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Renting a car for a week in Tuscany. Worth it?

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Renting a car for a week in Tuscany. Worth it?

We're flying into Brussels, traveling from there to Paris for approx. 5 days and then flying into Italy. We're planning on basing our week long stay in Florence. Having never been to Italy before, of course we want to hit the major sights. We plan on taking a train into Rome, Venice and the Cinque Terre area. I'd love to rent a car but have concerns about it. Should I be concerned? I'd love to wander around the Tuscany area on days we're not day tripping. Should I rent a car for the whole week or try to consolidate it into a few days? Thanks for your thoughts.

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Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
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1. Re: Renting a car for a week in Tuscany. Worth it?

It really depends where you are staying in Florence as you can't have a car in central Florence. The centre has a limited traffic zone and only residents with the appropriate permit are allowed to drive there. This is policed by cameras and heavy fines are issued to those straying into the zone. Most towns and cities in Italy have these zones and many are easy to avoid, but those in cities, and especially Florence it seems, are difficult to avoid. If you only have a week and are already planning trips to Rome, Venice and Cinque Terre then you don't really have much time to do anything else - if you want to do Florence justice that is.

Read this article for a round up of the limited zones and other driving regulations:

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187893-c140065/Tusca…

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City of Venice, Italy
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New York City, New...
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2. Re: Renting a car for a week in Tuscany. Worth it?

If you do drive - be sure to get an International Driver's Permit (IDP) - you get them at AAA for about $20 and they require a passport type of photo which some AAA offices can do. I got mine in NYC on the upper west side and they had the photo booth. Took all of about 20 minutes. They are valid for one year.

You are required to have it in Italy.

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Chicago, Illinois
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3. Re: Renting a car for a week in Tuscany. Worth it?

if you are basing in Florence and then rushing off to these distant sites like Rome and the CT then it would be foolish to have a car -- you won't e wandering around Tuscany if you also plan to actually see Florence which takes several days. I would not bother with the hassle of a car in Florence which is a totally car unfriendly city but would just make a day trip to Siena and call it a day -- or book a bus tour that hits several Tuscan towns.

if you base in the countryside and actually plan to tour Tuscany then do that and have a car but it isn't sensible with your travel goals.

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Poulsbo, Washington
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4. Re: Renting a car for a week in Tuscany. Worth it?

Personally I would not base myself in Florence if you really want to explore the Tuscan countryside for more than a day.

New York
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5. Re: Renting a car for a week in Tuscany. Worth it?

Where would you base yourself? I'm open to anything!

Thanks

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6. Re: Renting a car for a week in Tuscany. Worth it?

You need to decide whether you want to see the countryside primarily or cities.

If you base yourself in the countryside with a car then you can explore some of the lovely hilltop towns and villages and take a couple of day trips to nearby cities such as Florence and Siena (remember don't drive to Florence, drive to a train station and take the train). However, you will have to accept that you won't see much of Florence and you will have to forget about your other planned daytrips to Venice etc. as you won't have the time (plus Venice is really only doable as a day trip from Florence on the fast trains with an early start and late return.

If you want to see Florence properly then it needs at least three full days and then you could take some of your planned daytrips and perhaps an organised tour of some of the countryside.

You could spend 3 nights in Florence then pick up a car at the airport and spend 4 nights somewhere in Chianti or the Val'Orcia (generally accepted to be the most beautiful parts of the region), but that would mean forgetting about day trips to Venice, Rome and Cinque Terre.

Unfortunately, you really don't have the time to do everything on your wish list.

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7. Re: Renting a car for a week in Tuscany. Worth it?

Car is a must to apreciate the enchanting countryside and the smaller villages.

Best thing you can do is find a place outsided Florence where it's easy to park, yer near enoght to reach the city centre by bus or train.

Some suggestions: Bagno a Ripoli (bus) Pontasssieve (tran or bus)

Impruneta (Bus).

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Melkbosstrand...
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8. Re: Renting a car for a week in Tuscany. Worth it?

hi, i would stay 3 or 4 days in Florence. Visit the main attractions in town and maybe take a day-trip to Sienna to see some of the countryside, then off to Rome by train for the rest of your trip, and i can promise you, you will come back!! On your next trip, rent a car, stay in one of the little hilltop towns in Tuscany and explore the countryside!! you will go back again!!!

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Upper Maremma...
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9. Re: Renting a car for a week in Tuscany. Worth it?

Tuscany can be ideally divided in two macro areas, very different both in look and feel and in terms of transportation. Northern Tuscany is more densely populated and you can get by without a ca unless you want to venture into the Garfagnana mountains. Southern Tuscany is the area which most people think of, it is mostly rural and a car is essential.

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Upper Maremma...
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10. Re: Renting a car for a week in Tuscany. Worth it?

Tuscany can be ideally divided in two macro areas, very different both in look and feel and in terms of transportation. Northern Tuscany is more densely populated and you can get by without a ca unless you want to venture into the Garfagnana mountains. Southern Tuscany is the area which most people think of, it is mostly rural and a car is essential.

Here are some tips for planning a vacation in Tuscany. athomeintuscany.org/category/…

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