We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Help! No car in Tuscany? Possible?

NH
Level Contributor
31 posts
16 reviews
Save Topic
Help! No car in Tuscany? Possible?

We are planning our first trip to Italy this fall, landing in Rome and staying three days. We were planning to go to Tuscany for the next three days, then down to the Amalfi Coast (Sorrento?) for the last three days. We are reluctant to rent a car, however, and were hoping to be able to travel by train or bus, and an occasional taxi. I had my heart set on staying in a lovely agriturismo in one of the hill towns, but I'm wondering if that will be too difficult without a car? Can anyone give us some advice on how to see Tuscany without a car? Thank you so much for your wisdom!

Atlanta
Level Contributor
1,224 posts
84 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Help! No car in Tuscany? Possible?

No, it is not practical to stay at an agriturismo in Tuscany (or much of Tuscany) without a rental car unless your intent is to practically stay your entire time at the agriturismo itself. If you want to see some of Tuscany, a rental car is extremely helpful .... you could do private drivers instead but the cost for several days will be higher.

Incidentally, you might want to tweak your trip plan a bit and fly into Rome, take transportation right away from Rome to the Amalfi Coast (which is more relaxing than Rome and will help considering your jet lag so you don't have to hit all of Rome's sites while exhausted), rent a car at the end of your stay there and drive to Tuscany, and then drop the car off at Rome's airport prior to going to your lodgings there.

Castellina in...
Level Contributor
3,335 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Help! No car in Tuscany? Possible?

There are agriturismi and agriturismo-like accommodation within walking distance of public transport if you look around. Check this page - it addresses your question exactly: www.chianti.info/chianti_without_car.htm

NH
Level Contributor
31 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Help! No car in Tuscany? Possible?

Thank you SO much for the great advice! I think you're right on about tweaking the itinerary to start with Sorrento instead of Rome and I really appreciate the insight! I'm assuming that staying in Sorrento will allow us to see various sights like Pompeii and parts of the Amalfi Coast? Should we spend any time in Naples?

Again, thanks so much for your wisdom...

Savannah, GA
Level Contributor
1,874 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Help! No car in Tuscany? Possible?

I'd skip Naples. I've enjoyed lots of hill town and ag. accommodations and never driven a mile in Italy. Some ag. hosts will even come collect you at the nearest rail or bus stop. It's entirely do-able. Trains, buses, taxis, hired cars, the kindness of strangers....you can do this nicely and never experience the agony of paperwork, expense or cavalier driving habits of the Italians.

Atlanta
Level Contributor
1,224 posts
84 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Help! No car in Tuscany? Possible?

You are welcome.

Yes, Sorrento will allow you to get to areas of the Amalfi Coast to see it (Sorrento itself is not on the AC but has many transportation options that you can use). If you choose not to stay in Sorrento then the other big two to choose from will be Positano and Amalfi (I prefer Amalfi, but many others like Positano ... they are both nice to most). You can find much information to help you choose, by typing the 3 villages names and the word "base" or "stay" .... it is an oft discussed topic.

Visit the Naples Archaeological Museum if you intend to visit Pompeii ... it is very helpful and very nice. Other than that site, I would pass on Naples for this trip.

Tampa, Florida
1 post
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: Help! No car in Tuscany? Possible?

You want a car Tuscany - not in Rome or Amalfi Coast. Try to return the car to the same place or experience some big drop-off charges, although you'll sometimes have them added as a surprise. The entire Amalfi Coast is most easily done by bus and Pompei and Naples by train, both from Sorrento. They're cheap, safer and allow all members to enjoy the views. A car in Rome is a huge headache. But a car in Tuscany is a must - just leave it behind when you go to Florence.

Upper Maremma...
Level Contributor
770 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Help! No car in Tuscany? Possible?

Outside the major centers, taxis are non-existent. In southern Tuscany the major busline is Florence-Siena-Grosseto with buses leaving from these cities to the smaller towns. They are not very frequent but they are there.

If you choose northern Tuscany (Pisa, Lucca) public transportation is better, with good train lines, and buses. Pisa is an excellent base in that sense. Florence too of course.

NH
Level Contributor
31 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Help! No car in Tuscany? Possible?

Thank you so much for all the excellent advice! I'm sure I'll have more questions as we start to nail down the details. Just wanted to let everyone know how much the feedback is appreciated!

Montepulciano, Italy
Destination Expert
for Tuscany
Level Contributor
6,765 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Help! No car in Tuscany? Possible?

I was sitting on a bench the other afternoon in Chianciano Terme eating an ice cream and next to us were two English girls (also eating ice cream) waiting for a bus. We got chatting and the first thing they said was what a pain it was not having a car. The apartment they'd rented was fine (and very cheap), their Euros were going a bit further than they first feared but having their days dictated by the bus schedule was getting them down. It is possible - sure - to see parts of southern Tuscany without a car (especially if you bump into people like me who give you a ride into Pienza when there's no sign of the bus) but personally I wouldn't want to do it, and I know these two girls wish they hadn't had to either. (I spent the entire evening wondering if they ever made it back!)

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
87,457 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Help! No car in Tuscany? Possible?

>>Try to return the car to the same place or experience some big drop-off charges, although you'll sometimes have them added as a surprise.<<

Within Italy, one-way charges are small, and often zero. Get quotes from somewhere like www.autoeurope.com

Edited: 07 August 2010, 12:53