Italy route question

Dec 15th, 2009, 06:39 AM
  #1  
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Italy route question

We have a trip planned in May...do we want to take our rental car through Parma, Modena and Bologna down A1 or do we want to take a more scenic route through Genova, La Spezia, and Pisa (A7 to A12). First timers!! thanks.
tonibaloney is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 06:51 AM
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Where are you starting and what is your destination ?
You really do not want to drive in any major city.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 06:58 AM
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Parma, Modena and Bologna is a scenic route, all are beautiful towns.
tarquin is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 07:09 AM
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Sorry! Were starting in Zurich and take a train to Milan where we will pick up our rental car. Then drive to Florence for 1 night/2 days and then drive to our rented villa in Tuscany for 7 days (with numerous day trips planned-suggestions are welcome!), drive to Rome for 3 days and leave from there. Whirlwind Italy!!
tonibaloney is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 09:10 AM
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I don't believe a scenic drive is possible on an Italian motorway.

The scenery is far better on the coastal route than on the A1 (where thge scenery, for most of the way, is interesting only because it feels so Italian. Though in a "next door to one of Europe's busiest and most unpleasant roads" kind of way). But it's suicidal for drivers to look, and for for much of the drive to, round and after Genoa the passengers will see little more than tunnels and the side walls of bridges.

Personally, I'd do the coastal route because you get the opportunity to stop in Lucca and Pisa.

You obviously don't drive "through" Parma, Modena and Bologna - though Parma is, by Italian standards, exceptionally car-friendly if you're happy coping with loads of cyclists around you. I've never found you can comfortably get from Milan to a Florence in a day and stop in more than two big cities en route. Getting into any biggish Italian town (like Bologna), finding somewhere to park and rescuscitating the marriage the process has brought close to destruction takes at least an hour: it rarely takes less than 30 mins to get back to the autostrada.

And that's before you start discussing where to have lunch
flanneruk is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 09:33 AM
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I suggest just taking the train from Milan to Florence. This way you can maximize your short stay in Florence. It may also reduce your car rental price to a one week rental rather than one week and two extra days. Those two extra days could be expensive. I would pick up the car in Florence when you leave for Tuscany and return it in Rome.

If you do decide to drive fom Milan to Florence, I agree with flanneruk on driving the coast route and stopping in Pisa and/or Lucca, time permitting. I don't think you will have enough time to visit Parma, Modena and Bologna along the way.

Where is your rented villa in Tuscany?
zoecat is online now  
Dec 15th, 2009, 10:24 AM
  #7  
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Thanks for your input! Its definitely something to think about...car or no car in Florence.

Our agriturismo is in San Gimignano. We hope that we are located in a convenient location for day trips to Arezzo, Moltacino, Voltera, Fiesole and others.
tonibaloney is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 11:04 AM
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I think you should do a search for "traffic tickets" before you consider driving in Florence (there are plenty of theads about expensive tickets). You are not allowed to drive in much of Florence (traffic camers everywhere). Have you looked at how much it will cost to park your car? As for Fiesole, that should be visited while in Florence (bus 7 I think).
kybourbon is online now  
Dec 15th, 2009, 11:22 AM
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Unless you're spending the night in Milan, you're not going to get an early start on the drive to Florence. Not enough time, IMO, to be thinking of any stops along the way in Parma, Modena or Bologna. And when you get to Florence (in the dark?), you'll have to be careful about the traffic zones, as kybourbon points out, while trying to find your hotel and parking. During your time in Florence, the car will stay parked, costing you both daily rental and parking charges.

If you took the train from Milan, you could stop in Bologna, store your luggage in the station and explore the town for a couple of hours before continuing on to Florence. There is no baggage storage at Parma or Modena.
Jean is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 03:22 PM
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You do not want to drive in eithr Milan or Florence--get the car when you leave Florence and drive to Tuscany.
bobthenavigator is offline  

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