Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Italy - Rome to Florence drive and Florence to Venice drive

Italy - Rome to Florence drive and Florence to Venice drive

Nov 17th, 2005, 03:52 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,750
Italy - Rome to Florence drive and Florence to Venice drive

We will be travelling May 2006 (3 adventurous women) and would like to include some driving on our trip. We may choose both of these routes or combine with train. We may also use the car to drive to Cinque Terre, if recommended.

From your experiences please tell me about your scenic route/interesting points of interests including detours, instead of a point to point drive. Maybe taking a full day of driving/sightseeing rather than a straight-shot...or even spending a night somewhere.

Thanks for your input!
hipvirgochick is offline  
Nov 17th, 2005, 05:01 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,911

We enjoyed the drive from Rome to Florence . . We wandered around a bit and spent a nite in Chanti region ( at little town named Panzano . . ) then drove to Florence the next day.

If you want to do this, be sure you have a reservation . . these little hotels fill up quickly.

In Florence, we dropped the car at the downtown rental location by the terminal . . pretty hectic driving but we made it ok. The couple who met us dropped their car at the Airport and took a taxi to the hotel and had a bit of an easier time.

Did not drive to Venice . . took the train.

It was a very nice trip . . we dallied more than we had to, but thqat is my way of travelling . . planning and travelling do not go in the same sentence with me.

Rich
Rich is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 09:18 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,750
ttt - any more with details?
hipvirgochick is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 09:25 AM
  #4  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,113
Hi H,

I take it that you will be visiting Rome, Florence and Venice.

How many days to get between cities?

Car rental in Italy is expensive.

ira is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 10:03 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,717
If you are only going to use the car to get from city to city, don't drive! The train is much cheaper and far easier. And you do not have to pay for parking.

How many days do you have in all? How many are you planning to spend in Rome, Florence and Venice?

When are you traveling?
Eloise is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 10:08 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,750
Thanks for responding Ira. I've read many of your threads.

1st time to Italy and yes, Rome, Florence and Venice in that order (and then a couple nights in Paris, where we have been before).

I have not looked into car rental cost yet, only train. Although, I have looked at the Michelin site to see about times and toll costs.

If we only have one day plus one night to get from one point to another is it worth it to go that route or just as well and more economical to take the train and maybe take a day trip to somewhere missed by train...?

I guess I like the idea of having a car for at least one day to do a little exploring and hopefully not get too lost...

What are your thoughts?
hipvirgochick is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 10:13 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,750
Eloise, we'll be travelling during the last 1/2 of May next year. You don't think it's worth it to even rent a car for one or two days to make stops along the way? We'll be staying 4 nights in Rome, 3 each in Florence and Venice with room to stay 1 night somewhere else each between Rome and Florence and between Florence and Venice. The other options would just take recommended day trips.
hipvirgochick is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 10:37 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 4,717
Thanks for the additional info!

My suggestion would be to train from Rome to Florence, rent a car in Florence, spend your two free nights in a Tuscan hill town, using the days to explore other Tuscan hill towns (many of which are very interesting), return the car in Florence and train to Venice.

Off the top of my head, I cannot think of an interesting place to stay between Florence and Rome (Orvieto, perhaps, but you can do that as a day trip from Rome). Between Florence and Venice, I would suggest Ferrara; it is not very touristed, but it's a pretty town with interesting things to see.

I know that renting a car for only two or three days might be more expensive on a per-day basis, but I think it would be even more expensive to have to pay for three days parking in Florence.

You should have lovely weather the last two weeks in May - it's my favorite time in Italy.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope - and think - you will enjoy it greatly.
Eloise is offline  
Nov 18th, 2005, 03:56 PM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,750
Rich -- Thank you for your suggestions! I hope others might chime in about what a wonderful experience they had going off the beaten path a little...
hipvirgochick is offline  
Nov 19th, 2005, 06:28 AM
  #10  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,113
Hi hip,

My suggestion is to use one of your car days to visit Orvieto from Rome (1 hr by train) and another day to visit Siena from Florence (1 hr by bus).

