January 29, 2011, 11:57 PM
Florence by Train?
We are going to Florence after 3 days in Rome. We were thinking about taking the train to Florence because we heard Florence is a great walking city and parking was difficult. We then looked at the train to Venice and finally the train back to Siena our final destination before flying back out of Rome. WE know we want a car in Sienna to go wine tasting. Can two first timers to Italy negotiate the trains? Would you recommend a car earlier in the itinerary? thanks so much!
January 30, 2011, 04:29 PM
Hello! Travel travel is very convenient and looking at the places you're visiting, definitely recommended as the best ways to move between Rome, Florence and Venice.
Siena is harder to reach by train, since you need to go from Florence through Empoli first (train change). Since you want a car to move around once you're back in Tuscany and off to Siena, you have two options: renting the car in Florence once you make it back from Venice and drive down to Siena, keeping it until you're ready to head back to Rome or just renting the car in Siena on those day trips you're planning from there. Either way is definitely a good plan, and using the train system the rest of the time. The train system is really easy to use and you don't need to buy tickets ahead of time, just look at the time tables on www.trenitalia.com and depending on the train (whether reservations are required or not), once you're in Rome buy your tickets a day ahead at the station or at a travel agency that has a sign on its windows that says they sell rail tickets.
January 30, 2011, 11:57 PM
So do you think we can pick up the car in Florence and return it in Sienna or Rome when we go to the airport? Thanks again for the very helpful info.
January 31, 2011, 10:04 AM
I think it would make sense to try to return the rental in Siena if you want to take the train back down to Rome - or if you feel comfortable driving by that point, you could return it in Rome. Just make sure to check out whether these options are possible from the car rental company you choose, or whether you're forced to return it to the same place from where you rented from. At that point, renting from Florence would likely be the most convenient since you could drive down to Siena and use it for all your needs up to the point to where you need head back to Rome (from Florence SMN there are direct trains).