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Driving in/out Florence - March 2014

Sentosa Island...
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Driving in/out Florence - March 2014

We are planning to rent a car in Florence and drive all the way to Cinque Terre, stopping at Pisa. Stay over night in Cinque Terre and drive back to Florence.

Following which, we plan to drive from Florence to Rome and do a stop over in Siena.

I have read a couple of reviews that driving in Italy is not really recommended but we want to see as much as we can, hence the driving option.

Can you recommend reliable rental companies? Thanks.

Mentioned in this post
Florence
Florence
Province of Florence, Italy
Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre
Italian Riviera, Italy
Pisa
Pisa
Province of Pisa, Italy
Rome
Rome
Lazio, Italy
Siena
Siena
Province of Siena, Italy
Italy
Italy
Europe
Norwich, Norfolk, Uk
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1. Re: Driving in/out Florence - March 2014

Hertz, avis, europcar.

However, you need to understand all about the ZTLs (limited traffic zones) operated in most Italian urban areas before you make this decision. Read here:

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

You can get to everywhere you want to by train. Also Cinque Terre is a very weather dependent destination and the weather in March may well be wet and cold. I would not commit to Cinque Terre until you are there and then only go if you get dry weather.

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Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre
Italian Riviera, Italy
Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
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92,704 posts
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2. Re: Driving in/out Florence - March 2014

Do not even *think* of trying to drive in central Florence. The whole central area is prohibited to visitors' cars, and there have been many posts from people who have accidentally driven into this area, or in a bus lane, and have been hit with multiple €100 fines months later.

It is not a good idea to drive to the Cinque Terre. The roads to the villages are indirect, narrow and with almost continual sharp bends. To get from La Spezia to Riomaggiore takes less than 10 minutes by train, and more than 30 minutes by car.

A train from Florence to Rome does the journey in just over 90 minutes. By car, it will take at least 3h30 of driving (plus stops), mostly along very busy toll motorway.

A car is not a sensible choice for the places you want to visit.

Mentioned in this post
Florence
Florence
Province of Florence, Italy
Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre
Italian Riviera, Italy
La Spezia
La Spezia
Province of La Spezia, Italy
Riomaggiore
Riomaggiore
Cinque Terre, Italy
Rome
Rome
Lazio, Italy
Florence, Italy
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989 posts
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3. Re: Driving in/out Florence - March 2014

...unless, of course, part of your plan is to meander, explore, possibly enjoy getting a little lost along the way to discover the unexpected! In that case, having a care is essential!

The major car rental companies, as Peggypatch points out, are fine. Pay attention to the ZTLs, familiarize yourself with the local laws and signage. You'll be fine and on your way to a fun adventure!

Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: Driving in/out Florence - March 2014

I think that your itinerary argues against renting a car. Car rentals in Italy can get expensive. In addition, you will need to pay for paring in the cities unless you find a hotel that includes parking for free. That probably means staying in the outskirts and having a longish commute in to see the sights. You certainly won't want to drive into Florence, for example, to visit the Duomo.

If instead you travel from place to place by train or bus, your time in the cities will be much easier, and you'll have flexibility rather than having to carry the burden of a car. If you must takes lots of luggage, take taxis from the train station to your centrally located hotel and back. You'll a end up spending less money and having less stress.

Mentioned in this post
Italy
Italy
Europe
Florence
Florence
Province of Florence, Italy
5. Re: Driving in/out Florence - March 2014

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