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Car Rentals

We will be in Italy next Spring. 3 Days in Rome, then 2 days in Florence before heading out to the Tuscan hill towns. We would like to rent a car when we leave Florence and drop off at Pisa or La Spezia before we go to Cinque Terra. Are there any place that will bring you the car to your hotel? Or is it better to find a place outside the city to pick it up? Where would be a good place? Very excited.
thanks, Sarita

Posted by
2491 posts

You can always do the airport, but I usually do a Google map search of locations of car rental offices, as sometimes you can find one outside the ztl that makes for an easier pickup. Also, flesh out the rest if the trip first--many small towns do have rental offices, so you may be able to take a train or bus from Florence and pick up at a convenient spot.

Posted by
3159 posts

There is a lot of info here on forum about renting a car in Florence
Do a search

We picked up at Sansovino Hertz but the Borgo Ognissanti locations near train station are probably just as easy
Airport will be more expensive, not necessary

Make sure you educate yourself on driving in Italy, get your IDP

we always use AutoEurope com for our rentals
Search for reviews of this company here as well

Posted by
12800 posts

I would pick up at Borgo Ognissanti. All car agencies have the downtown locations on that street. Since you are not returning the car in Florence there is no risk of getting caught by the ZTL (restricted traffic zone) camera. Those are positioned only when you enter the historical,center, not when you exit.

Hertz has two locations outside of the center also: one on Via del Sansovino, the other, at Firenze Sud on Via Ambrosoli, under the Varlungo bridge (now named after Paolo Borsellino, a prosecutor slain by the Sicilian mafia years ago). Both also work as they are on the way to the A1 freeway (Firenze Scandicci entrance, and Firenze Sud entrance respectively). It’s just a longer taxi ride to those offices, so it’s a bit higher fare). They do not deliver the car to your hotel, and if your hotel is in the historical center you can’t even drive there, therefore on the day of departure, after checking out, pick up your luggage and take the taxi to the car rental office of your choice because you won’t be able to drive back to your hotel (in nearly all cases if you stay downtown).

Do not choose the airport rental location, it is not conveniently located in your circumstances since you are not flying in and it costs more in rental fees. Also it is opposite to where you are going. The airport is northwest of the city, the Tuscan hill towns are south of Florence.

Posted by
4 posts

Thanks for all your responses. I really appreciate it and will do the research on the closes place to our hotel.

Posted by
1791 posts

Also, check rental times. For instance, local rental locations have shorter hours on Saturday and are closed on Sunday.

It's not just Italy. We wanted to rent a car in Tours, France on Saturday and return it the next Sunday when we were taking the Eurostar to London. I checked the times and by the time we landed and took the train to Tours, the office would be closed. It was also closed on Sundays. We ended up renting at the airport in Paris and returning it to Gare du Nord in Paris. Driving in Paris on Sunday was quite an adventure!

Getting back to Tuscany, we spent a week in Tuscany with just one home base. We stayed just outside Greve, which is south of Florence. It was a great location for our day trips. Driving in Tuscany is easy and fun. ZTLs are well marked (outside Florence). The rule of thumb with hill towns is just to assume anywhere within the walls is ZTL. There's plenty of parking outside the walls. Strictly observe the speed limit. You won't see police cars and you won't see the automatic cameras that catch you speeding and send you a remembrance of your trip months afterwards. The scenery is so gorgeous you'll want to go slow. Some locals may be in a hurry. I just turn off at the first possible opportunity and let them by. I wave as they pass and they normally wave back a thanks.