It will be cheaper than renting a car for 2 days.

You won't have to pack and unpack.

You could also train from Florence to Bologna, leave your luggage at the train station for the day and then go on to Venice.

Hope this helps.





ira is offline  
Nov 20th, 2005, 12:02 PM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,750
Thanks for the suggestions. The train sounds most economical and sensible as of now. We'll plan on train travel and decide later about adding a car if needed.

Thanks!
hipvirgochick is offline  
Nov 20th, 2005, 07:19 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,406
Ira,
wouldn't significant time being lost renting and returning a car in Rome, and then doing the same process again in Florence?

I remember when we rented in Rome -- and we had reserved from a place near us, not clear back at the airport -- it took my mom and brother easily an hour and a half to get the car between paperwork and waiting their turn, and driving back. We did three day trips near Rome to consolidate our use.





5alive is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 03:00 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 22
I just returned from Italy with my boyfriend and we rented a car through Auto Europe prior to flying to Italy. We drove from Rome to Florence... Actually bypassed Florence to stop at Pisa first. We didn't stay in any small towns because of the length of our trip. We had to fill up the tank 1x which cost approx 35 euros. Also, our tolls cost about 42 euros. The car rental through auto europe was $77.40. I checked into the car rental with a different day than booking. I booked the other day but they began to send me 10% + off on the first inquiry so I would check into it and then wait for the discounts they offer. Also, the one way charge through Auto Europe is 63 euros + VAT. All in all it is kind of expensive but depending how to you want to spend your trip and with 3 people... it may be about the same as the train. I'm not sure if it is cheaper to rent it here or in Italy. I read several books that said it's expensive when you get there. But while I was forced to pay the 63 euros that was not on my voucher from Auto Europe, I asked the price to rent the car from Florence to Rome and he said a total of 100 euros. We paid about 130 euros, which would be more if there were no additional fees he did not tell me about. By the way... you can use MapQuest.com to get directions in Italy to help you find your way.

In addition, we had a horrible train experience from Florence to Venice b/c of the train arrived late and we missed the next train so we had to sit outside in the train station for 6 hours waiting for the next train. Do not book train tickets online in the USA before going to Italy. They would not accept my train tickets and I believe it was much more expensive than when I checked the prices at the automatic stands in the train stations.

Have fun and be safe with the drivers over there
Kimberly1881 is offline  
Nov 21st, 2005, 04:55 AM
  #14  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,113
Hi 5,

>..wouldn't significant time being lost renting and returning a car in Rome, and then doing the same process again in Florence?<

I think so, which is why I suggested train and bus daytrips.

Hi K,

>....I was forced to pay the 63 euros that was not on my voucher from Auto Europe,...<

Call AutoEurope. It is unusual to have to pay anything extra.





ira is offline  
Nov 28th, 2005, 08:05 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 58
Having rented a car to drive from Rome to Siena for two nights, before a stay in Florence, we cannot imagine an easier method.

Not much for trains (late trains, cancelled trains, waiting for trains), we were able to easily pick up the rental car in the airport in Rome, head straight out of the city to stay one night about 30 minutes outside of Rome, and then the next day before arriving in Siena, we visited the small towns of Orvieto, Montepulciano and Pienza.

The driving was fun and not scary like the Cinque Terre area, the Amalfi coast, or French Riviera.
You sound like a "hip chick" who's probably adventurous. Consider the car!
Chiara is offline  
Nov 28th, 2005, 08:57 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 556
I think Ira makes a good suggestion with day trips from Rome to Orvieto (via train) and from Florence to Siena (via bus) - other posters have noted that day trip from Florence to Siena by train is less convenient than bus due to the location of the train station in Siena. To do this, then, you would want to book 5 nights in Rome instead of 4 and 4 nights in Florence instead of 3. So, as you can see, you'll need something of a plan so you can book your hotels, rather than waiting till later to decide on renting a car.

