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Renting a car from Rome to tuscany to venice

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Jul 30th, 2014, 07:00 AM
  #1
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Renting a car from Rome to tuscany to venice

Hi we plan to spend 3 days in rome.
While exiting Rome rent a car and drive to Tuscany.
Spend 5 days in Tuscany.
Drive to Venice or Mestere and return back the rental car.

Is this doable?
We plan to drive instead of taking trains as train costs seem high for 2 adults with kids and luggage. And trains also add up time to getting to and from the train stations.
We looked at car rentals and for about 6 days it seems to be costing us around 300$.
And i think trains would be about 30Euro one side per person.

Any thoughts?
neharohan is offline  
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Jul 30th, 2014, 07:09 AM
  #2
 
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Your plan is fine because you will need a car in Tuscany. But as far as the trains, the high speed trains get you to your destination at least twice as fast as a car (160 miles per hour and no traffic). Not so much for you but for anyone else reading, a high speed train is going to be much faster than driving from city to city.
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Jul 30th, 2014, 07:14 AM
  #3
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Thanks but apart from time, is there any other reason to take trains.
Although train will take less time, but time from Rome to a farm house in tuscany will i think be almost same or maybe an hour more.
If we take train and then rent a car, transferring kids will also take up time and in train you have to hold the kids and in car they will be in their own car seats.
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Jul 30th, 2014, 07:21 AM
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If you don't plan to visit cities, then a car makes a lot of sense. You can drop your rental on the edge of Venice, at the Piazzale Roma at the end of the causeway from the mainland.

Be sure to stay in Venice proper, not Mestre and not the Lido. It's a little more expensive but you won't cheat yourselves of the real experience of living in a city without streets, without trucks and cars and vespas, just water buses and water taxis and gondolas and pedestrian walkways.

I assume when you say Tuscany, you mean you want to see something of the countryside and the hilltowns. With a car in Tuscany you can't drive into the small towns. You park in a parking lot on the edge and walk in. You, and especially your kids, might enjoy staying in an agriturismo, a working farm that accepts guests. Pick one that serves dinner so the driver can have wine and you won't have to pick your way back on obscure country roads in the dark.

If you want to see something of Florence or other towns, you can take a daytrip in by bus or train.
Mimar is online now  
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Jul 30th, 2014, 07:46 AM
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If by "Tuscany", you mean travelling round (and staying in) the countryside, the plan makes sense - and might be better than getting the train. If you mean basing yourselves in Florence, and possibly driving out daily, it's mad.

Your hotels in Rome and Venice will be nearer to the railway stations than to any car hire depot, and the car journey from Rome to Tuscany and from Tuscany to Venice is all tedium and no pleasure at all to the driver. I doubt you'll get away with $300 for a week's car hire, petrol and motorway tolls: it's practically certain pre-booked trains will work out substantially cheaper.

But if your Tuscany plans require a car, you need a car.
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Jul 30th, 2014, 07:48 AM
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" in train you have to hold the kids "

Why?
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Jul 30th, 2014, 07:53 AM
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Hi neharohan, we're doing similar. Staying in Florence then picking up a car and spending five nights in Tuscany, then driving to Venice and returning the car at Piazzale Roma.

Try booking the car through AutoEurope, their rates were lowest when I searched. I tried Gemut and they could not match their rates (the actual car rental is Hertz). I found that picking up the car in city center is cheaper than using the airports, especially if you can walk to the car rental. Also, there is a flat rate parking fee (45 euros)for using Piazzale Roma location as dropoff, but it still beats dropping at Venice Airport then adding water taxi back to the island, especially logistics with kids.

We are planning to stay in Montepulciano, as we like to wander after dinner, and an agriturismo sounds fine, but nothing to do in the evening. We will visit one of the agriturismos during the day, take a cheese making tour etc. There are baths in the Tuscan countryside too, something the kids might like...
joan is offline  
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Jul 30th, 2014, 08:00 AM
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I assume you've added in the time it takes to get the car and the money for fuel and possibly insurance and most certainly parking. Watch out for those speed cameras, too.
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Jul 30th, 2014, 08:09 AM
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Your plan is fine--just be careful where you get to car to exit Rome. Here is more about driving in Italy:


DRIVING IN ITALY & SOUTHERN EUROPE

Q. SHOULD WE DRIVE IN ITALY?
A. Of course you should if your driving skill & confidence would allow you to drive a rental car in Vermont, Colorado or California. But, be advised of these tips:
* Avoid driving in the major cities except for picking up or dropping cars
* Have good maps—study them in advance—and have a GOOD NAVIGATOR.
* Stay in the right lane except when passing and use your rear view mirrors

