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Train or Rental Van-Northern Italy (Rome, Florence, Venice, etc)?

Train or Rental Van-Northern Italy (Rome, Florence, Venice, etc)?

Old Feb 9th, 2001, 01:30 PM
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Train or Rental Van-Northern Italy (Rome, Florence, Venice, etc)?

My family & I (6 adults, 2 kids) going to Italy first time in August. Any recommendations as to we should use train or rent van for one week in Northern Italy.
Old Feb 10th, 2001, 11:29 AM
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Reposting - you message is falling into the nether regions of fodorland!
Old Feb 10th, 2001, 11:42 AM
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Where do you arrive and where do you depart. A car is useless, even a hiderence In Rome and Venice and really of no value in Florence. Having said that, the trips between cities have many places to stop and enjoy/learn about Italy. My family and I (six adults )had a Van in Tuscany this last year and enjoyed roaming the hilltowns of Northern Italy. You can't really do that by train. By-the-way, you would need the larger, nine passenger van. The seven passenger which we had, just took the six passengers with luggage with no room to spare. If you are doing only the three cities, I would go with the trains. If you are going to have time to do more, I would drive between Rome and Florence or reverse through Tuscany, Chianti, maybe even a little Umbria. It was great to spend the time with my now grown children. I know you will have the same experience. Buon passamaggiore.
Old Feb 10th, 2001, 01:50 PM
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Joe - I have the same situation. Traveling with 6 adults to Italy in the fall. After a few days in Rome, was planning on picking up a minivan at the airport and driving to Tuscany where we have a villa rented for the week. Then on to Venice where we would drop the van and train to Bellagio before finally departing from Milan. I'd appreciate knowing what agency you used, the cost, auto/manual? How much luggage did you have that you feel you should have gotten the 9-passenger van? Also, how you found driving the van on the autostrada and around some of the hilltowns of Tuscany? My wife and I were in Provence 2 years ago and found some of the approaches to the hilltowns a real challenge with manual transmission and a tour bus bearing down on you! Thank God for the parking brake! Any info appreciated.
Old Feb 11th, 2001, 04:44 AM
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I would also be interested in van rental informaton in Italy. Thanks.
Old Feb 11th, 2001, 08:50 AM
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We'll be travelling to Italy in the summer and here is our solution:
Rent car in Florence (actually we'll be staying outside of the city). We want to do day trips to wineries, the hill towns, etc. If you plan on staying in the city the entire time, I would forego the car.
From Florence, we will drive to Venice and drop the car off there. By driving, we'll be able to take our time and stop for lunch along the way.
Pick up a car in Venice and drive to the Lakes. I've read that you really need a car in that area. We'll drop the car off in Milan on our way out.
I've found the Avis has the best rental rates. They charge a 75,000 Lira supplement to drop the car off in a different location.
Old Feb 11th, 2001, 11:31 AM
Lew R.
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If you are doing the typical Rome - Florence - Venice - I think you will find the trains much nicer - than struggling with a van in a foreign country - If you intend to explore.. well that's a van of a different color!
Old Feb 11th, 2001, 11:56 AM
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Thanks Nancy and Lew - If it weren't for the fact they we are traveling 6 with a five-night stay outside of Florence, I would probably forego the whole idea of van rental and take the trains. I was going to drop the van in Florence but was told that it was much better (and easier) to make the drop in Venice. Still not certain how much sense all of this makes - but that's what always makes it interesting! Thanks for your comments.

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