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renting a car in Florence Italy

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Jan 7th, 2010, 07:41 AM
  #1
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renting a car in Florence Italy

We are 4 ladies (in our 60's) who are traveling to Florence & Tuscany in May. We will be staying at a B&B in Cortona and want to rent a car for day trips. We have traveled to Europe (and other places) before however never ventured out on our own in a car. Any suggestions or concerns we should be aware of? Susi
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Jan 7th, 2010, 08:22 AM
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The big issue with a car, especially in Florence, is the dreaded TLZ zones. Traffic limited Zones that are notorious for catching tourists with a camera and 100+ Euro fine months later. Just be very aware of where you are and get good maps of the TLZs.
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Jan 7th, 2010, 08:27 AM
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Many travelers get into trouble when renting cars in Italy without even knowing it. Towns and cities (especially true of Florence) have a ZTL, a central historic zone of town where traffic is limited to resident licenses. The zone has posted signs and is monitored by cameras. Many travelers arrive home and months later receive pricey traffic tickets for violating this zone, not recognizing the signs as a warning. So, before you go, study international traffic signs and watch for the ZTL signs as you approach the center of town. Since so many people report ZTL tickets issued in Florence, I'd avoid driving into Florence if possible.
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Jan 7th, 2010, 08:28 AM
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fmpden beat me! It took me too long to type the same message!
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Jan 7th, 2010, 11:33 AM
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You have a few choices-

Rent in the city center. The link I have posted at the bottom of this post provides good info.

If you want to avoid driving out of the Florence city center, you could taxi to the airport and pick up the car there. It's pretty easy getting on the highway south.

You could train to Arezzo and rent the car there. It is an easy, short and direct drive from there to Cortona.

Check kemwel.com and autoeurope.com for car rental.

Here is a link to some good driving info-

http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/driving/index.htm
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Jan 7th, 2010, 01:18 PM
  #6
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Thanks for the info! We're flying into Florence so we can rent at the airport & drive to Cortona. After reading the warnings, once we leave Cortona we will drop off the car at the airport and cab it back to town for our final 2-3 days. Sounds less stressful!
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Jan 7th, 2010, 02:43 PM
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Hi susi, a couple of years ago when family members again returned to Italy they too picked up and returned their rental car at the Florence airport. They told me it was so much more relaxing than dealing with trying to do the same in Florence. The wife's family is from a small little place between Florence and Lucca so they had to have a car to visit the relatives. Her Italian family were the ones that suggested the Florence Airport. Have a fun, safe and wonderful time!
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Jan 7th, 2010, 06:31 PM
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Although you've decided on the airport, I thought I'd second zoecat's suggestion of Arezzo anyway. It is very easy getting from the rental office to roads heading in nearly every direction.
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Jan 7th, 2010, 07:11 PM
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Susi - that's basically what we did too.

Based on the advice I received here, and what we saw in Florence - that's the last place I'd want to drive a car!
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Jan 7th, 2010, 10:14 PM
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Hi

My wife and I went to Florence and Tuscany a couple of years back. We started by staying a few nights in Florence and then we picked up a car to shift base to Castellina in Chianti. I was surprised how easy it was to drive around in Tuscany but I would recommend that you bring or rent a GPS...it is a great tool especially when you drive in and out of larger cities ;-) Here is my Florence trip report with photos, a google maps and links: http://gardkarlsen.com/florence_italy_travelogue.htm

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
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