Train or car in Italy???

May 26th, 2006, 09:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5
Train or car in Italy???

We are going to Italy in Sept. for 2 weeks for our honeymoon. We land in Rome, and then need to get to Volpaia, Tuscany, the same day (just south of "Raddo in Chianti"). We want to have a car to explore Tuscany for the six days that we're there.

So, should we rent the car at the airport in Rome and drive to Tuscany (we're pretty adventurous), or should we take a train to Siena (or someplace near our town) and THEN rent a car? How hard is it for someone who speaks some (not a whole lot of) Italian to navigate the roads there??
CariMara is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 05:28 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 106
Rent right at the airport and get going. Driving is not difficult at all, especially with some knowledge of Italian. But be prepared to get lost. We did, every day, but still had a great time because you can always find somebody to ask directions. Get a phrase book, plan in "lost time" and have fun!
3mkids is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 08:12 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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So long as you are not planning to drive through the middle of Rome in the rush hour [24/7] you should be ok, as the autostrada [motorway] goes right round it and both airports feed straight onto it. If you are arriving late at night or anticipate bad jetlag, you may like to stay the night in a hotel near the airport and pick up the car in the morning. WE've done it both ways, and this is definitely the better way to start a holiday!
annhig is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 10:03 AM
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Rent at the airport and head out. Much easier than trekking into rome and finding a train to ? and then the car rental office and where's the highway and ???

You don;t need Italian to drive in Italy - almost all the signs are pictographs - except for a few obvious ones - like "senso unico" - that any enlgish speaker can intuit.

nytraveler is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 12:37 PM
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Posts: 74,159
Hi CM,

It is a 3hr drive.

If you are comfortable with driving in a jet lagged condition for over 2hr on major highways, in a strange country, on unfamiliar roads, in a car that you haven't driven before - go for it.

You could take the train from FCO to rome Tiburtina station, take the bus to Siena and pick up your car there.


You could also take the train to Rome TE station, the train to Chiusi and pick up your car there.


You could also stay overnight either in Rome or at a hotel near the airport and start off the next day.

Have a nice visit.

You are going to arrange for car rental before you leave the US, aren't you?
ira is offline  
May 27th, 2006, 01:08 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 67
Take the car right from FCO. You should be at your destination within 3hrs. Your other plan is way too complicated and will take a great deal more time. The roads are'll be on highway most of the time and by all means stop at an Autogrill! I've gotten great service and never a problem with autoeurope, although I get a quote from nova which is usually lower and autoeurope always matches it! Rent the smallest car you can and get diesel. Enjoy!
ritaly is offline  
May 28th, 2006, 04:20 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3

My wife and I just returned from a 2 week trip similar to what you are planning. Rome-Naples-Tuscany incl. Florence-Rome. Yes, rent a car at the Rome airport. Definitely take the extra insurance. Costly but the deductibles for regular ins. would cost you more. You cannot begin to see by train what you will by car.

I speak enough Italian for most tourist purposes. If you do not speak some Italian you might have trouble in the small towns - but not an enormous problem in Florence or Rome. At all times guard your possessions and beware the highway scam where someone waves you over to a pull off telling you that there is a problem with you tire. We got robbed in Naples on that one losing cameras and my wife's purse.

Northern Italy is much safer than the Naples area. The incident notwithstanding, we had a great time. Good luck!
Loutag is offline  
May 28th, 2006, 12:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5
Thank you everyone for your advice!

We land in Rome at 10:30 AM, so we will have slept on the plane and therefore hopefully won't be too jet lagged (we also splurged for first class so it will be more comfy - it is our honeymoon, after all!)

So our decision is to rent a car at the airport (reserved far in advance) and head to Tuscany! We are so excited for our trip, and neither of us have been to Italy before.

I am really looking forward to seeing Italy from a car - on our terms, not dictated by train schedules, etc. And I figure that after having lived in Los Angeles for 10 years (we now live in Austin, TX) and driven the freeways there daily, we can handle Italy!
CariMara is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 01:07 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,444
Sounds a great plan. AS you arriving in the morning, then picking up the car straight away looks the right thing to do. You'll have plenty of time, so can I make a plea for you taking it easy at this stage? As a veteran of car hire in eurpoe, it takes roughly 3 times than it ought to; the car hire desk will probably be hidden somewhere counterintuitive, there'll be a big queue, they won't have the car you ordered etc. etc. So go to the loo, have a coffee, and when you get the car, check it over very very carefully for damage, and make sure that any you find is recorded in writing before you leave the garage, which will be very badly lit. This is because when you take it back ,they will go over it with a fine toothcomb and make you pay for any damage. And the return garage will be very well lit! Then drive very slowly out of the garage, knowing what road numbers you need and what directions you are looking for [eg for Tuscany, following signs for Firenze would be a good plan]. THe site is good for this, also for driving times. Once you get going, I'm sure you'll be fine. Have a lot of fun.
annhig is offline  
May 30th, 2006, 05:36 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,126
You should be able to stop in Orvieto for your lunch. Agreat way to begin your trip.
Have a great trip.
jabez is offline  

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