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Renting car in Rome for travel through Tuscany and leave in Venice


Oct 22nd, 2011, 09:10 AM
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Renting car in Rome for travel through Tuscany and leave in Venice

A few issues with this one.

First where should I rent the car from in Rome for a Saturday morning start if we don't want to get caught in a lot of Rome traffic and want a smooth passage out of Rome onto the highways? I have looked at the Avis site just to see where the locations are and not knowing Rome, they don't mean much to me. Does anyone have advice? I have the listing of the locations here:


Second, we leave our Tuscany rental on a Saturday and plan to drive the car and drop it in Venice. The Piazzelle Roma drop-offs are only open on Saturdays until noon or 1 pm, but the Marco Polo drop off later. This would be very inconvenient, so the PR would be our choice. We are staying between Florence and Siena. How long will it take to drive to Venice and if we leave by 7 am could we do it to make it in time for a drop off at PR? Or maybe someone knows of a car rental service that has later hours at the PR on Saturdays?

Thank so much.
jamierin is offline  
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Oct 22nd, 2011, 09:33 AM
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Several years ago I rented a car, picking up at Fiumicino. Very easy to get out of town and headed north from there.
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Oct 22nd, 2011, 10:28 AM
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We dropped off a car once at the Hertz place underneath the Borghese Gardens in Rome. That was fine driving into Rome (we just didn't know the rental cars were underground so kept driving around in circles). Find out if you can just drop off at the Piazzelle-Roma location by leaving key and contract in a drop box. That is what we had to do in Rome as there was no attendant anymore when we arrived to drop off car.
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Oct 22nd, 2011, 10:53 AM
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For driving time from Tuscany to Venice have a look at viamichelin.com. We find we usually make trips faster than that - but mostly highway. As soon as you get on local roads you may run into delays - and there can be traffic on the causeway to the Piazzale Roma.
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Oct 22nd, 2011, 11:01 AM
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Hi jamierin,
It should be easy to get out of Rome on a Saturday morning. Traffic shouldn't be an issue in the city. Fiumicino is fine, but then there is the hassle of getting all the way out to the airport with your bags (at least a $40 cab ride if you're not taking public transport.)

If you're planning to take the A1 (Autostrada del Sole) up to Tuscany, then renting on the north side or east of the city will make getting to the A1 easier, as the interchange is on the north/northeast side of Rome. From your Avis list, I'd say that via Sardegna near via Veneto looked like a good option.

To get to the A1, you'd take any of the main thoroughfares to the G.R.A (Grande Raccordo Annulare) which is the ring road that surrounds Rome and connects to the A1. This is also sometimes referred to as the Circonvalazione Settentrionale (North), Meridonale (South), Orientale (East), Occidentale (West).

All the main thoroughfares lead to the G.R.A. These are generally the ancient Roman roads: Via Tiburtina, Via Flaminia, Via Salaria, Via Nomentana, etc. Getting on at any point of the G.R.A. will work. Therefore if you're staying on the western side of Rome instead of the northern or eastern side, then a rental location on that side (Boccea is one) is also a good choice.

As for traffic, there is often road work on the GRA and the A1, even on the weekends, so don't be too surprised if you encounter traffic on the highways, especially on a weekend getaway day. But you'll probably be fine.
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Oct 22nd, 2011, 11:11 AM
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Several years ago we rented from AutoEurope and picked up at the Europecar office on Via Cipro. It was a very easy drive to the autostrada from there.
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Oct 22nd, 2011, 11:18 AM
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Thank you so much for all of your responses so far. I am looking at all of the options suggested. I am happy, however, that no has suggested that driving out of downtown Rome is crazy. An easy drive to the autostrada would be great.
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Oct 22nd, 2011, 11:21 AM
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I actually just drove from Venice to Tuscany about 2 weeks ago, and the truth is, driving always tends takes a little longer than any of the web sites suggest. Plus if you run into roadworks on any of the autostrada, then it becomes a stressful race against time.

For a benchmark, it took us about 6 hours (including lunch at an AutoGrill--good food, but not my ideal lunch spot) from Venice to western part of the Maremma, which is a little further than you're travel distance, but not by much. I think Google maps said 5 1/2 hours. Not too far off, but we had no time to detour...we just drove straight through--not my ideal way of traveling by car.

Also, I feel that the benefit of having a car is somewhat lessened if you can't use it to explore off-the-beaten-track towns. If you're goal is to see the countryside, maybe even check out towns like Ravenna, or something in the Veneto region before heading into Venice, then you should bite the bullet and drop off either in Mestre, or at Marco Polo airport and water taxi from the airport to your destination. I don't know what time either of those stations close, so I'm just tossing out ideas. You could also overnight in the Veneto one night if your plans aren't already set in stone.

