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Rental Car or Train for 8 days,Switzerland&Italy

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Rental Car or Train for 8 days,Switzerland&Italy

Can you advise me on the merits of either means of transportation with the following itinerinary which is "set in stone". Arrive Zurich, stay there 1 night. Travel to Venice for 2 nights, Florence for 2 nights, Milan for 1 night, final night in Zurich. My inclination is to drive for the convenience that an auto can bring and the ability one has to stop along the way to smell the roses,, but I wonder if it is worth navigating,parking, orienting etc. since we are scheduled to be in all these cities.

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1. Re: Rental Car or Train for 8 days,Switzerland&Italy

Hi, don't drive - first, it will cost a lot by comparison to the train. Second, while you cannot necessarily stop and smell the roses, you will see more from the trains than driving - highways tend to go through the countryside while trains go through towns. Gives you a chance to see where you might like to visit on your next trip. Additionally, you have to pay for parking and it is expensive - $20 a day and upward. You can't drive in Venice - all cars must be parked in the huge parking garages and you travel from there by vaporetto or water taxi or on foot, you don't need to drive in Florence - much of what you likely want to see in such a short stay is located in about a one square mile area, no point in driving in Milan - decent public transportation and no parking at any price you will want to pay, and you certainly don't need a car in Zurich - a great small city with excellent public transportation. I've driven all over Europe, understand all the languages for road signs, etc. so don't have too many problems finding where I need to be but I don't drive unless it is the only way to get where I want to go without a lot of difficulty.

By using the trains, you will arrive relaxed and ready to use to the max the short time you have in each place. It is totally acceptable to take a picnic on the train - you can get lovely small bottles of wine to go with if you like and you can't/shouldn't do that if you are driving! Also the trains often have dining cars where you can enjoy a nice meal (with wine if you like) as you travel along. There is no need to buy first class tickets - second class is very comfortable unless you prefer quiet as the families tend to travel in second while first tends to be business travelers.

Hope this helps - have a great trip.

2. Re: Rental Car or Train for 8 days,Switzerland&Italy

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