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Rent car or not for wine tours in Italy

Old Jul 28th, 2017, 02:17 PM
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Rent car or not for wine tours in Italy

Hello. We will be going to Italy in September and want to do wine tours . Our thought was go from Sorrento to Orvieto and rent a car there. But it's proven to be impossible. None are available. It seems the only places to rent are Rome or Florence. So our next thought was to hire a driver for wine tours. We would like to be able to tour from Orvieto, Perugia, and Parma areas. It may be more cost effective to just go to Florence and rent a car ( and returnn there) and drive, which we aren't opposed to , but really aren't sure if driving is worth the hassle.
Has anyone done this and can make a suggestion on driver, touring company or any wineries to avoid? Any input is greatly appreciated.
We will be in the area for a week or so . We are still working on itinerary ?
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Old Jul 28th, 2017, 03:34 PM
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If you plan on tasting wines when you visit wineries, remember that you will need to select a designated driver, master the art of sip & spit, or have some other plan for ensuring sobriety. I managed to visit a few wineries in la Rioja by car once, using sip & spit, and even though that's not my favorite way to experience a wine tasting, it worked for me. I enjoyed selecting a bottle to purchase for consumption once I reached my lodging and had no further need to drive for the day.

Enjoy!
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Old Jul 28th, 2017, 03:52 PM
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Yes, Italy has very strict drunk driving laws, so you're better off getting a driver or taking a tour. And Italian wineries are not open for drop-in visitors. You need to make an appointment for a visit. So another reason to take a tour.

BTW if you decide to drive you will need an International Driver's Permit, a translation of your license easily and cheaply available at your local AAA/CAA office.
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Old Jul 28th, 2017, 04:31 PM
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I would suggest looking for tour companies that specialize in wine tours. They'll provide not only a safe ride, but will also coordinate the wineries (which as Mimar has indicated aren't often open for drop ins) to visit and help educate you about the winemaking unique to that area.

We've used Gusto in Umbria. They're out of Montefalco. They will pick up from nearby towns (Spello, Spoleto, Bevagna for instance, although I don't think Orvieto or Perugia are within range). But there are similar tours available out of Orvieto. I just don't think the wines themselves are quite as interesting as Montefalco's reds. If you're undecided on where to stay on this trip, we love this part of Umbria!

And, of course, there are plenty of tour operators who will pick you up in Florence. I know nothing about Parma; it's not my impression that Emilia Romagna is known for its wines. But I'm admittedly no expert.
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Old Jul 28th, 2017, 06:55 PM
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"I would suggest looking for tour companies that specialize in wine tours"

Yep, that's how it's done in the big leagues.
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Old Jul 28th, 2017, 07:02 PM
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There are rental cars available in Orvieto. You have to book directly with Hertz. The Orvieto office is closed 1-3p Monday-Friday and not open Saturday afternoons or on Sunday.
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Old Jul 28th, 2017, 07:38 PM
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Thank you all for your input. We do have the International drivers license and absolutely don't want to drink and drive... which is why we are asking for tour suggestions.
Jean.. thank you for the Info on Hertz. When we checked it indicated no cars were available for our times but I will check with them directly.
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Old Jul 28th, 2017, 07:43 PM
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Where are you coming from? If you are coming from North America, there are issues more critical and the two you mentioned: cost effective from Florence and worth the hassle.
There are also rental office at Chiusi train station.

- BAC is lower than the North America as others mentioned.
- All the cities and large towns come with ZTL no entry zones. Fines for entering these zones are confiscatory. Florence, the city you are thinking of renting a car comes with breathtaking ZTL fines if you don't know the exact path to avoid these zones.
- As others mentioned, you cannot just walk into a winery. You need to make a reservation. And if you need an English guide to give you a tour, your options for time and places get reduced further.
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