Rent a car or train for a week in Italy?

Old Jul 21st, 2001, 06:40 AM
  #1  
sheila
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Rent a car or train for a week in Italy?

I am planning a trip to Tuscany in September, and an Italian gentlemen who had recently been home to visit, told me to take the train instead of renting a car to see the country. He said this not only because of the cost of gasoline, but because of the cost of the tolls. I have not been able to confirm the existence of tolls in Italy.Is this true? And if so, is it really a big expense? We fly into Pisa and have a house in Siena, and 8 days. I think we would lose a lot of time with a train, and the train can't possibly go everywhere we want to go. Car rentals are not that expensive. What do you think?
 
Old Jul 21st, 2001, 06:56 AM
  #2  
Rex
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Yes, there are tolls in Italy. And disappointingly, the best online source for telling you how much they are in FRANCE - - www.mappy.com - - does not seem to give this info accurately for Italy.

But they are almost inconsequential, compared to the freedom and flexibility you will gain by having a car.

Have a wonderful time in Tuscany - - and consider splurging for a few days with www.zephyrus.it - - looks so, SO awesome to me!

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Old Jul 21st, 2001, 08:05 AM
  #3  
ellen
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I would definitely recommend a car. If you just drive around Tuscany you will be driving primarily on toll-free secondary roads. You only need the autostrada to drive longer distances in a hurry. To get to the many wonderful towns near Siena, eg., San Gimignano, Volterra, it's a lot easier with a car. As for the cost of fuel, it's true that it's more expensive than here, but you would probably be driving a small car with manual transmission (unless you want to spend a lot more for automatic) and those cars get good get gas mileage.
 
Old Jul 21st, 2001, 08:09 AM
  #4  
sandi
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Rent a car!! There's no better way to see Tuscany. Stop when you want and tour the ancient hill-top towns and enjoy the most beautiful landscape you'll ever see!
 
Old Jul 21st, 2001, 08:52 AM
  #5  
cheryl
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Rent a car! Train travel in Italy if great between longer distances but if you want to see the countryside and the off-teh-beaten path places a car is a must. Driving in that part of Italy is a cinch compared to driving in Roma! And keep the car small because Italian roads can be very tough to negotiate with anything bigger than a compact.
 
Old Jul 21st, 2001, 09:15 AM
  #6  
Betsy
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Rent a car, definitely. Rent it here in the US before you go (assuming that you're in the US) because it's less expensive. We've had several good experiences with AutoEurope (www.autoeurope.com). Request a manual transmission and a diesel engine for great mileage and lower fuel cost.

Buon viaggio
 
Old Jul 21st, 2001, 10:07 AM
  #7  
robin k
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Sheila;

For your trip to Tuscany, you'd be best served by renting a car & driving --- for that region & particularly if you want ability to visit some of the smaller towns (Volterra for one, Monteriggioni for another).

Yes, compared to the US both gas & tolls are more expensive in Italy. In fact as much as we belly-ache about paying $1.35 per gallon, Italians would be ecstactic to see prices in that range. I don't recall exactly what toll prices are --- again, they're alot more than what you'd pay in USA (probably .75 or $1.00 here versus $5.00 to $8.00 there). However do note that tolls are on the autostrada. You will use that getting out of airport to your house in Siena; yet for much of your travels, you may find yourself traveling on lesser roads (super strada = "SS") or just your two-lane highway.

FYI--diesel fuel is cheaper than regular gas in Italy and easily available. So if fuel prices are an issue, try to reserve diesel powered car.
 
Old Jul 21st, 2001, 11:21 AM
  #8  
Henry Schulte
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Your Italian was right, for most American tourists. Most Americans go to Rome, Florence and Venice where a car is a liability. You, apparently are going to base in Siena and day trip. Siena train station is not in town so it is not really convenient (the bus is really better out of Siena). Since your not staying in the big three I assume your looking to go to the smaller towns in Tuscany, quite a few of these towns donít have train stations (they are served by bus). You can spend eight days travelling to very picturesque towns and never see the autostrada. I suspect you will spend a lot of time on Cassia (State Strada 2) which is a very good road with no tolls.
 
Old Jul 21st, 2001, 05:52 PM
  #9  
Larry
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If you do have to get on the autostrada, the tolls are very cheap and you can use your credit card which is fast and the best way to get the best exchange. As others have posted, most of your driving in Tuscany will be on secondary roads (no toll). Forget the train, the best part of Tuscany is driving the country side.
 

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