four large suitcases will be too difficult for 2 parents while also watching out for 2 kids. You have more freedom if you drive, but you'll waste a lot of time getting in and out of the cities. If you choose not to follow this advice and find yourself completely and hopelessly lost in one of the cities, you can always hire a taxi and follow him but you'll have to keep up!! Good luck--you'll love Italy.
 
Old Jun 28th, 1998, 11:06 AM
  #10  
kam
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Oh, and I forgot to incllude another downside of renting a car--------the price of gas in Italy is horrendous! And, add to that the tolls to use the autostrada, and if you don't use it, you'll waste a lot of time. You'll actually be saving money by taking the train! And, be sure to make your reservations in 1st class ahead from the U.S.--the comment above about Verona--our favorite trip to Venice was one that we flew into Milan and blew out on the train that morning. Arrived in Verona and stayed 2 days and then went to Venice. It was the most enjoyable trip to Venice we ever made. You can, of course, fly into Venice but that's quite expensive.
 
Old Jun 28th, 1998, 11:52 AM
  #11  
Sharon
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Fred-We were in Italy in May and I absolutely concur, take the train. We did rent a car to cruise the Tuscany area and it was fine. Gas was about $4 a liter, but the small cars use little gas (get one with AC). ALso remember, if driving in Tuscany, the gas station close up for a couple hours every afternoon for lunch. We did a prepaid rental before we left and it was really cheap!! It was thru Hertz-I know there are alot of bad stories re Hertz rentals, but ours was fine. You dont need a car in Venice and dont want a car in Florence, ROme etc. Pack the least amt. possible too! Have a great trip! Sharon
 
Old Jun 28th, 1998, 12:10 PM
  #12  
Jerry
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Fred:

With family of four and two weeks it's best to drive anywhere in Europe except UK. I do it every year with my family of four.

Last year visited Italy for third time. Flew into Milano and rented Rover Sedan, great car and large by euro standards, plenty of room for 4 adults and lots of baggage.

Drove straight to Venice (3 hrs) and parked at garage for three day visit. Then drove to Florence for three more days before going to Rome. Turned the car in when we arrived in Rome, didn't need it there.

Trains are OK but not economical for more than two. For four with 2 weeks, car would be ideal plus you will see 100 times more by car. Great for visits to countryside.


 

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