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rental car pick up in Florence to tour Tuscany

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Aug 27th, 2003, 11:25 AM
  #1
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rental car pick up in Florence to tour Tuscany

Hello to all my helpful friends! I have been planning a 3 week trip to Italy, leaving 9/6, and you have no idea how much you have helped.

I will be spending 4 nights in Florence at the Westin Excelsior, and wonder where would be a good place to pick up a car for a day trip to Tuscany area. Is the airport the best way, or is there someplace near the hotel that would be easier? Would one day rental be enough to enjoy the area?

We are beginning our trip in Florence, then to Rome, Sorrento, Venice, Lake Como, Nice (one night to visit Monaco), Santa Margharita Ligure, then back to Florence for one night and flying home. The remainder of our travels will be by train.

This is our first time to Italy, and your ideas and opinions have been a wonderful help with my planning. Any other thoughts on restaurants or can't miss sights are appreciated. I'm hooked on this travel talk!

Ciao!
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Aug 27th, 2003, 11:46 AM
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Have a blast! We picked up a car at Hertz right in Florence and they gave us good directions to get out and head S further into Tuscany. Book before you go, it's much cheaper and you can always cancel.
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Aug 27th, 2003, 12:00 PM
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Roz, glad to hear that location is navigable. That's where we're picking up our car in October. We got a great rate for a Hertz rental through Auto Europe.
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Aug 27th, 2003, 12:18 PM
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Thanks! I just had a thought about possibly driving south to Rome instead of train. Any thoughts on this? I'll check out the Auto Europe website.
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Aug 27th, 2003, 12:52 PM
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We also rented through AutoEurope and got the car from Avis. It was walking distance from the train station and we managed to navigate our way out of town heading west. If you rent a car for only one day, then try to see some of the smaller hilltowns (Castellina, Colle Val de Elsa, Montefioralle (really tiny), San Gim and Volterra. If you just want to go to Siena, you might consider the train/bus.
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Aug 27th, 2003, 12:58 PM
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check out the hertz and avis sites also. We got higher rates on Autoeurope vs. the direct site.

IF you are driving to Rome stay a few nights along the way. Montalcino, Monteriggioni, etc...
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Aug 27th, 2003, 01:01 PM
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driving tips: someone must be the navigator. You will come around a corner and see a sign with 15+ arrows on it, each arrow has a town name and points the direction you should turn. No real street or road names, just know your next destination or town on your route. We bought a great map at a cigarette place right in Florence b4 we left. The blue arrow signs are usually cities, ignore the brown (tourist spots, wineries, etc.) if you can. Act quickly but always remember you can turn around.
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Aug 27th, 2003, 01:15 PM
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eroz, you're right about the navigator. Those arrows are nuts! Driving through southern France last year we did a lot of quick turn arounds. Thank god for roundabouts!
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Aug 27th, 2003, 02:09 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I was able to get a midsize, automatic for 24 hours for 112 euros (includes starwood discount and all added taxes). Auto Europe was 152 euros, Hertz was 134 euros.

I think we'll stick with our original plan and train to Rome. Thanks Lina for your advice on the small hill towns. We'll do that for sure. Thanks Roz for the driving tips!

Only 9 more days until departure. I can hardly wait!
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Aug 27th, 2003, 08:06 PM
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Here's a tip - when you pick up your car and get directions to leave Florence, also get directions to get back to the rental site.

We had an awful time getting the car back in Florence. We knew where it was, but couldn't seem to get there because of the maze of one-way streets. Made us a nervous wreck! Good thing we were allowing enough time to get to the train station.
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Aug 28th, 2003, 06:21 AM
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We returned our car to Hertz in Florence near the train station.

Although, close to the station ...it will be difficult to find the Hertz location unless you have good directions( and map would help).

We picked up at the airport and returned to the train station. Much easier than returning to the airport and taking bus to the train station.

If you want to see how confusing an Italian signcan be, check out the pic that I took.

http://www.worldisround.com/articles/20521/photo11.html
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Aug 28th, 2003, 09:27 PM
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Wow, that photo of the road signs is incredible. How did you ever sort that out? Only watch the blue and green signs for city names, right?
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Aug 30th, 2003, 10:13 AM
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Dick: Those signs are something else! I enjoyed your other photos, as well. I changed to Auto Europe after information I got on another post. The insurance is much better, and they had availability of late drop off and closer location to our hotel. It cost 17 euros more. We leave next Saturday!
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Aug 30th, 2003, 11:47 AM
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while you are on the subject of car rentals, those of you in the know, would we be better off with a one day rental to see the smaller towns in tuscany from florence or from siena? we have details that need to be finalized soon for an oct trip and are staying in each place. thanks in advance...
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Aug 30th, 2003, 01:01 PM
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shana,
In the interest of being honest, i must admit, that I took the photo while walking across the street. And, yes, you are right about paying attention to the color of the sign.

triggo,
thanks for the kind words.
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