Venice to CT: Train vs. Car

Jun 20th, 2005, 01:17 PM
  #1  
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Venice to CT: Train vs. Car

Husband & I will be traveling from Venice to Manarola, then thru Tuscany and finally into Rome. Our original plan was to take the train from Venice to Manarola, and then two days later pick up a car in La Spezia which we would later drop in Rome. Now Iím thinking that we may just pick up the car in Venice instead of taking the train. The cost to rent the car during that period and pay for the parking in the CT is not much different than paying for train tickets and having the car a few days less (I have not factored in tolls and gas, however). We enjoy driving, so the time spent in a car does not bother us. If we drive straight from Venice to Manarola, it will take less time than it would to take the train and I wonít have to deal with switching trains or making connections (some of the connections for the train itinerary I was looking at were only 15 minutes apart).

From reading other posts, it seems that the train is the favored way to go. Other than the convenience of not having to drive yourself, am I missing something?

On a side note, we have our hearts set on visiting the CT, so while I respect any advice to cut it out of this trip, we really donít want to take it out of our plans.

Thanks!
sherhatfield is offline  
Jun 20th, 2005, 01:26 PM
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I think it makes perfect sense since you are planning on renting a car anyway after Manarola. Incidentally, I'm not sure if it's changed, but when we drove to Manarola, we were allowed to drive down into down, pretty close to our hotel to drop off the luggage, then return to outside the gate for parking.
Patrick is offline  
Jun 20th, 2005, 01:40 PM
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I am one of those who loved CT so enjoy! We loved our time in April there and would love to go back. Let me know if you have any questions.
motor_city_girl is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 04:10 AM
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love, love, love...I was a little short on verbs yesterday!
motor_city_girl is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 04:48 AM
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motorcitygirl, never apologize for too much love!!!
Patrick is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 07:25 AM
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Patrick, thanks for the tip on Manarola. I'll have to check that out!

Motor city girl, I read your post about your trip and I've noted your advice on where to eat, as well as where not to! BTW, you replied to another of my posts about stopping in Orvieto and we will be taking your advice. We decided to add the extra night to our stay in Chianti and just stop by Orvieto on our way to Rome. Do you have any pictures from your trip that you can share?

I'm so excited for this trip - only 86 days to go!
sherhatfield is offline  
Jun 21st, 2005, 05:53 PM
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At the end of May we drove from Venice to Cinque Terre (with an 8-day detour, shall we call it, via Assisi and Florence). After we left Florence we stopped in Pisa for an hour, which was just a little out of our way but was great to visit. Driving to the CT was easy but we made a mistake by paying attention to the warnings in guidebooks, all of which said there is no parking in CT! Park in La Spezia and take the train. they advised! Well, La Spezia had NO parking, so after a frustrating half-hour circling the streets we drove on to Riomaggiore. NO parking. (This was a weekend, and the CT was packed.) As a last resort, we drove to Levanto, the town just north of the CT, and found great parking (24-hour limit) at the train station there. We were oh-so-thankful, as we envisioned driving forever like the guy who was stuck on the MTA in Boston in that great song. After parking we took the train to Corniglia, where we had a reservation to stay for 3 nights, and decided it would be easy enough to take the train back to Levanto each day to feed the meter with coins. After a night's sleep, however, we determined that we would go back to Levanto, pick up the car, and drive in to Corniglia to avoid having to return to Levanto each day. It worked out fine -- the road was really narrow in a few parts, but really no problem. (Though we did talk to fellow diners in Corniglia that night who said they thought the road was the worst they had ever driven!)

Anyway, if we hadn't needed the car for the stint in Umbria, we might have been better using the trains. But driving was fine too. So go for it --whichever way you decide!

(p.s. Loved Cinque Terre)
aprillilacs is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2005, 08:02 AM
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ira
 
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tt
ira is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2005, 01:20 PM
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aprillilacs, Sorry to hear you had such an ordeal with the parking, but at least it all worked out in the end!

