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Transportation question: Orvieto to Venice

Transportation question: Orvieto to Venice

Nov 18th, 2009, 12:08 PM
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Transportation question: Orvieto to Venice

Spent some time today looking at Trenitalia site and car rental info for a theoretical 2 week trip in spring, 2011. I was a bit surprised at how expensive the ES train tickets are for Rome-Florence, Florence-Venice.

The train from Rome to Orvieto is much cheaper than Rome-Florence, and someone somewhere suggested picking up a rental car in Orvieto for a few days' visit to Florence and the surrounding area.

How feasible would it be to take the train from Rome to Orvieto, pick up car, spend 3-4 nights Florence, then drive to Venice and leave the car at the airport? It is 426km from Orvieto to Venice, perhaps we could overnight in Bologna, and the open-jaw tickets from somewhere in Europe (Frankfurt was good) into Rome and out of Venice were quite reasonable.

Please tell me what I am missing and need to be worried about, thanks.
gigib is offline  
Nov 18th, 2009, 12:24 PM
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Have you compared fuel prices of perhaps $8-10/gal and then the predatory autoroute tolls in your price comparison vs the train?

Rome to Orvieto is mainly by regional trains and these are dirt cheap - they also take longer because they stop so much - the ES trains go up to 150-160 mph or more and cost more too.

And you could take the IC trains between Florence and Venice as well and these are much cheaper i believe - i did an IC train between the two not long ago.

But your Q is feasible for the car - check on surcharges for airport drop-offs i guess.

I would like to see the prices you are comparing to the cost of a car - if price is your only key i would think the train would be competitive and you end up right in the heart of Venice and not have to pay more to get from the airport into Venice proper, etc. Parking can also cost a lot in Italian towns - $20-30 a day and even hotels if they offer parking can charge a lot. And there are ubiquitous warnings about leaving any luggage in your car - even in Autoroute rest areas, notorious for thefts it seems.

Much of city centers like Florence and Bologna are also off limits to private vehicles - a common complaint here is getting tickets in the mail later for unknowingly driving into forbidden for private car areas in say Florence and the camera nabs your plate, etc.

There are good reasons to drive in Italy but not IMO just to go between say Florence and Venice - but rather if you want to drive around Umbria, Tuscany, etc.
Palenque is offline  
Nov 18th, 2009, 12:52 PM
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I'd use trains and travel in second class. IC trains are cheaper still and in many cases take only a few minutes longer to cover the same route.

If you had more time in Florence/Tuscany, I'd encourage the car rental and all that driving.

If you want to see Bologna, you could stop there on the way to Venice or even day-trip from Florence. The train takes only an hour Florence-Bologna and only 1.5-2 hours to continue on to Venice.
Jean is online now  
Nov 18th, 2009, 01:36 PM
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Unless you plan to visit the hinterland between Orvieto and Florence (in which case a car would be very useful), I would do the following:

1. Take the "regionale" (local) train from Rome to Orvieto
2. Take the "regionale" train from Orvieto to Florence (stopping, if you wish, in Cortona and/or Arezzo)
3. Take the Intercity train "Matilde Serao" from Florence (Rifredi Station, not SMN Station) to Venice Santa Lucia Station (stopping, if you wish, in Bologna).

The "regionale" trains are the cheapest in Italy, and are perfect for your itinerary up to Florence. Between Florence and Venice, the IC train will be considerably less expensive than the pricey Eurostars (ES/AV).

You should be aware that, beginning December 13, 2009, there will be a major schedule change of trains in Italy, and a restructuring of the fares and promotional incentives. In short, you'll have the opportunity to save 15% on the IC and ES trains if you book at least 7 days in advance; or to save 30% on these same trains if you book at least 15 days in advance. But it is nearly impossible to book via the website without using a credit card issued by an Italian Bank, which means you may need to wait until you arrive in Italy to buy the discounted tickets.

There are no discounts for the "regionale" trains, which are already dirt cheap.

The schedules post-December 13, 2009 are not fully loaded on the website. Be patient and check back in several days for a complete listing of trains and schedules.

GAC is offline  
Nov 18th, 2009, 02:34 PM
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Trenitalia is showing prices of 44€ Rome/Florence (ES/AV train) and 42€ Florence/Venice (ES/AV train). These appear to be the new 2010 prices (I entered a date after the Dec. 13 schedule change) as current prices are 39.90€ and 35.20€.

Cities are restricted to traffic unless you have a permit. Florence has traffic cameras everywhere and if you cross into a restricted zone, your license is snapped and you will receive a pricey ticket (106€ recently reported by one poster). Here's a link to the zones and cameras on a map. You can zoom in to see the zones better.
kybourbon is offline  
Nov 18th, 2009, 05:44 PM
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Economies of train versus car really depends how many of you are travelling. We are a family of 4 and we usually find hiring a car to be much cheaper than 4 train tickets, even with the heavy cost of fuel. I doubt this would be true for 1 or 2 travelling together. However, this year we are going to do the train thing. Will report back in February.
PRLCH is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 11:16 AM
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86 euros Rome to Venice via a stop in Florence according to Kybourbon x 4 for a family = $370 and i think there is a family discount that may reduce that

can you rent a car and drive to Florence, stay there for however long and then go onto Venice for $370? figuring in parking fees, fuel prices and those really steep autoroute tolls? And mandatory theft protection insurance i have heard about that may be required in Italy? Well for 1 or 2 traveling togehter like PRLCH says definitely not possible.
Palenque is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 11:44 AM
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Thanks everyone, I knew I'd get some good advice here.
I can't seem to find any rates or timetables online for the IC trains, all I see on the Trenitalia site is the ES trains.

It seems as if it will be simple to buy tickets there, but I am curious about the travel time difference between the ICs and the fancier ES, and am curious HOW cheap the fares are.

We'll forget about renting a car, perhaps for one day out of Florence.
gigib is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 11:56 AM
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The Trenitalia website in being updated as we speak. The IC trains post 12/13/2009 have not yet been uploaded, so you should check back next week. In the meaning, if you put in a travel date before 12/13/2009, you'll see the CURRENT schedules of the IC trains between Orvieto and Florence/Venice. You do save money by taking the IC instead of the fancier ES/AV trains.

BEWARE, however, that the IC trains don't stop at Florence SMN Station, but at the outlying Rifredi Station. This is a non-issue if you are staying on the train all the way to Bologna or Venice.

If you want to get from Orvieto to Florence, I recommend taking the "regionale" train: much cheaper, and it goes to SMN.

ES/AV trains DO NOT stop at Orvieto, because Orvieto is "off" the new high-speed rail line used by the ES/AV trains.
GAC is offline  
Nov 19th, 2009, 12:55 PM
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>>>PRLCH on Nov 18, 09 at 9:44pm
Economies of train versus car really depends how many of you are travelling. We are a family of 4 and we usually find hiring a car to be much cheaper than 4 train tickets, even with the heavy cost of fuel.<<<

A family would qualify for family discount (20%) depending on child's age.

offer Familia 20% €114,40 (this is the total cost for 2 adults plus two children on AV/ES train Rome/Florence).

20% discount for adults e 50% for childs for groups (max 5 people), with at least one child. Limited seats, one reservation change and partial refund allowed until departure.

kybourbon is offline  
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