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Train/rental car questions Milan-Bolzano

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Feb 4th, 2016, 04:09 PM
  #1
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Train/rental car questions Milan-Bolzano

We are flying into Milan, staying a few nights, and then heading to Ortisei in the Dolomites. My plan was to train from Milan to Bolzano, then rent a car to explore Dolomites. We're leaving Milan on a Sunday and rental car offices are closed in Bolzano. I'm hesitant to rent a car in Milan, even though rental car offices are open on Sundays, as I'm worried about even getting out of the city while driving. I have read so much about how crazy it is to drive there. My new thought is to train from Milan to a smaller city (that still has rental car offices open on a Sunday!) like Bergamo, then drive to Ortisei. Do you experienced Italy travelers think this is a sensible option or am I making a mountain out of a molehill?
Thank you for you advice/suggestions!
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Feb 4th, 2016, 04:48 PM
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In Bergamo on a Sunday, I'm pretty sure you'd have to go to the airport to rent a car. Ditto Torino. There is bus service from the Milano Centrale train station to the Bergamo Airport which might be a tad faster than train + taxi to the airport.

http://www.terravision.eu/airport_tr...airport-milan/

If you can afford the extra time, on your drive to Ortisei, avoid the main highway/toll road (A22/E45) as much as possible. We enjoyed SS237 north from Brescia as well as the road along the western shore of Lake Garda. The highway is the main north/south route for large trucks.
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Feb 4th, 2016, 05:53 PM
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Stay one less night in Milan.
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Feb 4th, 2016, 06:17 PM
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Train/rental car questions Milan-Bolzano
Posted by: mermaid2020 on Feb 4, 16 at 7:09pm
My new thought is to train from Milan to a smaller city (that still has rental car offices open on a Sunday!) like Bergamo, then drive to Ortisei. Do you experienced Italy travelers think this is a sensible option or am I making a mountain out of a molehill?


I drove that route about 20 years ago. Your concerns are well taken. Getting out of Milan and then the drive across northern Italy present two different challenges - staying alive and staying awake. Here is an illustrated introduction to driving over there, http://www.enjoy-europe.com/hte/chap18/auto-1.htm.

I suggest a train to Verona. Auto rental at the station may not be possible on Sunday but you can take an airport shuttle and pick it up there. Rent from home and get details of pick-up. While you are in Verona go to the balcony and kiss your Romeo. It will be a travel moment.

The drive up the valley to Bolzano/Bozen passes through a valley covered in vineyards. The Alpine views from B/B are nice. Our goal was Hall-in-Tyrol so we continued up over the Brenner Pass after a night in B/B. You are going to love the Dolomites.
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Feb 4th, 2016, 06:18 PM
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Jean - thank you for the bus idea. That might work. (Dukey - we're only staying one full day after we arrive.) Has anyone rented a car in Milan and headed out? How difficult is it?
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Feb 4th, 2016, 08:42 PM
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Spaarne - thank you for the Verona suggestion!
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Feb 5th, 2016, 12:22 AM
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In my earlier post, i was thinking Verona but typed Torino. Sorry about that.

I think a short stop to see Verona in this scenario isn't as easy as it sounds. If you'd already have the car (from Bergamo or Milan), you'd have to find parking in Verona without violating the ZTL. If you're picking up the car after seeing Verona, you'll have to keep your luggage with you until you get the car. Taking the route through Verona pretty much commits you to the highway/toll road.

Where would you be returning the car after Ortisei?

BTW, as you plan this day, don't underestimate the time taken up in the car rental process. You might get lucky, or you could wait several minutes in line.
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Feb 5th, 2016, 03:31 PM
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When are you doing this trip? In August, the Brenner motorway between Verona and Bolzano is absolute craziness during weekends - the traffic may be so intense that everything comes to a standstill and queues develop that may be tenths of kilometers long.

If you are not driving in an August weekend, getting out of Milan is not really bad. Eventually, you will find a way to the belt motorway. It is the A4 motorway between Milan and Verona that may be very trafficked and sometimes is difficult driving.
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Feb 5th, 2016, 04:21 PM
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If you want to make your departure from Milan easy, take a taxi to Linate airport and rent the car there.
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