Now that I have been reassured that I'm not crazy with my decision to drive from Venice, I just have to figure out the minor details with the car rental. Auto Europe is a bit more expensive than Nova, but with Auto Europe I have the ability to pick up the car at the Piazzale Roma rather than at the airport with Nova. I'm thinking that convenience may outweigh cost, but with a trip like this, every little thing adds up!
sherhatfield is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2005, 04:30 PM
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Picking up the car at Piazzale Roma couldn't have been easier. Took a Vapporetto to the P.R. stop, walked a block up the hill, and there was the Auto Europa office. Signed in, did a U-turn, and off we went. The airport might have been just as easy (we dropped off a car there a couple of years ago on our way to Venice), but the boat ride from the main part of Venice is 2-3 times longer.
aprillilacs is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2005, 08:09 AM
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Thanks, that just helped to make my decision about which location to pick up from. Maybe I can get Auto Europe to adjust the price....
sherhatfield is offline  
Jun 27th, 2005, 10:14 PM
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Just back from Italy (2 couples 50s)and we changed our intention to get a car in Venice to train to Monterossi because it was easier and cheaper.Train trip was a breeze with the help of a bottle of bombay saphire some good cheeses/breads etc.Changed in Milano and did it in style and relaxed. CT for 3 days was fantastico and met others who went to la Spezia to get hire car. We then decided train was so good we went to Sienna and finally got a car from there with Auto Europe. They delivered with no fuss one from Arezzo 50kms away and the price for a better car (diesel as well) was cheaper than all the previous investigations for the 6 months prior to leaving. we had a slight bingle and that was not even charged to us.
king_roscoe is offline  
Jun 28th, 2005, 03:56 AM
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sher...were you looking just for pictures from Orvieto? If so, Ger posted some great ones! Let me know.

BTW, I used to be great friends with an Amy by the same last name. Any relation?
motor_city_girl is offline  
Jun 28th, 2005, 04:37 AM
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If I may offer a suggestion, please check Kemwel for your car rental rates(if you decide to do that rather than taking the train to the Cinque Terre.)

Auto Europe and Kemwel are "sister" companies; however,for identical pick-up locations and dates, Kemwel often has much better pricing.

(I found this out two years ago when noticing that their web sites where almost identical. I called a supervior at Auto Europe and he shared the information with me.)

There are several different "pick-up" suppliers at Piazzale Roma, so be certain to check out each of their pricing on both sites--rates for suppliers are "not the same", even if they are in the same building.

The biggest difference between both is Auto Europe takes a deposit upfront, and Kemwel charges the entire fee. (If you need to cancel, both will refund your monies.)

We have had two rentals in Europe this year (one in Italy/one in Germany), and I have also priced out a rental for
pick-up at Piazzale Roma in late September----Kemwel's pricing on all three was/is significantly less.

Patrick's suggestion to either e-mail or telephone your hotel to check on the current status of parking is a good idea.

If your arrival will be on a weekend day, finding parking could be an issue due to the mass numbers of daytrippers who flock to the Cinque Terre. If you are arriving on a weekday, your chances of eaily finding a space will improve significantly.

On our last trip (arrival Sunday afternoon in March), we waited at the jetty parking lot for almost an hour waiting for a car to leave so we could "snag" a space.
Georgine is offline  
Jun 28th, 2005, 04:00 PM
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motor_city_girl: I would love to see pics from Orvieto, but I wasn't the one looking for them. : )

Georgine: Thanks for the tip about Kemwel. I hadn't heard about them, but once I went on their site I could see they were affiliated with Auto Europe. They do have a better price than what I was originally quoted on AE, but I was able to get a lower rate because I asked them to match Nova's quote. They matched it, plus gave an additional discount, so I got it for $250 for 6 days. That's the best I can find for a one-way rental.

sherhatfield is offline  
Jun 29th, 2005, 04:22 AM
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"From reading other posts, it seems that the train is the favored way to go. Other than the convenience of not having to drive yourself, am I missing something?"

If you don't think that relaxing on a train while drinking your cappuccino is better than fighting traffic and dealing with parking, then no, there's nothing else.

BTW: Dropping a car in Rome? My, you are a brave soul.
lmhornet is offline  
Jun 29th, 2005, 09:11 AM
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motor_city_girl: OK, I just read thru all my replies to this post, and YES, I did request to see Orvieto pictures! Wow, my brain apparently wasn't working last night! : )

lmhornet: If we weren't staying in Tuscany for part of the trip, I would go for the train. The thought of sitting back and sipping a cappucino or other beverage while getting from Point A to B is definitely appealing, but since we want a car to explore Tuscany, it just makes more sense to us to pick it up in Venice.
sherhatfield is offline  
Jul 1st, 2005, 07:04 AM
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igk
 
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Public transportation - trains, buses, boats - is the way to go in Italy. Everyone we met who was driving was tired, exausted and really didn't want to do much after getting to a hotel, but just stay there. Check out the train web site and familiarize yourself with it. You'll find out which trains you should take, where to transfer and how much it will cost. You got a cheap car rental rate which means you got a tiny, underpowered (4-cylinder) stick-shift car. Not good for Tuscan hills. "Easy drive" from Venice to CT? Once in CT you will have to walk or take the train anyway, so why pay for car rental? Worry about someone banging it up? People park very, very close to each other. And then you want to drive to Rome? Have you been to Rome? It's like being on a Space Mountain ride at Disneyland?
Anyway, we have done all modes of transportation in Italy and public transportation is our favorite. By the way, the places you want to visit are great and you will love them.
igk is offline  
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