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Rental Car from Northern Italy - Tuscany - Rome

Rental Car from Northern Italy - Tuscany - Rome

Aug 12th, 2010, 11:25 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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Rental Car from Northern Italy - Tuscany - Rome

We leave soon for a two-week Italian adventure! Planning to use public transit for the first week in Lake Como & the Dolomites, but want a car for 2nd week in Tuscany. My question is about best places to pick up and drop off the car, for most convenience.

Here's our rough schedule, for 3 people:

-leaving Castelrotto (near Bolzano) on a Saturday morning; possible stops in Verona or Pisa en route to our destination near Pienza (Siena Province)

-one week usage in southern Tuscany, exploring hill towns, etc.

-then we fly out of Rome the following Sunday morning (would like to visit Orvieto &/or Civita di Bagnoregio en route on Saturday)

Other considerations:
According to Via Michelin, it's 6-7 hours total drive time from point to point. We've driven in Germany & Italy before; feel that train travel is generally more relaxing since you can sit and look out the window without having to be "on" (directions, Italian drivers, etc). I'd lean towards just taking a train to Florence or somewhere close and then picking up the car, but the train costs to get 3 of us that far are much higher than just picking up our car & driving, since we need it that day anyway to reach our final destination.

Leaning toward picking up rental car in Bolzano or Verona, driving the 6-ish hours to Pienza, then dropping the car in Orvieto the following Saturday after seeing O & Civita; train to Rome city center/train the next morning to Rome airport.

Does this make sense to you intrepid Italy drivers? Any tips on which ar rental locations to use?! Any other considerations to keep in mind? (GPS, maps, rental agencies, free upgrades, etc) Appreciate all input!
JenniFTF is offline  
Aug 12th, 2010, 12:19 PM
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Do you need a stick or automatic? If automatic, I'm not sure you will be certain of getting one other than in one of the major cities.

We picked up a car at Avis in Orvieto and they had maybe 3 cars- and not really the one we wanted ( but we rented a stick anyway, but asked for a diesel)
rs899 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2010, 12:36 PM
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Personally, I would bus back to Bolzano and pick it up there if they have the car you want, then drop it in Orvieto.

I always like Autoeurope.com, as it matches any offer, and I always seem to get a brand new car and free upgrade no matter where the rental is.
Chicago_Heather is offline  
Aug 12th, 2010, 12:49 PM
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Thanks, rs899: We would prefer an automatic but plan to drive a stick because of pricing. What's the benefit of diesel--are prices much better than gas? Was the Orvieto station fairly simple to drive into?

Heather: thanks--will definitely ask for the upgrade.
JenniFTF is offline  
Aug 12th, 2010, 12:59 PM
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Diesel is about 10% cheaper and the cars are about 20% more efficient- and don't feel any different to drive than gassers.

Orvieto is easy in easy out and Hertz and Avis at least are right across from the train station.
rs899 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2010, 02:28 PM
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I would want the car in the Dolomites. Why not get it in the city of Como or train as far as Verona. Castelrotto is a bit isolated--a car would be very nice to have.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Aug 12th, 2010, 04:19 PM
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Bob, thanks for your input. I really respect your advice and remember taking some of it for a trip we planned in 2007. Our logic on not using a car in the Dolomites was that we only have three nights there and don't plan to go anywhere not convenient by local transit. In general, we were thinking not to have the car until we really needed it. But none of us have been to the Dolomites before, so it's hard to know...

What kind of pricing should I expect for a 7 day manual compact? AutoEurope is showing me $454 "inclusive" and with a free GPS. Should we look around more or just book it and move on?

