March 3, 2016, 02:37 AM
Overnight Parking in Florence + Other Car Questions
Hi! I'm so happy to have found this forum. What a life saver!!! Hoping someone will have some advice for me as I'm feeling a little lost - especially in regards to transportation in and around Italy.
A little background on the trip:
My husband and I will be traveling in Italy in early April for 8 days and are mostly interested in seeing Florence/Tuscany/Venice. We've never been to Italy before, but we're very excited. We're trying to do our research now to make things as comfortable as possible - because I'll be 20 weeks pregnant at the time of the trip (an adventure before nesting for a few years)! We have to fly in and out of Rome even though we're mainly interested in Tuscany and Venice because of the travel deal we got. The travel deal also includes a rental car. We'll be staying at the Castello di Montegufoni outside of Florence for six nights and then two nights in Venice at a place of our own choosing.
So now for the questions - mainly transportation related for now:
1. Is a car really needed? It comes with the travel package, but we wonder if maybe the trip would be less stressful without it and we should just tell them we don't want it? For instance, my husband is pretty nervous about the 3 hour drive from the airport in Rome to the Castelle just outside of Florence.
2. If we do get the car, unfortunately we'll need to keep it the whole time. If we wanted to park it for three days overnight in Florence while we do the Venice leg of the trip - where could we do that and how much would it cost?
3. Am I right to assume that it would be easier to take the train and explore Venice on foot? Or should we take the car there too?
Thank you so much in advance for the help!
March 3, 2016, 10:18 AM
Is a car necessary
looking at the area you will be staying in, I would highly suggest sticking with the car.
The drive from Rome to Castello di Montegufoni is really a pretty straight forward ride. You won't even go into the city from the airport - and the main roads are well marked...if all else fails just follow your GPS on the cell phone. Once on the main Autostrada....it is one long, un-eventful haul. Make a note to stop at Orvieto for a little bit of leg stretching...easy to navigate and right off the main highway.
When planning your drive I would stick with the road alternative that takes you to what is commonly called here the FI-PI-LI (pronounced fee-pea-lee) it is the main highway that connects Florence to the west coast. This road has less scenery - but is more direct to the castello.
Once you get here (and get your sea legs, so to speak) you will see that it is easy to get around Tuscany and the area you will be staying in has lots of small towns close by that are pretty & easy to handle roads.
You could look at leaving the car at the castello and take the bus into Florence to catch the train...that way you don't need to worry about your car at all. (bus number 37 is about a 35 minute run) You can check with the accommodations, they may be able to suggest easy parking close to the bus stop.
March 4, 2016, 04:28 AM
Thank you Donna!
Thank you Donna! This is all very helpful. I think we will definitely keep the car then. And my husband is relieved to hear that the drive isn't too hard from Rome. I think we'll just just ask the Castello if they're ok with us leaving the car there while we go to Venice. I'm a little unsure about that - as we won't be guests there those days/nights. So they would be just letting us do that out of the goodness of their hearts. But maybe they'll be cool with it. Or else - maybe they'll have some suggestions for alternatives.
Thank you again. We appreciate it and can't wait to visit your part of the world!
March 4, 2016, 10:27 AM
Ciao and congrats on the pregnancy! We also traveled when I was 20 weeks along and for sure, you need to plan for breaks and be comfortable.
I second Donna's suggestion to keep the car - it will be an advantage for you as well, to move around at your pace. The drive from Rome isn't too bad -- but do stop for a break in Orvieto, it is a charming town. Once you're in Tuscany, the roads are not too narrow and you shouldn't ever be in a hurry, so you can also take your time and enjoy the scenery.
Early April isn't yet high season, so if there is space at Montegufoni (which I've heard is a beautiful resort), I don't think they'll mind too much if you leave the car. Venice is definitely better on foot, and a car would just be parked in a lot somewhere on the mainland while you're in the lagoon.
Otherwise, an alternative would be to find a private car garage in Florence where you know you can leave it and have it more handy, both on departure toward Venice and on your return. Take a look at https://parclick.com/ - it has the private garages in Florence. If you stay centrally, you can pay from 22-30 euro per day, if you stay near the airport, the cost is 8 euro per day. If you stay at that one, you can either take bus (I would suggest taxi if you have luggage... considering you're already carrying baby ;-) ) to the SMN train station to catch the train to Venice.
March 6, 2016, 09:59 PM
parking car in Florence
This is my first trip to Europe and my first time using this forum. I apologize in advance if I am doing this wrong.
We will be driving to Florence and staying overnight. We have purchased tickets for parking Garage Florentia from parclick.com. Would like bus information to Santa Maria Novella Train station. We will not have luggage. Would we be able to walk to the station?