Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Please Advise on Renting and Driving vs Tour Bus in Italy (

Mike Miller Nov 19th, 1997 04:17 AM

Please Advise on Renting and Driving vs Tour Bus in Italy
Planning a fall trip to Italy and would like to hear reader comments on getting on a tour and leaving the driving to them or renting a car and doing it ourselves. Are the drivers really crazy over there or is it just a rumour?

Rod Hoots Nov 19th, 1997 04:29 PM

It isn't the other drivers so much as finding parking and security of the car and your possessions. If it's your first time in Italy I would recommend a full service tour with an experienced travel company like Perillo or American Express. That way you don't have to worry about transportation or lodging and will see as much as possible in a short time. If you decide against a tour, then try the train (check out and go to Europe Rail).

BOB THE NAVIGATOR Nov 19th, 1997 06:38 PM

Mike, If you are less than 70,in good health, and
have driven for more than 3 years then driving is
the only way. However, keep the major cities to
a minimum. We have driven there 5 times and find it as easy as California or Jersey, and better than
parts of Florida. You may not want to rent your car
inItaly---very high rates---but there are great options
starting in Munich, Zurich, or Nice. If you want
specifics, then give me a holler. I have planned
many such trips for others like you. You will love
Italia, but good planning is key.

Mike Nov 19th, 1997 08:27 PM

I would vote for driving far over tours (shutter). The other suggestion of the train is actually even better if this is your first trip to Italy IMO. Personally I did not find the drivers to be that bad. I think they are worse in France and *far* worse in Slovenia. Like he said be sure you do *not* leave anything of value visible in your parked car...especially south of Rome.

Joe Lomax Nov 20th, 1997 09:50 AM

If you are considering driving in Italy, I would
humbly suggest you read my article, "Have you considered driving in Italy" at:
You will also find a lot more useful information at the In Italy sites.

Sandy Nov 20th, 1997 02:59 PM

Hi, another good site is on Links and then click on Driving- there is good info including a book you can order written by Patty and David (Campbell?). Get a car that gets good mileage-we had a VW van and it sucked up to $80 a day in gas going thru the mtns in Germany and! It got so expensive we decided to stay in one place!

Sally Boyett Nov 20th, 1997 09:30 PM

I have been to Italy several times in the past two years. I think the decision to rent a car vs. taking the train depends on the locations you will be visiting. For all the cities, especially Rome, FLorence, Venice - take the train! Parking is expensive and difficult to find. I found the trains reliable and comfortable. For the piccolo (small) towns such as Sienna or San Gemignano in Tuscany, renting a car would be nice because you would have a chance to visit all the vinyards in the Tuscan hills while driving between the towns. There is train service in Tuscany, but I believe you will need to use bus service to travel between the smaller towns. (Check Fodor's "Florence and Tuscany" book on this). I have done both and must say that I preferred the trains. An extra note: there is bus service from the Milan airport to the Central Station and subway service from the Rome airport to the central train station in Rome. Don't take a taxi from either of these airports unless you want to pay dearly! (Again, check the Fodor's guides - I tried the info. and it's very accurate) Buon viaggio!

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:33 PM.