Both Orvieto and Siena are "must sees" in my book. (Of course, so is Assisi, but that's a bit out of the way.) There are MANY other lovely, but smaller hilltowns throughout Umbria and Tuscany that can only really be seen if you have a car. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like you'll have enough time for Assisi or for Cinque Terre. I would agree that 4 nights in Rome and 3 in Florence are good numbers.

However, please note that with three of you, you might just spend less and have more fun if you rent a car for the trip between Rome and Florence, rather than paying both train and bus fare plus consuming the time of the round-trip as day trips. You could then include Orvieto and Siena on your driving tour, staying a night in each. Note: read up on parking for Siena as care access to the city center is limited. Also, you might consider slicing a day off of Venice and renting a car for three days, which will likely cost the same as for 2 days.

Autoeurope is the best source we've found for car rentals. It's a US based broker, but I think they have a 3 day minimum on their pricing. Also, car pick-up location in Roma is best at the main Termini.

I would then, return the car in Rome and plan on taking the Eurostar train to from Florence to Venice. When you step out of the Venice train station and first see the Grand Canal, it will take your breath away!
LeslieC is offline  
Nov 28th, 2005, 09:03 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 556
Correction: I meant to say return the car to Florence, of course, not Rome!
LeslieC is offline  
Nov 30th, 2005, 09:34 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 3,750
Thanks for more of your experiences. The fun of having a car and adventure DOES make it difficult to resist renting a car for at least one day...I'll pass all this info along to my girlfriends and either way I'm sure we'll have a wonderful time! We'll work with what best suits our timeframe. Thanks!
hipvirgochick is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 01:57 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 29
Thanks for all your input in this discussion. We are traveling to Italy the first week of April. I have been a couple of times but never as the one "in charge", my husband and I will be traveling. I was hoping that you all could look at my itinerary and give me some feedback. We too have been trying to determine if rail or car is better. Below is our conclusion so far...


Day 1 – Arrive Rome and drive to Pompeii, spend night there. (would this trip be better done by train?)
Day 2 – Drive back to Rome
Day 3 – Rome
Day 4 – Rome
Day 5 – Drive to Orvieto, Siena and Florence, sleep in Florence
Day 6 – Florence, Drive to Venice (would this trip be better done by train?)
Day 7 – Venice
Day 8 – Venice, night train to Rome
Day 9 – Fly home from Rome

I realize the trip is far too short; there are so many other things I would like to show him! But for the first trip what do you think? I am thinking maybe we should just rent a car for one day to drive from Rome (via Orvieto and Siena) to Florence…

Thanks in advance for your input!
CookeeMonster is offline  
Jan 18th, 2006, 02:14 PM
  #20  
ira
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,113
Hi CookeeMonster

First suggestion is that you post your own message instead of piggybacking on an old thread. You will get more responses.

Second suggestion:
You will be much happier without a car.

Please don't be offended by some of the following remarks. They were off the top of my head.

>Day 1 – Arrive Rome and drive to Pompeii, spend night there. (would this trip be better done by train?)
Day 2 – Drive back to Rome<

GACK!

>Day 5 – Drive to Orvieto, Siena and Florence, ...

And wave as you go by.
You can visit Orvieto from Rome - 1 hr on the train.

You can visit Siena as a daytrip from Florence - 1:30 hr on the bus.

>Day 6 – Florence, Drive to Venice (would this trip be better done by train?)

Yes

>Day 8 – Venice, night train to Rome
Day 9 – Fly home from Rome<

It would be much better if you flew into Venice and out of Rome. this is an "open-jaw" flight. It will cost just about the same as a roud trip.

With only 9 days, I suggest that you visit Venice (3 nights) and Florence (5 nights) or Venice (3) and Rome (5).

If you do the Venice/Rome split, you could train Venice/Florence, drop your bags at the left luggage office at Florence SMN station, see the city and go on to Rome. I would take that day from Rome, not Venice.

Hope this helps.

ira is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:43 PM.