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New Version of Car Drop Off on the way to CT

New Version of Car Drop Off on the way to CT

Jun 30th, 2008, 06:58 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 485
New Version of Car Drop Off on the way to CT

For some reason, I am not able to reply to my original post, so I will ask it again with a new twist.

I received many great suggestions on where to drop our car off before we take the train to the Cinque Terre. The progression of our trip is:

Fly into Milan and spend the rnight
Train to Veranna 3 nights
Milan to meet friends who are flying in and spend the night
Train to Florence-3 nights
Pick up car in Florence and drive to
Assisi-3 nights
San Quirco in Tuscany-3 nights
drop off car and train to the Cinque Terre.

After reading your suggestions, I wondered if it was possible to get too many good ideas!

I started to think of the places we have not yet seen on our other trips to Italy, that perhaps we could see with an extra night (which means a Sunday drop off). We want to see Pisa this time but wonder if we would also be able to see Orvieto with this added night. Lucca or Rappallo also sound like good places to spend the night and then drop off the car (Autoeurope).

I need an expert to help me sort this out...I'm beginning to spin.
travel52 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 07:22 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 9,422
Orvieto is too far south. Rapallo is too much like the rest of Liguria. Instead of dropping off your car in Pisa, see Pisa right after you pick up your car, and then drive to Assisi. Yes, it's in the opposite direction, but not far. Just try to get an early start that day. Picking up a car in Firenze can be time consuming.

At the end of the driving portion of your trip, drop off your car in Lucca, but if you plan to spend a night there, do yourself the favor of staying in a hotel outside the walls. Ordinarily, that's not the greatest advice, but the train station is outside the walls, and most of the hotels inside the walls are not near the train station. (And it is extremely difficult to drive inside the walls if you are new to Italy.)

If you are just dropping off the car, I believe the train station has a left luggage drop. Double check. It's easy to park at the train station while you drop off your bags and buy a ticket.

You can get a nice sense of Lucca just wandering into the center of town and along the walls.
zeppole is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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It seems easy to me. Drive to La Spezia to drop the car and see Pisa en route. From SQ you can be in Pisa by 10:00 for 2 hours and then drive to La Spezia. If the rental offfice hours do not jive then drop in Pisa. Do not try to see Pisa on the day you drive to Assisi---way too far.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 11:45 AM
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Thanks Bob. My concern is dragging bags around Pisa, as we don't want to leave them in the car. What do you think of spending the night in Lucca, where we could check into the hotel, drop off our bags and then head to Pisa for a couple of hours. We could then drop the car off in Lucca and then take the train to Monterosso.

Also, given our itinerary, is there a way of working Orvieto in to a day trip ?

Thanks a lot !
travel52 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 11:53 AM
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Pisa to Assisi is 3 hours. Depending on when one left Firenze, to me it's doable. But not everybody would be willing. But I would certainly plan a day to get off the road by dark, so if you were getting a late start in Firenze, then no, don't attempt to see Pisa before heading to Assisi.

But surely it is 3 hours from San Quirico d'Orcia to La Spezia.

I don't think it's that much of a time saver to to drive to the Pisa airport (the only Pisa rental office open on Sundays), then go back into Pisa with one's luggage to get the train to Le Cinque Terre.

There are two rental offices in La Spezia. One is closed both Saturday and Sunday. The other is closed Sunday. And other than having a car rental office, La Spezia is not a great destination.


Tell us a little more about your travel style. Are you a get up early and go kind of person? Mind long drives? Eager to see as much as you can, or prefer to have days that are mostly lazy? Looking forward to driving or dreading it?

zeppole is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 11:57 AM
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Once you're in Lucca, you don't need the car to get to Pisa, so you might as well turn the car in. Take the train to Pisa and get off at the San Rossore station, which is quite close to the monuments (Pisa Centrale is not, and that's where the airport transportation will take you).

You can probably check your bags at the central station even if you do end up dropping off your car at the airport.

But it sounds to me like you could make it to Lucca in time to drop of your car on a Saturday.

zeppole is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 12:09 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 485
We have driven in Italy before, so that doesn't bother us. We definitely want to be at our destination well before dark. Last tme we drove to Assisi from Florence we arrived after dark, and that is an experience I don't want to repeat.

I have arthritis, so while I have walked Siena, San G and other hill towns, I like to reserve my energy for when I need it. I thought the extra day in Tuscany would make things less hectic and we would be able to see Lucca and Pisa.

Still trying to figure out how to work Orvieto into a day trip with our itinerary. Ideas ??
travel52 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 12:30 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
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Sorry -- I forgot you don't want to leave luggage in your car.

On the subject of a day trip to Orvieto, I've never been to San Quirico, but looking at a map, I would think a day trip from there is doable.

Returning to the subject of seeing Pisa and Lucca, it occurs to me that one way to go is to take the train to Pisa from Firenze the morning you're leaving, BEFORE you pick up your car, and return to Firenze to get the car and drive on -- but you'd need to be early birds to make that work and get yourselves to Assisi before dark.

In my mind, you don't need a lot of daylight to enjoy Lucca -- which is to say, that were I to arrive in Lucca two hours before daylight, I would still enjoy strolling around in the evenings. It's atmospheric, and my view is that the best of Lucca is outdoors, not inside. The only thing that truly requires daylight is the view from the path that runs along top the walls -- but it needs to be a clear day to be at its best.

One idea for using your extra day in Tuscany is to drive to Lucca, spend the night. The next morning, if it's a Sunday, drive to Pisa Airport, drop off car. Take shuttle to Pisa Centrale, stow bags in left luggage. (Otherwise, drop off car at Pisa Centrale.) Extravagant me would now take a taxi to Campo dei Miracoli, see the sights and if I still had energy and time, walk back to Pisa Centrale for the train to Monterosso al Mare. If tired, hop another cab.

zeppole is offline  

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