Hello Fellow travelers!
Hope the new year brings health and happiness. in may, my wife and another couple are traveling to italy, we have an apartment in the heart of florence for a week and would like to visit some vinyards. I know renting a car is good, but i would like to keep the cost down as much as possible. Do any of you know of a good vinyard to visit via Public transportation from the city? Or, if you truly believe renting a car for a day or two is worth it, please do not hesitate to tell me. Warmest regards and thanks Ryan
Hello Fellow travelers!
While I almost always have a car to explore Tuscany if I were staying in the heart of Florence I would not do it unless you can get a really good day rate and just pick it up at the airport (near the freeway) to explore for a day. Driving and parking in Florence is not a picnic. There should be plenty of daytrips via public transportation that others can recommend.
I don't agree with the previous commenter. If you are staying in the heart of Florence the best car rental option is to rent from a city rental office. They are nearly all located in the same area on Borgo Ognissanti and on via Maso Finiguerra (look at Google Maps). That area is inside the ZTL but within the allowable corridor. Just pick up the car early morning at one of those offices and try to return it by closing time (which is probably 7:30pm). The rental office will provide you with a map with the itinerary you must take to return the car without running into the car free zone (ZTL). Renting from the airport will require you to pay the significantly higher airport rental rate, in addition you'll have to spend time and taxi money to get to the airport and back from the city center (20-30 min depending on traffic). Taxi fare to the airport is a 20 euro flat fee one way. With the money you'd spend to get to the airport and back from the city center, you can have a fully paid compact car. I often rent at AVIS in Florence (on Borgo Ognissanti) and I usually spend around 40/45 euro a day inclusive of full coverage insurance. Wineries are all in the countryside along the Via Chiantigiana (Strada Statale 222, or SS 222). Going by bus is not an option because bus service along SS 222 is infrequent. If you don't feel comfortable driving in Italy, the only other reasonable way to visit wineries in Chianti is by renting a car with driver. That is not a cheap option but it can be reasonable if can put together a sizable group that can share the cost of the 8 seat minivan. Info below: http://www.chianti.info/chianti_without_car.htm
Last spring we arrived in Florence by train, parked our luggage in the storage area, explored Florence then picked up our luggage and went to the car rental office to pick up our car to drive to our B&B in southeastern Tuscany. We drove all over mid/southern Tuscany and it is beautiful!!! There is a "scenic route" around Siena that has all those breathtaking views of Tuscany that are what I pictured in my mind. We pulled over so many times because each hill and turn was more beautiful than the last.
I would prefer this way than using public transportation. We had a hard time finding parking in Siena around the old town area, so we just went to the train station, parked there and picked up a bus. Cost a few Euro's, but it saved hours of driving from parking lot to parking lot.