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Car rental v. train, rome to tuscany and back

Boston MA
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256 posts
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Car rental v. train, rome to tuscany and back

We are two couples spending a couple of nights in Rome on our way into and out of Tuscany (staying in Panzano this time). We plan to drive around the hill towns during our stay, so need a car. In the past, we've rented a car in Rome and driven to Tuscany. Was wondering if there is any advantage to taking a train from Rome to Tuscany (Siena? Florence? other?), then renting the car, using it, returning it, and taking train back to Rome. Is there any convenience or cost advantage? Seems like renting the car in Rome and skipping the train is just simpler, though I do love European train travel. Thoughts? Also, any preferred rental companies in Rome or Tuscany? Thanks in advance!

Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: Car rental v. train, rome to tuscany and back

I would not rent a car in Florence except at the airport as numerous folks have been caught in the ZTL even though they knew about it and were trying to carefully follow directions back to the rental agencies without violating it.

We are doing a similar trip this fall picking up the car at FCO and dropping it at the Florence airport -- one of the advantages of airport pick ups is that you are likely to actually get a car and the one you ordered. Smaller towns may have inventory issues. Of course it costs more to do airport pickup.

Atlanta
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2. Re: Car rental v. train, rome to tuscany and back

Just rent and drive it from Rome. It is easy and the drive is fine. That should work the best (I have done it multiple times with no problem).

Montepulciano, Italy
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3. Re: Car rental v. train, rome to tuscany and back

The only time I ever take the train down to Rome is if I'm going down on business into the city centre and need to be back the same day. On my own, scheduling my business around the times of the trains (which is actually a real pain and never comes together for me) I suppose it's easier than taking the car and on my own it's probably cheaper too. But if there are two of you it wouldn't be for the return fare in first class from Chiusi to Termini is over Euros 50, compared to third of a tank of petrol in a Fiat 500 and 2 x the Euros 9.80 toll. And that's before you take into account lugging suitcases up onto the train and finding somewhere to stow them. On ther otherhand, it's an easy drive, it's a very beautiful drive, you can go at your own pace even pulling off the highway to stop en route at places such as Orte or Orvieto. And as weird as this sounds (for the railway follows the A1 virtually all the way), the scenery is more enjoyable from the car than the train.

Atlanta
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4. Re: Car rental v. train, rome to tuscany and back

I actually agree with enjoying the scenery more from the car versus the train. I would also agree that if they have time a stop in Orvieto would be wonderful and very convenient from an access standpoint off of the AutoStrada.

Boston MA
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5. Re: Car rental v. train, rome to tuscany and back

Thank you Janet, ATLT and Lanastraria-

Lanastraria, you make some pretty good, common-sense points - of course, I neglected to think of the train tickets X 4, vs. cost of petrol for one car. And then there is the flexibility etc. of doing one's own driving. We did the Rome rental before, and it worked out well, so we shall do it again. I cannot recall which rental agency we used - it was over 10 years ago! If anyone has recs, they'd be much appreciated.

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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6. Re: Car rental v. train, rome to tuscany and back

AutoEurope is an agency that arranges cheap rentals with the major companies. The UK site is sometimes cheaper than the US one, so check out both www.autoeurope.com and www.auto-europe.co.uk

Atlanta
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7. Re: Car rental v. train, rome to tuscany and back

I concur with sydneynick. That is the rental agency I always start with and have had nothing but positive experiences with.

8. Re: Car rental v. train, rome to tuscany and back

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