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Italy road trip strategy

Italy road trip strategy

Old Mar 26, 18, 3:24 pm
  #1  
azj
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Italy road trip strategy

Hi everyone... I need some advice on logistics and strategy for a road trip I'm planning in Italy this summer. We are flying into Venice, which I realize isn't ideal for my plan, but it was a great fare vs. Florence or Pisa + I need to leave from Venice at the end of the trip. It costs way too much to change the destination at this point ($450 x 3!!), so I've got to make the most of what I've done and figure out some logistics.

So... arriving in Venice at 4pm. I had planned to just rent the car and spend the night near the airport and get an early start the following morning, or spend the night in Padua to do the same. The following day we are meant to be in San Gimignano, where we will base ourselves for 4 nights in the region. From there we will drive to Rome, drop the car and spend 3 nights before cruising. I'm just trying to figure out the best way to maximize time and energy, considering we are literally flying half way around the world to Italy, but fully realize we can't see it all and don't want to over do it.

Option 1 - Original plan, stay in Venice by the airport, leave the next morning.
Option 2 - Drive to Padua for the night, leave the next morning.
Option 3 - Drive all the way to Pisa/Florence/Bologna for the night, leave the next afternoon. But then I have to deal with a car and the ZTL.
Option 4 - Take the train from Venice Mestre to Pisa or Florence, spend the night, then the following day rent the car and drive to San Gimignano. Ideally this would leave more time for exploring the region as we wouldn't have to do a day trip to either city, fully knowing a day isn't enough for either place.

Thoughts?
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Old Mar 26, 18, 3:49 pm
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Where are you coming from? Will you be sleep deprived when you arrive?

If you're not sleep deprived, San Gimignano is 3.5-4 hours from VCE. That's drive-able after a 4PM arrival (you could be on the road by 5PM and there by 9PM)
If you are, then you have to figure your tolerance for how far you can drive before resting.

Relative to option 3 - you don't have to drive into Bologna or Florence to spend the night. There are decent hotels outside the ZTL.

Relative to option 4 - if you are planning on going to Florence forget everything above and definitely skip getting a car @ VCE - take the train from Mestre to Firenze, spend the night and be in Florence for the next day. You can rest on the train.
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Old Mar 26, 18, 9:27 pm
  #3  
azj
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Originally Posted by JMN57 View Post
Where are you coming from? Will you be sleep deprived when you arrive?

If you're not sleep deprived, San Gimignano is 3.5-4 hours from VCE. That's drive-able after a 4PM arrival (you could be on the road by 5PM and there by 9PM)
If you are, then you have to figure your tolerance for how far you can drive before resting.

Relative to option 3 - you don't have to drive into Bologna or Florence to spend the night. There are decent hotels outside the ZTL.

Relative to option 4 - if you are planning on going to Florence forget everything above and definitely skip getting a car @ VCE - take the train from Mestre to Firenze, spend the night and be in Florence for the next day. You can rest on the train.
Thanks for the advice. I'm leaning towards taking the train to Florence, I didn't realize how easy it is from Marco Polo. We can have a late dinner in Florence, wake up, have a great breakfast and spend the day in Florence. Then, cab to the airport or somewhere outside the ZTL and pick up the car and drive to San Gimignano. Considering flights... I'm wondering if I should pre purchase the train tickets?
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Old Mar 26, 18, 10:23 pm
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That sounds like a good plan. Relative to ticket pre-purchase - I'd get the Trenitalia app and, if you're comfortable with it, use it to select and purchase tickets when you land. That way you don't have a flight delay or something that screws up your train.

Relative to picking up a rental car at the airport, it's not far to the airport but getting one in town isn't an issue. Read this - https://www.visitflorence.com/touris...-ztl-zone.html - if you're still nervous about picking up in town the certainly take a cab to the airport.
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Old Apr 3, 18, 2:49 am
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Originally Posted by azj View Post
Thanks for the advice. I'm leaning towards taking the train to Florence, I didn't realize how easy it is from Marco Polo. We can have a late dinner in Florence, wake up, have a great breakfast and spend the day in Florence. Then, cab to the airport or somewhere outside the ZTL and pick up the car and drive to San Gimignano. Considering flights... I'm wondering if I should pre purchase the train tickets?
Another option is taking the train/bus to San G and renting a car from there (search trip advisor as I believe I read there is a car rental place there). You then can take the train to Rome. San G isn't served by train but there is a local bus from the train station that will take you to the main entrance to the city.
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