June 3, 2016, 05:46 AM
Stressful decisions to be made to make for a relaxing vacation. (Hopefully)
I'm a newbie with a bunch of questions. I have a week in Tuscany in September and want to visit Florence, Siena, Pisa and Cinque Terra. I would like to have a settled base which I will be reaching from Rome airport. I have a few dilemmas:
1 I am finding it difficult to decide on car vs train/bus. I have a great aversion to being ripped off or incurring hidden/unexpected costs. I have heard horror stories of people inadvertently racking up major fines by driving into restricted zones unaware. How easy is this to avoid? Also the car hire companies seem to have a bad reputation for taking extra money without reason. On the other hand with time being limited the ease and speed of getting from A to B that a car affords is desirable.
2 Considering where I wish to visit what makes best sense for my base? Take into consideration that I will be arriving from Rome.
3 Does it make any sense to travel from Rome by train and hire a car in Tuscany? My group is a family of 4 adults so cost of train vs car hire is a consideration.
4 I am looking to rent a villa/house/apartment and like the idea of a pool. Is an unheated pool going to be enticing in September and will my itinerary give me enough spare time to use it?
5 My daughter would like to visit a beach. Which beach destination would be best for this itinerary?
I'm sorry for so many questions but my head is spinning and I think this site is my saving grace.
June 4, 2016, 12:26 PM
Car vs. train...if you are going to be doing a lot of traveling around Tuscany and you are in 4 - then you will probably want to use a car for $$ reasons. It you watch the signs, and use official parking, you really shouldn’t have a problem with the ZTL parking (these really aren’t hidden costs … they are just the consequences of not adhering to local traffic laws.) Personally I have never had a problem with extra costs at a car rental...just be sure to ask for specifically if there are any extra costs you need to know about.
If instead you are thinking to only to go those places - and not travel anywhere else, then using public transport is great. I find it comfortable and affordable (look into the family tickets which one of the kids is under 15 when accompanied by two adults). Getting from the Rome airport to Rome Termini is easy, however keep in mind with your luggage that the train that gets into Rome Termini is all the way at the FAR FAR end of the train station and you will need time to make it to your next connection to Florence.