Thanks, everyone!
JenniFTF is offline  
Aug 12th, 2010, 05:13 PM
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Compare your Auto Europe price with kemwel.com. Be sure to compare deductables.
zoecat is online now  
Aug 13th, 2010, 03:42 AM
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Sign into AutoEurope stating residence from different countries and compare rates. Pick the best one, but be sure to compare insurance coverage (or lack thereof). Check Kemwel and easyterra.com - they are both Autoeurope affiliates. Check http://www.novacarhire.com/ and http://www.economycarrentals.com/

I think we paid around $300/wk in March for a small manual through easyterra.com, but with high deductables.
rs899 is offline  
Aug 13th, 2010, 03:59 AM
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kwren is offline  
Aug 13th, 2010, 07:50 AM
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If I did not have a car I would stay in Ortisei--more to see and do in Val Gardena---and Castelrotto, although cute---had several large cranes in sight our last trip there.
But, I think a car is best. Look at both AE and Kemwel. Since you will need a car later, the incremental daily cost is not bad.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Aug 13th, 2010, 08:30 AM
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We were in Italy 3 years ago spending 3 nights in Venice, 7 in Tuscany and 4 in Rome. Leaving Venice we picked up a car and headed to Tuscany (we stayed on a farm a little southeast of Siena). In Tuscany, our hosts suggested we take the train from the nearby town of Asciano to Florence to avoid the hassle. Unfortunately we discovered with the train schedule, we were left with not enough time to visit Florence (next time we will stay over at least one night). We did the hill towns with the car and we were quite happy with this arrangement. At week's end, we drove to Rome.

Though our experience was very good, were we to do the same itinerary again we might take the train from Venice to Florence, stay a day or two, rent a car for the rest of Tuscany and take the train from Florence to Rome.

Happy travel!
Maureen_QC is offline  
Aug 13th, 2010, 08:39 AM
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I should explain that the reason why we would make the change is that time was a factor for us to get to Tuscany so we travelled the Autostrada and Superstrada, and you see nothing of interest enroute. Travelling by train, or bus for that matter, can be much more relaxing at least——like being chauffeur-driven. In other words, from one large centre to another without stops, train or bus travel might be the ticket. When doing the milk-run, a car is highly recommended.
Maureen_QC is offline  
Aug 13th, 2010, 08:55 AM
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I have to agree with "bobthenavigator" in regards to having a car in the Dolomites and about staying in Val Gardena as opposed to Castelrotto. Castelrotto is nice enough, but it's not "in" the Dolomites. More like the "outskirts".

pja1 is online now  
Nov 9th, 2010, 09:21 AM
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Hey everyone, thought I'd include a mini trip report as pertains to the car for the help of future readers of this thread.

We ended up getting a spectacular deal from Auto Europe by choosing the smallest car (compact) with the assumption that we could upgrade at checkout. Also, I wanted the UK rate, not the (discriminatory?) US rate. Since the computer wouldn't let me do this, I called the Auto Europe 800-number and the customer service guy was INCREDIBLY HELPFUL. Best customer service experience ever! So in all, we ended up with a double upgrade for a week at just 180 Euro, inclusive! I'm glad we sprang for the 100% no deductible because my first day driving it, I scuffed up against a pole in the parking lot, but no worries.

As far as itinerary / logistics. We were thrilled with our stays in both Bellagio and Castelrotto. However, if we were to do it over again, we would have picked up the car earlier and simply driven from Lake Como to the Dolomites. Making several train exchanges, worrying about transfer times, buying tickets, and all that rigamarore was too much of a hassle, making for very long travel day. (However, I was very grateful to not have to drive the windy, narrow mountain roads from Bolzano to Castelrotto!)
Driving from Bolzano to Verona and on to Pienza, Tuscany was a breeze on the autostrada...except for the inexplicable stop & go traffic leaving Bolzano.
A car in TUscany is an absolute must, of course. We dropped it off in Orvieto and took the final train to Rome where we flew out.
By the end of the week, I was quite comfortable with the stick shift and learned to love navigating the windy little TUscan roads.
JenniFTF is offline  
Nov 9th, 2010, 02:08 PM
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Good for you !
Where to next year?
bobthenavigator is offline  
Nov 9th, 2010, 05:03 PM
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I'm glad you enjoyed driving in Tuscany! I do too!
Zoom, zoom.
Dayle is online now  
Nov 10th, 2010, 03:44 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Well I am aware of a site that offers car on rent. There aren’t many car rental companies that will offer you car for interstate or one way travel. You can look up at http://carsrentalitaly.com/ as they offer facilities like traveling across the border, pick and drop at cheap prices. It offers quite good deals when you book car for more than a week or so. You can also check out their site if it suits you. You can browse for more details and get one booked for you.
carolosgarlan is offline  

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