On the other hand, if you just need to get to Venice from Tuscany, and don't want to stop or linger in-between, then
an option you might consider is dropping the car off at the Avis location in Florence and then taking the train direct to Venice Santa Lucia station. If you take this option, then be careful not to enter the ZTL (zonoa traffico limitato) because fines for entering the ZTL with a car can be steep.
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Oct 22nd, 2011, 05:34 PM
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Family Friendly Italy - I hear you loud and clear. The problem is that our rental ends on a Saturday morning, and even if we spend one more day on our way to Venice, the car rental drop offs are still closed on Sundays, although I have to check this. And I really wanted a full 3 nights in Venice. Maybe we just drop it at the airport after all. By the way we are doing Tuscany TO Venice. The last leg of our 2 week trip.
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Oct 22nd, 2011, 05:36 PM
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And I want to avoid the trains if possible.

How long would it take to get from Marco Polo to Venice proper? Say to Rialto?
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Oct 22nd, 2011, 07:25 PM
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There are 3 ways to get to Venice from Marco Polo Airport: by taxi boat, by the Alilaguna shuttle boat, and by bus to Piazzale Roma and then by vaporetto or on foot to your hotel. The first 2 require a bit of a walk to the pier. The taxi's going to be quickest but quite expensive. For the other 2 options, it depends on the schedule. I'd opt for the Alilaguna; the orange line goes to the Rialto: www.alilaguna.it/lineaarancio-eng.html. This would be a bit more expensive that the bus, but your arrival in Venice starts immediately. Your kids would love this.
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Oct 22nd, 2011, 07:27 PM
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BTW, we've been able to drop off cars when the car rental office is closed -- by dropping the keys and paperwork through a slot. Most recently we did this with Europcar via AutoEurope.
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Oct 23rd, 2011, 11:28 AM
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Thanks Mimar, I think that we can do a drop off too in Venice. I kind of wanted to avoid that because what if they say something is wrong with the car...and no one has inspected it with us present? I have heard some bad stories about that kind of shenanigans.
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Oct 23rd, 2011, 11:40 AM
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Have done this in the past with tigercarrentals.com

Rome has a nice ring road around the city

viamichelin.com FCO is SW of center so head nort

to stay out of the center.. Might check the VCE airport

for your drop site B4 your Venice visit save parking

better hours europcheapo.com/venice

A word of warning about Florence a major parking trap

cameras everywhere expensive might consider a hotel with

free parking there and stay out of the center...

eurocheapo.com/florence getting around.

Folks who ignore traffic citations can end up with passport

issues even more fines amounting to hundreds of euros.

So excercise care there. I enjoy rural drives a lot.

But find fast train better if going city center to center

Venice Rome was only a little over 3 hours last May for me.

78 euros saved a tonne of money/hassle over car rental.


Happy Planning!
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Oct 24th, 2011, 07:22 AM
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jamierin, take photos, preferably with the date on them, of the rental car when you pick it up and when you drop it -- from all angles. This a good idea even if the drop-off location is manned.
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Oct 24th, 2011, 08:14 AM
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To answer one of your questions re getting into Venice from Marco Polo:

As already noted, there are several ways to do it. What works for you depends on th number of people in your group, how much baggage you have, etc.

Whether you take the Alilaguna or the taxi, you'll have to make the (approximate) 10-minute walk to the pier. It's not bad if you have a cart or luggage that rolls, and if the weather cooperates. I think the A'guna costs 13.5 euros/person, while a taxi charges about 90 euros for a group. So, if you have 4 or more people in your group, it's probably worth it to take a taxi, given how much faster and convenient it is.

If you're in group that has a lot of luggage, I'd recommend against the bus/vaporetto idea. That would be a real pain, and not a great way to start your trip in Venice.
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Oct 28th, 2011, 02:07 PM
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So I have checked out the Avis location in Rome that FamilyFriendlyItaly suggested and "google mapped" it to Tavarnelle val di Pesa (in Tuscany near where our rental will be) and avoided the GRA (I think).

I have copied the directions here. Would someone who knows these roads tell me if this is feasible, or if we have to get on the GRA.

1. Head east on Via Sardegna toward Via Abruzzi
36 m
2. Continue straight onto Via Abruzzi
76 m
3. Turn left to stay on Via Abruzzi
86 m
4. Continue onto Via Giacomo Puccini
190 m
5. Slight right onto Via Pinciana
400 m
6. Continue onto Via Ruggero Giovannelli
400 m
7. Continue onto Via Salaria
10.0 km
8. Continue onto Raccordo Salario-Settebagni/SS4
Continue to follow SS4
1.9 km
9. Turn left onto the E35 ramp to Firenze/Roma
Toll road
120 m
10. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for Firenze and merge onto A1dir
Toll road
18.6 km
11. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for A1/Firenze and merge onto A1
Toll road
236 km
12. Take exit Firenze-Certosa toward Firenze Certosa
Partial toll road
650 m
13. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Raccordo Autostradale Siena-Firenze
16.1 km
14. Take exit Tavarnelle toward Via Cassia/SR2
270 m
15. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for Tavarnelle/Barberino Val d'Elsa

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