Italy/Switzerland transportation

Old Jul 31st, 2017, 10:13 AM
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Italy/Switzerland transportation

My family of four are traveling to Italy/Switzerland in late August. Our itinerary is fly into Rome, 3 days Rome, 4 days Tuscany, 2 days Venice, 4 Days Brissago Switzerland, fly home from Milan (1.5 hours from Brissago). We definitely want a car in Tuscany and Brissago but not Rome or Venice.

So my questions are, ride the train from Rome to Florence and rent a car in Florence? in the city or airport? Or rent a car in Rome and drive to Tuscany (Fucecchio)? Then I think it's best to take the train from Florence to Venice. After Venice would you rent a car from Venice to drive to Brissago or take a train to Milan and rent the car there?
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Old Jul 31st, 2017, 11:25 AM
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Take train to Switzerland and rent car in say Locarno -else renting car in one country and dropping in another often has a huge drop-off fee for doing so.

Maybe train Rome to Orvieto - rent car and drive thru Tuscany to Florence - book train tickets early to nab discounted tickets Florence to Venice- www.trenitalia.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com for lots of train info.

Venice-Milan-Locarno also discounted tickets - change in Milan and Domodossola (could probably rent here and be closer?).
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Old Jul 31st, 2017, 11:33 AM
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Oops Domodossola is in Italy -last main station.
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Old Jul 31st, 2017, 01:56 PM
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If your family will be going first to Fucecchio after Rome, consider taking a train from Rome to Pisa, and renting car there. It might be simpler & less crowded than renting it in Florence, and it is simpler driving to Fucecchio from Pisa than it is from Florence.

If you have time, you can see the Leaning Tower of Pisa before picking up the rental car. Just put your luggage in the Pisa train station and walk over to the Leaning Tower. (To climb the Tower, a reservation booked online is needed).

Of course, if you want to spend the day doing scenic driving through Tuscany to get to Fucecchio, you can do that, but I would take the train from Rome to Chiusi, pick up the car there (take a taxi from the train station to the rental office) and then follow a route that takes you past Pienza/Buonconvento/Siena/Montereggioni/San Gimignano/San Miniato.

Because it is difficult to drive into Florence, I would recommend dropping off that car at Florence airport and taking a taxi to the Florence train station to proceed to Venice.

I think I might take a fast train from Venice to Milano and then switch to a train or bus to Malpensa airport, and rent the car there to drive to Brissago. Just make sure you understand all the rules for driving in Switzlerand. (I don't.) Then you can return the car to Malpensa when you need to fly out.
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Old Jul 31st, 2017, 02:03 PM
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rent car in say Locarno -else renting car in one country and dropping in another often has a huge drop-off fee for doing so.>

Oops failed to note you are leaving from Milan -disregard.

Because it is difficult to drive into Florence, I would recommend dropping off that car at Florence airport and taking a taxi to the Florence train station to proceed to Venice.>

Or drop car off at Florence Rifredi station a few kms north of Florence proper and take slightly slow but cheaper IC train to Venice (or local train back to Florence SMN).
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Old Jul 31st, 2017, 02:16 PM
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I doubt there is a car rental drop off at that station, but even if there was, it is difficult to take the ring roads around Florence and IC trains in August in Italy can be hot and terribly crowded, with scarce room for luggage. I wouldn't do it.
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Old Jul 31st, 2017, 02:38 PM
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I'd think about keeping the car the whole time from when you rent it- Ialy's autostrada are simply to drive on and there is parking where the causeway ends - may cost a bit for 2 days but boats serve car parking garages to any place in Venice- then drive to Brissago - again autostrads go everywhere - you could easily stop off en route at some neat place for a few hours.

And avoid the hassle of returning in Florence - that's what I'd do if renting in first place.
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Old Jul 31st, 2017, 10:42 PM
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The traffic jams of late August around Venice, MIlan and the lakes, plus the parking costs for Venice, would make me want to take trains. I'd avoid the hassle of Florence by using the airport drop off and taking a taxi into town.
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Old Aug 1st, 2017, 01:49 AM
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As above, use the train to Tuscany but not into Florence centre (options shown above all good) rent car from there. Drop off at same site and take train into Venice.

I'd use Chiusi as Massi says but there are other stations with car hire nearby.
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Old Aug 1st, 2017, 06:40 AM
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Train Venice - Locarno - bus - Brissago: abourt every hr from 6.20 until 17.20; 6 hrs journey.

If you want to rent a car in order to enter Switzerland, you may do so at MXP airport, Varese or Como.
MXP is 60 miles or less than 2 hrs from Brissago.
The train ride from Venice to Malpensa airport takes 3 1/2 hrs.
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Old Aug 1st, 2017, 07:25 AM
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Thank you all for the information!
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Old Aug 1st, 2017, 07:30 AM
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You're expending a lot of time, effort and expense to make the detour to Venice between time in somewhat remote towns. I hope when you say you'll be in Venice for two days that you'll be spending three nights there. Otherwise, you'll have 1.5 days at most.
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