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Tuscany to the Amalfi Coast - simplest transfer please!

Tuscany to the Amalfi Coast - simplest transfer please!

Old Mar 16th, 2015, 02:04 PM
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Tuscany to the Amalfi Coast - simplest transfer please!

We (college sorority sisters from the 60's) are traveling to Italy in mid-September. After Venice, we are planning on spending a few days exploring Tuscany / Umbria.

First question - is it like in the States that the easiest place to pick up a rental car in one city and leave in another is done at airports? If so, we'll pick up a car in Florence, then travel on to Siena, etc. Or, must you pick up and drop off a car at the same location? Can you pick up rentals at places other than airports?

After our time in Tuscany / Umbria should we then drive south and drop off in Rome or Naples?
How do we navigate the Amalfi area without a car? We'll end our trip in Rome.

I'm getting exhausted just thinking of the options! Greatly appreciate advice!
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 02:27 PM
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You can pick up in one location and drop off in another. Some cities, the airport pick up is easiest, but in other places, no. But rental offices are not open continuously except at airports, so that might affect your plans.

Where exactly are you going in Tuscany and Umbria? It is a huge chunk of land you are talking about.

And where exactly are you going on the Amalfi coast?

People could help you step by stup if you gave them the calendar of your plans, and indicated where you want to be when. Like this

Mon Sept XX Arrive Venice
Tues Venice
Weds ??
Thurs -- etc
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 02:32 PM
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How big is your group? Will you be able to rent just one car that will hold both people and luggage?

You can pick up and drop off at different locations. The companies all state in their contracts the possibility of a drop fee if you do this, but we haven't experienced it when the locations are tourist-popular.

Starting and ending at airports can be easier because of road signage and helping you avoid the limited traffic zones in cities and towns. But, then, you have to get to and from the airports at each end of your car rental.

Are you staying in Florence or just going there to rent a car? If you're not staying there, pick up the car as you're leaving Venice.

Where are you staying on the Amalfi Coast? You could drop the car at the Naples airport and take a private transfer to your hotel. If you're staying in Sorrento (not technically on the AC but a good location for sightseeing), you could return the car there.

You could also drop the car in Siena or Orvieto and take trains from there.

You can use buses, ferries, taxis or private drivers to travel around the Naples/AC area.
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 04:05 PM
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I would drop the car at FCO, then take the fast train from Termini to Salerno, then ferry from Salerno to either Positano or Amalfi.

I rent an apartment in Positano each June and have never had a rental car. I use a private driver to get us back and forth from the Naples airport and otherwise use the ferries to get around.
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 04:56 PM
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It depends on where you want to go on the Amalfi Coast while you are there whether you have a car or not, also how confident a driver you are.
We had a car and found it useful, others will disagree.
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 04:58 PM
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Oh and I would take the train to Naples from Florence rather than drive. Then either take a cab or the Circumvesuviana commuter train to Sorrento and pick up a car there.
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 05:32 PM
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Thank you! There are just 3 of us, and we're just starting to put together our itinerary. We plan on spending about 3 or 4 days in the Tuscany / Umbria area, we are not including Florence on this trip - been there before, and have to make some edits Would love suggestions on where to stay in AC area.
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 05:32 PM
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We rented a car in Italy and found that it works just like it does in the states. The major rental companies have numerous locations around the major cities. You don't have to drop it off the same place you got it. You definitely don't need a car on the AC and you have to be pretty brave to drive one. We stayed in Positano. We hired a private driver to get us to and from Naples but other than that we mostly navigated the area by ferry. We drove from Rome to Tuscany and found it an easy drive on the Autostrada, but if you can take a train to Naples, I would probably do that, then get a driver to take you to your destination on the coast. I don't know where you are staying on the AC but this worked for Positano.
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 05:43 PM
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esd7747, what is your nightly budget and what sort of hotel do you like? Positano is a charming town but it is very steep, how are your knees? Amalfi is flatter and very nice, maybe not quite as picturesque as Positano. Ravello was my favourite and does have bus service to Amalfi but would be easier with a car as it is perched on top of a mountain basically. With the most amazing views you have ever seen. We actually stayed in a small town very close to Amalfi called Minori in an agriturismo. Sorrento, although not on the Amalfi per se, is a very pleasant town too, mostly flat and with stunning views out over the Bay of Naples and looking toward Mt. Vesuvius. We enjoyed our stay there very much.

Driving on the Amalfi can be nerve-wracking so if you do drive I suggest getting the smallest car the three of you and your luggage can fit into as parking is tight and the roads are narrow. Also only drive there if the driver is calm and has very good spatial judgement. This person was my husband, I don't think I would have done as well driving there.

You can get around there by bus or ferry easily enough, but we enjoyed the car as we had more freedom and we did a day trip to Paestum which was worth it. Having said that there are bus tours to Paestum.
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 06:02 PM
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We have been to the AC twice in May - with a rented car (both were in the middle of longer road trips).

Key points are:

Recognize roads are extremely narrow and passing a large truck or tour bus can be difficult. Don;t plan on more than about 10 mph. Parking will be tricky. Not a problem for us since we are used to NYC (searching for places to park for 10 to 20 minutes and putting car in a space barely larger than it is = with mirrors folded in).

If you are used to broad highways and mall type parking this may be a challenge.

Do not even consider having car unless your hotel has parking available.
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 06:09 PM
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Hi again esd7747,

Regarding places to stay in the Amalfi:

How cheerful are all of you about lots of stair climbing?

Do you plan to visit Capri as a daytrrip? How about Pompei?

What is your budget? Are you looking for apartments or multple hotel rooms? Need a swimming pool?

Once again, saying "We're going to Tuscany/Umbria -- how should we get to Amalfi from there?" -- is a bit like saying: "We're going to California/Nevada -- which airport should we use?"

You don't need to set everything in stone now, but if you are looking to make your trip easy, then the more information you can provide about specifics, the more other people can give you tips to fit your specific needs.
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Old Mar 16th, 2015, 10:54 PM
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If you need a car with automatic transmission, rental agencies at airports have a wider choice. They also have longer hours and don't close for lunch, as smaller agencies often do.

Taking the train to Salerno and a bus or boat from there is probably your best route, rather than a train to Naples, the Circumvesuviana to Sorrento, and a bus from there.
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Old Mar 17th, 2015, 05:56 AM
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We're used to city driving / parking, and standard transmission is fine, but I'm starting to think I'd rather not worry about a car amidst the beauty of Amalfi. I want to look at the water, not the car wedged in front of me! Sounds a bit like driving on Gibraltor - a nightmare. Looks as though the ferry service should take care of a lot of our sightseeing needs.

Guess we need to get out the map and plan some more before asking questions. Thanks very much.
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Old Mar 17th, 2015, 07:17 AM
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You ask for the best transfer between 2 places without telling us wich 2 places you mean (Umbria/Tuscany or Amalficoast can mean all and nothing): nobody can answer such a question!
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Old Mar 17th, 2015, 09:33 AM
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Yes, esd, it would be similar to driving on Gibraltor.

I love Positano as IMO it is the most picturesque village on the AC and has a great selection of restaurants, shops, cafes, etc.

Yes, the ferries make it very easy to get to Capri, Amalfi/Ravello and Salerno/Vietri Sul Mare from Positano (and vice-versa).
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