I will be traveling on a Saturday in August from Venice to Siena, staying in Siena for one week (Saturday-Saturday), and then departing for Lake Geneva. I am looking for recommendations for transportation in and out of Tuscany. While in Siena, I am planning on renting a car and taking day trips to nearby towns. My first thought was to take the train from Venice to Florence, fairly early in the morning, spending a 1/2 day in Florence then renting a car from the airport (I found that on Saturday that's the only office open with the rental co I looked at) and driving to Siena (before dark). Throughout the week, take the car on day trips, and the following Saturday morning, return the car to the Florence airport, and catch a train to Nyon, Switzerland.
The problems I've since thought of:
Saturday #1 - we will be carrying our luggage (although small) with us after arriving by train from Venice, and will have no place to store it if we are spending the day enjoying Florence.
Saturday #2 - getting to Nyon at a decent time is important to us, since we have a friend picking us up at the train station. This means we will have to wake up early in Siena, drive to Florence to return car at the airport, take bus to a train station???, and try for a train that leaves at 10am (in order to get to Nyon by 4:30pm)
I want to think of other options, but I have not been to Europe in nearly 20 years, and find planning this part of the trip really overwhelming. I will be traveling with my mother (age 70) and two teenage daughters.
Maybe we could take the train from Venice to Florence, rent the car, drive straight to Siena (not "doing" Florence that day, maybe instead using the few hours we have to see another town, or to spend a more leisurely morning in Vencie). Then the following Friday, return the car to Florence (not restricted to an airport return location), enjoy Florence for a day then take a bus back to Siena (though not sure how we would get to the rental house from a bus - house is about 5km from Siena city centre). And the next morning on "Departure Saturday", take the bus back to Florence??? to catch that 10am train to Nyon. But, is that crazier than my original plan???
Please let me know if I'm making this harder than necessary. Maybe Florence isn't the best place for us to arrive and depart Tuscany from?
FYI: we have paid for 7 nights, saturday-saturday, at the Siena rental. We paid a rate much higher than our budget, so sacrificing one of those nights isn't really an option.
I sure appreciate your time and ideas.