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Driving from Rome to Bari vs Train

We had planned on taking the train from Rome to Bari (Puglia), where we will rent a car. When I looked at the train schedules today, I found out that a landslide between Benevento and Foggia will necessitate bus transfer past the landslide, and will delay the trip 90 minutes. So now I'm thinking about changing the car rental reservation and picking the car up in Rome. We didn't do that in the first place because we didn't want to drive in Rome, and because we enjoy riding the train. Any advice, suggestions, or warnings about this plan? Is the drive interesting?
Thank you!

Posted by
1633 posts

A better plan would be to take a one hour train ride from Rome to Orvieto and rent your car there. Check with AutoEurope for renting a car in Orvieto. I'd suggest getting a GPS in the rental car and buy a good Michelin road map at the bookstore or here on Rick's website. Have fun!

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks, Denise. The only problem with that plan is that Orvieto is north of Rome and Bari is south!

Posted by
10344 posts

"Bari is south of Rome."

Actually, to be precise, compass-wise, Bari is a lot more east of Rome than it is south, about 5 hours driving time east (that's road time only), on the opposite coast from Rome.

The time to get to the car rental in Rome, fill out the contract, drive out of Rome, get lost in Rome a couple of times--that will probably take more time than the 90 minutes extra because of the landslide (to do the train and bus).

If you do decide to rent the car in Rome, you will probably have a better experience if you pick a car pickup location that minimizes the amount of driving you have to do in Rome itself. Many pick up rental cars at FCO, but that's on the opposite side of town from where you want to go.

Maybe the train, even with the landslide, is sounding better and better.

Posted by
13 posts

You are correct, it is more east than south. If we went directly south from Rome to the same latitude as Bari we would be in open water.:-) The train is sounding better all the time. We are adopting the attitude that the bus detour around the landslide will be another one of those interesting travel experiences.
Our final destination isn't Bari. That's just where we will pick up the car. We will be based at Agriturismo Serragambetta, a few kilometers from Castellana-Grotte.