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Rome, Florence, Assisi by train, bus or rental car?

Rome, Florence, Assisi by train, bus or rental car?

Old Apr 5th, 2019, 01:41 AM
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Rome, Florence, Assisi by train, bus or rental car?

Here is our tentative itinerary for late October /early November :fly Friday arrive in Rome Saturday morning
Rome 6 nights (possible Pompeii day trip, have you done this? Best day?)
train
Florence 4 nights (day trips-bus/train to Pisa? , bus/train to Sienna?)
Train/considering car rental
thought is to plan scenic route to Assisi, next day do a day trip to Loreto from Assisi and turn in car...could I turn back car in Assisi?
assisi 3 nights (Day trip to Loreto...thinking will need a car to go here? Bus? Ideas?)
train
Rome 1 night (stay near airport?)
next day fly home

We would like comments on best transportation.
Our focus is on religious/ historic sites and art.
Recommendations for hotels, under $200/night (open to monasteries, anyone done this?)
Rome near the Vatican or train? Florence near train/ other? Assisi, if had car would need parking but would like to have convenient walk to sites ... Possible?

thanks!
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Old Apr 5th, 2019, 02:27 AM
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Sounds like a fun trip.

Transportation between cities. Rome/Florence/Pisa, travel by train. Rome to Florence book ahead for best fares. Florence to Pisa or other nearby towns - regional trains there is no advanced purchase discount.
If you want to rent a car for a trip to Assisi from Florence then that's fine for flexibility but also not necessary.

Hotels?
Rome is a big city. Neither the Vatican nor the train station would be my 1st choice. I prefer the historic center - Navonna, Pantheon, Campeo de Fiori area myself
Florence is a small city. Again, no need to stay near the train station although it is close to the main sites. Others can recommend specific hotels.
Assisi. There IS parking somewhat convenient to the main sites but it can also fill up with all the other tourists with the same idea. Since you're talking late Oct I don't think you'll have a problem. Assisi is a hill town, so even close by parking may consist of a lot of up/down walking.
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Old Apr 5th, 2019, 09:14 AM
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The only time you'll probably want a car is Assisi.If it were me, I'd rent the car in Rome and drive to Assisi. Have done something similar a few times.Possibly stay in Orvieto, if you don't want to drive that far your first day. You can plan a very nice drive through Umbria to Assisi and spend the night. Return the car in Florence and train to Rome for your last leg.
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Old Apr 5th, 2019, 09:59 AM
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Trins - long-distance trains can be booked months ahead to score limited discounted tickets at www.trenitlia.com or www.itlotreno.com- two competing railways using same tracks and stations. Pompeii is about 4-hour each way trek by train - changing in Naples Centrale to train taking you right to the entrance at Pomeii-Scavi station. Ostia Antica near Rome is to me similar in nature and a lot less crowded.

https://www.google.com/search?q=osti...iw=645&bih=613
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Old Apr 5th, 2019, 11:51 AM
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Flixbus, a trans-European bus company, has services between Florence and Assisi, and Assisi to Rome. If the main interest are the cities themselves, I would travel by train and bus. We used Flixbus between Bayonne and Bilbao andwere happy with the service.
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Old Apr 5th, 2019, 12:34 PM
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I would suggest going to Florence by train as soon as you arrive. There are two direct trains per day from Fiumicino airport to Florence, and there are other trains, nearly every half hour, with a change of train in central Rome. That way you can put all your time in Rome at the end of the trip, where you'll be near the airport for your departure.

It would probably be best to rent your car when leaving Florence. You could rent at the airport, to avoid driving in the city. After your visit to Assisi you could drive to Loreto and turn in the car either in Ancona, where there are rental agencies across from the main train station, or at Falconara airport. From the airport you can take a bus or taxi to the train station in Falconara. From either Ancona or Falconara, you can get a direct train to Rome. I live fairly near Loreto, so I've never had to rent a car in this area, but I've seen the car rental agencies at Falconara airport and across from the train station in Ancona. My husband and I have also taken the bus from Falconara airport to the train station. I often take the train to Rome, but I use the station at Jesi, several stops nearer to Rome.
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Old Apr 5th, 2019, 12:46 PM
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Look into an open-jaw itinerary, either flying into FCO and out of FLR ... or the reverse. This will save you some time and expense.

