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Recommendation for transport in/out of Florence?

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Recommendation for transport in/out of Florence?

Hello,

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.

Adelaide, Australia
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1. Re: Recommendation for transport in/out of Florence?

Trains Venice to Florence www.trenitalia.com Click on the UK flag for translation

There are luggage storage facilities at Florence train station ( Deposito Bagagli)

Shuttle bus operates to Florence airport.

Car rental www.auto-europe.com www.autoeurope.it

Route planner www.viamichelin.com

Non EU citizens require an International driving permit for Italy

Traffic and ZTL info roninrome.com/transportation/driving-italy and in Top Questions "Driving in Tuscany"

www.discovertuscany.com

Accommodation www.venere.com www.bed-and-breakfast-in-italy.com

Train info Switzerland www.sbb.ch/en

Edited: 17 July 2013, 02:36
Arlington, Texas
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2. Re: Recommendation for transport in/out of Florence?

I'm not sure why you feel it is necessary to return to Siena for one night. Just stay in Florence that night and take the train in the morning, having time to enjoy breakfast and time to get to the station.

I understand if you've already booked accommodation for 8 days. Just bite the bullet and pay for the extra night in Florence. (better than dragging your mom back and forth, imho)

I can recommend the Hotel Casci. They do have quad rooms, with bath, for very reasonable rates. And they are just 10 mts walk/5 mts taxi ride from the train station. Breakfast is included, and is terrific! www.hotelcasci.com/…

Good luck!

San Jose, California
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3. Re: Recommendation for transport in/out of Florence?

OK, let's simplify this.

I don't think realistically that you will have much time to see Florence on the first Saturday, between the train from Venice, and the need to get out to the airport to get the car, and then drive to Siena before dark...So let's eliminate that and rework your entire plan.

Saturday #1 - Take the train from Venice all the way to Arezzo. It is just a bit further south than Florence but on your way to Siena. It also has a good position for easy access to the A1 Autostrada or you could just take the SS73 all the way.

From the Arezzo train station, you can walk directly across the street to the Avis Car Rental - very easy. However, use www.autoeurope.com to book it for best deals. Enter "Arezzo" as your location and Avis will come up. This rental office has hours on Saturday until 4:00 or 4:30pm. From here, you also don't need to worry about ZTLs or other driving restrictions. It is very easy out, following the signs for the Autostrada (A1), or also look for the signs for "Siena" and this will lead you to the SS73. Your choice.

Go to Florence via train another day as a day trip - you will have much more time and it will be more relaxed. Take the train from Siena.

Saturday #2 - Return the car to Arezzo and train from there. This is much less of a drive and less time consuming than going all the way to the Florence airport, then taking the bus to the train station.

This way you keep your Saturday to Saturday rental - no problems.

Use the train recommendation from Nurotopia

4. Re: Recommendation for transport in/out of Florence?

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