Where to rent car in Florence?

Jul 18th, 2007, 04:31 PM
Posts: n/a
Where to rent car in Florence?

Our upcoming trip to Italy has taken many turns since we originally began planning it. We had planned on staying in Florence for a few days and then picking up a car at the Florence airport through AutoEurope, then picking up my parents who were supposed to be flying in, and then sailing off to Siena. Well, my parents are not going to be able to make it to Italy so we are on our own. So, I thought I would call Autoeurope and see if I can get a smaller car, since it will be just two of us. While I'm at it, should I still plan on picking it up at the airport, or is there another location that would be a better shot to Siena. My biggest hope is to stay out of crazy traffic. After our Tuscany/Umbria trip, we will return the car (presumably to the same location) spend the night in Florence, and fly out the next day. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks, annieladd
Jul 18th, 2007, 05:05 PM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 45
There is a Europacar office 5 minutes walk from Florence's Santa Maria Novella Stazione, you could pick up the car in town. It's what I arrange for most of my clients.


PradaModo is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 05:05 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,552
But you are still going to Siena, right? Are you staying in town? If so, you may want to rent the car upon leaving Siena. There is a bus from Florence to central Siena. The train station in Siena isn't usually recommended because of its inconvenient location outside of town.

If you are not staying inside Siena, you could change your rental to any number of the in-town Florence rental places. Most are just west of the Santa Maria Novella train station.

But it can be a drag getting in and out of Florence. It can be done, and we have done it several times, but it is never fun. Sunday afternoon isn't too bad. What day of the week and what time are you getting your car?

Personally, I think the airport pick up is a good idea. It's just a lot easier to get on the highway from the airport. But then again, it's not as pretty a ride. But then again, you could miss the scenery trying to get out of the city. It's tricky.

Only you know how much you are up for a challenging ride through the surroundings of Florence. Remember, you can't really drive straight through the city to the southern outskirts. It is a roundabout route through lots of one way streets and areas you missed during your visit.

Does your hotel in Siena have parking? Siena is about as hard to park in as is Florence. I've had some loooong walks to and from the car parks in Siena.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 06:01 PM
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We are staying at Palazzo Ravizza and I am told they have parking. I think it is just inside the city walls.

I think I'd like to have a car going down to Siena so we can stop at a place or two along the way.

We leave Florence on a Sunday and come back on a Friday.

I don't mind "not as pretty a drive", I just want to get out of town and back in as easily as possible. I'll find plenty of pretty while I'm there!

Any comments welcome.

Jul 18th, 2007, 06:06 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 180
If you'll be in Florence for a few days, you'll have time to pick up a good map for your drive to Siena. The tourist office on Via Cavour is an excellent resource. A few years ago, they removed much of their information from display racks so be prepared to ask for specific items.

With a good navigator, you'll be able to find your way from Borgo Ognissanti, the intown location of most car rental agencies, to the outskirts of Florence where you'll pick up your route for Siena. Because the streets in Florence are narrow, the traffic is not fast and you have a little time to make decisions, unlike some highway driving. Also, the rental agencies give you a good map for leaving Florence.

From Borgo Ognissanti, you will drive toward Porta Romana (the Roman gate to the city of Florence) if you plan to take Rt. SS222, the Chiantigiana Way. You can use www. mappy.com to map that so you can preview the route.

The Chiantigiana Way isn't the fastest route to Siena but it's probably the most scenic. This link shows you some lovely views from SS222 and provides some good information about this route: http://www.weddingsitaly.com/wine/htm/colline1.html

A bonus of picking up a rental car from a city location is that you are not charged the 10-12% premium that you are when picking up a car at the airport.
IdyllicItaly is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 06:20 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,552
Annieladd: are the Florence "in town" AutoEurope choices open on Sunday? If so, Sunday is not as bad as any other day of the week in Florence. You could probably get the car in town and not have the worst time of your life getting out of Florence. We've driven in and out on Sunday and it wasn't horrible.

tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 06:54 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 145
If this is your first time driving in Italy, I highly recommend getting the car outside of the city if at all possible. We just returned from 16 days and my husband said his one piece of advice to anyone who wants to visit from his workplace will be if they want to enjoy it, not to drive. We felt like we were in a video game throughout our last part of our stay when we were in Tuscany. We took side roads as well as the autostrada and it seemed the small towns were even worse than the autostrada.
jcepk1 is offline  
Jul 18th, 2007, 07:32 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 703
I've done both. Picking up the car at Borgo Ognissanti works pretty well for getting out of the city. This most recent time we took a taxi to the airport and picked up the car. It's not difficult getting to the autostrada and making your way south. We drove a rental car all through the hilltowns of Tuscany this past April/May and in our opinion it's the ONLY way to go!
caroltis is offline  

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