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Venice to Siena

San Diego
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Venice to Siena

I've been looking through the forums and haven't found a good answer to this:

My wife and I will be coming from Venice to Siena then on to Rome over 14 days. My plan was to take a train from Venice to Florence, then rent a car and drive to Siena where we will stay for four nights, then drop the car off in Chiusi and take the train to Rome. Does this sound like a reasonable plan?

My biggest concern is picking up the car in Florence and dealing with the restricted zones while trying to make my way out of the city. It looks like there is a Hertz location near the train station, but would we be better off taking a cab to a different location?

Thanks

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
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1. Re: Venice to Siena

Frankly, I would pick the car up at Piazzale Roma in Venice and drive to Siena. Piazzale Roma is at the end of the road into Venice, and it is easy to get onto the bridge to the mainland and thence onto the autostrada. It takes about four hours (plus stops) to drive from Venice to Siena.

The bonus is that you put your luggage into the car at Venice and do not have to touch it until you get to Siena. By train, you carry your luggage up steep steps into the train at Venice, and at Florence you carry luggage down these steps, haul it to the taxi stand, get it into a taxi and then out again, and finally into your rental car.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Venice to Siena

And I would drop the car at FCO and take the set price taxi straight to your hotel instead of faffing around with trains and then taxis if you drop at Chiusi.

Kansas
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for Siena, Montalcino
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3,715 posts
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3. Re: Venice to Siena

Grant,

Your plan is fine but you may want to take the bus www.aeroporto.firenze.it/EN/index.php…

to the Florence airport to pick up the car thus avoiding the ZTL.

San Diego
2 posts
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4. Re: Venice to Siena

Thanks for all of your help. Now I'm thinking it might just be best to skip the train altogether and drive from Venice > Siena > Rome.

For someone who has never driven outside the United States (but very used to southern California traffic), do you think this would be a stressful drive? I've heard that driving in Rome is especially stressful but I suppose it wouldn't be as bad if I was just going straight to FCO.

Thanks again,

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
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82,322 posts
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5. Re: Venice to Siena

Driving in any large Italian city is very stressful, and is not recommended for tourists. However, FCO airport is 16 miles away from the centre of Rome and can be reached by staying on autostrada (motorway) all the way.

The autostrade work well, but they have heavy traffic and it is essential that you stay in the right lane unless you are actually overtaking.

Seattle, Washington
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6. Re: Venice to Siena

We just got back from a 2 week trip to Italy, half of which was a road trip starting in Padua (just outside Venice). We went south to Ravenna, Urbino, Assisi, Southern Tuscany, then dropped the car off in Milano.

1) I loved having the car. It was indispensable for visiting beautiful small towns and spectacular scenic drives through the mountains.

2) The only 2 times I was really unhappy driving were first on a day trip into the heart of Siena trying to find the parking/rendezvous spot for our tour while avoiding ZTLs, and the second was dropping the car of in the heart of Milano on a hot-hot-hot afternoon at rush hour. The lesson here: stay out of the cities if you can.

The autostrade was fine if you didn't mind paying tolls and needed to go from point A to B very quickly. However, for most of our trip we picked the most squiggly roads marked as scenic drives in our Michelin atlas...well worth the $20, by the way:

amazon.com/Michelin-Atlas-Italy/dp/206714099X

You have 2 weeks! That's great! Work your way southwest from Venice by car....explore! Stay outside cities in small towns and Agriturismi! You'll have a great time!

-Karl

Edited: 23 June 2012, 12:02
Atlanta
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7. Re: Venice to Siena

My wife and I just made that similiar trip. We took the train from Venice to Florence, then took a taxi from the train station to the Florence airport to pick up the car. I wanted to avoid driving in Florence due to all the restricted zones.

We then drove from the Florence airport down to Siena. It was an easy drive, and we had no problems at all. After 5 days in Tuscany, we drove the car down to the Rome (FCO) airport to drop it off, then took a taxi in to Rome to get to our hotel.

My vote would be to pick up the car at the Florence airport, then drop it off at Rome FCO instead of taking the train.

On a side note, the drive through Southern Tuscany was beautiful.We are glad we chose that option. Enjoy your trip. We just returned from 10 wonderful days in Italy.

8. Re: Venice to Siena

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