What kind of car for driving in Tuscany

Old Feb 18th, 2001, 05:28 PM
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What kind of car for driving in Tuscany

We will be in Italy in early September (first week) and will rent cars (2 couples, each with a child 1-2 yrs old. We will base ourself for a week in Chainti in a villa (still not found the ideal one within a few km of Seina) to explore the area and visit hill towns (S. Gimignano, Volterra, Arezzo)and wineries. Have read that the roads up the hill towns are narrow and difficult to traverse. What sort of car would be ideal - small, medium, 4 wheel drive ? Also which hill towns are good/bad for driving to and parking? Since we will be with kids, the right kind of car is key. To Florence, we will likely take a train or bus.Also, how hot will it be then? Thanks
Old Feb 18th, 2001, 06:15 PM
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We rented a 5-speed Alpha Romeo 146 from AutoEurope. There were 3 of us but it would have been ok for 2 adults and 2 kids. Large enough trunk for 3+ suitcases. It had enough power to get us up and down the hills of Tuscany and Umbria. Don't worry about the narrow streets in the hill towns, because you can't drive in most of them. You'll find parking lots outside the gates of most of the cities and you walk in. Hopefully you've got toddler/infant backpacks because strollers will be difficult. Lots of stairs and stone (bumpy) roads and some very steep roads. (Just got a flash image of a stroller getting away) Have fun though...if I didn't just ruin it for you!
Old Feb 18th, 2001, 06:56 PM
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Don't bother with a 4-wheel drive, you won't need it. In getting between some of the towns, the roads have a lot of curves but I would not call them narrow or difficult to traverse. Cities like S. Gimignano and Volterra have parking lots right before you enter the city and therefore you shouldn't have to enter the city itself. Simply choose passenger car the you will feel comfortable driving and that will give your passangers enough room in (I would recommend nothing less than a compact for your situation). As for the weather, the highs can be in the 80's but the high 70's are more likely.
Old Feb 19th, 2001, 06:36 AM
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good advice above. i recommend a manual shift vehicle. tuscan roads are twisty and the elevation has enormous variety. downshifting manually has its benefits.
Old Feb 19th, 2001, 11:52 AM
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For the last few years, we've ended up with an Opel Astra from AutoEurope (we booked the above-mentioned Alfa 146, but that's how car rentals go). We've been very pleased with this car. It's a small (by American standards) 4 door sedan w/ manual transmission. It had plenty of power to take us up and down the hills in Tuscany & Emilia-Romagna, and the trunk swallowed up our 2 large suitcases with ease, with some room to spare on the top. The back seat easily has enough room for a child and accoutrements.
Old Feb 19th, 2001, 08:41 PM
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Just one key word of advice: Make SURE you get in one of the parking lots outside the hill towns! Make whatever type of crazy turn you have to to get in the parking lot. We missed one & ended up driving lost in the narrow, STEEP & blind corner streets of Montepulciano. We survived without an arrest, accident or death...but it wasn't easy. Lord, the adreneline was pumping....
Old Feb 20th, 2001, 02:54 AM
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ciao deepa

why don't you take a Fiat Multipla? you have 3 seats in front and 3 in the back and an enormous tank to put in everything. it is a bit larger then a normal european car but very used by italians here. good to travel here in the chianti without any problems.

good luck!


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