Q. WHAT CAR SHOULD I GET AND WHERE DO I GET IT?
A. It is best to rent your car before you leave for Europe. The best source we have found is www.autoeurope.com [888-223-5555] who is a broker for several car vendors. They will quote you prices to include the variables that are often omitted by others, such as unlimited mileage, mandatory insurance coverage with some deductibles, and VAT taxes. It is wise to compare prices and coverage with their sister company at www.kemwel.com. Autoeurope will match any comparable quote, and are famous for their customer satisfaction if problems do arise with the vendor. The best model will depend on your needs, but for best value we suggest you select a compact car with manual transmission. Automatics are available but will cost you about 30% more and may limit your model options & pick up locations.

Q. ARE ITALIAN DRIVERS AS CRAZY AS I HAVE HEARD?
A. Yes & no! They are certainly aggressive, but they are also more skilled than many USA drivers—both are a function of necessity. Italy is one of the most crowded countries in the world and the drivers have evolved these characteristics
* They are notorious tailgaters. If that bothers you, pull over and let them past.
* On the AUTOSTRADE they will drive fast, but will stay in the right lane except when passing and will use their blinkers when passing—YOU SHOULD TOO !
* They will often pass on 2-lane roads with traffic coming. Frankly, they expect you, and the oncoming car, to adjust to the shoulder and make 3 lanes of traffic.

OTHER ROAD TIPS FOR YOUR DRIVING SANITY:
1. Learn the meaning of the sign “ SENSO UNICO” and take heed [ONE WAY ].
2. Be sure to get your ticket when you enter the AUTOSTADA system & be prepared to pay the toll when you exit it [ rule of thumb—300 km=15 Euro]. You can use your credit card in the VIA lane at the toll both, or buy a debit VIACARD in advance.
3. Do NOT attempt to follow road numbers—that will frustrate you. But, do pay attention to the directional signs that point to your destination [ TO MONTALCINO]. And, be aware if that road leads eventually to a larger city [ ROMA—SIENA ETC.]
4. Unless you have a diesel car, you will want to fill the tank with benzina from the green pump. Most stations will pump gas for you and will take credit cards.

NOTE: As of 2005, an International Drivers Permit [IDP] is required in Italy.
You can obtain them from your local AAA office. You will need a valid US driver’s license, two passport photos, and $20. The photos can be taken at the AAA office.
bobthenavigator is offline  
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Jul 30th, 2014, 08:21 AM
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Oh, and another thing: I agree that a car is useful in Tuscany. BTW, exactly where did you find those rail trip prices??????
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Jul 30th, 2014, 08:23 AM
  #11
 
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I did something similar a few years ago because it was much easier to do basically what you're planning to do plus I wanted to go to Cinque Terre and train travel was not ideal. My daughter was studying in Rome for a semester so I met her there, spent some time in the city and then picked up the car at Villa Borghese,which was close to the autostrada, stopped in Orvieto, then on to Siena, where we spent a few days. From there drove to Cinque Terre, which was the most nerve racking part of the trip due to mountainous roads, spent a lovely few days there, and then on to Venice where we dropped off the car right after the toll both, and then went into Venice.

I actually found the drivers to be much less aggressive than they are where I live in the DC area.
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Jul 30th, 2014, 08:33 AM
  #12
 
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I don't see any problem with it, if a car is your preferred way of travel and you think you need one in Tuscany. A couple of ideas:

I don't know what your schedule is like, but getting out of Rome by car can be a lot easier if it's on a weekend.

You can return the car to the Venice airport or near the train station at Piazzale Roma. The train station area is probably the better option, as far as being convenient to your accommodations in the city.

The $300 rental for six days sounds low to me, especially for a larger vehicle that accommodates a family of four and their luggage. But if that's what you can get, I'll take your word for it.
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Jul 30th, 2014, 09:16 AM
  #13
 
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You don;t have to hold hte kids in a train unless they are very young - infants or toddlers - but perhaps your are. If so - make sure you hve include the cost of the appropriate car seats in your rental cost.

Frankly I think your idea is fine - a car is really the best way to see Tuscany.

