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Drive from Florence to Bologna

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Drive from Florence to Bologna

Thinking of driving north of Florence and catching the train to Venice from Bologna.

To get to Bologna by car, we would be taking A1 through the Apennines. I'm wondering whether the drive would be more scenic than a train ride - although if we took the train from Florence to Venice I don't believe we wouldn't be going through Bologna.

Are there interesting things to see along the route that would make taking a car more attractive than taking the train?

We won't be staying in Bologna. It'll be just a place (this time) to catch the train on our way north to Venice.

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1. Re: Drive from Florence to Bologna

I am wondering the same thing!! I will be going to Italy for my Honeymoon in October and will be traveling to Venice from the Tuscany region and would like to return the rental car before getting to Venice. I thought about driving to Bologna to see some sites along the way and return the car. I thought about returning the car in Florence but heard the traffic driving into Florence is awful. So I was thinking of driving to Bologna, enjoying the country side and then taking the train to Venice...Any suggestions of what might be the best plan?

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2. Re: Drive from Florence to Bologna

I've not driven from Florence to Bologna, but the train ride is very scenic through the Apennines. I'll admit I am odd in that I really enjoy trains in Italy and sometimes opt for slower local trains (rather the high-speed EuroStar trains) just to enjoy the countryside. Just FYI, the Florence to Venice train probably goes through (and stops in) Bologna.

In general, I think trains in Italy are so convenient and relatively inexpensive that renting a car is a bother. Renting one to tour around the Tuscany countryside would be one of the few exceptions, but if you do take it to Bologna return it on the outskirts of the city as access by car to the center of town is limited.

Ravenna, Italy
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3. Re: Drive from Florence to Bologna

it is very nice and relaxing to take the Euro Star from Florence to Venice. The train is clean, fast, the seats are comfortable, you have a reserved seats on Euro star and the windows are large for viewing the country side.

The countryside is nice .... dotted with small villages, well tended farms and now and then a village a top a hill.

It is much easier to just take the train from Florence SMN station and enjoy your ride to The main station in Venice.... you get off in Venice walk through the station, down steps, and there you are on the Grand Canal. It is a very exciting experience.

Much better, IMHO, than fighting the traffic. The road from Florence to Bologna has many, many very large trucks using it. You also must travel through numerious tunnels which as you know cuts down on site seeing.

Bologna is rather difficult to travel in using a car. You might have difficulty locating a place to leave your car. as yu know no cars allowed in Venice..upon arrival yu have to park in one of two parking locations. it is rather expensive. I "think' in the region of 24 euros per day???

Yes the train from Florence to Venice does stop in Bologna. But you don't go through the city. Just the train yards and the station.

I hope this helps.


Bay Village, Ohio
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4. Re: Drive from Florence to Bologna

We drove from Florence to Venice and left our car in Pizzale Roma for 3 days while visiting Venice. The drive between Florence and Venice was really not that great, compared to other drives that we made on our 3 week trip.

Le Marche, Italy
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5. Re: Drive from Florence to Bologna

I don't know whether the scenery on the A1 between Florence and Bologna was spectacular or not. I drove it once in the other direction, and it was a rainy evening. The A1 was full of heavy trucks and the roadway seemed to me to be both curvier and narrower than most autostradas. Many of the trucks followed too closely, especially considering the wet roadway, and most of them were considerably exceeding the speed limit.

It certainly was not the most enjoyable drive I've ever done, and I do enjoy driving. We live due east of Florence, but because of the Apennines, it's faster to go north to Bologna, then south to Florence, which is autostrada all the way. However, I decided that if I had to drive to Florence again, I would take the secondary roads. (Usually I go by train.)

Ravenna, Italy
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6. Re: Drive from Florence to Bologna

Read BV's wonderful description...then take the train!

Verona, Italy
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7. Re: Drive from Florence to Bologna

The A1 from Florence to Bologna has had some extensive road works done and is now not quite so bad to drive as once was the case.

Or perhaps I have just become so used to Italian driving that it is second nature now.

Although still a very busy and fairly uninteresting road unless you make detours and visit some of the lovely villages which form part of the Appennini Romagnoli/Bolognesi


Another route from Florence to Bologna and very scenic could be taking the Muraglione Pass where you could also visit Predappio Mussolini's Home Town and birth place.

This would mean arriving at Cesana/Forli and doubling back to Bologna however if you have the time and want to see some of the Apennines then this is what I would do.

I am not one who likes to or ever travels by train anywhere so car is my means of being free and seeing what I want to see when.

If something takes my eye, a castle or interesting looking hill top village then I don't want to say oh I saw it from a train window.

This is where Italy can be seen at its best and where you really can find and explore some off the tourist track places and meet real locals too.

Another way of thinking which you may wish to consider.

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8. Re: Drive from Florence to Bologna

I live in the hills outside of Bologna and there is a beautiful scenic drive through the hills that starts from Pistoia (just east of Florence) to Bologna. It is a two lane state road called SS64 and if you have the time and desire, it is a much nicer trip than the A1 autostrada. SS64 also runs by Porretta Terme, a lovely little town famous for its thermal spas.

London, United...
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9. Re: Drive from Florence to Bologna

Yeah I agree with everyone else above. Go for the train. That will save you lots of money, time, and above all stress. Driving from Florence to Bologna can be a very panful experience, as it's a 2-lane motorway and it's packed with truck wich are very slow on the ups and downs of the Appennines, not to mention tunnels and roadworks. I would avoid at all costs. Furthermore the train from Florence SMN to Venice Santa Lucia is a direct one and you don't have to bother with connections. The price for one person, one-way, in 2nd class, is 35.20 €. Check timetables and prices here: http://trenitalia.it/homepage_en.html


10. Re: Drive from Florence to Bologna

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