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Question on renting a car in Florence

sw
usa
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Question on renting a car in Florence

We will be in Florence the first week in Nov. Can anyone tell me about renting a car. Is it best to do it ahead. Is it more expensive to book it there? What would I expect to pay for a manual compact care for one day. If we wanted to have a pickup location close to the train station is there certain renal companies to check with?

Thanks for any help you can offer

SW

Winchester, Virginia
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1. Re: Question on renting a car in Florence

Hi!

We just got back from a trip to Rome, Florence, and Tuscany. We rented a car out of Florence (we picked it up at the airport, but I think there is also a pickup downtown near the train station.) Everything we read and everyone we talked to said it is cheaper and easier to arrange the car rental before you go which we did. We used Europcar and were happy.

Are you planning to go outside Florence? I am asking because I would NOT recommend having a car while in Florence. It is not easy to drive or park there, plus everything is within walking distance. We spent our time in Florence without a car and only picked one up to drive around Tuscany. It was great, but even that had its challenges.

Let me know if I can be of any more help. Have fun!

sw
usa
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2. Re: Question on renting a car in Florence

Thank you for sharing your experience. We plan to do the same...just rent for one day to drive out to see the Tuscany area...do you have any suggestions from your experince on this drive. And what were the challenges you encountered? I know it would be cheapest to rent the small encomny car, but wonder if it's better to have a larger car (just two of us), or is it eaiser to get around in the smallest car (not really up for something as small as a smart car).

Thanks again for you info.

sw

Italia
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3. Re: Question on renting a car in Florence

sw, i spent 4 months in Florence, January - May, will be glad to tell you the greatest spots to visit. Have an email?

sw
usa
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4. Re: Question on renting a car in Florence

Thank you for being willing to share highlights of what best to see. We are only in Florence for 4 nights, and plan to rent a car one of those days. Could you please post your suggestion here, I'm sure others would appreciate learning from your experience also.

Many thanks

sw

Winchester, Virginia
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5. Re: Question on renting a car in Florence

Hi!

As for the size of car, I would recommend keeping it on the small side. You don't need to go for the tiniest vehicle (we got something mid), but the roads are narrow and windy so you will not want something huge. Also, I am not sure whether renting a car for one day is worth it. By the time you pick up the rental and get your bearings, you will have to return. Depending on what you want to see you might be better off taking a day excursion. Trips to Sienna, San Gimignano, etc... are offered from Florence. One company that was recommended to us is "Walking Tours of Florence" with a website of www.artviva.com . If you do drive, make sure you have a good map and directions. The A1 AutoStrada is not the Sienna-Firenze superstrada. Somehow I didn't get off the exit for the superstrada.....anyway...once we got used to it we enjoyed the freedom and flexibilty of a car as well as the chance to go to some of the off-the-beaten path areas. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Hope this helps.

USA
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6. Re: Question on renting a car in Florence

Rent a car before you go. We use Avis; it's less than Hertz. Some of the Italian companies are expensive for a one day rental. Get a manual diesel and walk around the car before you take posession to note with the rental company any dent or missing hubcap. All the cars will have a few nicks, but you don't need to worry about that. Avis and several rental companies are located on Borgo Ognissanti; it is an easy street to find close to the river. I don't know about the train station except that it is a zoo, and fetching a car on Ognissanti is easy.

I would suggest you drive to Siena for lunch in the Piazza del Campo, perhaps the most beautiful piazza in Italy. Then stop by San Gimignano on your way back to Firenze. If you are really humming that day, you could do San Gimignano first, then Siena, Montepulciano, Cortona, Arezzo, and back to Firenze.

sw
usa
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7. Re: Question on renting a car in Florence

These are both very helpful posts....thank you for taking the time to post your suggestions. It's very appreciated

sw

Italia
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8. Re: Question on renting a car in Florence

In Florence, Aside from the Museums and stuff. Make sure you make frequent visits to the Mercato Centrale ( closed Sundays) There is a great cafe stand inside on 1st level known as "Bar Bellini" with a wonderful family running it. They have the greatest prices on drinks (cappucinos and espressos.) It is imperative that you go to "Trattoria Mario" located a stones throw from the Mercato, right next to Trattoria Zaza's. This place is only open for lunch and it is where all of the locals hang out and eat lunch. When there, get the ribbollita for the primo course and for the secondo get the bistecca fiorentina. HEAVEN. Also, for dinner, spend one nite at "Il Latini" and they will just be like "OK?" and u are like "OK." in agreement and they bring you out plate after plate of food. It is an amazing experience. My 2 favorite restaurants in all of Florence. Will try to right more soon. You are so lucky.

Doylestown...
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9. Re: Question on renting a car in Florence

You can also do easy day trips out of Florence to places like Siena and San Gimignano via train and bus, in addition to the plethora of travel/tour groups running trips. Train and bus travel were quick, convenient and inexpensive when we traveled around Italy in early October.

sw
usa
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10. Re: Question on renting a car in Florence

Thank you all for your suggestions. It's very helpful to hear advice from those that have been there before.

sw