And we have done - and enjoyed - many road trips in europe. I know this is foreign to many europeans - but road trips are part of our american heritage - going back 3 generations to grandparents who would take the old Model T out for Sunday afternoon drives to the country in the 1920s - stopping at a roadhouse for dinner with the kids on the way back.
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Jul 30th, 2014, 09:37 AM
  #14
 
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I assume that the two children are under age 3 and thus can ride free on the trains. This is the only reason you might have to hold them. because they wouldn't be guaranteed a seat. Children from 3 to 14 ride half price on the fast trains, and there are discounts for families. However, the advance purchase discounts (buying 120 days in advance) are usually much better.

If the children ride free, then it's very unlikely the rental car will be cheaper than the train. Driving begins to make economic sense when there are three people. It rarely makes sense time-wise. You mention the time needed to get to the station, but it would usually take just as long (or longer) to get to the car rental agency, or to whatever remote spot where you park the car.

Of course, for visiting rural Tuscany, a car is practically a necessity, especially if traveling with small children. I wouldn't mind the drive from Rome to Tuscany, but I hate the drive from there to Venice. It's a boring drive across the Apennines on the A1 autostrada, with lots of tunnels and intense truck traffic on the section from Florence to Bologna, where there are only two lanes a good part of the way. You either drive on the left with the speed demons or snake along on the right with the big trucks. I would really prefer to turn in the car before heading to Venice.

If you want to visit rural Tuscany, you could pick the car up either in Rome or somewhere in Tuscany.
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Jul 30th, 2014, 11:51 AM
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"but I hate the drive from there to Venice. It's a boring drive across the Apennines on the A1 autostrada, with lots of tunnels and intense truck traffic on the section from Florence to Bologna, where there are only two lanes a good part of the way. You either drive on the left with the speed demons or snake along on the right with the big trucks. I would really prefer to turn in the car before heading to Venice."

Ah, but we've committed to driving...I've consoled myself with two ideas: it's only 4 hours drive time (according to google and rome2rio)), and we can get off and stop for lunch along the way (Bologna?). Anyone have any suggestions for lunch stops on this route?

Also, our car rental, five days, is $160 plus about $85 for fees, so the OP's figure is pretty close (surprisingly low but of course fuel cost makes up for it).
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Jul 30th, 2014, 12:28 PM
  #16
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Yeah we want to stop at Bologna and maybe spend a night in Verona.
Kids are ages 1 and 3, so we need to hold them in train and make them sit on their seats and not keeping running in the train.

Auto europe showed me option to rent with insurance for around 225$.
I think we plan to carry our car seats as car seat rental cost is coming to be around 100$ per ar seat.
We are traveling in a months time and i dont think we will be able to get trains any cheaper than this.
We just want to do a day trip to florence and not stay in florence.
We plan to stay in agritourismo so kids can get space to run around in gardens, enjoy the open spaces, pool. We will be spending a few days in rome and venice and want to give kids some free time so they also enjoy the vacation.

is it a good idea to spend a night in verona or should we plan to do 3 nights in venice?
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Jul 30th, 2014, 12:58 PM
  #17
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This is what i see:

Fiat Panda or similar Economy Class car image $224.09 No Deductible Rate No insurance excess (deductible)
Pick-Up Full & Return Full Manual Transmission2-DoorWith Air-Conditioning3-PassengerLarge Suitcase x 1 Product Information CHANGE CAR
Pick-up Drop-off
Rome Venice
Rome Tiburtina Office
Via Lorenzo Il Magnifico 154 Venice Downtown
Piazzale Roma, 496 - E
Sep 01, 2014 Sep 06, 2014
10:00 AM 10:00 AM


Is there something i am missing except for fuel and tolls?
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Jul 30th, 2014, 12:59 PM
  #18
 
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Any less than three nites in Venice would mean you'd only have one full day there and one full day is not enough time. So go with Venice. By all means return the car to Piazzale Roma near the train station. Much more convenient than the airport, IMO.
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Jul 30th, 2014, 01:02 PM
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Nope, if you think an economy car suits your needs. If I were driving that distance with two adults and a couple of kids, I'd want a larger vehicle, but that's not a criticism of your choice.
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Jul 30th, 2014, 01:08 PM
  #20
 
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Another thought: I rented without the Zero deductible rider. Visa normally requires you to decline insurance, except where required by law (Italy does require purchase of insurance with high deductible). Then Visa will cover your deductible. I asked Visa, and they sent me a letter to this effect.

I would maybe spring for a larger car, but whatever you do, make sure two car seats will fit in the back of the Panda...

Have fun!
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