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Driving from Volterra/Tuscany to Rome?

New York City, New...
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Driving from Volterra/Tuscany to Rome?

Dear fearless travelers -

Your advice always saves the day. My husband and I will be in Volterra in September. We will have a rental car, and we like driving back roads/scenic roads if possible. We will need to get down to Rome over 1-2 days. Seems like a drive on the highways would be approximately 3 hours and a regional train would be just as long.

Can you help guide us to best maximize the sights but minimize the hassle of navigating Rome?

Option 1: take a meandering trip down the coastal roads to Rome, maybe even prolonging it with an overnight stay on Argentario or Isola del Giglio.

Option 2: forget scenery, drive the highways quickly down to Rome, and maximize our time there.

Option 3: forget about driving to Rome altogether, drop the car off in Siena or Cecina, and take the train down to Rome.

Also - has anyone dropped off their rental cars at any of Rome's airports instead of the city center? Was this a practical and easy alternative?

I guess the big question is whether we are missing something beautiful if we skip or shorten the drive. We will spend about a week on the Amalfi Coast later, so I will imagine we will get our "coastal fix" eventually.

Many thanks for your thoughts,

Heidi

Montepulciano, Italy
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1. Re: Driving from Volterra/Tuscany to Rome?

Not an easy answer as I personally reckon there are numerous combinations of routes (do drive, don't train). First off, dropping car at FCO is extremely easy but how will you then get down to the Amalfi coast? Are you taking the train south? If you drop car at FCO you'll then have to get to the station with luggage either via train from the airport into the city centre or cab. Re routes, I would have said Option 1 as I love Argentario and rate the drive from there down to FCO a quieter, more relaxing one than via the autostrada, A1. However, as you'll be getting a good fix of the coast in your next week, how about this? Day 1: Volterra - Siena (visit if you haven't already done so, allow at least 4 hrs) - Buonconvento - Montalcino (overnight) or Pienza (overnight). Day 2: Via Cassia (SS 222) to Bolsena (stop for coffee, quick look around pretty lakeside town) - Orvieto (visit + lunch) - Rome FCO or city centre drop. With a GPS, I wouldn't imagine it's that difficult to find the car drop place in Rome though personally I've got lost twice (on my own and map reading) in recent months going into the city centre, and I know other posters say it's like Florence in that it's easier to find your way out, than in. So maybe consider the FCO drop which is, as I said, so easy.

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2. Re: Driving from Volterra/Tuscany to Rome?

Thanks so much for your thoughts, lastraniera. My eyes have been filled with those beautiful hilltop towns all day! Your suggestions have swayed us to take a little more time in Tuscany.

We have amended our plans to drop the car off in Chiusi and jump on the train directly to Naples. We're avoiding those traffic zones in Florence and Rome at all costs! (Heaven knows we get too many parking tickets in NYC as it is. :D)

Montepulciano, Italy
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3. Re: Driving from Volterra/Tuscany to Rome?

Being ever so slightly partial to Tuscan hill top towns, I very much know what you mean!!! That direct train from Chiusi to Napoli is a great idea.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Driving from Volterra/Tuscany to Rome?

So far as I can see, there are only 2 direct trains daily from Chiusi to Naples, leaving at 11.45 and 19.45. These are both medium-speed InterCity trains. There are many other journeys, but they require a change of train in Rome.

Montepulciano, Italy
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5. Re: Driving from Volterra/Tuscany to Rome?

I'm sure you are right, Nick. I'm far from knowledgeable on trains but I know the once daily Chiusi / Venice service comes from / goes on to Napoli. (By the way, Heidi, it's often running late ...)

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Driving from Volterra/Tuscany to Rome?

I don't know this from memory: I went to the Trenitalia web site and looked it up. I have learned (the hard way) to always look up train information before I do a post.

7. Re: Driving from Volterra/Tuscany to Rome?

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