The cost of car parking (especially for Venice) would probably be more than the train fare.
Not a lot of time in each city, so you might consider dropping one if you can. Either way take the train to stay in those 3 (or 2) cities.
We faced the same decision when we were planning our trip. We ended up taking the train (and bus) wherever we went. Italy has a great transportation system and is pretty easy once you figure it out.
I agree. Spent 30 days in Italy 07, with my sis in law, two ladies, matured. No problems on the train or bus but we did have our itinerary worked to the minute so to speak before we left. Booked all our accommodation via the net also.I went on
the train website and fathomed out our required arrival time to be at the next accommodation and when we needed to book in. We also worked out any bus journeys we needed to take, where there were no trains and had the timetables of both written down for connections. We did this about a month before we left, took the info with us and as we were not there in the height of summer, we didn' t book any transport and only got tickets on arrival at each destination for the next, so that we just had to board the train/bus. Occasionally, we got a cab from our B & B (arranged by the proprietor) to a bus stop or train station.
We were there in early Oct to early Nov. and had no problems at all. Everything ran smoothly.
I would say that if you are intending to stay say in the countryside as Tuscany, then I would definitely hire a car, especially if you are intending on driving around the hillside villages. The public transport system around there is not so good.
I def. would not consider a car in any of the cities and also Cinque Terre is limited. You also have the problem of finding parking at the accommodation.
Also if you do intend on driving, consider the driver as there are narrow roads, backing up to allow buses, cars to pass, beautiful scenery where the driver would miss out because of the winding, switchback roads, perhaps nowhere to park to capture that great photo, parking expenses and the fact that parking in say a Tuscan village old town is not on, as most old towns are inside walls with narrow roads which are now for foot traffic, cars are prohibited and one has to park at the bottom of a hill and then walk up and back. ( Some Tuscan hillside villages do have parking near the entrance but not all).
I do think that the Italian Rail system is really good as all our trains were on time, we used the regionale trains, (cheaper but a bit slower but then we were there to see the country and not bolt along on fast trains, but if pushed for time they are a good idea between cities} as the regionale are usually less crowded, mainly have Italian folk, cost less and there is not that much difference to first class, especially on short journeys.
Loved Italy...would go again
NiecEdited: 11 August 2011, 08:05
Yet another vote for train travel.
Fast, efficent, clean and safe. Also they deliver you to the centre of most cities where a car would be (read is) a complete hinderance.
Thanks for all of your input Train it is!!!
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