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caralin May 30th, 2016 08:28 AM

Train & Car Rental Logistics from Florence
My husband and I are taking a train to Florence from Venice this July, and I'd appreciate help with the car rental logistics from there!

We're not staying in Florence, but instead are only picking up a rental car to head to Tuscany (we're staying in an agriturismo near San Gimignano).

I've read that the rental car situation near the Florence train station is chaotic, to say the least, and people have recommended cabbing to the airport to rent our car from there instead of renting near the station. We did get a rental car from the Florence airport several years ago for a different Tuscany trip, and that seemed to go smoothly enough, but I was just wondering if it makes more sense to find a rental company south of the train station instead of north. We're heading south to San Gimignano, so why go northwest to the airport? If we do cab to the airport, what should we expect the fare to be?

The other option I've seen suggested is to take the train to a further city and rent the car from there, thereby skipping the Florence driving hassle at all. My concern in this case would be whether we would have to change trains in Florence from the one we arrived on from Venice. If we can just stay on that first train, what town would be simply "next" on that line? (And then we'd need to see if this next destination is a shorter or longer drive from our accommodations than Florence would be!)

We'll be leaving Florence by train again at the end of our Tuscan adventure to head further south.

Also, could you confirm that this is the best place to buy train tickets for Italy in general? There seem to be a few different options!

Thanks to everyone in advance!

Jean May 30th, 2016 04:57 PM

Another option would be to rent the car as you're leaving Venice and bypass Florence altogether.

Alternatively, you can take a bus from the Florence SMN station to the airport. Or taxi. Otherwise, you'd need to change trains at Florence and pick up the car in Siena which is closer to San Gimignano.

Depending on where you're going after Tuscany, there may be a better car return location than Florence. Siena, Chiusi, Orvieto....

raincitygirl May 30th, 2016 06:34 PM

I think the easiest option is to pick up the car at the airport. A taxi will cost 20 euro or there is the bus from the train station as mentioned above.

Yes you would have to change trains if you chose to proceed to another town further south.

I think it is best to buy tickets directly from the train company, that link you have is a re-seller (middleman) I believe.

The national train company is Trenitalia.

There is a privately owned company also called Italo, mostly serving connections between major cities so would work for Venice to Florence.

Use the Italian names for the cities and the stations. For example Venice is Venezia, probably Santa Lucia is the station unless you are staying in Mestre and for Florence, Firenze and the main station is called Santa Maria Novella.

Jean May 31st, 2016 08:10 AM

No, Italiarail sells the same tickets at the same prices as Trenitalia. to buy train tickets for Italy

Jean May 31st, 2016 08:12 AM

That link looks weird. If it doesn't work, go to

and click on 'How to buy train tickets for Italy.'

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