Notices

Train or Car

Reply

Feb 14th, 2013, 11:10 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 54
Train or Car

HI. Our family of 5 are travelling to Italy this year for the first time. Can't wait. We are staying in a few places. On 1st July, we need to travel from Bellagio to San Gimignano.. We will then be staying in San Gimi and Orvieto for a total of 9 days so we will need a car in that time. What i need help with is travelling from Bellagio. Do we catch the train to a town closer to our destination and then hire a car from there? Or is it better to hire the car in Bellagio and drive to San Gimi by ourselves. Looking at train schedules, we could train to Pisa and then pick up the car and carry on to San Gimi. The train trip seems to be around 4.5 hours, with 2 changes. What is our best option here? Any advice?
simjay is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2013, 11:14 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7,340
This is not a trip report.
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2013, 11:28 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,435
FWIW, I'd try to get the car in Bellagio as I suspect the drive along Lake Como is fantastic. With five people, economy-wise I think the car would work better
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2013, 11:51 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,687
If Bellagio don't have the right car pcik up consider that Como is just sa short bus or boat ride away - a large commercial town with lots of car rentals.

Arranging cars ahead of time thru U S middleman is usually gthe best deal rather than renting directly in Europe. so contact Kemwell, Auto Europe, Hertz, AVIS and other U S rental companies about their European offerings and where you can pick up your car.
PalenQ is online now  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2013, 11:55 AM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 54
Thanks. We are coming from South Africa, so i will then probably have to just book online, although i will find out from our rental companies if they have such connections.I have heard so much about the awful traffic congestion in Italy though. Will this be a problem for us?
simjay is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2013, 11:56 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 30,474
IF you DO get the car in Bellagio I suggest you look at exactly where Bellagio is located on a map. It is not exactly in a great location for driving elsewhere, especially to Pisa, etc. You might be better off taking the car ferry over to either Varenna or to Menaggio to drive from one of those locations since they are more ideally located for driving elsewhere.

Now, as to scenery along the lake, you can see some of that if you take the train to a place like Lecco and rent a car there. As an alternative you could take one of the ferries all the way to the city of Como and drive from there.
Dukey1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2013, 11:59 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,687
Will this be a problem for us?>

Not so much driving around rural Tuscany as it will be in large cities like Florence where having a car is a liability as it cannot be driven in the city cenre,parking can be hard to find and expensive when it is - many hotels may not offer parking, etc.

So if going to big cities leave them to the last and turn in your car in say Florence and take the train to Rome or Venice.
PalenQ is online now  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2013, 12:18 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
Go to Google Images and enter ZTL. You will see what the signs look like for the car free zones look like. It may cost you hundreds of dollars if you pass these signs. I got lucky. It only cost me abot $120 USD in Vicenza. Someone recently reported a couple of hundred in Florence.

Then google "ZTL Florence" or any other city you might want to visit. It will show you the actual limits of the ztl's in that city on a map.
Ackislander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 14th, 2013, 01:39 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 708
I am afraid you cannot really rent a car in Bellagio as it is a tiny village with limited service; I understand there is a garage there, but you would likely have to bring back the car to Bellagio.
IMHO the easiest thing to do is ferry to Varenna, train to Milan, fast train to Florence, and then rent the car in Florence. It is going to be a long day, and you should better have light luggage, but this is the quickest solution as train between Milan and Florence is much faster than driving.
asps is online now  
Reply With Quote
Feb 15th, 2013, 12:18 AM
  #10
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 54
Thanks asps. If we ferried to como and then rented the car there and drove the rest of the way to San Gimi, do you think it would still be better for us to catch the train? And if we went the train route, would it be better to go from Milan to Florence, or Milan to Pisa and then hire the car?
Thanks so much for all the acvice. Much appreciated.
simjay is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 15th, 2013, 11:58 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 66,687
I would just say drive the whole way from Como - it is not that long via Autostrada. If train Pisa is a lot more driveable to get out of that Florence would be. If the case of Florence consider taking a train to Florence' Rifredi train station, a main station a few miles north of Florence's main in town station that could be a complete hassle to drive out of for a novice at least.

Or try Empoli, a fair-sized town with a main train station that is closer to San Gimi than either Pisa or Florence I beliewe.
PalenQ is online now  
Reply With Quote
Feb 15th, 2013, 12:16 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,435
On further review, I think your best option would be to take the train to Pisa if it's only around 4 to 5 hours or perhaps to Empoli. The traffic around Milano and then to either Pisa via Genova or San Gimi via Florence is going to be pretty bad.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Feb 15th, 2013, 01:55 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 708
1. you can ferry to Como and rent the car there. It will be about 5.30 or 6 hours driving from Como to S. Gimignano.
2. if you go by train, Varenna station is relatively close to the ferry dock (but walking uphill - this is why you would want to travel light). On the contrary, Como S. Giovanni station is quite distant from the ferry (and half the trains from Como do not go to Milan Centrale station, so changing to Florence is an hassle).
3.if going by train, trains from Milan to Florence are much more frequent and much faster than trains from Milan to Pisa. Going from Milan to Pisa by train is somewhat impractical, and in most cases you have to go through Florence anyway. IMHO exiting from Florence after renting is not so difficult, the difficult thing may be returning the car in Florence.
asps is online now  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:00 PM.