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Itinerary help

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Sep 2nd, 2013, 05:28 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Sep 2013
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Itinerary help

My husband and I are going to Italy next September and would like some help with the itinerary I have planned. Any advice would be appreciated.
fly from Rome to Venice - 3 days
train to Florence - 3 days
train to CT - 2 days
train to Siena 3 days
4 days of car travel in Tuscany/Umbria -Pienza, Montepulciano, Montalcino
Rome -3 days

My main questions are: would you go from Venice to Florence or CT first?
Where would you rent a car from? We want to avoid driving into any cities and want to drop the car off at the same place as pickup to avoid the heavy charges.
San Gimignano - would you make the trip from Florence/Siena or rent your car staring there?
CT - I am really confused which village to pick

I would appreciate any and all advice
tuscanybound is offline  
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Sep 2nd, 2013, 05:47 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,639
As long as you are within the same country there should not be any extra charges for picking up at one place and dropping off at another - unless you use some very small, local agency.

I would pick up the car leaving Venice, keep it in whatever town you decide to use as a base in Tuscany, go to the CT and then drop it when you get to Rome. (Many people say driving in Rome is very difficult -- but you can usually find a rental office near the ring road to drop the car and avoid the worst of the traffic and the pedestrian zones.)
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Sep 2nd, 2013, 05:58 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Back in 2007, I trained from Venice to Florence (stopped in Bologna for a night - it was on the same train line), then trained to the Cinque Terre. (I did Siena as a day trip from Florence - loved Siena, would have loved a night there.). Then I trained from the Cinque Terre back to Sorrento - a long day of train travel via Naples, but it worked out fine for me. I didn't drive at all but if seems like a car makes sense in Tuscany if you want to get out of the cities.

I stayed in Levanto in the Cinque Terre - it's the village just north of the "Five Villages" (still part of same national park, so train pass and hiking pass covers you in Levanto). Actually, I wound up staying in Levanto a second time a few years later. It's a more conventional town than the five villages, more of a "beach town," but still nice. I stayed there for practical and budgetary reasons, but it worked well enough for me.

Personally, if I were going to splurge on one of the five villages, I'd choose Riomaggiore, Manarola, or Vernazza. Monterosso looks too busy for me but I guess some like it. Corniglia actually likes like a nice town, too, except that it's up a steep hill requiring a lot of steps from the train station or a shuttle bus. Before booking a place, be aware of whether there are a hundred steps up/down to the lodging as the villages tend to have a lot of steps up/down, and that can be a pain (maybe doable, just be aware).
Andrew is offline  
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Sep 2nd, 2013, 06:21 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Why are you not flying into Venice?
bobthenavigator is offline  
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Sep 2nd, 2013, 06:39 PM
  #5
 
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"We want to avoid driving into any cities..." You won't be able to drive into any the cities/towns you mention. If you're visiting for the day, you'll need to park outside of the town and walk in/out. If you're staying overnight, you need to check with the hotel about how to approach it (there may be a specific route you must take) and where to find legal parking (a few have their own lot/spaces). The hotel will inform the local police so that you aren't issued a ticket for violating the limited traffic zone.

http://www.bella-toscana.com/traffic...m#.UiU4XCrn9jo

Double-check that you would face a drop charge on the car rental. If there is a charge, consider whether you'd rather pay the charge or be required to backtrack to the pick-up location. If you still want to pick-up and drop-off at the same location, I think for your plans you'd be limited to Florence or Siena (or La Spezia if you go to Florence before the CT). There is no car rental office in San Gimignano. It's possible to rent a car in Florence and avoid the ZTL, or you could bus or taxi to the airport and pick up the car there.

I would turn in the car in Orvieto. Park the car (with the luggage) and explore the town for a couple of hours, then turn in the car and train to Rome. Make sure you know the open/closed hours of the Orvieto car rental office.

You need to have a good map of Tuscany (I personally don't trust GPS 100%) and International Drivers Permits (available through AAA).
Jean is offline  
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Sep 2nd, 2013, 06:39 PM
  #6
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sorry - flying from london to venice
flying home from rome
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