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Salzburg to Trento, Trento to Vienna

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Arriving in Munich, taking train to Salzburg in late August for 3 days; Then picking up rental car and driving from Salzburg into Italy via Brenner Pass. Planning to stay in Trento (Villa Madruzzo) for 3 nights. Day trips to Verona, Venice. Driving from Trento back to Vienna for one night to catch flight to Dublin to visit family before heading back to U.S. Not sure about all this driving. We need to return the car in Austria to avoid excessive charge for dropping off in another country! What driving route should we take from Trento to Vienna? Don't want to go back the way we came. ANY SUGGESTIONS welcomed....I can always change places/routes, just not the flights!

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    Hi, Just read your post and had to write back when I saw that you intend to stay at Villa Madruzzo. We did not stay there, but it was one of the hotels in or near Trento that I shortlisted whilst I was researching on the internet as it had very good reviews. We ended up staying in Hotel Vigolo Garni in the town of Vattaro about 14km away from Trento as I preferred the wooden chalet style type of hotel in this area, and it wss brand new and had extremely good rates. If you stay at Villa Hotel Madruzzo try and stay at the new rooms they built, more expensive but on site they seemed much nicer.

    But I just had to visit Hotel Villa Madruzzo, to satisfy my curiosity since it had such great reviews especially for its food, so I booked lunch on our day of arrival in Venice. We arrived in Venice at 9am and rented a car at the airport. On the way to Trento we wanted to stop in Padova to the Abbey where there is the body of St Anthony, really really beautiful. But we got stuck in traffic on leaving the centre of Padova, and ended up near Trento at 2 in the afternoon. So I phoned Villa Madruzzo to cancel booking, and they were very polite and immediately accomodated us by reserving us a table for dinner for that evening. So we went to centre of Trento, walked around and visited the Christmas market, then drove all the way to Vattaro to check-in at the hotel and to refresh ourselves and dress up and drove back again to Trento this time not to the centre but to Villa Madruzzo (thank God we had seen its sign when driving to Trento). It was a lovely experience, the ambience is so high class and excellent, the waiting staff were so accomodating and the dining room is beautiful with crystal chandeliers. We took the fixed menu which if I remember well was about 33 euros per person, it was very good with typical food of the region, but if I were to go again I would choose from the menu as, except for the dessert, (which was wonderful) we had no choice, so my kids did not enjoy all the courses offered.

    Just a word of advice. I would not know whether it is feasible to stay at Villa Madruzzo as a base to visit Venice. It is over 220km each way to Venice, and over a 100km to Verona. They are approximately on the same route, so you would be driving back and forth in the same direction and wasting a lot of time (and expensive fuel costs) in travel. If you had to stop on your way in Verona, you would not have time to visit Venice and return to Trento.

    The very least if it were me (and I am the type that likes to move around with hired car on short stays, even though I always have my teenage kids and disabled child with me with us, along with hubby the driver who at first insists on a relaxing holidays but always gives in to my adventures - he does not really mind driving though as he now got used to it),I would stay at least one night at a hotel near Venice like in Mestre, and visit Verona arena on the way, and spend late afternoon and evening in Venice. We had done that in 2005, stayed just one night in Venice. You do not see much, but for us it was enough, we walked around a few street canals and bridges, we did a short gondola ride and a visit to the lovely Piazza San Marco, and had dinner. For us it was enough, but both myself and my husband had visited Venice before.

    You sure have to enjoy doing long drives to consider these journeys. Three days is a bit too short of a visit to Italy taking into consideration time for travel and your places of interst.. But if you are a bit hard-headed like me and want to make brief visits to all of these places, I would stay two nights at Villa Madruzzo and one night in the vicinity of Venice. But you still have the issue that you have to travel 615 km from Venice to Vienna, roughly same distance also from Trento to Vienna, it is a very long distance (that would take you at least 6 hours), especially if you do not plan to stop overnight anywhere. But again, if you do not mind another whole day of travel I just checked for you on google maps, from Venice to Vienna you can take a different route the A2 that passes from Udine and Graz. Again, a whole lot of driving in a short time. My husband would never believe I am saying this, lol, as we did sometimes make over 600km in one day.

    Again to Hotel Vila Madruzzo - it is not in the centre of Trento, but up a hill 7 or 8km away. We did not tour around its gardens as it was around 9pm when we arrived and quite cold in late December. The service as I said is top notch, with a cloakroom service upone entering and then being guided into the massive dining rooms. Prior to the dinner we visited the centre of Trento and stopped at the Christmas market there. It is a nice city. The next day that we had available in that area, we drove up the Dolomite mountains to Madonna di Campiglio.

    I would be very happy to answer any queries you might have.
    Enjoy your trip!!

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    Anna_G what a wonderful person you are! Thank you so much for your response and suggestions. My husband loves to drive...we do NJ to FL in one shot...22 hours! However, we want this to be a little relaxing. I have been pretty much all over Italy (7 trips), but my husband only about 3 -4. I know he would not mind the 6 hr+ Trento to Vienna. We need to fly out of Vienna to Dublin as we will be spending another week with his family before returning home. What is your experience with the car rental companies? My first inquiry was that if you drop off in another location (another country) big fee of over 500Euros! Do you remember the name of the hotel you stayed in Venice vicinity?

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    Anna-G, rethinking this...2 nights Villa Madruzzo,do Lake Garda area those 2 days and 3 day drive to Venice and stay one night in Venice. Next day drive to Vienna, stay near airport for early flight to Dublin...

