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Driving to Sienna on Xmas day

Sydney
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Driving to Sienna on Xmas day

Hi all,

We're trying to decide whether to drive to Sienna from Rome while on our way to Florence or just catch a train to Florence and then do a separate day trip to Sienna. We only have total of 4 nights for Florence and Central Tuscany region. We'll be leaving Rome on Xmas day, and thought maybe the roads to Sienna and Chianti would not have too much traffic. We're a bit nervous because we have not driven in Europe before.

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Driving to Sienna on Xmas day

I would think there would be little traffic on Christmas Day. There will be no truck movements, and most Italians will already be with their families.

Gold Coast...
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2. Re: Driving to Sienna on Xmas day

Then this is the perfect time for you to begin your driving experience in Italy. Roads will definitely be quieter on Christmas Day. And as Nick says - no trucks which is a blessing as they are the curse of the Italian autostrade.

As you are a bit nervous here is a small tip - when driving on the autostrade in Italy, avoid the left hand lane at all times unless overtaking (I realise this is the law but not everyone heeds it) otherwise you may (read: will) find a speeding Italian within a metre or so from the rear of your car, flashing his lights expecting you to move over pronto. Of course it can be particularly unnerving.

Sydney
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3. Re: Driving to Sienna on Xmas day

Thankyou Nick & Nessie. Is it true that they do not have speed limit on these super highway? I'll keep off the left lane unless we have to take an exit then. Thanks for the tip

Montreal
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4. Re: Driving to Sienna on Xmas day

Ummm, driving is on the right in Italy and exits will go from the right lane.

Gold Coast...
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5. Re: Driving to Sienna on Xmas day

There are speed limits on all autostrade (from memory) up to a maximum of 130km. There will be plenty of signs indicating the current speed limit.

Exiting is from the right hand lane(s)..

Sydney
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6. Re: Driving to Sienna on Xmas day

Woww, 130kmph is very fast for me. I'll keep on right for sure

Wales
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7. Re: Driving to Sienna on Xmas day

As the ads used to say in the UK 'let the train take the strain'. Sydneynick will tell you if they run on Christmas Day.

Sydney
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8. Re: Driving to Sienna on Xmas day

We thought about taking the train directly from Rome to Florence and then do a separate day trip to Sienna 2 days later. This way however, will cost us over $400 extra for 4 people day tours to Sienna and San Gimignano. We also have one less day to see Florence.

So we're exploring 2nd option, ie. driving to Florence from Rome and make stops at Sienna for lunch and San Gimignano for dinner. We just did not know if anything open for lunch or dinner or both on Xmas day. That way we would not back track our trip and save some money as well.

Sorry, I tried not too bored you all with our trip planning and therefore asked short and fairly specific questions.

I think we made up our mind now. We'll definitely drive to Sienna from Rome then either to San Gimignano or Chianti region for tea/dinner before heading towards Florence. We'll be staying in Florence for 4 nights in total.

Thank you all again

Gold Coast...
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9. Re: Driving to Sienna on Xmas day

Good choice to drive .... bravo!

toscana
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10. Re: Driving to Sienna on Xmas day

I agree completely on your choice of travelling on Xmas day from Rome to Siena. It is the best day to travel on autostrada, just few people around.

You will be on the A1 motorway up to Bettolle, then you will get the Bettolle-Siena superstrada. 247Km Rome/Siena.

I normally use the via-michelin to plan the way:

http://www.viamichelin.it/

Do not be nervous, as others said, keep your right (unless overtaking) and just do not let you bother by crazy speedy Italians.

Speed limit on motorway is Km130 on the superstrada 90/100 and normal roads 90 or less. You will see signs indicating speed limits.

On normal roads when the speed limit is 60 we tend to drive a bit faster, around 70/80.

If you manage I would suggest a stop in San Gimignano. Maybe on Christmas afternoon most of the shop will be closed but the village itself is worth a visit.

Enjoy your trip

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