We plan on flying into Rome.after spending 3days there we want to rent a car and explore tuscany for a few days before we take the train to Florence. Where should we rent the car, and does anyone have any suggestions as to where we should use as our home base in Tuscany so we can stay in one place and make day trips with the car? Thanks, susan
Susan, Siena would make a good "home base" location, although parking could be an issue. If you'd prefer a location slightly further east, Cortona might be a good option. As I recall there's a free car park just below Piazza Garibaldi (which is also where the Bus stop is, right across from Hotel San Luca). From the car park in Cortona, walk to the road (there's a short staircase) and then go across to find the two Escalators that lead up to Piazza Garibaldi. I could show this more easily with photos, but unfortunately can't post them here. I've found that one of these can be "out of service" at times, but there's a a path around them and it's not a difficult walk. Happy travels!
Susan, You can rent a car in Chuisi or Orvieto, both have rental places close to the train station. See http://www.slowtrav.com/italy/tuscany/hs_planning.htm
for Tuscany ideas.
Susan...you could just rent the car at the airport in Rome, explore Tuscany and return the car at the airport in Florence. I would not use Siena as a home base as it is very difficult with a car. I would choose someplace easier to drive in and out of for day trips. There are plenty of small places in the countryside (agriturismo) that make it very easy with your car.
Susan: Orvieto is about an hour north of Rome, and it's a great hill top fortress town. Autoeurope.com can book you a car through Hertz for a fair price, and their office is just across the street from the train station. The roads north of Orvieto are very easy to negotiate. There are also some incredible sights 10-15 miles southwest of Orvieto. I would suggest establishing a home base outside of Siena or San Gimignano in the countryside at a agriturismo. Virtually every farm in Tuscany has rental rooms or apartments. I too found Siena too congested, and parking to be a hassle. We especially liked the drives over to Volterra and just rambling from town to town. Hertz has a location at 53 Via del Sansovino in Florence which is about 2 miles north of the train station. The car can be left there.
Thank you to everyone for the advice. Most appreciated. I've crossed Sienna off our list as a home base and will follow up on all of your recommendations. Of course I'm still open to more postings, so if anyone has any other ideas I would love to hear them. Best, Susan
Susan, put Siena back on the list as a base! Look at Hotel Minerva, just outside one of the city gates but within walking distance of the historic center (there are city buses that stop nearby as well). Hotel Minerva has an onsite parking garage for guests, so no ZTL or traffic issues. It's easy to get out of town for daytrips, since from the hotel you are not going into the city center (we went to Montepulciano, Montalcino, Arezzo, Anghiari, Sansepolcro, Pienza, Volterra and San Gimignano). The hotel also has some rooms with views of the (very close by) Siena skyline. I have no affiliation with this hotel, I just loved it for its location and amenities, helpful staff, and cleanliness. Good breakfast, too.