Use Multi-City searches on google flights to search things out. You don't want a car in Florence...
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Old Apr 5th, 2019, 05:52 PM
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In Assissi give serious consideration to staying at the Istituto Beata Angelina, a convent right across the street from the basilica. Our room had a view directly on it. With perhaps the exception of the view I once had of the Matterhorn, this was the best hotel room view I have ever had. I booked thru monasterystays.com
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Old Apr 5th, 2019, 08:10 PM
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If your main interests are churches you could stay in Rome. Four papal basilicas to start with.

Other than that. If you're leaning towards Flixbus they use surge pricing. Tickets bought late can be much more expensive. But honestly I'd think about the car from Florence to Assisi especially since it sounds like you aren't alone.

TrenItalia has actually announced a large increase in the number of trains from FCO to Florence. The old two trains don't go to SMN anymore but stop at campo marte before going onto to Genoa. The new trains go to SMN and onward to either Venice or Milan. These are slightly faster but you won't notice the difference. Right now the website is showing four trains a day. Two to SMN and two to Campo Marte but the announced number is higher.
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Old Apr 6th, 2019, 01:05 AM
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Originally Posted by travelhorizons View Post
Look into an open-jaw itinerary, either flying into FCO and out of FLR ... or the reverse. This will save you some time and expense.

Use Multi-City searches on google flights to search things out. You don't want a car in Florence...
Florence is so close to Rome that the time saved, if any, would be negligible. You'd have to make a connection in either Rome or Milan, and the time allowed for the connection, added to the time for the trip to the airport, could well be more than the 90 minutes it would take you to travel to Rome by train, leaving from central Florence. As for the expense, you can get train tickets for under €30 apiece if you buy well in advance. A taxi to the airport would cost more.
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Old Apr 6th, 2019, 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Traveler_Nick View Post
If your main interests are churches you could stay in Rome. Four papal basilicas to start with.

TrenItalia has actually announced a large increase in the number of trains from FCO to Florence. The old two trains don't go to SMN anymore but stop at campo marte before going onto to Genoa. The new trains go to SMN and onward to either Venice or Milan. These are slightly faster but you won't notice the difference. Right now the website is showing four trains a day. Two to SMN and two to Campo Marte but the announced number is higher.
Thanks for that information, which is new to me. I would prefer to get a train to Santa Maria Novella, but Campo Marte isn't too bad. You'd probably need a taxi to your hotel, but it's still more convenient that changing trains in central Rome.

I wonder why they have trains going on to Genova. I can't imagine that there's a lot of traffic in that direction. Maybe cruisers?
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Old Apr 6th, 2019, 05:56 AM
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From memory that trains goes

FCO
Tiburtina (I think)
Campo Marte
Pisa
La Spezia (I want to say there is something in between but I can't remember)
Finally Genoa.

It's only two runs a day. One early and one evening (I think) I don't know how many people will go the whole way but my guess is for people that have arrivals/departure that work they'll use it. If not it's useful for anybody doing part of the route.

The impression from the news reporting is it's related to FS buying into Altilia.
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Old Apr 7th, 2019, 09:03 AM
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And Campo di Marte is a nice low-key station about as close to heart of Florence as man station SMN -easier to get taxis. Book train tickets early for discounts but they are not changeable from a specific train - easy to go into Termini and catch zillions of Florence trains. For lots on trains check www.seat61.com; BETS-European Rail Experts and www.ricksteves.com.
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Old Apr 7th, 2019, 09:47 AM
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If I remember right Assisi has escalators from the parking lot to the main street. However I’ve always found the best option for parking is to ask your hotel where parking is available.

if you have the time the drive through Chianti is lovely. The highway from Florence to Assisi is pretty boring.

Take the bus from Florence to Siena for your day trip.

Sounds like a very nice trip.
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Old Apr 7th, 2019, 12:13 PM
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Except for religious reasons, Assisi to me would rate well behind many other hill towns.
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Old Apr 7th, 2019, 01:17 PM
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I don't think you have to be particularly religious to find the basilica in Assisi simply amazing. There is also a pre-Christian temple facing Piazza del Comune and an excavated Roman Forum underneath the piazza. Views from the Rocca Maggiore fortress are spectacular. The Pinoteca Comunale has a collection of frescoes, paintings and wood panels mostly done by local artists dating from the 14th C. which were removed from decommissioned churches. Every hill town has points of interest, but you can't argue that Assisi doesn't have more than most.

Sito per il Turismo della Città di Assisi | visit-assisi.it [click on "Monuments"]
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Old Apr 7th, 2019, 01:56 PM
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Yes of course, it's just that Assisi IME was not quite as quaint as some Umbrian hill towns like Gubbio.
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