Rome to Lucca - train or car - and then to Fondi?

Hi there! We will be arriving at Leonardo de Vinci at 12h30 on Saturday July 7th and need to get from there to an agriturismo outside of Lucca. The owner of the agriturismo says we will need a car while there to get around. Does it make sense to take the train to Lucca and then rent a car there? From what I gather car rental places aren't open in the afternoon on Saturday - except I presume at the airports. Is that correct? If that is the case then taking a car is really the only option. What is it like to drive from de Vinci to Lucca and which routing would you suggest? Is there anything I need be aware of when renting cars in Italy? We will be a group of eight and will likely have to rent two cars. After a week in the Lucca area, we plan to head down to Fondi for a week. Would it make sense to drop the car off at Lucca and then take the train to Fondi or drive the car back to de Vinci or Rome and take the train from there or, another option, take the car to Fondi and drop it there? (We will not need a car in Fondi from what I gather.) (Last question, what are the train connections like from Lucca to Fondi?) Apologies for all the dumb questions!! All the best, Wardie

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3319 posts

I would rent the car from Rome. You have to rent anyhow, so you might as well do it from the start from Rome and save the hassle of 2 train changes (with luggage to be carried around on board) and the train fare from Rome to Lucca (which will be at least 60 euro per person one way). If you rent at the airport, it's probably faster to take the Via Aurelia along the coast. You'll save at least 30 km and the road is mostly toll free. You should make it to Lucca in 3.5 to 4 hours max (so faster than the high speed train via Florence). If you rent from a city center location then it might be a little faster to take the Autostrada del Sole (A1) to Florence, then exit at Firenze Nord and take the Firenze-Mare freeway (A-11) to Lucca. In this case you'll have to pay toll (maybe 20 euros). The journey will be also close to 3.5 hours. The cost of a car rental is 40 to 50 euro a day (incl. insurance). If you have a diesel, you should get away with about 30 euro of fuel. Add another 20 euro in tolls if you go via A1-A11. Since you plan to rent anyhow, it's cheaper to drive (and also faster and less hassle). I wouldn't bother to take the train to Lucca and rent from Lucca. You'll get all the cons (hassle of 2 train changes and 60 euro pp fare) and none of the pros, which, besides less hassle, includes getting to Lucca at your own pace. I would also drive to Fondi. I don't know what your arrangements are, but Fondi is a very small town, I think you might find it beneficial to have a car while there. But it's up to you. If you are sure you don't want it, return the car in Rome and go by train from Rome to Fondi.

Posted by Wardie
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
3 posts

Many thanks, Roberto! How easy is it to navigate the roads in Italy? Do rentals come with GPS? As for Fondi, we were under the impression that it is quite easy to get to places like Rome and Naples by train and hence figured a car would be more of a hassle. Was our assumption incorrect? Best, Wardie