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Now where do we drop our car off before Florence?

Now where do we drop our car off before Florence?

Jan 3rd, 2011, 10:55 AM
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Now where do we drop our car off before Florence?

After touring Tuscany by car we will be heading to Florence. Where should we drop off our car? I have received some very valuable information from experienced Italy travellers so far, and I really appreciate it

Our options are: - Leave San Gimignano and drop car at Florence Airport and public transport into Florence.
- Drive from San Gimignano to Siena drop car off and spend either the rest of the day or 1 night in Siena and bus back to Florence. Is this back tracking or a good option, especially avoiding driving back into Florence.

If we do first option we will visit Siena whilst in Tuscany on a day trip. We will have a car for about 9 nights.
aussie_10 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 11:24 AM
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I would drop at Florence airport---easy access.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 11:40 AM
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Here's what we did in October (you're not mentioning where you'll be initially picking up your rental car).
We began our trip in Rome, took the high-speed train to Florence, got ourselves immediately to the Florence airport and picked up our pre-reserved car. We then drove to Siena, where we were staying for 4 nights, toured the countryside/hill towns, then headed back to the Florence airport, dropped the car off and headed into Florence for one night (then on to Venice by train). This way we had no problems with drop charges (which are becoming hugely prevalent in the States, at least), and it was pretty seamless.
We did have one HUGE glitch in this plan, which required a nice bottle of wine and great meal that night to be able to laugh about - we didn't have good directions from the Florence airport up to Siena, just kind of hand motion/waves of the hand to one side type of thing, AND I had the Michelin touring map so I thought we were set - but my husband is a HUGE believer in Garmin, which has gotten us successfully around lots of this country and indeed overseas, and we had that with us. In fact, we had just used it on several of our walks in Rome, and it was terrific! Well, we leave the airport in the car, I'm saying "take this exit to the autostrada" and "Sophie", our GPS lady, is saying the opposite! So, who does my husband believe?? Sophie, of course! We then spent an hour driving counter to what I thought we should be doing, eventually going deeper and deeper into Florence (into areas where the car is supposed to be licensed to drive into), on little side streets into neighborhoods, and the ONLY happy person was "Sophie"! I ducked into a convenience store kind of place at one point, got slightly conflicting advice from the proprietor and a truck driver/customer, but both did agree on getting on the fast roads - but Sophie says stick to the little side streets.....finally (!!!) my husband realized - and gasped, said "oh, no", pulled to the curb to check....and yes, indeed, he still had Garmin set on the pedestrian mode instead of auto mode - sheesh!! once he reset it, it got us directly and quickly where we wanted to be!
So: if you drop the car at the airport, the people are quite efficient, it should be easy, and you will not drive into Florence. I vote for that.
We did love Siena - I'm not sure where you'd drop the car if you got rid of it there? Parking is very difficult in Siena (we picked our hotel based in part on the fact that they had a free parking lot - the Palazzo Ravizza, which is wonderful - great location, big rooms, breakfast out on the terrace looking over the countryside, great staff) You don't really need a car in Siena, but we found that was a great base for touring the towns we wanted to see.
Sorry for rambling, and hope this helped!
jo_ann is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 11:44 AM
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Thanks Bob is the airport called Peretola?
aussie_10 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 11:56 AM
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Hi jo_ann, sorry I must have been posting at the same time.

Thank you for your reply I enjoyed your story of your driving experience in Florence - but one I would hope to avoid. Its that getting use to driving on the other side of the road for us with a different car which scares me a little.

We will be there in October. I am not sure about the picking up and dropping off at the same place. I thought if it was within Italy it would be ok and no extra charges. I will have to do some price checking.
aussie_10 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 12:27 PM
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We dropped our car off in Florence and it was very easy.
Grassshopper is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 12:36 PM
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I picked up cars in Florence twice. I thought it was very easy. And if I can do it I am sure just about anyone can.
Sher is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 12:37 PM
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I would drop the car in Siena just so I could stay the night. Siena is different after the daytrippers have left.
Henry is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 01:32 PM
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Thank you all

After careful consideration, I think we will leave San Gimignano and drop the car off at Florence Airport.

Henry we may still spend a night in Siena on our way from Montepulciano to San Gimignano.
aussie_10 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 01:40 PM
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The old name of the airport was Peretola - as the area was known as. The official name is now Amerigo Vespucci - but you rarely see or here it called that!
InFlorence is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 01:44 PM
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HI Aussie_10, I'm glad you have decided not to drop the car in Florence. We dropped our car off in the middle of Florence during peak hour and it was terrifying!!! A friend who was in the car with us thought that my husband and I had been arguing as the atmosphere was so tense!! Somehow we managed to stay out of the restricted zones, but it was purely luck.

San Gimignanon is gorgeous, it would be a shame to miss it. I second the idea of staying in Siena overnight, I imagine it would be like Florence which is completely different once the daytrippers have gone.
cathies is online now  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 02:09 PM
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Hi Cathies, yes I must admit I am not a fan of big city car drop offs. The easier the better, hence my questions.

I saw an interesting place to stay in Siena, only problem would be parking the car somewhere. I'm sure it would be lovely with the daytrippers gone, that would add extra appeal.

DH is sure my France planning was easier and less time consuming. The problem is the more I search the more interesting articles and reports I find to read, I think I am addicted!
aussie_10 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 02:36 PM
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We've returned a car many times both in downtown Florence and at the Airport. Under the current laws restricting access to downtown Florence, I highly recommend the airport drop-off. Its fairly easy to find, safe and simple as far as the return goes. And it is easy to walk right over to the bus stop and for 3 euros or so, get a bus direct to the downtown train station--easy-peasy! From the train station, you can then walk or take a short taxi ride to your lodging.
macanimals is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 02:53 PM
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Did you see JillDavis post about where to stay in Siena. That might be helpful too.

cheers, Cathie
cathies is online now  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 03:05 PM
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Yes Paul the easier drop off the better. The bus sounds a good idea and the price is good too.

Yes Cathies I have been looking at JillDavis posts. My husband would say I have been looking at too many posts!

Regards Rosie
aussie_10 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 06:09 PM
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When we were planning our last trip, my husband stopped calling me Cathie and began calling me Fodette!! He stopped laughing when we got to Rome airport, feeling the way Australians feel when they have travelled cattle class from Sydney to Europe! I walked us straight to the train and onto the right train to get to our accommodation and then periodically through the 5 weeks, whipped out my notes to clarify anything we were unclear on. He was most impressed!!
cathies is online now  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 06:53 PM
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Rosie, I also like your plan of dropping off at the airport. It isn't a large airport and it will be easy.

I personally don't like pick up and drop offs in cities, and Florence has so many rules about where and when you can drive.

Also, I don't always think that driving in and out of Siena is a day at the beach. If I'm just coming from somewhere nearby and only looking for a place to park, then that's OK. But if I need to find the rental return, it can be a pain.

Of course, there are a million visitors that will tell you how easy it all is. I'm just saying that it isn't always that easy for me, and I can follow directions as spoken by Italians. As slowly and carefully spoken by Italians, that is.

Anyway, I like your plan.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2011, 09:17 PM
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Thanks Tuscanlifeedit

Yes now that I have searched and asked the questions I think that I am happy with the Florence airport drop off and maybe pickup too. I don't speak Italian, we will try and learn some before we go but it will be basic. I try to investigate the best and easier options.

Cathy my husband calls me Mrs Fodors! But he too was is always impressed with all the research and easy holiday transitions.
aussie_10 is offline  
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