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    Crumlin, Thanks so much for your compliment - I just like help travellers to the best of my ability. But I always bear in mind that one man's meat is another's poison. Not everybody likes the same type of holidays, some prefer to stay in one place for a long time, and others like to move around a lot. So I was glad to learn that you do not mind travelling long distances, as you would have to do some quite extra hundreds of kms to visit Italy in a very limited time.

    But if you do want to do it, and be aware beforehand that you would not have time to see ever corner of each place, then go ahead. The scenary along the routes you are going to would be lovely and always in my opinion not time wasted for driving. Myself, personally if my time is limited in a city, I am content to walk around for a while, have dinner there, maybe a nice meal and if there is time a visit to a museum or cathedral. Others would definitely not agree with me.

    You seem to be familiar with Italy as well which makes it easier for you for sure. Now to your questions. Yes, they car hire companies do charge a lot to pick up car in one country and deposit it in another, not worth it at all. But in your case, renting it in Salzburg and leaving it in Vienna should not pose a problem as both are in Austria. The fee is just a few euros, at least with Avis. I now would not change Avis with any other car hire company unless there was absolutely no availibility of cars that I want to hire. I like Avis, because unlike most other car hire companies they do not block money from your credit card (without your consent) even though you pay excess daily insurance. We always like to purchase this insurance (you pay it at the rental office at time of picking the car). We had experiences when car hire companies blocked for us over 1000 euros and we still paid for excess insurance which was non refundable. Sometimes I suspect that they would not really insure this excess but risk that there would not be any accident involved.I do wonder what they would do if there would be damage to the car. Avis these last couple of years has prices competitive to all budget car hire companies, I have seen their rates drop down. But even before, I have always used Avis as the service is excellent and I feel secure hiring their cars. I can swear that I have no link with the Avis company whatsoever.

    I like to book with Avis Uk (I am not English but of course you can book from any country online). I like to use the option "pay now" online not "pay later" at the renting office, as it saves some money. Then at the renting office we just pay for the excess insurance, informing them there that we do not want money blocked from our account. They were always willing to accomodate and they have never ever blocked my money.

    Now to Venice accomodation. We had found accomodation in Mestre, sorry can't remember name of hotel as it was in 2005, which is a town outside of Venice, can't remember exactly the distance, maybe it was 10km away. Although staying in Mestre has its advantage in that you can park car (usually they are these quite large chain hotels) in their car parks or in front of hotel at your leisure, you would still have to drive to Venice and back very late at night. We did this, but I think that if you find accomodation close to Piazzale Roma, where just a few steps down there is the pier where there is a vaporetto (water bus) stop - Actv is the official public ferry system, it might prove to be a better option. Try and find a nice hotel or B&B close to Piazzale Roma. In Piazzale Roma and in the vicinity there are plenty of car parks and garagas where you park your car for a daily fee. Maybe you can tell the proprieter or hotel to book parking space in advance so that you would not have any problems. We did not find any problem in finding parking space in a garage but it was September. If the hotel has its own car park then even better. I am sure Fodorites would be more than willing to suggest any good B&B/Hotel in the vicinity of Piazzale Roma close to the vaporetto stop, but if you wish I can check some accomodation out for you if you tell me your budget and preferences. Being closer to central Venice would save you driving back to Mestre in the night-time. You just check into your hotel, walk to the ferry stop and take the vaportetto. You would not have much time in Venice, but you might fit in a walk around the canal streets, near Rialto bridge etc, a short gondola ride, dinner and a stop at Piazza San Marco for the lovely evening atmosphere. So lovely, with cafeterias having orchestra music around this majestic square. I re3member we had stayed there till after midnight, check timetable at ferry. I think Venice is so much more beautiful in the evening and night-time with the glistening waters.

    Yes, you can easily drive for a day near to the north of Garda whilst near Trento, or else you can travel north of Trento to the Dolomite mountains, (we had gone to Madonna di Campiglio) but maybe you would have already experienced some of the Dolomite mountain scenary coming and going to Austria. Do try and visit centre of Trento for a couple of hours, it has a nice centre.

    On your way from Trento to Venice, (try and leave as early as possible in the morning) you might wish to stop at Verona for a visit to the arena. It is on the same route roughly, so it is worth a stop. You should arrive in Venice by afternoon.

    If you manage to arrive in Vienna early evening, it might be nice to go to centre for a short visit, even a walk and a coffee in the famous Graben street is enough to experience the luxury feel of Vienna, better than nothing. It is an easy drive from centre to airport, but maybe it would not be a bad idea to find a hotel close to the airport, and decide there whether you would like to go to centre of Vienna after your long journey. If you still have the energy, do not miss it though, as I said, it is an easy drive and Austrians adhere to all rules and regulations, a very organized country.

    If your flight in Vienna does not leave too early and the car hire office would have already opened in the morning, then you can drop off car at airport, otherwise try and find a hotel close to airport that has a shuttle service. Vienna is sooooo lovely, with its majestic squares, palaces and streets, and the Austrians are really lovely, polite helpful people.

    I want to stress again, that your three day trip is not going to be a relaxing one, but you will see a lot for sure if you do not mind making most of the time used for driving to enjoy the scenary,and you stick to your schedule and make some allowance time for arrival like traffic etc. Otherwise you would have to just stick to Austria. Do not forget to take your GPS with you.

    If you do plan to stay at Villa Madruzzo, then try and stay for dinner for those two nights. The Villa must be really lovely in the Summertime as it is up on a hill. Do not forget to book in the new rooms (if you are willing to pay a bit extra).

    Enjoy your lovely adventurous trip, you are going to see a lot in your holiday for sure, even if ultimately you decide to skip Italy. If you need anything just let me know.

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