Renting Car in Florence

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Sep 13th, 2018, 02:30 PM
  #1
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Renting Car in Florence

I l arrive Firenze S. M. Novella - Is it that difficult to rent a car by the station and drive out headed to either Lucca or Tuscany??? I hate to waste 30 minutes going to airport to get a rental car. Please advise, have lived in Ny and Miami - could the driving be that hazardous? We are not staying in Florence at all (did last yr), plan to drive thru Tuscany/Chianti for 5 days. Appreciate input, iím Arranging rental car tonight. Also, do you have to have GPS to get around Tuscany (extra $100 that I could use to eat pasta!). Thanks
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Sep 13th, 2018, 02:56 PM
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The driving is no more hazardous than in most places in Italy. The issue is really avoiding the ZTLs since you're renting within the city and need to drive out. Many people have done this, but for me, I need to learn exactly where to go and where to avoid. A ZTL fine is expensive.

We drove around Tuscany for years with a GPS. Everyone did. Do you have a smartphone? My iPhone with Google maps worded just as well in Sicily as did the GPS (which was $40.00 US from AutoEurope, mailed to the house with a return envelope).
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Sep 13th, 2018, 03:04 PM
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>>We drove around Tuscany for years with a GPS. Everyone did.<<


We did just the opposite. We drove around Tuscany for years without a GPS. I can't recall if we had one last year or not. It helps.



Also, IMO, Florence is more difficult to drive through than most places/cities in Italy - except for maybe Rome & Milan. When we arrived in October last year, the area around the train station was a zoo. The taxi driver had a very difficult time getting us to our apt. Many roads were closed because of construction. However, at 6am in the morning, the taxi driver had no problems getting us to the airport.


Stu Dudley
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Sep 13th, 2018, 03:25 PM
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PS


We did get a GPS last year (in-dash on the car). And it was helpful getting us to Lucca (although we've visited Lucca before w/o a GPS). It did take some doing/help from the Europcar attendant to figure out how to make the GPS work.



Getting out of Rome from the termini station was easy for us. Probably easier than getting out of the Florence station.


Use the "saved" $100 on a dish with Italian truffles - not a pasta dish (although pasta is a good "vehicle" for truffles). The restaurant I mentioned in my Italy itinerary that's located in San Quirico, had some truffles on the menu - shaved over delicious ravioli.


Off to Paris in the morning!!!



Stu Dudley
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Sep 13th, 2018, 04:17 PM
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We drove all around Tuscany for a week and were very happy that we had the GPS. I'd say it was 95% accurate.
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Sep 13th, 2018, 05:20 PM
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I meant "without" but of course one can't make a mistake here.
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Sep 13th, 2018, 07:57 PM
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You can rent a car in Lucca or Siena.

I am the navigator and map whisperer on driving trips with my husband. GPS has saved our marriage.

You do need to learn about ZTLs, or you could spend more on traffic tickets than on the GPS. GPS, whether in the car or on your phone, will not tell you where these zones are.

https://www.italybeyondtheobvious.co...with-ztl-zones
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Sep 14th, 2018, 07:23 AM
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You are thinking of type of "hazard" you encounter at home. You are driving in Italy, not in NY or Miami. For Florence, ZTL should be the top of concern. In case you think you can avoid it easily, the signs for ZTL come in various varieties. Some comes with English, while others only in Italian. That is not all. They also come with additional small print restrictions you will be pressed to read and comprehend in time before the drivers behind you start getting mad at you. If you can spot this from the distance, which is easily said than done, you will be blocked by the car behind you from being able to back up and turn around. They are also not found where you think they are located. Also they exist among many other signs. What happens if you pass into ZTL? Larger communities like Florence have video cameras identifying every cars without required permit to enter ZTL at restrict times. I think Florence is more than 100EU per incidence, plus about 35EU from you rental company for administrative fee for proving your name as the driver of the car. The fine is cumulative. If you get caught three times by the video camera, you get hit with three times the fines and three times the fees.
As mentioned by others, it is essential to study beforehand how you exit S.M.N. head to your destination without wondering into ZTL.
Florence is not the only community with ZTL. Practically all the communities have ZTLs. That includes Lucca.
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Sep 14th, 2018, 08:03 AM
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FWIW, I think it's easier to avoid violating the ZTL of a small town like Lucca or those elsewhere in Tuscany. Florence OTOH is tough, although the car rental companies will tell you how to drive out of the city. For me, it would just be less stressful, if I'm already at Florence SMN, to just hop another train and pick up the car in Lucca or Siena.
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Sep 14th, 2018, 08:30 AM
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Or just hop train to Florence Rifredi train station a few miles out of town (or take tram) and rent there if possible.
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Sep 14th, 2018, 12:26 PM
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You have excellent suggestions here.
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Sep 14th, 2018, 01:12 PM
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The nice thing about if going to stay in a Siena or Lucca for a day or so taking the dirt-cheap buses or trains to them will save a day or two of car rental and no hassling with cars in the fairly large towns - especially hilly Siena. But both can be nice scenic drives too - especially thru Chianti vineyards to Siena. Just before Lucca is Montecatini Terme - one of the most fashionable spas in Italy - worth a short stop or a long one if want to take the waters. Very un-Italian setting of a park-like area dotted by thermal establishments - driving seemed to be no problem.
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